323 Relocation

The purpose of this policy is to define and establish University of Wisconsin-Madison requirements for the procurement and payment of household relocation costs and costs associated with temporary and indefinite work assignments.

UW-Madison Administrative Policy
Policy # 323

Effective Date: Jan 1, 2018
Last Updated: Jan 1, 2018
Last Reviewed: July 1, 2019
Next Review: Jan 1, 2020

Functional Owner: Controller, Division of Business Services, Dan Langer
Executive Sponsor: Controller, Division of Business Services, Dan Langer
Policy Contact: Travelers and departmental staff should contact their respective Divisional Business Office for policy questions. Divisional Business Offices may e-mail uwtravel@bussvc.wisc.edu with questions.


Policy Summary

The purpose of this policy is to define and establish University of Wisconsin-Madison requirements for the procurement and payment of household relocation costs and costs associated with temporary and indefinite work assignments.


Who This Policy Applies To

This policy applies to all faculty and staff when relocation and related travel costs are funded in full or part by the University or when temporary or indefinite work assignments are made.


Rationale

It is the policy of the University of Wisconsin Madison to allow institutions to reimburse relocation, related travel and temporary lodging expenses for new and presently employed personnel assigned to new locations by transfer or promotion, in accordance with IRS regulations. This policy identifies allowable expenses related to relocation and temporary or indefinite work assignment away from the employee’s headquarters’ location.


Policy Detail

Relocation expenses for employees may be provided dependent upon availability of funding. The approving authority and the following policy provisions will determine the total amount provided for relocation.

I.Taxable Reimbursement. In accordance with IRS regulations, effective January 1, 2018, the reimbursement or payment of any relocation costs under this policy are considered taxable income and subject to applicable income and employment taxes.

II. Eligibility. At the discretion of each UW institution, reimbursement of relocation expenses may be authorized for new or presently employed employees assigned to new locations by transfer or promotion. Reimbursement is not authorized for employees appointed as University Staff Temporary (formerly limited term employees (LTEs)).

Reimbursement of expenses or payment of an Employee Relocation Award is mandatory when the appointing authority requires the employee to change residence location because the employee is ordered to relocate or is promoted to a different position within University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the appointing authority determines the relocation or promotion requires the employee to change residence. It should be determined whether it is in the best interest of the University to provide payment or reimbursement for relocation and travel expenses. The following circumstances should be considered:

  • Are the individual’s skills in critically short supply? If yes, is payment usually available from competing employers?
  • Is the labor market tight for this particular position?
  • Does the individual rank above all other candidates in a combination of training, experience, and personal qualities?
  • Will the best qualified individual for the position be unable to accept the institution’s offer for financial reasons unless relocation expenses are paid?

Other eligibility considerations:

  • Payment or reimbursement is on a permissive basis, at the discretion of the new Appointing Authority, for an employee who requests a transfer or demotion and relocates as a result.
  • Payment or reimbursement is on a permissive basis, at the discretion of the Appointing Authority, for an employee reporting to their first place of employment at the University of Wisconsin- Madison or reporting upon reemployment after leaving the University of Wisconsin- Madison.
  • Payment or reimbursement is on a permissive basis, at the discretion of the Appointing Authority, if the distance between the new place of employment and the old residence is at least 35 miles farther than the distance between the former place of employment and the former residence, and the distance between the new and former residence is at least 35 miles. If the appointing authority determines a relocation is a mandatory condition of employment, the minimum distance requirements are not applicable.
  • No more than two relocations may be reimbursed to an employee in a calendar year.
  • Unless otherwise authorized by the Appointing Authority, to be eligible for relocation payment or reimbursement, the employee must move no later than one year from the effective date of the appointment or the end of probation, whichever is later.

III.Reimbursement or Payment of Relocation Costs. An Employee may be paid an Employee Relocation Award for costs associated with a relocation. An Employee Relocation Award is a lump sum, one-time, tax reportable payment to an employee in lieu of reimbursing the employee’s expenses or directly paying vendors for the costs associated with the employee’s relocation including travel costs and temporary lodging. The intent is the Employee Relocation Award to be the only payment made by the University related to the employee’s relocation. An Employee Relocation Award is made through the University’s reimbursement process not more than 30 days in advance of the employee’s relocation (move) date. The payment of an Employee Relocation Award does not require receipts; but instead requires the Relocation Authorization Letter (See Section 6, University’s Responsibility below) be attached to the reimbursement request.

OR, the University may reimburse or pay the direct costs associated with the relocation, including the costs associated with self-moves, such as truck/trailer and containers, or a commercial moving carrier’s van line service. If self-move is selected, neither the employee nor the employee’s spouse or dependents may be reimbursed for their labor.

Allowable costs associated with the relocation may be reimbursed to the employee or, at the discretion of the institution, paid directly to the commercial carrier upon pre-audit of all invoices and receipts. When payment is made directly to the carrier, sales tax, which may be assessed on containers, must be deducted. The employee must substantiate all costs with an itemized bill of lading and paid receipts for direct costs.

A non-inclusive list of indirect costs that will not be paid include expenses related to house-hunting; the moving of goods not considered household goods such as farm equipment, livestock, motorcycles, automobiles, recreational vehicles, and pets; the moving of swing sets, jungle gyms, and other similar outdoor items and third party services for disassembly or assembly of these items; and storage for more than 30 days or any storage that is at the convenience of the employee. Please see the Relocation Expenses Chart.

The University may reimburse the transportation costs of the employee and immediate family. For moves within the continental United States, the amount of reimbursement for transporting the employee and immediate family members from the former residence to the new place of residence may not exceed the cost of one-way mileage for one automobile at the standard mileage reimbursement rate. The maximum allowable mileage reimbursement shall be based on one-way mileage using the most direct route. MapQuest and Google Maps are the standard tools for calculating mileage.

