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Travel Expense Policy

 

Effective Date: October 1, 2006

Latest Revision: February 1, 2017

 

POLICY STATEMENT

Columbia University faculty, staff, and students routinely travel out of town on behalf of the University or in support of sponsored research activities.  The University reimburses these travelers for necessary and reasonable business expenses incurred while traveling.  Reimbursable expenses must conform to federal and state law and the restrictions placed upon sponsored projects. In order to provide this reimbursement, the University requires travelers to complete and submit an approved Travel and Business Expense report which documents the business purpose of the trip and the types of expenses incurred.

 

REASON FOR POLICY:

The travel expense policy:
• Assures that the University and the traveler are in compliance with Internal Revenue Service regulations that define the types of expenses that can be reimbursed without being counted as taxable income.
• Assures that travel charged to sponsored projects conforms to the regulations and restrictions placed on the use of the funds by the sponsor.
• Enables the University to protect its reputation and not-for-profit status by avoiding excessive or inappropriate spending.
• Provides departments with the ability to control how their budgets are expended.

 

PRIMARY POLICY TO WHICH THIS POLICY RESPONDS:

This policy primarily responds to the regulations of the US Internal Revenue Service, the rules established by the agencies and entities that sponsor research at Columbia and the federal and state laws that govern not-for-profit organizations. For more detail, please see the appendix A.

 

RESPONSIBLE UNIVERSITY OFFICE & OFFICER

Richard Mead, Executive Director, Accounts Payable

 

REVISION HISTORY

Revised - 01/01//2017

Latest Revision - 02/01/2017

 

WHO IS GOVERNED BY THIS POLICY

Any University traveler who seeks reimbursement for expenses incurred during approved University travel. Individuals other than employees or students (e.g., consultants, job candidates) who seek reimbursement from the University for Travel Expenses must also comply with this policy. Due to budgetary constraints, some University departments have instituted more restrictive reimbursement guidelines. In cases where there is a discrepancy between this policy and a department, granting agency or donor policy, the more restrictive policy will apply.

 

To see the full text of this policy, please use the link on the right.