3301 Travel on University Business

Responsible Official: 
Controller
Responsible Office: 
Controller's Office
Effective Date: 
July 1, 1998
Revision Date: 
February 2, 2018

Policy Sections

Scope

The travel policy applies to faculty, staff, visiting scholars, students, and non-University personnel traveling or using funds administered by Yale.  Some schools or divisions of the University may have more restrictive controls on travel.  Payments for reasonable travel-related expenses made under this policy are not considered taxable income.

Policy Statement

Yale leadership appreciates the efforts of those who travel on University business and wants to ensure that travelers do not gain or lose funds on business trips.

Travelers are expected to spend Yale funds prudently (and in accordance with sponsor requirements when the travel is supported by a sponsor award), follow the travel policy, and obtain reimbursement for all expenses on a timely basis to meet compliance requirements.  Business travel expenses will be paid by Yale if they are reasonable, necessary, and meet policy and compliance requirements.

Reason for the Policy

Yale’s travel policy is designed to provide guidance for those traveling on University business and ensure the best use of University resources.

Policy Sections

A.  Reimbursement

Employees are expected to submit reimbursement requests for expenses incurred prior to travel, with supporting documentation, within ten business days from the date the expense is incurred. Employees have ten business days after the end of the travel to seek reimbursement for travel expenses incurred during the travel.

Non-Employee reimbursement requests are to be submitted and paid after the completion of a trip.

Out-of-pocket expenses (i.e. airfare, conference fees, mileage, hotel, meals, books, etc.) submitted and approved for reimbursement 120 days through 366 days from the date incurred will be reimbursed as taxable income to the employee.  Gross-up for taxes on this income is not allowed.  Expenses submitted or approved for reimbursement later than 366 days from the date incurred will not be reimbursed.  This means that the faculty and staff, to receive non-taxable reimbursements, have a maximum of 119 days from the date the expense is incurred to submit and receive approval on the expense for reimbursement through the “Create Expense Report” function in Workday.

B.  Business Purpose

A business purpose must be clearly shown for each trip, including supporting documentation to validate the need for travel. 

C.  Restrictions for Travelers Who Are Not U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents

Individuals who are not citizens or permanent residents of the United States must follow specific rules regarding travel payments.  Prior to the trip, please refer to the International Payment Requests page to determine any payment restrictions and documentation requirements. 

D.  Travel Funded by Sponsored Awards

Travel charged to sponsored awards is subject to specific limitations and restrictions set by the sponsor.  Travel restrictions may vary between federal and non-federal sponsors.

Travelers on University business funded by a federal award must comply with the requirements of 2 CFR Part 220 (OMB Circular A-21), and are required by 49 U.S.C. 40118, commonly referred to as the “Fly America Act,” to use United States air carrier service for all air travel and cargo transportation services funded by the United States Government.  Refer to Procedure 3301 PR.01 Travel Arrangements for University Business for additional information regarding the use of U.S. air carriers and exceptions permitted under the Fly America Act.

Travelers using a non-U.S. flag carrier on travel to be charged to a federally sponsored award must attach Form 3301 FR.06 Documentation for Travel on a Non-U.S. Air Carrier, along with all relevant and required information, to the expense reimbursement request.

Certain expenditures (e.g., alcohol) are “unallowable” in accordance with federal cost principles and cannot be charged to a federal award.  Some expenses not allowed on a sponsored award may, however, be reimbursed by non-sponsored funds under specific circumstances if the expense is reasonable, adheres to University policy, is broken out separately from the unallowable expense(s), and is coded to the proper unallowable account number listed in the University’s Chart of Accounts.  For additional information and proper use of ledger accounts and spend categories, please refer to Procedure 1305 PR.04 Unallowable Costs.

Additional restrictions not specifically covered by this policy but sponsor specific may apply. Questions should be addressed to your representative in the Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP).

E.  Determine Whether Travel is Classified as Domestic or International

Domestic travel is defined as travel within and between any of the 50 United States, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and American Samoa.

International travel is any travel outside those specified above.  All expenses related to a trip to an international destination are considered international.  For example: if you are driving to a domestic airport to leave for an international destination, mileage, parking, tolls, etc. are considered international.

If travel to a foreign destination is planned, please review the University’s Yale and the World website.

The transportation chosen should be the least costly, consistent with the itinerary and the business requirements of the trip.