For moves to or from the continental United States, the cost of one-way airfare for the employee and immediate family members may be paid or reimbursed in lieu of mileage. Airfare must be purchased in accordance with Policy 311 – Air Travel.

IV.Temporary Lodging in Connection with a Household Move. An Approving Authority may authorize payment of temporary lodging for up to 45 days to an employee. Temporary lodging will be authorized only where circumstances require the employee to establish a temporary residence for reasons such as the temporary need to maintain domiciles in the old and new locations or where permanent housing is temporarily not available upon moving to the new headquarter location. The days for which temporary lodging allowance is provided need not be consecutive. Therefore, it is possible for the 45 days of temporary lodging reimbursement to extend over a period of time greater than 45 calendar days. All temporary lodging must be reserved and paid for in accordance with Policy 312 – Lodging at a rate not to exceed the University’s maximum for the location and dates of stay.

The designated headquarters city of an employee must be established and changed at the time the employee begins employment at the new location.

V.Piecemeal Moves. If an Employee Relocation Award is not paid the Approving Authority may approve reimbursement for piecemeal moves necessary to transport the employee’s household goods from the former residence to the new residence. The total cumulative reimbursed cost of moving household effects on a piecemeal basis may not exceed the amount which would have been charged if the relocation had been accomplished in one trip. To make that determination, an estimate showing the cost to accomplish the move in one trip must be obtained.

VI.Temporary or Indefinite Work Assignments. Reimbursements of expenses for “temporary” assignments away from the tax home are generally not taxable to the employee as this is considered travel. If the assignment is “indefinite,” the employee is considered to have moved his/her tax home to the new headquarter location. Reimbursements of expenses for “indefinite” travel are taxable.

The Internal Revenue Service looks at all facts to determine whether the travel assignment was intended to be temporary or indefinite. ( Rul. 93-86; Rev. Rul. 99-7). The table below provides a brief summary of temporary and indefinite travel assignments. Examples provided within the IRS regulations can be found in the document titled When “Temporary” Travel Assignments Become “Indefinite.”

Departments/Divisions should contact their Human Resources Offices to ensure appropriate approvals, accounting and tax related issues are addressed and in place prior to the starting date of the temporary assignment.

Departments/Divisions should account for each temporary assignment as a separate contract and use appropriate processing procedures (e.g., requisitions, billing).

University of Wisconsin-Madison employees on assignment to another agency or institution may be eligible to receive supplemental compensation in lieu of reimbursement to employees for meals, lodging, and transportation expenses, which may be paid directly to the employee with required deductions made or transferred for payment to University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Supplemental compensation for periods exceeding a one-year period will become taxable to the recipient at the time the University knows the agreement will exceed one year.

In the event that assignments change from temporary to indefinite, or indefinite to temporary, triggering a change in tax-ability to the employee, the institution’s Office of Human Resources must work with the UW System Service Center to ensure proper coding and tax treatment.


Consequences for Noncompliance

Failure to comply with UW-Madison Travel Policy or Procedures may result in disciplinary steps, up to and including dismissal.


Definitions

  1. Allowable Costs: Costs for which a relocating employee may be reimbursed under this policy.
  2. Appointing Authority: Chancellor of the UW Madison, or formally delegated designee.
  3. Approving Authority: Vice Chancellor, formally delegated division dean or director who approves expense reimbursements for relocation or temporary work assignments.
  4. Authorization Letter: A letter that specifically outlines and approves university funding for relocation expense types and amounts, including Employee Relocation Awards. The Authorization Letter must provide a maximum, not to exceed amount for the cost of the relocation.
  5. Direct Costs: Costs attributed to the relocation of household goods.
  6. Employee: Any individual who holds a faculty, academic staff, university staff, or limited appointment with any UW System institution.
  7. Headquarter Location: The official location where the employee’s work is performed on a permanent basis. Typically the campus or institution office.
  8. Indirect Costs: Costs related to the relocation process excluding transportation and temporary lodging.
  9. Employee Relocation Award: Tax-reportable payment to employee for relocation costs intended to represent the total relocation cost amount paid to the employee.
  10. Tax Home: The city or general vicinity where an employee’s primary place of business or work is located, regardless of the location of the employee’s residence. Tax home has an effect on the employee’s tax deductions for business travel.

Responsibilities

Approving Authority:  Prior to the move, the Approving Authority must authorize in writing the payment of an Employee Relocation Award, reimbursement for or direct payment of relocation costs, or temporary lodging expenses. Written approval is required prior to authorizing reimbursements to the employee.

When approving relocation expenses, the Approving Authority must review and approve the following information on a Relocation Authorization Letter using University letterhead:

  • Name of relocating employee
  • Reason for the move
  • Position
  • Specific amount of relocation funding for any of the following line items offered:
    • Employee Relocation Award and whether the Employee Relocation Award represents the maximum amount to be paid to the employee for the relocation
    • Direct Cost to be reimbursed related to commercial move services or self-move rental/supplies for the transportation of household goods
    • Transportation for the employee and immediate family
    • Temporary Lodging, including the number of days at a rate no greater than the University lodging maximum for the location and the rationale for providing temporary lodging

When approval for relocation expenses is granted, the Approving Authority must provide the relocating employee a copy of the Authorization Letter. The Authorization Letter must be attached to any relocation related request for payment or reimbursement.

