5.00 Post Trip: Expense Reporting
Travelers are required to submit an expense report via the Concur, MIT's Online Expense Reporting System within 30 days after the completion of a trip.
- The expense report is necessary not only to request reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses but also to reconcile charges made on the MIT Travel Card.
- Travelers must provide itemized receipts for expenses over $75. However, if individual sponsor policies require receipts for all expenses, travelers should follow sponsor policies.
- In the case of meals in which alcohol was purchased, Travelers must provide itemized receipts, no matter what the cost, so that appropriate alcohol charges may be segregated and charged to a non-sponsored discretionary cost object.
- In order for reports to be processed and for reimbursement to be issued, the Authorized Approver, as designated in the Roles Database, must approve the expense report.
- Direct deposit: If a Traveler is set up for direct deposit through HR/Payroll, reimbursement for travel expenses submitted via the MIT Online Expense Reporting System will be paid via direct deposit to the same bank account on record with HR/Payroll.
All food and beverage expenses for business meetings must be charged to General Ledger Account 421000 (Meetings – Food and Beverages or business meeting/meal).
Expenses for meetings, retreats, seminars, symposia, workshops or events, including food and beverages, may be allowable costs on a federal award if the sponsor expressly states they are allowable. In order for the expense to be allowable, the meeting's primary purpose must be dissemination of technical information beyond MIT. The meeting must also be necessary and reasonable for successful performance of the federal award. Standard group meetings in which information is shared among laboratory members do not qualify as allowable costs.
To substantiate the business purpose of the meeting expenditures, Travelers must provide the following:
- The purpose of the meeting or topic of discussion
- A list of attendees (names and group association) present at the meeting
- Itemized receipts
If no itemized receipt is available for a business meeting/meal (and an attempt has been made to obtain one), the expense type in the Concur reporting tool should be changed to "non recoverable expense"’ and allocated to a non-sponsored cost object.
To charge a business meeting/meal with no itemized receipt to a sponsored cost object, approval must be obtained from Research Administration Services (RAS) in the Office of the Vice President for Research (VPR) or the sponsor.
As with non-meeting-related meals, alcoholic beverages must be segregated and charged to a non-sponsored discretionary cost object.
As detailed in Section 2.02 Using the MIT Travel Card, the MIT Travel Card may be used to pay for local travel and dining expenses associated with a meeting, and such charges may be expensed in Concur, the MIT Online Expense Tool. The MIT Procurement Card may also be used for such expenses. The same requirements for reconciling these expenses (detailed above) apply when either card is used.
MIT pays the credit card service provider directly for charges incurred on the MIT Travel Card. See New Travel Card Expense Reporting Policy FAQ for details on the new policy in effect on January 3, 2017.
- If charges on the MIT Travel Card are deemed non-business related after MIT has paid the credit card service provider for such charges, the Traveler is required to reimburse MIT with a personal check.
- Travelers are responsible for reconciling credit card transactions and submitting a travel expense report within 30 days after the transaction date or the completion of travel.
- Travelers who have not submitted a travel expense report within 60 days will receive a past-due notification. Such notification will be sent to the Administrative Officer (AO) in the Traveler’s DLC and the Assistant Dean in the Traveler’s School.
- Travelers who have not submitted a travel expense report within 90 days will receive a suspension warning notification. Such notification will be sent to the AO in the Traveler’s DLC and the Assistant Dean in the Traveler’s School.
- If a travel expense report has not been filed within 120 days, the MIT Travel Card will be suspended.
- If a travel expense report has not been filed within 150 days, the MIT Travel Card will be canceled, and notifications will be sent to the AO in the Traveler’s DLC or Assistant Dean in the Traveler’s School. VPF Travel and Card Services will charge outstanding balances to the discretionary cost object that was linked to the MIT Travel Card at the time the Traveler applied for the card.
MIT travelers may fly business class (or first class if business class service is not offered) for all international travel (excluding Canada; see below).
An MIT traveler may fly business class if the trip meets any one of the conditions below. (Note: travelers may only fly first class if business class is not offered.)
- The traveler’s scheduled in-air flying time of a one-way direct or non-stop flight exceeds six hours.
- The traveler’s scheduled in-air flying time of a flight with multiple legs totals more than six hours from origin to destination.
