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Travel – FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

About Meals

Q: The Federal per diem rates include meal rates for various locations in Georgia. Are employees authorized to follow the federal guidelines when traveling to these locations in Georgia?

A: Federal per diem rates should only be used when employees travel outside the state of Georgia.  Employees who travel within Georgia are limited to the $28 ($6.00 for breakfast, $7.00 for lunch, and $15.00 for dinner) for standard city areas and $36.00 ($7.00 for breakfast, $9.00 for lunch, and $20.00 for dinner)  for high cost city areas.

Q: When do I received 75% or 100% of my per diem rates, while traveling?

A:  Within the state of Georgia, employees are entitle for 100% of the per diem rate on the first and last day of travel. Out of state, employees must apply the following approach to ensure proper reimbursement: ” when meals are provided to a traveler in conjunction with travel events on a travel departure or return day, the full day per diem is reduced by the amount of the provided meal(s) after the 75% proration. For example, if the per diem allows a $28 full day reimbursement, and lunch was provided at no cost on the first or last day of travel, the total allowable reimbursement for that day would be $14 [$28 *.75= $21 less $7 lunch (100% per diem cost of the meal provided) = $14.00].” USG Meals Policy

Q: Are meal receipts required for reimbursement?

A: No. Your reimbursement is based on a per diem amount, not what the traveler paid for his/her meal(s).


About Lodging

Q: What taxes are employees exempt from paying when they are traveling on official business within the state of Georgia , if they pay out of pocket?

A: Employees are exempt from paying the county or municipal excise tax (also known as Occupancy Tax) on lodging and the tax exempt form must be provided to the hotel by the employee when he/she arrive to the hotel. However, employees are still required to pay the State sales tax associated with the lodging expense.

Q:What taxes are employees exempt from paying when they are traveling on official business within the state of Georgia , if they pay with a GHC Prepaid Check?

A: Both, occupancy and sales taxes,  must be waived when the employee is traveling within the State of Georgia. Fees are reimbursable.

Q: What should an employee do if a hotel refuses to accept the tax-exempt form?

A: Employees should be sure to present the tax-exempt form to the hotel at check-in. If the hotel refuses to accept the tax-exempt form at check-in, the employee should attempt to resolve the issue with hotel management before checking out at the end of their stay. If the matter is not resolved by the time the employee checks out, the employee should pay the tax. The employee should explain the payment of the tax as an unusual expense on their travel expense statement. The Accounts Payable office will reimburse the employee for the hotel/motel tax if the employee provides us with the following information: employee name; date(s) of lodging; name, address, and telephone number of hotel.

Q: What taxes are employees exempt from paying when they are traveling on official business out-of-state, if they pay out-of-pocket and/or with a GHC prepaid check?

A: All applicable taxes and fees must be paid when traveling out-of-state.

**Important Note: If you received a prepaid check by GHC, please submit an expense report for your lodging cost and select under Payment Type: Prepaid Lodging(AP).


About Airfare

Q: Are airfare insurance purchases reimbursable?

A: No.

**Important Note: If you paid airfare with a GHC PCard, please submit an expense report for your airfare cost and select under Payment Type: Prepaid Air (AP) **Cost Comparisons for airfares (2hrs before AND 2hrs after the departure time- First day of travel ONLY) must be completed prior to travel**


About Parking

Q: Can parking be a prepaid expense?

A: No, since hotels may waive the cost due to a large group of individuals. Employees may pay out-of-pocket, collect the receipt, and seek reimbursement.

Q: What do I need to know about valet parking?

A: When self-parking options are available, valet parking services and tips related to this expense are not reimbursable.


About Candidates, Students, and/or Presenters

Q: What procedures should an employee consider when reimbursing travel for Candidates, Students, and/or Presenters?

A: Each individual must have a separate paper expense report with specifics of what they should be reimbursed for. A W-9 form must be completed by the individual seeking reimbursement. The report must be signed by the individual seeking reimbursement and the manager, who in reimbursing the individual. USG Policies and Procedures must be followed by the candidates, students, and/or presenters as their best capacity. Additionally, please keep all student expenses separate from employee expenses.


About Tipping

Q: Is tipping a maid service, concierge or valet service (when self parking is available) an allowable expense?

A: No. Other unallowable expenses include laundry, entertainment expenses, theater, and purchase of alcoholic beverages.


About Prepaid Expenses

Q: What travel expenses can be prepaid?