Employee/Recipient:  Employees are responsible for completing the following tasks, as applicable, to be eligible for relocation payment or reimbursement:

  • Obtain the Authorization Letter from the hiring department. The letter approves the payment of the relocation expenses and also outlines the amount of funding. This documentation and any required receipts must be submitted to support payment or reimbursement of relocation costs.
  • Unless an Employee Relocation Award intended to cover all costs of the relocation is paid to the employee, or the employee chooses a self-move, the employee can use an approved commercial carrier for the relocation. UW System has a contract with corporate moving companies for substantially reduced rates. Please see the Employee Relocation Guide. If the employee elects not to use a contract vendor, the employee may select any carrier, but payment/reimbursement is limited to the lowest of three estimates, one of which must be from one of the UW contract carriers. The Contracted commercial carriers serve local, domestic and international move needs. Employees that are relocating should contact the commercial carriers far in advance to obtain quotes and schedule a move date.
  • Employees are advised that any piecemeal move (a move that requires more than a single trip) that the cumulative cost of moving household goods on a piecemeal basis may not exceed the amount which would have been charged if the relocation had been accomplished in one trip. To make that determination, an estimate from the contract commercial carrier showing the cost to accomplish the move in one trip must be obtained.
  • Work with the hiring department on all payment and reimbursement requirements.
  • Discuss the payment of an Employee Relocation Award for moving costs early with the hiring department.
  • Unless an Employee Relocation Award intended to cover all costs of the relocation is paid, airfare or temporary lodging must be reserved through the University’s travel program and using UW contract properties and pricing when available. Please see Policy 311 – Airfare and Policy 312 – Lodging.

Link to Related Policies


Revisions

Policy Number: 330
Date Approved: July 1, 2019
Revision Dates:

321.2 How to Approve and Reconcile a Cash Advance (Approver/Auditor Procedures)

321.2 How to Approve and Reconcile a Cash Advance (Approver/Auditor Procedures)

How to Obtain and Reconcile a Cash Advance (Traveler Procedures)
Procedure # 321.2
Rev.: 1
Effective Date: October 10, 2018

Related Policy: 321 -Cash Advances
Functional Owner: Accounting Services, Business Services
Contact: Expense Reimbursement Program Manager – Graig Brooks (608) 262-8691


Contents

I. Procedure Statement
II. Who is Affected by this Procedure
III. Procedure
IV. Contact Roles and Responsibilities
V. Definitions
VI. Related References
VII. Revisions


I. Procedure Statement

Employees must first be approved by their Dean’s/Divisional Business Office and their profiles must be activated by Business Services before requesting Cash Advances.  Cash Advance requests are submitted through e-Reimbursement.  Employees must fully reconcile Cash Advances within 30 days of the end of the trip.


II. Who is affected by this Procedure

e-Reimbursement Approvers and Auditors


III. Procedure

A. Pre-Approval: Prior to advancement, a Cash Advance Activation Request Form must be submitted to Business Services.  This form must be approved by the Department and Division.  Once the form has been submitted and the traveler’s profile has been activated, the traveler can request a Cash Advance.  Once activated, the traveler’s profile is permanently activated unless the Department or Division specifically requests a traveler to be deactivated.

B. Cash Advance Approval: Cash Advances are approved by an Approver and Auditor.  They appear in Approver/Auditor queues with Expense Reimbursements.  The level of detail required in a Cash Advance is determined by the department and division.

C. Reconciliation: Cash Advances must be fully reconciled within 30 days of the end of the trip.

  1. Traveler Submits Expense Reimbursement: Travelers must submit an Expense Reimbursement to account for the use of advanced funds.  Expenses post to the general ledger after the Expense Reimbursement is approved; expenses do not post when the Cash Advance is approved.
  2. Refund of Excess Advanced Funds: Travelers must promptly refund any unused advanced funds to the University.  Deposits must be made to the funding used in the Cash Advance.
    • Identify the funding string used on the Cash Advance:
      • Sign into WISDM.
      • Navigate to Main Menu > Other > Transaction Search.
      • Complete the search criteria as follows:
        • Select the Fiscal Year and Accounting Period in which the Cash Advance was paid.
        • Change the Dept drop-down menu to starts with and enter the traveler’s Division code (e.g. 48 for L&S).
        • Change the Account drop-down menu to is exactly and enter account code 6166.
        • Change the Description drop-down menu to is exactly and enter the traveler’s Employee ID.
        • Check the Show Balance Account
    • Click Submit.
    • Find the original cash advance payment by locating the Cash Advance ID in the Jrnl Line Ref column and the total sum of the cash advance in the Monetary Amt column. Use this funding string to deposit the refund payment.
  • Submit a Check Deposit Form
      1. Use the funding string identified in the step above.

3.Auditor Reconciliation: The Auditor of the Cash Advance request must reconcile the deposit in e-Reimbursement to fully close the Cash Advance.  The refund check must have been deposited prior to the Auditor’s reconciliation.

    1. Sign into e-Reimbursement, click the Expenses WorkCenter tile.
    2. Select Reconcile Cash Advance from the Cash Advance submenu. Select the proper Cash Advance from the list.
    3. Enter the check number and the amount of refunds received. Click Reconcile.

IV. Contact Roles and Responsibilities

A. Travelers – Travelers are responsible for reconciling Cash Advances within 30 days of the end of the trip. Travelers must not seek excessive Cash Advances and must refund any excess advancements promptly.  Advanced funds must be used prudently and in accordance with UW travel and purchasing policies.  Travelers are responsible for submitting Cash Advance requests in a timely enough fashion to allow for approvals and payment.

B. Approver – Upon submission, Cash Advance requests are first reviewed by an Approver. Approvers are responsible for reviewing supporting documentation, for reviewing Cash Advances for policy compliance, and for reviewing the funding being charged.

C. Auditor – All Cash Advances are reviewed by an Auditor after the Approver. Auditors are responsible for reviewing Cash Advances for policy compliance.  Auditors are responsible for reconciling refunded payments related to Cash Advances.


