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UPPS 05.06.04 - Travel Advances

Travel Advances

UPPS No. 05.06.04
Issue No. 2
Effective Date: 6/22/2017
Next Review Date: 5/01/2019 (E2Y)
Sr. Reviewer: Associate Vice President for Financial Services

  1. POLICY STATEMENTS

    1. This policy sets forth guidelines for requesting and reconciling a travel advance from Texas State University.

    2. The Texas State University System Board of Regents requires compliance with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requirements published in IRS Publication 463, Travel, Entertainment, Gift and Car Expenses. The following policies and procedures of Texas State comply with these regulations and conform to the reconciliation procedures for a cash advance issued for travel purposes.

    3. Travel advances are issued within 14 calendar days of the travel date.

    4. Travel advances can only be given to an employee of Texas State for travel and meet one of the following conditions:

      1. travel includes at least one student and the planned expenses are $200 or more; or

      2. travel will occur in a foreign country and the planned expenses are $500 or more; or

      3. travel is approved as a research project by the office of the Associate Vice President for Research and Sponsored Programs, the trip period exceeds five calendar days, and the planned expenses are $500 or more. Travel and research advances funded by grant should refer to UPPS No. 02.02.06, Research Advances and Payments to Human Subjects.

    5. The traveler cannot be issued a travel advance while on the Texas Payee Information System (State hold).

    6. The traveler will substantiate expenses and reimburse any unsubstantiated amounts of the advance within 30 days after the travel end date. Failure to substantiate any portion of the advance within the required time frame places the traveler in a past-due status.

    7. A traveler in a past-due status is not eligible for another travel advance until the outstanding advance is reconciled and substantiated.

    8. A traveler who becomes past-due three times may not be eligible for future travel advances and may be subject to disciplinary action.

    9. IRS reporting and payroll tax withholding regulations will be followed by the Texas State Payroll and Tax Compliance Office. Accordingly, travel advances become reportable as income on the traveler’s W-2 when expenses are not substantiated or any unsubstantiated amounts are not reimbursed within 60 days from the travel end date.

    10. Travel advances will be issued and monitored by the Travel Office under this policy at the direction of the director of Accounting, or his or her designee.

    11. Exceptions to the provisions of this policy statement must be approved by the traveler’s cabinet officer.

  2. DEFINITIONS

    1. Travel advance – funds provided to a traveler within 14 calendar days before the travel begin date from which the traveler’s expenses may be paid.

    2. Student – a person enrolled or attending classes at the university or a secondary education school.

    3. Traveler – an employee of Texas State requesting the travel advance.

    4. Trip Period – the time from the travel start date to the travel end date.

    5. Travel Request – the document for requesting travel approval.

    6. Travel Reconciliation – the completion of a Travel Expense Report and submission to the Travel Office, with repayment of any unsubstantiated expenses made to Student Business Services (SBS) prior to submission of the Travel Expense Report.

    7. Travel Office – the travel function of the Accounts Payable department.

    8. Past-Due – a travel reconciliation that has not been received by the Travel Office within 30 days after the trip period end date.

    9. Substantiated Expense or Substantiated Funds – expenses that are documented by adequate receipts, invoices, or other acceptable supporting evidence of the amount, time and place, and business purpose of expenses paid from a travel advance.

    10. Unsubstantiated Fund – travel advance funds that are not supported on the travel reconciliation with receipts, or for which a travel reconciliation was not submitted within the required time frame.

  3. PROCEDURES FOR REQUESTING A TRAVEL ADVANCE AND RECONCILIATION OF ADVANCE

    1. Travel advance requests must be submitted to the Travel Office at least 10 business days before the travel start date. Travel advance requests submitted later than 10 business days prior to the travel start date may be processed at the discretion of the Travel Office, but the traveler is not assured of receiving the funds prior to the travel start date.

    2. The traveler will request the advance on the university’s approved travel system. By completing the request and approval process, the traveler agrees to:

      1. collect and submit all required receipts attached to a completed Travel Expense Report;

      2. submit the travel reconciliation within 30 days after the travel end date;

      3. repay any unused advance funds within 30 days after the travel end date and provide the departmental deposit receipt with the submission of the travel reconciliation; and

      4. authorize Texas State to include as taxable earnings any advanced and unsubstantiated funds outstanding at 60 days from the travel end date.

    3. The Travel Office will notify the traveler when the advance has been processed and the funds have been deposited in their bank account or a check is ready for pick-up at SBS in the J.C. Kellam Administration Building, JCK 188. A traveler picking up a check at SBS must provide proper identity verification.

    4. The traveler will complete the travel reconciliation within 30 days after the travel end date, collecting and submitting documentation to support expenses related to the travel. Credit card receipts or statements are not sufficient to substantiate expenses unless they are itemized.

    5. The traveler will repay any unsubstantiated advance funds to Texas State. Repayment will be made at SBS and is required prior to submission of the Travel Expense Report. Proper coding is required on the deposit ticket. Please see Travel Advance Deposit Coding for proper coding. The traveler will provide a departmental deposit receipt as a part of the documentation to support the Travel Expense Report.

    6. If the travel expenses on the Travel Expense Report exceed the amount of the travel advance, funds are owed to the traveler. A direct deposit entry will be processed to the traveler’s bank account and an email from the Travel Office will be sent to the traveler advising of the transaction after processing of the Travel Expense Report. If the traveler does not have direct deposit, a check will be prepared and the traveler will be notified that it may be picked up from SBS at JCK 188. A traveler picking up a check at SBS must provide proper identity verification.

    7. The Travel Office will monitor the due dates of outstanding travel advances. The Travel Office will send reminder notices to the traveler and their supervisor to submit their travel reconciliation if it is not received within 30 days after the travel end date. An additional reminder notice will be sent after 45 days to the traveler and supervisor, with the account manager copied on the notice, if different from the supervisor. A final reminder notice will be issued 52 days after the travel end date with the supervisor, account manager (if different), and the dean or chair copied on the notice. At 60 days after the travel end date, the Travel Office will notify the traveler of the amount that will be sent to the Payroll and Tax Compliance Office for inclusion in the traveler’s taxable earnings. This information will also be reported to the associate vice president for Financial Services.

    8. The Travel Office will provide the Payroll and Tax Compliance Office with the employee’s information and the unsubstantiated amount of any outstanding travel advance 60 days after the travel end date. No later than 120 days after the travel end date, the unsubstantiated amount of the travel advance will be added to the employee’s W-2 as taxable earnings. Once the payroll adjustment has been posted, the posting will not be reversed.

  4. REVIEWERS OF THIS UPPS

    1. Reviewers of this UPPS include the following:

      Position Date
      Associate Vice President for Financial Services May 1 E2Y
      Director, Accounting May 1 E2Y
      Director, Payroll and Tax Compliance Office May 1 E2Y
  5. CERTIFICATION STATEMENT

    This UPPS has been approved by the following individuals in their official capacities and represents Texas State policy and procedure from the date of this document until superseded.

    Associate Vice President for Financial Services; senior reviewer of this UPPS

    Vice President for Finance and Support Services

    President