If a travel itinerary is created to accommodate personal business, the traveler must pay the incremental cost of personal business and document the costs incurred, separating personal expenses from University business expenses.  Personal expenses should be charged separately when making arrangements.

B.  Business Travelers Accompanied by Family Members and Other Companions

The University does not provide reimbursement for travel and entertainment expenses of family members and others who accompany University employees on business trips.  There are a limited number of situations in which there is a business purpose for the presence of spouses, family members, or others on University trips.  Such situations require prior approval, consistent with the Exceptions and Special Circumstances section of this policy.  

Approved exceptions must be documented in writing on the expense report.

C.  Distinguished Visitors

The University recognizes that certain invited guests may require upgraded travel arrangements.  These arrangements will be an exception to policy and require prior approval, consistent with the Exceptions and Special Circumstances section of this policy.  Approved exceptions must be documented in writing on the expense report.

D.  Consultants Traveling on University Business

Consultants traveling on University business will be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary business expenses.  Provisions for such reimbursements should be included in the consulting agreement (Policy 3210 Professional Services and Consulting).  Provisions not authorized by contractual agreement must be approved in advance by the department Lead Administrator.

Travelers are expected to book the lowest available economy class airfare, consistent with business requirements.  To take advantage of any University-negotiated discounts, travelers must make reservations using Egencia or the University’s preferred full-service travel agency.

For travel on sponsored awards, please refer to Procedure 3301 PR.01 Travel Arrangements for University Business, Section 6Air Travel Supported by a Sponsored Award.

If a penalty is incurred due to a traveler violating airline ticketing rules, the traveler will be responsible for the additional cost.  If, however, an incurred penalty for making changes to or not using non-refundable tickets was unavoidable due to business reasons or circumstances beyond the traveler’s control, such penalty may be reimbursed.

Some airlines charge fees for snacks, non-alcoholic drinks, checked baggage, Wi-Fi charges, pillows and blankets, and preferred coach seating.  Such costs are reimbursable if the individual is traveling economy class.  The cost of the use of Wi-Fi during an airline flight, pillows and blankets, and preferred seating in coach cannot, however, be charged to federally sponsored awards.  In these cases, other University funds must be used for reimbursement.

If part of the business trip is leisure and requires extra bags (e.g., golf clubs), the cost is personal.

If snacks and non-alcoholic drinks are submitted for reimbursement, the traveler must use actual costs for meals versus the per diem for the entire trip.

A.  Exceptions

Business class may be used for travel if the relevant business office confirms before purchase that appropriate funds are available, and if any of the following conditions are met:

  • Any single flight segment has a scheduled in-air flying time in excess of six hours;
  • The total scheduled in-air flight time, including connecting legs, is in excess of eight hours; or
  • A medical justification exists, documented by a primary care provider.

Students must travel economy class regardless of duration or length of the flight.

B.  Extenuating Circumstances

In rare cases, other extenuating circumstances may justify the use of business class for trips that do not meet the above conditions.

Exceptions to this policy require prior approval, consistent with the Exceptions and Special Circumstances section of this policy.  Approved exceptions must be documented in writing on the expense report.  Travelers may upgrade the level of service at personal expense or by using their “frequent flyer” points.

C.  Business Class vs. Economy Class

If a traveler is allowed to fly business class, the traveler must determine the difference between the cost of business class and economy class and charge this difference using the appropriate charging instructions.  This difference:

  • cannot be charged to a federally sponsored award.  Federal regulations require the customary standard commercial airfare (coach or equivalent), or the lowest commercial discount airfare to be charged to a federal sponsored award;
  • is not permitted on a federally funded sponsored awards except when coach or economy class is not reasonably adequate for the traveler’s medical needs (such cases must be documented with a medical justification supplied by a primary care provider prior to confirming the reservation);
  • must be documented for all University travel, regardless of the charging instructions used, by attaching information supporting the lowest coach or discounted fare to the expense report or supplier invoice request; and
  • must be identified for all business class travel costs.

D.  Travel to be Reimbursed by an External Entity

For travel expenses that are administered by Yale but will be reimbursed in full by a third party, business class travel is allowable if approved and documented by the sponsoring institution/entity and documented in the expense report.

E.  Changes or Cancelations

Penalties for changes to an airline ticket for business reasons or circumstances beyond the traveler’s control will be reimbursed.  Questions concerning the appropriateness of penalty charges on sponsored awards should be directed to the Office of Sponsored Projects for assistance.