V. Definitions

A.Cash Advance – an Expense Report seeking a monetary advancement prior to a trip.

B.Expense Reimbursement – an Expense Report seeking reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses. Expense Reimbursements must be done to account for use of advanced funds.


VI. Related References


VII. Revisions

Procedure Number

321.2

Date Approved

October 1, 2018

Revision Dates

7/23/19

Updated instructions for depositing refund checks

321.1 How to Obtain and Reconcile a Cash Advance (Traveler Procedures)

How to Obtain and Reconcile a Cash Advance (Traveler Procedures)

How to Obtain and Reconcile a Cash Advance (Traveler Procedures)
Procedure # 321.1
Rev.: 1
Effective Date: October 10, 2018

Related Policy: 321 -Cash Advances
Functional Owner: Accounting Services, Business Services
Contact: Expense Reimbursement Program Manager – Graig Brooks (608) 262-8691


Contents

I. Procedure Statement
II. Who is Affected by this Procedure
III. Procedure
IV. Contact Roles and Responsibilities
V. Definitions
VI. Related References
VII. Revisions


I. Procedure Statement

Employees must first be approved by their Dean’s/Divisional Business Office and their profiles must be activated by Business Services before requesting Cash Advances.  Cash Advance requests are submitted through e-Reimbursement.  Employees must fully reconcile Cash Advances within 30 days of the end of the trip.


II. Who is affected by this Procedure

Faculty and staff seeking Cash Advances for travel expenses and their alternates


III. Procedure

A.Pre-Approval: Submit a Cash Advance Activation Request Form to Business Services.  These forms must be routed through the Dean’s/Divisional Business Office.  Once the form has been submitted and the traveler’s profile has been activated, the traveler can request a Cash Advance.

B.Cash Advance Request:

  1. Sign into e-Reimbursement, click the Expenses WorkCenter tile.
  2. Select Create/Modify Cash Advance from the Cash Advance submenu.
  3. Click Add.  If you are an alternate requesting a cash advance for a different traveler, enter their employee ID before clicking Add. If you receive an error message, ensure your travel profile has been properly activated in step A.
  4. Enter header information, justification, and add any attachments to the Cash Advance.
  5. In the descriptions area, enter expense descriptions or select from pre-existing expense types.  The amount of expense line detail required will vary by department and division.

C.Reconciliation: Cash Advances must be fully reconciled within 30 days of the end of the trip.

  1. Submit an Expense Reimbursement:  Account for the use of advanced funds by submitting an Expense Reimbursement.  On the Review and Submit page, there will be a menu showing your available Cash Advances.  Apply either the full amount of the Expense Reimbursement or the full amount of the Cash Advance, whichever is lower.  You will receive a notification if an amount is due back to the University.
  2. Refund Excess Advanced Funds: Any advanced funds not utilized must be promptly refunded to the University.  Travelers must submit a check to their departmental or divisional business office for deposit.

IV. Contact Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Travelers – Travelers are responsible for reconciling Cash Advances within 30 days of the end of the trip. Travelers must not seek excessive Cash Advances and must refund any excess advancements promptly.  Advanced funds must be used prudently and in accordance with UW travel and purchasing policies.  Travelers are responsible for submitting Cash Advance requests in a timely enough fashion to allow for approvals and payment.

V. Definitions

A.Cash Advance – an Expense Report seeking a monetary advancement prior to a trip.

B.Expense Reimbursement – an Expense Report seeking reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses. Expense Reimbursements must be done to account for use of advanced funds.


VI. Related References


VII. Revisions

Procedure Number

321.1

Date Approved

October 1, 2018

Revision Dates

321 Cash Advances

Employees may request a Cash Advance to cover travel-related expenses when other payment methods are not available or practical.

UW-Madison Administrative Policy
Policy # 330

Effective Date: October 5, 2015
Last Updated: July 1, 2019
Last Reviewed: July 1, 2019
Next Review: Jan 1, 2020

Functional Owner: Controller, Division of Business Services, Dan Langer
Executive Sponsor: Controller, Division of Business Services, Dan Langer
Policy Contact: Expense Reimbursement Program Manager, Division of Business Services, Graig Brooks graig.brooks@wisc.edu


Policy Summary

Employees may request a Cash Advance to cover travel-related expenses when other payment methods are not available or practical.  Employees must submit an Expense Reimbursement after travel to account for their expenses.  Any excess Advance must be refunded to the University.  Cash Advances must be fully reconciled within 30 days of the end of the trip.


Who This Policy Applies To

Faculty and staff seeking Cash Advances for travel expenses; staff approving and auditing Cash Advances


Rationale

The Cash Advance policy is designed to ensure Cash Advances are disbursed to approved recipients and reconciled in a timely fashion.


Policy Detail

I.Appropriate Use. Travelers may request a Cash Advance only if no other payment options are available or practical.  Employees may not have multiple outstanding Cash Advances at one time.

II. Approvals. In order to obtain a Cash Advance, employees must be approved by the Divisional Business Office and their account activated by Accounting Services.

III Limits. For individual travel, e-Reimbursement Cash Advances may not exceed 80% of the estimated expenses to be paid by the traveler.  Advances for group travel may equal 100% of the estimated expenses.

IV. Reconciliation. Cash Advances must be fully reconciled within 30 days of the end of the trip.

  • Traveler Responsibilities. Travelers must submit an Expense Reimbursement to account for the use of the advanced funds.  If advanced funds exceed actual expenses, the traveler must write a check back to the University for the difference.
  • Auditor Responsibilities. The Auditor who approved the Cash Advance is responsible for reconciling refund checks and ensuring they are deposited properly.

