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2.4. Travel reimbursement

Travel Expense Reimbursement


Faculty, staff, students and invited visitors or guests may be reimbursed for university-related business travel by the Mathematics Business Office. The reimbursement process begins with completion of the Travel Authorization Form prior to the commencement of the travel. The Travel Authorization form lets the department and university know about the travel details, length of travel and substantiate the availability of funding. The Business Office sends the completed travel authorization form to the Travel Office and this document is later referenced on the travel expense report completed for the individual to be reimbursed. Completion of this form is a mandatory step in the reimbursement process.  Failure to submit the Travel Authorization form and International Travel Registry for international travel prior to travel may result in expenses being unable to be reimbursed.  


Upon completion of travel, UA policy requires pertinent documentation and receipts to be submitted within ten days of the end of travel. They should be submitted to room 117 of the Mathematics Business Office for processing. The payee will then receive an email within 3 days requesting for them to return to the Business Office to sign their travel expense report. Reimbursement cannot be processed until the travel expense report is signed.


Common components of any travel expense report include airfare, lodging, meals per diem (or restaurant receipts), conference registration, and other transportation items such as train or taxi cab fares, parking and tolls paid. Below are items of information pertinent to each of these components. 


  • Airfare reimbursed is for the most economical and direct route possible.
  • When traveling to another city in addition to that of university business, a flight comparison document of the route otherwise taken is required, and the university will reimburse the lesser of the two amounts.
  • A flight comparison document is also needed when the traveler is combining personal and business travel. The comparison must reflect the dates that travel would occur without the the additional days for the personal travel.
  • If federal funding is being used to support the travel in question, traveler must use airlines in accordance with the Fly America Act, further detail of which can be found at https://www.gsa.gov/policy-regulations/policy/travel-management-policy-overview/fly-america-act
  • Disallowed airfare-related expenditures include those for change fees, early-bird check-in, premium seating, trip insurance and food/beverages not included in the airfare.
  • Airfare receipt must show the method of payment that was used.  


  • Lodging must be with a commercial establishment, and is subject to the per diem rate for the applicable city, as listed in the Arizona Meals and Lodging Per Diem Index. If the destination city or county is not listed, the reimbursement rate defaults to $107/night plus taxes and fees.
  • If lodging was designated by the conference or event, it can be reimbursed at actual cost. Designated lodging must be proven with documentation.
  • Lodging/hotel receipts are reviewed for all charges as they relate to meals per diem and conformance to university policy. For example, a restaurant charge might be deducted from a lodging bill if the payee is also being reimbursed on a meals per diem basis.
  • Lodging is only allowed if the destination of travel is greater than 35 miles from traveler’s duty post.
  • Disallowed lodging-related expenditures include long-distance calls, laundry, gratuities, personal entertainment, resort fees and valet parking.
  • Lodging to be reimbursed must show the method of payment that was used.  

Meals per diem

  • All points related to meals per diem here apply to the traveler only.
  • Meals may be reimbursed on a per diem basis subject to the rate for the applicable city, as listed in the Meals and Lodging Per Diem Reference Guide.
  • Meals to be reimbursed typically follow from the trip itinerary, down to the times of departure and return. This may result in partial days of per diem in which the daily amount is split between breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Please note that at an overnight stay is required to be reimbursed on a meals per diem basis, and rates follow the location of the lodging.
  • Reimbursement can only be on one basis, per diem or actual receipts; there cannot be a mix or combination of the two methods.
  • If a conference, hotel or event provided a meal or meals, those would be reduced from the amount to be reimbursed.
  • Payee may certainly elect to be reimbursed for less than the amount allowed, and should communicate this to the business office in such a case.    

Other Methods of Transportation

  • There are some receipt documents that can be scanned and sent to us as PDF’s, but any other transportation typically found on a paper receipt, such as for a cab fare or parking needs to be mailed in or brought to the business office, as the original receipts for those are required.
  • Mileage driven must be documented by a MapQuest or other site, showing most direct route and number of miles; mileage is reimbursed at the rate of $0.655/mile.
  • Either mileage or gas receipts must be used as the basis for reimbursement; the two cannot be mixed or combined.
  • If driving is elected over flying, both a written justified reason and a flight comparison document must be submitted.
  • Employees driving personal vehicles on university business are required to obtain departmental authorization by reviewing and completing the UA personal vehicle form, found here: Personal Vehicle Form. Please return completed form and proof of insurance to the Business Office for approval.
  • Personal vehicles driven on U of A business - There is no State coverage for damage to personal vehicles. Vehicle owners are expected to have their own insurance, and the mileage reimbursement rate includes a cost factor for this expense. Liability incurred in a personal vehicle on U of A business is covered by the State, but only on an excess basis. Personal liability insurance must be exhausted to address claims before State coverage applies.        

Please contact the Business Office with any travel-related questions in person or submit to BusinessOffice@math.arizona.edu.


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