If a trip must be changed or canceled, it must be canceled prior to flight departure to retain value. When applicable, the remaining value of the ticket (less any airline imposed penalties) should be applied to the next business trip.

Travelers will not be reimbursed for trips canceled, changed, or forfeited (due to failure to cancel prior to departure) for personal convenience.

Unused tickets cannot be used for personal travel.

F.  Charter and/or Private Aircraft

For the safety of travelers, the University does not recommend flying on charter and/or private aircraft.  The University assumes no liability for death, personal injury, or property damage in connection with charter/private aircraft travel.

If a traveler finds it necessary to travel by private airplane due to unusual circumstances, an exception should be sought in advance, consistent with the Exceptions and Special Circumstances section of this policy.  If the exception is granted, the Risk Management department must be notified before the flight for insurance purposes.  When a private plane or charter aircraft is used primarily for the convenience of the traveler, reimbursement will not exceed the lowest available economy class airfare.

G.  Frequent Flyer Programs and Upgrades

The University allows travelers to accrue their own frequent flier mileage for trips taken on University business.  The University does not reimburse travelers for tickets or upgrades purchased with frequent flyer miles.

Travelers may use their airline miles to upgrade, as long as the airfare purchased is the lowest available economy class airfare.  Travelers purchasing a more expensive airfare to obtain the upgrade must pay the difference between the lowest fare available and the fare purchased.  The source of an upgrade must be noted on the expense report.

H.  Airline Club Memberships

The University does not pay dues for membership in airline clubs.

Travelers should choose a reasonably priced hotel with a single occupancy rate.  See Procedure 3301 PR.01 Travel Arrangements for University Business for details.  To take advantage of any University-negotiated discounts, travelers must make reservations using Egencia or the University’s preferred full-service travel agency.

Actual hotel expenses will be reimbursed.  Federal per diem rates must not be used for lodging.  Please refer to Section 3301.10 for information on sales tax exemptions on hotel charges.

Yale travelers are permitted to use Airbnb for lodging.  The preferred method for arranging Airbnb lodging is the Yale Airbnb for Business platform, using a Yale email address.  The preferred method of payment for Airbnb is the Yale PCard.  Please also see the Yale Airbnb page for more information. 

Note: One day travel, within 50 miles of a regular work location, is not eligible for lodging reimbursement.

A.  Travel greater than 30 days

Because per diem rates are established for short term visits, it is expected that when research or business requires residence in a distant location for longer periods of time, travelers will be able to find less expensive accommodations.  Therefore, reimbursement for actual lodging expenses for trips greater than 30 days will be permitted up to 50% of the current published federal per diem rates for those expenses at that location, available at Domestic Per Diem or Foreign Per Diem. Receipts are required for lodging.  The reimbursement limits apply for the entire duration of the trip, not just the portion of the trip greater than 30 days.

Exceptions to this policy require prior approval, consistent with the Exceptions and Special Circumstances section of this policy.  Approved exceptions must be documented in writing on the expense report.

B.  Lodging in Private Residence

Travelers who stay in a private residence at no cost to the traveler will be reimbursed for a reasonable token of appreciation (not to exceed $100 per trip) for the courtesy of staying with the host.  Proper documentation must be provided with the expense report and charges must be coded to the unallowable travel ledger account and spend category.

Note: Tokens of appreciation may not be charged to sponsored project funds. 

Reimbursement is not permitted for individuals who own the place of residence.

C.  Cancellations

If travel plans change, the traveler should make every effort to cancel hotel reservations in advance to avoid any penalties. 

Penalties or cancellation fees incurred for changes to hotel reservations due to business reasons or circumstances beyond the traveler’s control will be reimbursed.  In certain limited situations, penalties may be reimbursable under a federally-sponsored award.  Check with the appropriate representative in the Office of Sponsored Projects.

A.  General

Use the lowest cost ground transportation consistent with business needs.  For example, many hotels offer free airport shuttles which should be used whenever practical.

B.  Rental Cars

The University has negotiated discounts with preferred rental car agencies.  These discounts are available through Yale’s preferred travel supplier using their online or full-service travel agency services.  Travelers should rent the most economical (compact or midsize) vehicle consistent with business needs and travel circumstances.  To take advantage of any University-negotiated discounts, travelers must make reservations using Egencia or the University’s preferred full-service travel agency.