 


Consequences for Noncompliance

Failure to comply with UW-Madison Expense Reimbursement policy may result in disciplinary steps, up to and including dismissal.


Supporting Tools

e-Reimbursement: https://portal.sfs.wisconsin.edu 


Definitions

  1. Cash Advance – an Expense Report seeking a monetary advancement prior to a trip.
  2. Expense Reimbursement – an Expense Report seeking reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses. Expense Reimbursements must be done to account for use of advanced funds.

Responsibilities

  1. Travelers – Travelers are responsible for reconciling Cash Advances within 30 days of the end of the trip. Travelers must not seek excessive Cash Advances and must refund any excess advancements promptly.  Advanced funds must be used prudently and in accordance with UW travel and purchasing policies.  Travelers are responsible for submitting Cash Advance requests in a timely enough fashion to allow for approvals and payment.
  2. Approver – Upon submission, Cash Advance requests are first reviewed by an Approver. Approvers are responsible for reviewing supporting documentation, for reviewing Cash Advances for policy compliance, and for reviewing the funding being charged.
  3. Auditor – All Cash Advances are reviewed by an Auditor after the Approver. Auditors are responsible for reviewing Cash Advances for policy compliance.  Auditors are responsible for reconciling refunded payments related to Cash Advances.

 


Link to Related Policies


Revisions

Policy Number: 330
Date Approved: July 1, 2019
Revision Dates:

330 Business Meals

University funds may be used pay for group meals where UW business is conducted or the meal is otherwise supported by a UW business purpose.

UW-Madison Administrative Policy
Policy # 330

Effective Date: July 1, 2019
Last Updated: July 1, 2020
Last Reviewed: July 1, 2020
Next Review: Jan 1, 2021

Functional Owner: Controller, Division of Business Services, Dan Langer
Executive Sponsor: Controller, Division of Business Services, Dan Langer
Policy Contact: Travelers and departmental staff should contact their respective Divisional Business Office for policy questions. Divisional Business Offices may e-mail uwtravel@bussvc.wisc.edu with questions.


Policy Summary

University funds may be used to pay for group meals where UW business is conducted or the meal is otherwise supported by a UW business purpose.  Business Meals may have a social element, but are primarily business in nature.  Payment/reimbursement for Business Meals on UW funding is limited to pre-determined rates.  Amounts in excess of these rates and alcohol are not allowable on UW funding and may be charged to the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association if funding is available.

Note: NCAA funded travel has specific requirements, some of which may be less restrictive than University policies or rates. NCAA funded travel will be governed by NCAA policy.

Note: Sponsored projects (fund 144 or 133) are subject to the terms and conditions of the specific award, as well as applicable program guidelines, which may restrict use of funds for certain types of expenses. Please contact the Research or Sponsored Programs accountant for your award with any questions.


Who This Policy Applies To

Faculty, staff, students and non-employees traveling or using funds and/or resources administered by the University.


Rationale

This policy is designed to ensure prudent usage of University resources while minimizing the administrative burden for employees and support staff.


Policy Detail

I.Payable/Reimbursable Business Meals. Business Meals are payable/reimbursable when it is necessary to conduct UW business during a meal.  Common examples of payable/reimbursable Business Meals include:

  • Dinner with faculty members and a distinguished speaker after the speaker’s event
  • Lunch with an interview candidate and the interview committee
  • Lunch with a research team on-site when individual meals would be impractical or if research activities would be significantly disrupted if a meal were not provided

Note: For events that are catered, require a room/space rental, require a contract or charge a registration fee, see Hosted Events.  For events that are primarily social in nature, see Policy 340 – Official Functions and Expenses.

II.Payment/Reimbursement Rates. Payment/reimbursement of Business Meals using UW funding is limited to the following, per person, including tip:

Type of Meal Within Wisconsin Outside Wisconsin
Breakfast $12 $15
Lunch $18 $23
Dinner $30 $37

III.Use of Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association (WFAA) Funds. Amounts in excess of the allowable per person limits or expenses for alcohol may be charged to Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association (WFAA) funds, if available.  Alcohol reimbursement cannot exceed $25/person. The overall payment/reimbursement made with both UW and WFAA funds, including alcohol, may not exceed $100/person, including tip.

IV.Sales Tax. Sales tax is not payable/reimbursable for Business Meals in Wisconsin.  See Policy 500 – Tax Exemption for more information on sales tax in other states.

V. Tip: Tips are limited to 20%.

VI.Payment Methods. Payment for Business Meals with UW funding may be made via the Purchasing Card, My Corporate Card, or reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses.  Any Business Meal expenses to be charged to WFAA funding must be made with either the My Corporate Card or reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses.  Expense allocated to WFAA funding must not be paid with the Purchasing Card.

VII.Documentation Requirements. All Business Meals must be supported by an itemized receipt, an Event Form, an agenda and a list of attendees, including how each of the attendees is affiliated with the University.


Consequences for Noncompliance

The University will not pay or reimburse for any Business Meal costs that are non-compliant with this policy.  Failure to comply with UW-Madison policy may result in disciplinary steps, up to and including dismissal.


Supporting Tools


Definitions

  1. Business Meal: a breakfast, lunch or dinner with a UW business purpose attended by multiple individuals.  Business Meals are not catered, do not require a contract, and do not require a space or room rental.
  2. Business Purpose: provided explanation that adequately describes an expense as a necessary, reasonable, and appropriate business expense.
  3. UW Funds: funds controlled by the University of Wisconsin, including 233 funds (gifts).
  4. WFAA Funds: funds controlled by the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association.

