Travel and Reimbursements
- In order to claim reimbursement for your travel expenses, you must complete the Travel Reimbursement Request Form and submit itemized receipts to the Business Management Office at SONDLBusinessManagement@sonnet.ucla.edu.
- Per University Policy, Travel reimbursement must be completed by UCLA's Travel Accounting within 45 days from completion of trip or it will be treated as imputed income and taxable.
- Travelers should not pay for other travelers’ expenses.
- When traveling on behalf of the University, travelers are required to use the most economical mode of transportation by the most frequently traveled route. Original itemized receipts are required for all expenditures regardless of amount.
Travel Notice of Law Prohibiting State Funding of Travel to Certain States: AB 1887 prohibits the use of state funds to pay for travel to a state on the Attorney General's list, except where one of the statutory exceptions applies. It does not affect travel that is paid for or reimbursed using non-state funds. The following states are on the AG's list: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.
*Indiana and Utah were added on July 1, 2022
*Louisiana was added on August 1, 2022
*Arizona was added on September 28, 2022
Please refer to the following policy if there are any additional questions:
- G-28 Travel Regulations
- Expenditures for Business Meetings, Entertainment, and Other Occasions. BUS-79
The following expenses are examples of those that are reimbursable by the University:
- Lodging/Hotel Expenses
- Conference Registration
- Car Rentals
- Private Car Mileage
- Ground Transportation
- Meals and Incidentals/Business Meeting Meals
Instructions – Submitting a Reimbursement Request:
- Complete a Travel Reimbursement Request Form.
- Send the form and all supporting documents (**receipts) to your Supervisor/Fund Manager.
- Supervisor/Fund Manager will verify funding and send request to the Business Office. (Stephanie Varela/Willie Dawson)
- Purchasing Coordinator will process within 2 days of receipt.
- Reimbursement will be delivered via direct deposit for employees within **30 days of processing.
- In general, UCLA will only pay for/reimburse basic economy fares. Travel should be scheduled as far in advance as feasible and prudent in order to obtain the lowest possible fares.
- Direct billing of airline ticket is strongly recommended. Please fill out the SON Passenger Information Form and contact the Business Office to book airfare with the UCLA Travel Center. The UCLA Travel Center can pay your airfare in advance via the direct billing system.
- UCLA will pay for the least expensive business class ticket for those travelers with a pre-approved justification to travel in business class. UCLA will pay for the least expensive first-class ticket if the aircraft does not have business class. Health requirements must be documented by a licensed physician, acknowledged by the unit’s CAO/CFO, updated annually, and maintained securely in the Travel Accounting Office.
- Employees who wish to purchase an upgradable business class ticket (i.e., a ticket that provides the option to upgrade from business class to first class) must pay any increase in price form a non-upgradeable business class ticket. Documentation of ticket prices from the date of purchase must be attached to the travel reimbursement form.
- For reimbursement of airfare, the original receipt for the ticket is required. If traveling with an e-ticket, the email receipt/confirmation with proof of payment is acceptable. All flight receipts/documentation must include the form of payment (e.g., if the airfare was paid with a credit card, it may include VISAxxxxxxxx1234).
- Travel packages that are not itemized typically will not be reimbursed (i.e., Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity) as they do not provide itemized receipts/folio as required by IRS regulations.
Reimbursement of lodging expenses is based on the amount actually incurred, and is subject to a maximum dollar limit. Effective for travel occurring on or after October 15, 2017, daily hotel rates will be capped at $275 per night for trips within the lower 48 states, before taxes and other hotel fees.
- If the traveler is unable to secure lodging at $275 per night or less, the traveler must submit additional documentation such as price comparisons within reasonable proximity of the meeting location. The price comparisons should be performed at the time of booking.
- A traveler who is required to attend a conference where the prearranged conference lodging rate (conference room block) exceeds the $275 per night cap may stay at the conference hotel without exceptional approval.
- Original, itemized receipts for all lodging expenses as well as any entertainment expenditures included in the lodging claim are required for reimbursement.
- As per policy G-28, Lodging is generally not reimbursable if the lodging site is within a 40-mile radius of the traveler's residence or office.
- Original, itemized receipts for all lodging expenses are required for reimbursement.
UC requires that an economy, compact or intermediate model be requested. These models should be used unless a no-cost upgrade is provided. Justification will be required for cars larger than midsize when requesting reimbursements. Please use UCLA's preferred car rental companies (currently Hertz, National, and Enterprise) according to University policy. Please refer to the University’s Car Rental Contract Rates page for additional information.
- The contracts offer business travelers the most economical pricing that includes comprehensive insurance for rentals in the United States through car rental company. Any additional insurance purchased is not reimbursable and will be at the cost of the traveler.
Please refer to the UCLA Travel Center website for information on special rates and services available to UCLA travelers.