Note: Charges for satellite radio will NOT be reimbursed.

C.  Insurance for Domestic Rentals

Renting from preferred vendors:

  • Do NOT purchase insurance coverage of any kind when renting from a preferred vendor within the contiguous 48 states.  Insurance is automatically included with rentals from preferred vendors within the 48 contiguous states, including the District of Columbia;
  • Travelers should decline any additional insurance coverage offered by car rental companies.  It duplicates insurance already provided by Yale and will not be reimbursed; and
  • No deductible will be charged to the department if the claim is fully covered by the insurance

Renting from non-preferred vendors:

  • Do NOT purchase insurance coverage for rentals within the 48 contiguous states, including the District of Columbia—insurance will be provided by the University; and
  • A deductible will be charged to the department in the event of a claim.

D.  Insurance for International Rentals

Renting from preferred vendors:

  • Purchase insurance for any rentals outside of the 48 contiguous states; and
  • No deductible will be charged to the department if the claim is fully covered by the insurance.

Renting from non-preferred vendors:

  • Purchase insurance for any rentals outside of the 48 contiguous states; and
  • No deductible will be charged to the department if the claim is fully covered by the insurance.

DO purchase the LDW (Loss Damage Waiver; formerly called CDW or collision damage waiver) and LIS (Liability Insurance Supplement) insurance for all rentals outside of the contiguous 48 states, including Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands.  The cost will be reimbursed.

E.  Insurance Coverage and Accident Reporting

Who is covered: The University has automobile insurance that covers University employees (including casual employees and post-doctoral associates) and post-doctoral fellows traveling on University business.  

Student Coverage: Active undergraduate or graduate students traveling on University business and students renting vehicles on behalf of a student group registered with a Dean of Yale College or the Dean of Students and recognized by Yale as an official student group are also covered for insurance if they have passed the Driver Safety Awareness program.

Coverage of Consultants and Others: The University’s automobile insurance coverage does not cover any outside consultants, independent contractors, vendors, visiting speakers, or anyone else who is not a student, post-doctoral fellow, or an employee of the University.  These individuals or the companies that they represent must provide $1,000,000 of automobile liability and physical damage insurance to protect against accidents that occur with the rental car while performing University business.  This insurance can be provided via their own automobile insurance policy, by the companies that they represent, or by purchasing the insurance from the rental car agency.

Reporting an Accident: If a rental car accident occurs, travelers must submit a written accident report to the rental car company, local authorities as required, and Yale’s Risk Management Office.

Please refer to Policy 1705 University Fleet Policy for more details on insurance.

F.  Rental of 12 and 15 Passenger Vans

Yale does not permit the rental of 12 and 15 passenger vans because of the possibility of serious accidents and injury to passengers.  The Office of Risk Management will not extend Yale’s insurance to these vehicles.

G.  Use of Personal Automobiles

Employees may use their personal vehicles for business purposes.  The use of a personal vehicle for University business will only be reimbursed at the federal mileage allowance rate for business travel, published in the Controller’s Office Fact Sheet.  This rate covers the cost of vehicle usage, including gasoline.  The traveler will not be reimbursed separately for gas expenses.  Travelers will, however, be reimbursed for tolls and reasonable parking fees. 

Documentation of personal vehicle travel (mileage reimbursement) must include the reason for travel and the number of miles driven.

If a personal vehicle is used primarily for the traveler’s convenience and results in a higher cost than other modes of transportation, reimbursement will be limited to the cost of the lowest-priced airfare between the nearest commercial airport serving the origin and the destination cities or the applicable train coach fare, whichever is lower.

Note: There is a limit on vehicle reimbursement of no more than the economy class airfare for a similar trip.

The University assumes no liability for any loss or damage to the employee’s vehicle.  If an accident occurs when a traveler is using his/her personal vehicle for business travel, the employee’s personal automobile liability and physical damage insurance is primary.

H.  Travel Between University Locations

Every effort should be made to use the on-demand shuttle service, if available.  If a scheduled University shuttle service is available, there is no reimbursement for mileage for any travel among 25 Science Park, West Campus, Medical School, and Central Campus.  The University encourages the use of the shuttle service.  In some circumstances, however, when there is a sound business reason or there is no scheduled shuttle service, parking will be reimbursed, with approval from the lead administrator. 