Link to Related Policies


Revisions

Policy Number: 330
Date Approved: July 1, 2019
Revision Dates:

07/01/2020 – updated policy language

500 Tax Exemption Policy

Individuals conducting official UW–Madison business may be exempt from payment of tax depending on their location and the circumstances of the purchase. Any personal use of university's tax exempt status is prohibited.

Statement of Policy:

Individuals conducting official UW–Madison business may be exempt from payment of tax depending on their location and the circumstances of the purchase. Any personal use of university’s tax exempt status is prohibited.

Note: Sponsored projects (e.g., fund 144 or 133) are subject to the terms and conditions of the specific award, as well as applicable program guidelines, which may restrict use of funds for certain types of expenses.  Please contact the RSP accountant for your award with any questions.

Tax Exemption within the State of Wisconsin

The Wisconsin sales and use tax law in s.77.54(9a) provides an exemption from payment of state, county and local tax. The department of Revenue has issued a tax exempt number for use by all UW System Institutions. Individuals may be asked to provide proof of tax exemption when conducting university business.

  • The tax exempt certificate should be used when making business-related purchases or advance travel reservations. For a copy of the tax exempt certificate, please visit the UW TravelWIse Portal and use the following navigation: Before You Go > Travel Process Standards > Sales Tax Exemption > Obtaining Wisconsin Sales Tax Exemption.
  • The Department of Revenue approved a tax exempt wallet card, obtainable from the Divisional Business Offices, which may be used in lieu of the tax exempt certificate when employees are in travel status. Employees are required to surrender the exemption cards to their department office when they leave the university or no longer travel on university business.

Lodging

Lodging within the state of Wisconsin is tax exempt when any of the following criteria are met:

For Employees:

  • The university pays for the lodging with a Purchasing Card or purchase order and provides the tax exempt certificate at the time of the reservation.
  • Reservations are made in the name of the university and the employee. All subsequent invoices or receipts must be in the name of both parties.
  • The employee pays for the lodging with personal funds (e.g. My Corporate Card, personal credit card, cash) and presents the tax exemption wallet card to the lodging establishment to verify business travel and tax exempt status.

For Non-Employees:

  • The university pays for the lodging with a Purchasing Card or a purchase order and provides the tax exempt certificate at the time of reservation. Non-employees who pay for business lodging with personal funds and subsequently file for reimbursement are not eligible for tax exemption.

Note: Vendors are not required to refund tax if the tax exemption information was not provided at the time of reservation or check-in. Travelers and those that arrange travel for others should make every effort to receive tax exemption, but, if unable to do so, taxes will be paid/reimbursed by the university.

Tax Exemption outside the State of Wisconsin

Several states allow the University of Wisconsin System an exemption on their sales and use tax. For a list of participating states please visit the UW TravelWIse Portal and navigate to Policies & Procedures. Tax exempt information is listed under Procedures & Operational Standards. Be sure to carefully read the Restrictions/Procedures provided for each state in order to determine what specific commodities are eligible for tax exemption in each location.

Contacts:

Travelers and departmental staff should contact their respective Divisional Business Office for policy or procedural questions.

Divisional Business Offices may e-mail uwtravel@bussvc.wisc.edu with questions.

340 Official Functions and Expenses Policy

This policy establishes general parameters for holding and funding UW-Madison functions or expenses that are usually social in nature but directly related to University official business.

Official Functions and Expenses Policy
Policy #340

Effective Date: July 1, 2019
Last Updated:
Last Reviewed:
Next Review:

Functional Owner:
Controller, Division of Business Services, Dan Langer
Executive Sponsor: Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration, Laurent Heller and Associate  Vice Chancellor, Finance, David Murphy
Policy Contact: Travel and Card Manager, Rusty Haines, Rusty.Haines@wisc.edu


Policy Summary

This policy establishes general parameters for holding and funding UW-Madison functions or expenses that are usually social in nature but directly related to University official business.

The source of funds for paying for all expenditures pursuant to this policy must be a gift, program revenue or trust fund such as 161, 233, 136, & 131 funds and not general purpose revenue (GPR) or Sponsored Funds (Grants).

All expenditures pursuant to this policy must be pursuant to University Purchasing Policy, pre-approved, in writing, by the appropriate Approving Authority by completing the designated Official Functions Pre-Approval Form.  The list of examples of Official Functions and expenses provided in this policy is not all-inclusive. All documents related to an Official Function or expense may be fully disclosed as public record to the extent required by state and federal open records laws.


Who This Policy Applies To

Employees of all UW-Madison schools, colleges, and auxiliary divisions including, but not limited to Deans, Directors, Financial Officers, and other campus leadership


Rationale

An Official Functions and expense can actively promote the University’s mission, support community value, and recognize and reward exceptional performance and service.  However, the University must govern the use of the specific funds used to pay for Official Functions and insure the appropriateness and reasonableness of all Official Functions and expenses.


Policy Detail

An Approving Authority may make reasonable and moderate expenditures (excluding alcoholic beverages) directly associated with a University Official Function and expense that may have a social component but substantially advances or contributes to the University’s mission.  An Approving Authority, in advance of expenditures being made, must formally authorize in writing expenditures related to an Official Function and expense.  The Approving Authority’s advance authorization can only be provided by completing an Official Function Pre-Approval Form to be attached to any request for payment or reimbursement.  Expenses pursuant to this policy will not be paid or reimbursed by the University or the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association without a properly executed Official Function Pre-Approval Form.  The source of funds for expenses related to this Official Function or expense is a gift, program revenue or trust fund such as 161, 233, 136, & 131 funds and not general purpose revenue (GPR) or Sponsored Funds (Grants).