Private Car Mileage
Use of a private vehicle for University business travel is allowed if the traveler has requisite insurance coverage. Mileage expenses incurred between July 1, 2022 and December 31, 2022 will be reimbursed at 62.5 cents per mile. Please note that these rates are periodically adjusted to reflect increases/decreases in the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) standard mileage rate.
Please note the following:
- Privately owned automobiles may be used if the driver has requisite insurance coverage.
- Mileage reimbursement rate is all inclusive. No additional reimbursement for automobile-related expenses such as gasoline will be allowed.
- Mileage shall ordinarily be computed between the traveler's headquarters and the common carrier or destination. Expenses for travel between the traveler's residence and headquarters (commuting expense) shall not be allowed. However, mileage expenses may be allowed between the traveler's residence and the common carrier or destination if University business travel originates or terminates during a regularly scheduled day off.
Your mileage expenses request should reflect the shortest distance to the site (UCLA to site or Home to site). For example, if an employee lives Long Beach and does a visit to the VA West Los Angeles Medical Center, they should only claim the mileage from UCLA to the VA and back. If someone living in Long Beach does a visit to Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, they should only claim the mileage from their residence in Long Beach to Long Beach Memorial Medical Center and back.
*Parking and mileage expenses for employees traveling between the UCLA campus and UCLA locations where free shuttle service is available (i.e., UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica) are generally not reimbursable.
More information about the staff shuttle service can be found on the UCLA Health website.
Meals and Incidentals for UC Business Travel Within the Continental U.S.
Meals and incidentals for UC Business travel within the continental US are reimbursed based on the following terms:
- The amount the traveler actually paid while on University business and is subject to a limit for each full day on travel status. The meal and incidental expense maximum are currently $79/day.
- Best practices require original receipts for all expenses because reimbursements are based on actual expenses. Please note maximum meal rate is not a per diem and there is no exception to the cap. If meal receipts are lost or unavailable, the traveler may provide their best estimate of the actual meal expense.
- When the entire length of a trip is less than 24 hours, meals for single-day travel will not be reimbursed unless the travel includes an overnight stay that is verified by a lodging receipt.
- Direct payment of conference registration fees may be possible to registered UCLA vendors in order to minimize employee out of pocket expenses (minimum 3–4-week advance notice)
- Pay with your own funds (such as a personal credit card or personal check). Receipts must have name of the individual, name of the conference, amount paid, and method of payment. If not, please submit credit card statement showing all of the items.
- Registration expenses paid with personal funds cannot be reimbursed in advance of the conference.
- Pay with T&E Card (please inquire with the Business Office regarding the T&E Card)
- Please contact the Business Office with any request and questions.
Business Meals and Entertainment Expenses
Expenses for meals incurred by employees who entertain while traveling on University business are reimbursable in accordance with the University's Business and Finance Bulletin BUS-79 entitled Expenditures for Business Meetings, Entertainment and other Occasions Business. UCOP has announced the new entertainment business meeting meal rates below effective July 1, 2022.
When submitting a reimbursement request, please complete the SON-Travel Reimbursement Form (Business Meals Tab) and provide a business justification for the expense. In all instances, business meals and entertainment expenditures must clearly identify the benefit to the University even when unrestricted funds are being used.
*Alcohol and/or tobacco purchases are NOT allowed on State or Federal funds
Please refer to the Guidelines for Meals & Entertainment.
Entertainment Business Meeting Meal Rates:
Light Refreshments - $22 per person
Breakfast - $31 per person
Lunch - $54 per person
Dinner - $94 per person
Required Documentation/Information for Reimbursement of Business Meals/Entertainment Expense:
- Type of Expense (breakfast, lunch, dinner, light-refreshments)
- Type of Meeting/Event (Research, donor cultivation/stewardship, faculty recruitment, etc.)
- Business purpose of the meeting and main agenda topic
- Attendee list to include name, title, and affiliations of each participant
- Date and location of event
- Name of the official host
- Exception to policy justification required if per-person maximum allowable is exceeded, alcohol is included and/or spouse/partner/child was in attendance.
- UCLA will not approve full reimbursement for meals that exceed 200% of the University’s per‐meal allowance.
**When planning an entertainment event, keep in mind:
- A buffet reception — depending on the time of day it is held — is reimbursed at the applicable meal rate. Brunch is reimbursed at the lunch rate.
- The amounts in the chart include the cost of the food and beverages, labor, sales tax, delivery charges and other service fees. If a reception before a meal includes beverages and hors d’oeuvres, the reception and the meal should be treated as a single event when calculating costs.
The costs of room rental, room setup fees, media rental, decorations, etc., are not included in the per-person costs.
Travelers are required to use the most economical mode (i.e., taxi, shuttle, train, bus, app-based ride share) of transportation by the most frequently traveled route. Tips should not exceed 20% of the transportation costs. The traveler may be asked to pay the difference between a 20% and larger tip.
All other related business expenses, such as baggage fees, internet fees, books, parking, tolls/roads charges, are reimbursable with receipts. Business justification(s) may be required for certain requests.