I.  Commuting

Business mileage does not include the normal commute to and from work.  Under IRS Reg. § 1.262-1(b)(5), costs of commuting to the place of business or employment are personal expenses.  In general, this also applies to travel between multiple work locations.  For detailed scenarios regarding mileage reimbursement, visit the Mileage Reimbursement Matrix.

Employees cannot be reimbursed for commuting expenses even if employees work during the commute.

Documentation of personal vehicle travel (mileage reimbursement) must include the reason for travel and the number of miles driven.

J.  Zip Cars and Taxi Service

Yale does not reimburse for the use of Zip cars, taxi service, or rideshare service (e.g., Uber, Lyft, etc.) for travel between University locations.

K.  Private Car Service

The decision to use a private car service should be made by the traveler and departmental business office, based on cost and business needs.  A private sedan or town car service may be used when the cost is reasonable and consistent with business requirements.  Use of a private stretch limousine should be limited to situations involving multiple passengers or exceptional circumstances and must be documented on the expense report.

For a list of preferred vendors, refer to Car Service Vendors.

L.  Train

Travelers should book service on Metro-North, Amtrak, or Acela consistent with their business needs.  University policy allows business class service on Amtrak and the Acela, not first-class service.

To take advantage of any University-negotiated discounts on Amtrak, travelers must make reservations using Egencia or the University’s preferred full-service travel agency.

A.  Individual Meals

Travelers will be reimbursed for reasonable, actual meal expenses, or may opt for the Meals and Incidental Expense (M&IE) per diem allowance.  They may not combine the two methods on the same trip, except for those instances noted below under the (M&IE) per diem section.  Incidental expenses included in the domestic per diem rates are tips for services.  International per diem rates include laundry, dry-cleaning, and tips.  Laundry and dry-cleaning are not included in the domestic per diem rates. 

As a guideline, actual meal expenses should not be greater than the per diem allowance set by the federal government for the city visited (i.e., domestic per diem per federal government and international per diem per state department). 

B.  (M&IE) Per Diem Allowance

When it is not practical to claim actual meal expenses, employees may use the federally published Domestic Per Diem or Foreign Per Diem rates for meals and incidental expenses applicable for the city of travel. 

When a meal is paid for by a host, paid for by the traveler as host for a group meal, included in a conference registration fee, covered by another source, or when traveling for a partial day, the per diem should be reduced as follows: 20% for breakfast, 30% for lunch, and 50% for dinner.  If a traveler chooses to substitute an outside meal for a meal otherwise included in a conference registration fee, the outside meal is considered a non-reimbursable personal expense (unless the traveler is host for a group meal).

C.  Travel greater than 30 days

Reimbursement of actual meals and incidental expenses for business trips greater than 30 days will be available at 50% of the current published federal (M&IE) per diem allowance for that location, available at Domestic Per Diem or Foreign Per Diem, for the number of days that food expenses were incurred.  The reimbursement limits apply for the entire trip, not just the portion of the trip over 30 days. 

Exceptions to this policy require prior approval, consistent with the Exceptions and Special Circumstances section of this policy.  Approved exceptions must be documented in writing on the expense report.

Reimbursement will not be permitted for individuals who own the place of residence.

D.  Group Meals and Entertainment

In situations where an individual is conducting business with one or more guests, reasonable meals and entertainment expenses will be reimbursed.  Business meals and entertainment must be directly related to University business.

The Internal Revenue Service requires all business meals and entertainment expenses be properly documented.  This includes the reason for the entertainment, the benefit expected to be derived, as well as the name, title, and affiliation of the individual(s) being entertained.  For more information, refer to Policy 3302 Business Meals, Entertainment, and Other Social Events.

The following additional expenses will be reimbursed if related to travel on University business:

  • Fees for a visa or other special fees (e.g., the transaction fees for currency conversion);
  • Costs for vaccinations and medications required for travel to other parts of the world;
  • Reasonable telephone costs and Internet charges.  Yale cell phones and Yale Bulldog Calling Cards should be used instead of the hotel room telephone for direct dialing of long-distance calls;
  • Laundry and dry-cleaning expenses, when domestic or international travel is five or more consecutive days and the amounts are reasonable.  The traveler cannot claim laundry and dry-cleaning expenses separately when the international per diem rate is used; and
  • Tips and gratuities, when reasonable and accepted as standard practice (i.e., restaurants, ground transportation, bellhops, and hotel housekeepers).  Tips are included in both the Domestic Per Diem or Foreign Per Diem rates and cannot be claimed separately when the per diem rate is used.