It is incumbent on the Approving Authority to know and understand the nature and full extent of any restrictions or requirements associated with the expenditure and the related allowed uses of the proposed funds, including consideration of donor intent, University Purchasing Policies, and Wisconsin Foundation Alumni Association purchasing policies The Approving Authority must document the justification for authorization. The Approving Authority must be prepared to defend the approval of a University Official Function or expense should there be an open record or audit related inquiry.

Examples of functions and expenses that may be considered appropriate are (not a comprehensive list):

  • Functions for parents of preregistering students.
  • Inauguration ceremony for a new Chancellor.
  • Functions for graduating classes and their parents.
  • Functions for community leaders, prominent visitors, legislators and officials, or leaders of educational programs.
  • Functions for Board of Visitors or officials from other public or private institutions.
  • Functions related to opening of new facilities and dedication ceremonies. Functions for officially recognized student groups. Link to University Official Student Groups
  • Recognition functions to honor distinguished faculty, staff and students for significant, meritorious achievements.
  • Faculty, staff and student recruitment events.
  • House hunting trip for faculty or staff (restricted to employee and one spouse/significant other/companion).
  • Employee recognition and morale/team building events such as honoring an employee retiring or separating from the University with at least 5 years of service and annual holiday/general appreciation events.
  • Nominal gifts, excluding gift cards and cash equivalents, related to employee major life events such as weddings, births, or death in a family.  Nominal gifts must be:
    • Flowers
    • UW-logoed items less than $50.00
  • Meal expenses associated with an Official Function up to $100.00 per person including alcohol expenses paid by the Wisconsin Foundation Alumni Association.
  • Lodging expense for non-University employees attending an Official Function that exceed the University’s lodging maximums for the location.
  • Airfare expense for non-University employees attending an Official Function are not restricted to economy/coach class fares.

Other Official Function requirements:

  • Any expense associated with a spouse/significant other/guest attending an Official Function is allowable if supported with a documented business purpose for the attendance of the spouse/significant other/guest and the cost of attendance is proportional to the value added to the event by the spouse(s)/significant other(s)/guest(s) attendance.
  • Any purchase of alcohol pursuant to this policy must be reimbursed through Shared Financial System (SFS), charged to Account Code 6240 and billed to the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association (WFAA); or, via check request to Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association.

Expenses for University-related Foundations or affiliated organizations’ board of directors’ meetings and expenditures for pure social functions for faculty, staff, and students are not considered appropriate charges to any source of funds administered by the UW System.


Consequences for Noncompliance

Failure to comply with UW-Madison Official Functions and Expense Policy may result in non-payment of the Official Function or expense, employee personal financial responsibility for the cost of the Official Function or expense; or, disciplinary steps, up to and including dismissal.


Supporting Tools


Definitions

  1. Official Function and Expense: A reasonable and moderate expenditures (excluding alcoholic beverages) directly associated with a University Official Function and expense that may have a social component but substantially advances or contributes to the University’s mission.
  2. Approving Authority: The University Chancellor, Vice Chancellor, Dean, Division Chief Financial Officer or delegated Division Business Office Executive.
  3. Shared Financial System (SFS): The PeopleSoft enterprise resource system.
  4. Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association (WFAA): An entity that raises, invests and distributes funds for the benefit of the University of Wisconsin-Madison
  5. Pure Social Function: A function that does NOT have a University business connection; or does not substantially add or contribute to the University’s mission.
  6. Student Group or Organization: All student groups or organizations officially recognized by the University. See https://win.wisc.edu/organizations for a complete list.

Responsibilities

Approving Authority –

  • Reviewing the University of Wisconsin-Madison Policy 340, Official Functions and Expense, in its entirety.
  • Verifying the Official Function and Expense is a University sponsored event or expense that substantially advances or contributes to the University’s mission.
  • Verifying the source of funds for expenses related to an Official Function and Expense is a gift, program revenue or trust fund such as 161, 233, 136, & 131 funds and not general purpose revenue (GPR) or Sponsored Funds (Grants) .
  • Understand the nature and full extent of any restrictions or requirements related to the allowed uses of the proposed funds, including consideration of donor intent if the fund source is a gift.
  • Defend the approval of the Official Function and Expense should there be an open record or audit related inquiry.
  • Completion of the required Official Functions and Expense Pre-Approval form.

Link to Related Policies


Link to Policy History

This is a new policy.


Revisions

Policy Number 340
Date Approved
Revision Dates

 

320.7 How to Process an Expense Reimbursement not in Compliance with the University’s Accountable Plan Procedure

All Expense Reimbursements must be submitted within 90 days.  Divisional approving authorities can approve payments submitted after 90 days by attaching a signed approval form to the Expense Reimbursement.  Upon approval, these Expense Reimbursements are reviewed by Accounting Services and reported as taxable income to the recipient unless the documented circumstances surrounding the Expense Reimbursement made timely submission impossible.

How to Process an Expense Reimbursement not in Compliance with the University’s Accountable Plan Procedure
Procedure # 320.7
Rev.: 1
Effective Date: May 8, 2017

Related Policy: 320 Expense Reimbursement Policy
Functional Owner: Accounting Services, Division of Business Services
Contact: Expense Reimbursement Program Manager – Graig Brooks (608) 262-8691


Contents

I. Procedure Statement
II. Who is Affected by this Procedure
III. Procedure
IV. Contact Roles and Responsibilities
V. Definitions
VI. Related References
VII. Revisions


I. Procedure Statement

All Expense Reimbursements must be submitted within 90 days.  Divisional approving authorities can approve payments submitted after 90 days by attaching a signed approval form to the Expense Reimbursement.  Upon approval, these Expense Reimbursements are reviewed by Accounting Services and reported as taxable income to the recipient unless the documented circumstances surrounding the Expense Reimbursement made timely submission impossible.


