[Major revision–posted 2/17/22 (replaces 2/21/14 edition)]
Operating Policy and Procedure
OP 79.07: Travel Advances
DATE: February 17, 2022
PURPOSE: The purpose of this Operating Policy/Procedure (OP) is to set forth the guidelines for the issuance of travel advance funds that may be used to cover a portion of official pre-travel and travel expenses.
REVIEW: This OP will be reviewed in November of odd-numbered years by the Section Manager of Travel Services with substantive revisions forwarded through the Chief Procurement Officer to the Senior Vice President for Administration & Finance and Chief Financial Officer.
1. Use of a Travel Advance (TA)
a. The university may advance funds for travel expenses to faculty, staff, and student employees only if the expenses are incurred during work-related travel that requires an overnight stay outside the employee's designated headquarters.
b. The university will not issue a TA to:
(1) A person who is not faculty, staff, or student employee of the university. A prospective state employee shall not be issued a travel advance.
(2) A person who has an outstanding travel advance from a previous trip.
(3) A person who is on hold in the State Comptroller's Texas Payee Information System (TPIS). (Note: Possible reasons an employee may be on hold include being in default on a student loan, indebted to the state or a state agency, delinquent on state tax, not paying child support, or owing a reimbursement for unemployment taxes.)
(4) An employee whose travel expenses will be reimbursed directly to the employee by someone other than the university.
c. Travel advances are allowed for prepaid expenses (airfare, registration fees, hotel deposits, etc.). These prepaid expenses are approved upon receipt of the travel application and proof of payment of the prepaid expense.
d. Advances for non-prepaid expenses may be requested. If approved, the TA will be approved five (5) working days prior to travel departure. Travel advances for non-prepaid expenses are restricted as follows:
(1) Airfare cost may be advanced with a copy of the itinerary showing the cost of the airline ticket.
Up to 90 percent of the allowed per diem for the destination may be advanced unless staying at a conference hotel. Hotel taxes may be included but may not exceed 9 percent for travel within Texas or 15 percent for travel outside of Texas. If staying at a conference hotel, conference details must be attached to the application.
Up to 90 percent of the allowed per diem rate for the destination may be advanced.
(4) Personal Vehicle Mileage
Up to 90 percent of the cost of personal vehicle mileage using the shortest distance with point-to-point itemization multiplied by the current cost per mile reimbursement rate.
(5) Other Expenses
A maximum of $100 may be advanced for taxis, shuttles, and gasoline for those not claiming personal mileage. This must be itemized in the trip description.
e. Advances are not provided for:
(1) Rental cars – These can be paid for with a credit card or through TechBuy with a purchase order;
(2) Parking costs; or
(3) Mileage to and from the airport.
2. Reimbursement of Travel Advances
a. The traveler must submit a travel voucher to Travel Services within 15 calendar days after returning to headquarters. Failure to process the voucher within the 15-day period will result in the suspension of any further advances for that traveler until the delinquent advance has been cleared. Repeated delays in clearing delinquent advances may result in the suspension of all future advances.
b. If the travel voucher is not sufficient to cover the amount of the advance, the employee shall promptly reimburse the overage by mailing either a check or money order, made out to Texas Tech University, to Travel Services. The address is Texas Tech University, Procurement Services, Box 41094, Lubbock, TX 79409-1094. A voucher without the required reimbursement will be held without processing until the payment is submitted.
c. If the travel total cost of the trip exceeds the amount of the advance, the traveler will be reimbursed for the difference.
d. Students who obtain advances for their travel expenses and are delinquent in the reimbursement will have a hold placed on their student account through the Registrar's Office. The hold will not allow the student to register for classes or obtain a transcript until the reimbursement is paid.
e. Under Internal Revenue Service regulations, any travel voucher not received by Travel Services (voucher and paperwork received) within 60 days of the trip end date will be taxable to the traveler. The taxable expense will be reported to Payroll & Tax Services for processing.
3. Special Restrictions/Provisions
a. Travel advances for non-prepaid expenses will be approved no earlier than five (5) working days prior to departure. Exceptions may be requested by contacting Travel Services.
b. In order to expedite payment, the traveler should sign up for direct deposit by going to the Employee tab on Raiderlink >> Update My Direct Deposit >> Employee Reimbursement Account tab. Otherwise, a travel advance check will be mailed.
c. Travel advances for international travel will not be processed until the Office of International Affairs has approved the travel.
See the Online Travel Training Guide for Applications and Vouchers for instructions on requesting a travel advance.
The Chief Procurement Officer and/or the Section Manager of Travel Services has the authority to make an exception to this policy that in their determination is essential for the continued operations of the university and does not violate any federal or state laws.
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