The following expenses are considered personal expenses and will not be reimbursed by the University:

  • Personal grooming services, such as barbers, hairdressers, and shoe shines;
  • Car rental insurance for rentals within the contiguous 48 states and the District of Columbia (see 3301.5 Ground Transportation);
  • Child care;
  • Personal card delinquency fees or finance charges;
  • Membership/dues in private clubs, including Airlines, wholesale clubs, etc.;
  • Frequent flyer and other similar award programs;
  • Gym and recreational fees, including massages and saunas;
  • In-room movies;
  • Mini bar charges, unless treated as an actual meal;
  • Laundry or valet service, if domestic travel is less than five days (laundry or valet service is never allowed for international travel if per diem is used);
  • Lost baggage;
  • Loss or theft of cash advance, airline tickets, personal funds, or property;
  • “No-show” charges for hotel and car service;
  • Personal parking tickets or traffic violations;
  • Personal automobile repairs and gas;
  • Personal telephone charges in excess of reasonable calls home;
  • Pet care;
  • Upgrades (air, hotel, car, train, etc.), except those allowed by policy;
  • Issuance of passport or their renewals;
  • New Haven City Card (parking of personal vehicles);
  • Baggage fees - except those allowed by policy;
  • Travel between University locations – mileage or parking;
  • Satellite radio on car rentals;
  • Spouse/guest related charges while traveling; and
  • Commuting between home and one or more regular places of business.

A.  Yale Purchasing Card Program

The Yale Purchasing Card is the preferred payment method for all travel purchases.  This allows the University to be billed directly for travel expenses.  Contact your business office or see Procedure 3215 PR.01 Yale Purchasing Card Procedure for details.

B.  Receipts

For travel and entertainment expenses of $75 or higher, original, detailed receipts are preferred.  Electronic copies of originals are also acceptable and must be provided to the departmental business office.

Receipts are not required for expenses of less than $75 and do not need to be attached to the expense report, nor retained once the expense report is processed.  It is a best practice, but not required, for the traveler to submit all receipts - even those that are less than $75 - to the preparer.  Approvers have the right to inquire and review receipts for expenses under $75 in situations that they deem appropriate.  After the expense report is processed, appropriate receipts scanned, and the report is approved, all associated receipts should be shredded, except in those cases where the funding source requires all original receipts.  Preparers should check all scanned or uploaded attachments to be sure they are legible prior to submitting the report.

For detailed information regarding receipts, please see Procedure 3301 PR.01 Travel Arrangements for University Business.

C.  Travel Advances

The University issues travel advances if the traveler is ineligible for the Yale Purchasing Card, or when extended travel or unusual circumstances are involved.  For more information, see Policy 3305 Long-Term Activity Expense Advances.

Certain lodging and meal expenses incurred while traveling on University business may be exempt from state sales tax, provided:

  • the State allows an exemption for meals and/or lodging expenses;
  • the University holds a state sales tax exemption certificate in the state of travel, where required; and
  • the University makes payments directly to the hotel or restaurant using a Yale Purchasing Card or check.

If, however, a personal credit card is used for travel and small expenses, the University will reimburse for sales tax paid.  The preferred method for paying for such expenses is through a Yale Purchasing Card, whether or not sales tax is charged and paid.  See Tax Compliance and Planning for guidance on how to avoid paying sales tax.

The list of states in which the University currently qualifies for a travel-related sales tax exemption is also provided in the Controller’s Office Fact Sheet.

The University does not reimburse for the cost of life insurance purchased by travelers to provide additional protection for their families.

Generally, the University does not reimburse travelers for trip cancellation insurance.  In special circumstances, it may be reasonable based on the high cost of an airline ticket.  Before purchasing such a ticket, the traveler should determine if it makes more sense to purchase a refundable ticket. Proper documentation must be provided. 

A.  Emergency Travel Assistance Program

The University maintains an Emergency Evacuation and Travel Assistance program that provides medical, personal safety, and travel-related assistance services if an emergency arises while traveling domestically or internationally.  Domestic coverage is included for travel 100 miles or more from home while on University business, and coverage applies to all international travel for business or pleasure.  For more information, contact the Office of Risk Management.