II. Who is Affected by This Procedure

Employees who seek reimbursement for out-of-pocket or Corporate Card expenses; alternates who prepare expense reimbursements in e-Reimbursement; Approvers and Auditors; Divisional Business Officers and others who have approval authority.


III.   Procedure

A. Expense Report Submission

  1. Employees submit non-compliant Expense Reimbursements the same way as compliant Expense Reimbursements.
  2. E-Reimbursement requires a note justifying each expense line that is over 90 days old.

 

B. Accountable Plan Exception Request Form – For extenuating circumstances, Deans, Divisional Dean’s Office Directors, or Divisional Business Office Leadership have the authority to grant exceptions for employees to allow for expense reimbursement, under the Accountable Plan, if Expense Reimbursements are submitted later than 90 days. Extenuating circumstances for employees may be defined as a serious illness or other unforeseen emergency out of the control of the employee. Employee negligence is not considered an extenuating circumstance. Employees are not entitled to reimbursement after 90 days.  Reimbursements requests should be denied without documented extenuating circumstances.

  1. The Accountable Plan Exception Request form must be signed by the claimant and divisional leadership.
  2. The form must be electronically attached to the Expense Reimbursement.

 

C. Accounting Services’ Review

  1. Once fully approved, all Expense Reimbursements submitted after 90 days get reviewed by Accounting Services.
  2. All non-compliant Expense Reimbursements are reported as taxable income to the recipient unless circumstances surrounding the Expense Reimbursement made timely submission impossible. Extenuating circumstances must be documented to the extent possible.

 

D. Non-Employees – Expense Reimbursements cannot be submitted for non-employees after 90 days. These payments must be processed on Payment to Individual Reports and will be taxable to the recipients.


IV. Contact Roles and Responsibilities

A. Traveler (employee)/claimant: responsible for submitting Expense Reimbursements in a timely fashion.

B. Dean’s/Divisional Business Office Leadership: responsible for approving or denying non-compliant reimbursement requests.


V. Definitions

A. e-Reimbursement: the web-based expense reimbursement submission and review tool.

B. Expense Reimbursement: an Expense Report seeking reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses.


VI. Related References

  • Policy 320 – Expense Reimbursement

VII.  Revisions

Procedure Number 320.7
Date Approved May 8, 2017
Revision Dates

320.6 How to Update Approver and Auditor Roles in e-Reimbursement Procedure

Expense Reimbursements are routed for approval based on the department code used in the funding string(s). Division Coordinators request updates to the approval matrix as needed.

How to Update Approver and Auditor Roles in e-Reimbursement Procedure
Procedure # 320.6
Rev.: 1
Effective Date: May 8, 2017

Download 320.6 How to Update Approver and Auditor Roles in e-Reimbursement Procedure (pdf)

Related Policy: 320 Expense Reimbursement Policy
Functional Owner: Accounting Services, Division of Business Services
Contact: Expense Reimbursement Program Manager – Graig Brooks (608) 262-8691


Contents

I. Procedure Statement
II. Who is Affected by this Procedure
III. Procedure
IV. Contact Roles and Responsibilities
V. Definitions
VI. Related References
VII. Revisions


I. Procedure Statement

Expense Reimbursements are routed for approval based on the department code used in the funding string(s).  Division Coordinators request updates to the approval matrix as needed.


II. Who is Affected by This Procedure

e-Reimbursement Approvers and Auditors; Division Coordinators


III.   Procedure

A. Requesting an Approval Matrix: Division Coordinators may request a complete listing of the Approvers, Auditors and Backup Auditors from Accounting Services by emailing expensereimbursement@bussvc.wisc.edu.  Include all six-digit department code ranges for those you are requesting (e.g. “Please send me an updated approval matrix for 48xxxx”).

 

B. Requesting an Update to the Approval Matrix: return the approval matrix spreadsheet to expensereimbursement@bussvc.wisc.edu noting which changes are to be made.  All requests must be made by a Division Coordinator.

 

C. Guidelines for Approval Roles: Employees serving in any approval role must have taken Expense Reimbursement for Approvers/Auditors – Beginner Level training.

  1. Approvers
    1. Approvers are pooled. Multiple Approvers can be added to the same department range and e-Reimbursement will require only one of them to approve an Expense Report.
    2. There is no Backup Approver role. Employees may serve as a backup Approver functionally, but their approval assignment will be no different than a primary Approver.
  2. Auditors: Auditors are not pooled.  If multiple Auditors are setup for the same department, Expense Reimbursements for that department will require all assigned Auditors’ approval.
  3. Backup Auditors
    1. Backup Auditors receive no automated workflow. They only receive workflow which has been manually routed.
    2. The Backup Auditor matrix serves as a guide for Accounting Services to route Expense Reports for which the primary Auditor cannot serve (e.g. the primary Auditor served as the Alternate on the Expense Report).
    3. The Backup Auditor role can be used for any employee who doesn’t receive automated workflow, but who has taken Expense Reimbursement training and may serve in any approval role on a sporadic basis.

IV. Contact Roles and Responsibilities

A. Approver: Upon submission, Expense Reimbursements are first reviewed by an Approver. Approvers are responsible for reviewing supporting documentation, reviewing Expense Reimbursements for policy compliance, and reviewing funding being charged.

B. Auditor: Expense Reimbursements are reviewed by an Auditor after the Approver. Auditors are responsible for reviewing Expense Reimbursements for policy compliance.

C. Division Coordinator: responsible for submitting approval matrix update requests.


V. Definitions

A. Approval Matrix: the full list of all Approvers, Auditors and Backup Auditors for a specified department range.


VI. Related References

  • Policy 320 – Expense Reimbursement

VII.  Revisions

Procedure Number 320.6
Date Approved May 8, 2017
Revision Dates