A: Airfare (PCard), registration fees (PCard or AP Check), and lodging (AP Check /**NOT PCard).

Q: What do I need to do to get a prepaid check for lodging?

A: You will need to complete a payment request form with the proper above manager signature (email approvals are acceptable), provide an itemized room confirmation, and an agenda or email invitation of the event you are attending. You must send these documents to the office of Accounts Payable at least 2 weeks prior to travel. W-9 forms may also be required from time to time, if the hotel has never been paid by GHC before.

  • Additional documentation required if the following scenarios take place:
    • Sharing the room: AP must have a list of individuals, employees and students, that are sharing rooms.
    • Parking is not considered a prepaid expense.
    • Authority to travel form completed and signed and cost comparison for airfares, if applicable, will be required as part of the lodging check request, for out-of-state trips.

**Important Note: If you received a prepaid check by GHC, please submit an expense report for your lodging cost and select under Payment Type: Prepaid Lodging(AP).

Q: What do I need to do to get a prepaid registration?

A: You can pay a registration with a PCard, following policies and procedures, or with a AP check. To pay with a AP check, you will need to complete a payment request form with the proper above manager signature (email approvals are acceptable), provide a registration confirmation stating the amount that should be paid, and an agenda or email invitation of the event you are attending. You must send these documents to the office of Accounts Payable at least 2 weeks prior to travel. W-9 forms may also be required from time to time, if the hotel has never been paid by GHC before.

**Important Note: Registrations, regardless of their form of payment, are not considered or required to be claimed as “prepaid” within an expense report.

Q: What do I need to do to get a prepaid airfare?

A: You can pay an airfare ticket with a PCard, following policies and procedures, or with your personal credit card. The airfare must be booked through the airline website, NOT travel sites such as Expedia or hotels.com. The employee is responsible of completing and print-out a Cost Comparison (2hrs before AND 2hrs after the departure time- First day of travel ONLY) for your preferred flight, before your purchase your ticket. You may use travel websites to complete the cost-comparison BUT do not purchase the flight from these sites. The cost-comparison MUST be provided as supporting documentation, along with the airfare receipt, to complete the audit of your expense report.

**Important Note: If you paid airfare with a GHC PCard, please submit an expense report for your airfare cost and select under Payment Type: Prepaid Air (AP) **Cost Comparisons for airfares (2hrs before AND 2hrs after the departure time- First day of travel ONLY) must be completed prior to travel**


About Mileage

Q: What are commute miles?

A: Commute miles are the distance traveled from the employee’s residence to his/her home campus. Normal commuting miles must be deducted when calculating business miles, if the employee departs from his/her residence or returns to his/her residence on a normal GHC working business day (Monday through Friday). If travel occurs on a weekend or holiday, mileage is calculated from the point of departure to the destination location and back, with no reduction for normal commuting miles. **Important Note: GHC will not reimburse commute mileage (employee’s residence to his/her home campus) routes during weekends and/or holidays.

Q: What do I need to know to received T1 or T2 mileage reimbursement?

A: For any work related trip, regardless of length, with approval of your manager you may choose to get a rental car from the State contracted vendor. Currently, the State Contract for rental cars is with Enterprise.

  •   For trips that are 200 miles or less round trip, you may drive your personally owned vehicle and be reimbursed at tier 1 mileage rates.  All travel must be approved by your manager but no other “process” will be required to get approval for tier 1 reimbursement.
  • For trips over 200 miles round trip, you must use the DOAS cost comparison tool found under Documentation Index to determine the most cost effective way to travel.  You MUST print the comparison tool results page and include it with with your expense report if you want to be reimbursed at tier 1 rates.

YOU MUST INCLUDE A DOAS COST COMPARISON FOR EVERY TRIP THAT EXCEEDS 200 MILES IF YOU WANT TIER 1 RATES!

  • If the most cost effective way to travel is via your Personally Owned Vehicle, all business miles driven will be reimbursed at tier 1 rates.
  • If the most cost effective way to travel is rental car, AND you choose to drive your own vehicle, all business miles will be reimbursed at tier 2 rates.

About Rentals

Q: Where should I go to rent a vehicle?

A: Under our Business Office: Travel and Expenses: Documentation Index link you can find the link to reserve a rental vehicle through Enterprise.

Q: What do I need to know about gas expenses?

A: You may fill up the gas tank prior to dropping off your rental vehicle. Save the receipt and request reimburse using the expense report module. Agenda will be required to complete the audit, for trips outside of GHC campuses.