B.  Coverage for Personal Effects

Loss of or damage to personal belongings of the traveler are not covered by the University insurance.

The Value Added Tax (VAT) imposed by the European Union (EU) and other non-EU countries is a broad-based consumption tax assessed on and added to the value of goods and services.  In general, VAT applies to all goods and services that are bought and sold for use or consumption in those countries that assess VAT.

If you are traveling on Yale business and you purchased goods and/or services that included VAT, you are eligible to seek VAT reimbursement from that country by submitting a reimbursement form (check the country’s specific reimbursement process and/or seek assistance at the airport before departure).  Since Yale is reimbursing you for the goods and/or services, however, any VAT reimbursement must be returned to Yale by crediting the account(s) to which the goods and/or services were charged (including sponsored awards).  In order to ensure Yale is properly credited for VAT reimbursement, be aware of the following:

  • If you submitted a claim for a VAT reimbursement and received a VAT refund, you must exclude the VAT expense from your Yale reimbursement request; or  
  • If you submitted a claim for a VAT reimbursement and the VAT refund is received after the Yale expense report is processed, you must repay Yale for the amount of the VAT refund related to the business expenses claimed on the Yale expense report. 

Federal Awards

Foreign taxes charged for the purchase of goods or services that Yale is legally required to pay in country is an allowable expense under Federal awards.  Foreign tax refunds or applicable credits under Federal awards refer to receipts, or reduction of expenditures, which operate to offset or reduce expense items that are allocable to Federal awards as direct or indirect costs.  To the extent that such credits accrued or received by Yale relate to allowable cost, these costs must be credited to the sponsored award as costs or cash refunds.  If the costs are credited back to the Federal award, Yale may reduce the Federal share of costs by the amount of the foreign tax reimbursement, or where Federal award has not expired, use the foreign government tax refund for approved activities under the Federal award with prior approval of the sponsor.  For many countries, an exemption of this tax for research exists.  Consequently, requesting this cost should be unallowable for research grants involving such countries as a performance site.

Note: A country’s VAT reimbursement form may ask you for a VAT number.  Yale University does not have a VAT number therefore, indicate “N/A”.

Exceptions to this policy require prior approval by the Controller’s Office, in consultation with the Provost’s Office, General Counsel, or an Officer of the Corporation, as appropriate.

For assistance with circumstances considered to be an exception to the Fly America Act, contact your representative in the Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP).

Roles and Responsibilities

Associate/Deputy Provost or Provost Designee
Review and rule on requests for exceptions to University travel policy for faculty members, students and visiting scholars.

Controller
Review and rule on requests for exceptions to University travel policy for staff members and consultants.

Yale Travel Management
Provide high quality service to travelers and administrators.  Provide guidance with travel reservations for business travel utilizing Purchasing Cards for airline, hotel, car and Amtrak tickets.  Assist with arrangements for conferences and group travel for University travelers and visitors.  Assist travelers in obtaining visas and information regarding passport.

Travel Director
Oversee Yale Travel Management, which includes the Egencia relationship.  Provide best-in-class online booking tool to procure travel.  Promote and assist with interpretation of the travel policy and procedure. Negotiate supplier discounts and other savings with preferred travel providers.

Travel Coordinator
Report to the Director of Travel Services.  Assist and oversee the implementation and maintenance of preferred travel vendors. Responsible for communications to the community, as well as outside vendors, and involved in the day-to-day maintenance and functionality of Egencia.

Yale Shared Services
Process travel reimbursements in a timely manner in accordance with the University policies and procedures.  Advise the community on the interpretation of reimbursement procedures.

Office of Sponsored Projects
Advise departments and principal investigators on the terms and conditions of specific awards as they pertain to travel, and provides institutional signature and single point of contact with the sponsoring agency.

Provide assistance and advice to departments and principal investigators regarding domestic or international travel funded by sponsored projects, as well as requests for waivers to the Fly America Act.

Lead Administrator/Business Operations Manager
Obtain required approvals prior to making travel arrangements.  Ensure that travel advances and expense reimbursements are reasonable and necessary in accordance with University policies and procedures.  Submit travel advance clearance and reimbursement within 10 days of return from contiguous travel.

Traveler
Obtain required approvals prior to making travel arrangements.  Ensure that travel expenses are reasonable and necessary in accordance with University policies.  Submit travel reimbursement requests and/or advance clearance within 10 days of return from travel. Submit all required receipts.