- For roundtrip travel, one of the above requirements must apply to at least one way of travel in order to fly business class in both directions. For example, business class is allowed for a roundtrip Boston-Los Angeles flight even if only one way exceeds six hours.
The cost of business class (or first class if business class service is not offered) may not be charged to sponsored projects. In cases where travelers traveling under sponsored projects fly business class (or first class if business class service is not offered on the flight), travelers must document the lowest available coach fare when submitting their post-trip expense report. Travelers must subtract the lowest available coach fare from the business class (or when acceptable, first class) fare and allocate the difference to a non-sponsored discretionary cost object.
Some miscellaneous expenses are reimbursable by MIT but are not reimbursable under sponsored projects. Below is a breakdown of common miscellaneous expenses according to whether they are reimbursable under a sponsored project, reimbursable only by MIT, or not reimbursable at all. Please refer to Coeus for a sponsor's travel terms if you have any questions about whether a sponsored project allows reimbursement of particular travel expenses.
Reimbursable Under a Sponsored Project
- Checked baggage fee
- Overweight baggage fee
- Oversized baggage fee
- Change fee
- Curbside check-in fee
- Fuel charge fee
- Confirmed same-day standby fee
- Paper ticket fee
- Seat fee
Reimbursable by MIT but Not Reimbursable Under a Sponsored Project Without Specific Approval From the Sponsor
- Upgrade fees, including Economy Plus (e.g. extra legroom) must be approved by DLC
- Airfare difference
- Blanket Fee
- Pillow Fee
- Code share flights when a U.S. designator code is on the ticket of a flight operated by a foreign carrier (Code sharing is a mechanism by which a U.S.-certified carrier leases space on an aircraft of a foreign carrier.)
- Alcohol (must be approved by the DLC)
- Prospective student visits
- Resource development travel
- Entertainment (must be approved by the DLC)
- Gifts in lieu of hotel stay to guest or customary gift (must be approved by the DLC)
- Membership in airline clubs, such as the Admiral's Club (must seek reimbursement through VPF Accounts Payable with a Request for Payment)
- Miscellaneous promotional expenses
- Non-recoverable expenses
- Frequent flyer mileage or rewards cards fees
- Costs incurred by unreasonable failure to cancel transportation or hotel reservations
- Fines for automobile violations including parking tickets
- Personal auto repairs, insurance deductibles, and surcharges
- Lost or stolen tickets, cash, or property
- Travel accident insurance premiums
- Expenses not directly related to the performance of the travel assignment
- Hotel movie rentals and airline headsets
- Airfare, hotel, rental cars or any other travel purchased with frequent flyer miles or rewards points and/or cost for frequent flyer miles or rewards points
- Toiletry items
- Dependent care for non-faculty
- Health club fees
- Magazine, newspapers, and books unrelated to business
- Additionally purchased car rental insurance for domestic travel
- Personal credit card delinquency fees or finance charges
- Travel insurance (trip protection or trip cancellation insurance)
All expenses under the following trip purposes are unallowable (theses trips cannot be charged to a sponsored project):
- Resource Development
- Prospective Student Visit
- President Travel
Before discarding original receipts or other documentation, DLCs should be sure to validate that a complete and legible electronic image of the record has been uploaded to Concur. This is necessary for audit purposes and is critical for travel under sponsored research projects.
Travelers must submit itemized receipts for all expenses in excess of $75. However, if individual sponsor policies require receipts for all expenses, travelers should follow sponsor policies.
Travelers must submit itemized receipts, regardless of the amount, for the following expenses:
- Meals or other expenses that include alcohol
- Business meeting meals
- Car rentals
- All local travel and dining; Boston-area expenses with no airfare, Amtrak or overnight stays (see Local Travel and Meetings trip purpose in Concur).
Receipts are necessary for reconciliation of expenses after the trip because these expenses may include unallowable or non-reimbursable charges.
- If no itemized receipt is available for a business meeting/meal (and an attempt has been made to obtain one), the expense type in the Concur reporting tool should be changed to "non recoverable expense" and allocated to a non-sponsored cost object. A Missing Receipt Affidavit should be attached.
- To charge a business meeting/meal with no itemized receipt to a sponsored cost object, approval must be obtained from Research Administration Services (RAS) or the sponsor.
If the MIT Travel Card is used for local travel and dining expenses ('local travel and meetings' trip purpose within Concur), receipts must be retained and provided as part of the reconciliation, regardless of the amount.