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Travel Receipts: Reimbursement Requirements

Find out about requirements for receipts in order to be reimbursed for business travel expenses.

Certain receipts are required to report expenses and request reimbursement. Receipts provide proper documentation for travel expenses charged to UC San Diego fund sources, in compliance with UC and IRS regulations.

Avoid "package deals" as they're generally ineligible for reimbursement. Expenses combined in a package usually fail to meet receipt requirements. (Details below.)

Original receipt required for reimbursement for any dollar amount:

  • Airfare
    • The receipt must show the form of payment used
    • An invoice or itinerary from the travel agency, booking service or airline may serve as the original receipt
    • You can request a receipt at the check-in gate
  • Lodging
  • Registration fees
  • Rental car
    • The receipt must be itemized
Original receipts required if an expense is $75 or greater:
  • Any expense not listed above
  • Ground transportation and associated parking costs
  • Miscellaneous items including but not limited to:
    • Business office expenses such as word processing, fax/copy services, overnight delivery/postage
    • Special fees for foreign travel such as obtaining a passport and/or visa
    • Charges for checking and storing baggage, excess baggage
  • Other miscellaneous items which are eligible for reimbursement only if they are ordinary and necessary to accomplish the business purpose of the trip, and explanation is included in the claim as to why the expense is being claimed.
Meals: Expenses for meals and incidentals (tips) do not require a receipt.
  • Short-term domestic travel: Travelers are to track actual expenses for meals and incidentals via a daily log. Check with your area's business office to confirm this is acceptable in your area. If it appears a traveler is routinely claiming the maximum amount, receipts may be required by the approver(s) in your area.
  • Travel outside the U.S.. or lasting 30 days or more: Per diem applies and receipts are not required for meals and lodging.
  • Travel to Alaska, Hawaii, U.S. possessions or a foreign destination lasting 29 days or less: If actual costs exceed per diem due to special circumstances receipts are required to claim the actual expenses.
When reporting travel expenses after your trip, the department contact who has approval authority for travel must review required receipts before approving.
  • Attach original receipts in MyTravel so the appropriate contact in your department can review them.
  • If an original receipt is unavailable, make all reasonable efforts to supply documentation that supports the expense. If unavailable, you may request an exception to policy by providing a secure copy of the traveler's credit card transaction history reflecting the charges. (For security purposes, be sure to black out credit card numbers.)  The approver will make the request as outlined in the approver's checklist.

Package deals: For reimbursement eligibility, the receipt or itinerary must specify cost for each item. Before purchasing a package, via the Web or otherwise, confirm you will be able to obtain the required documentation. If the receipt or itinerary does not show cost for each component, get a receipt from each service provider such as the airline, hotel, and/or rental car agency. If the separate cost components of a travel package can’t be specified, it’s not possible to substantiate the business expenses and verify no personal benefit to the traveler. This is based on UC policy and IRS guidelines, and makes the expense ineligible for reimbursement. To meet UC San Diego travel policy, UC travel policy, and IRS requirements, the receipt or itinerary must specify the cost of each item but most sellers of package deals are unwilling to provide that information due to relationships with suppliers.

Notice: UC San Diego travel policy, as published in Blink, is decisive. It has been adapted to UC San Diego's organization, delegation of authority, terminology, chart of accounts and processing applications. The source for UC San Diego travel policy is UC Travel Policy and Regulations (PDF).