Jan. 1 Mileage Rate & OSBM Travel Related Policy Changes

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Effective January 1, 2018, the Office of State Budget and Management (OSBM) updated the Travel Policies and Regulations section of the State Budget Manual to reflect new IRS mileage rates and modify other OSBM travel-related policies, which impact all individuals who travel on University business. Please begin using the reimbursement structure outlined below immediately. A summary of the biggest changes are as follows:

  • Tips and Gratuity (Section 5.1.3): The maximum tip when using a taxi or car service = no more than $5 per trip.
  • Meals (Section 5.1.13): This section has been deleted to comply with federal IRS policies, and, as a result, breakfast and dinner reimbursements are no longer allowed during travel that does not involve an overnight stay.

  • Transportation by Common Carrier (Section 5.1.20): Reimbursement is allowed for coach fare seat assignment fees and is limited to actual costs substantiated by a receipt.

  • Transportation by Personal Vehicle (Section 5.1.26):

    • If travelers use a personal vehicle for state business and the round-trip mileage does not exceed 100 miles per trip, they will be reimbursed the business standard mileage rate set by the IRS (54.5 cents per mile effective as of Jan. 1, 2018).

    • If travelers use a personal vehicle and the round-trip mileage exceeds 100 miles per trip, they will be reimbursed 33 cents per mile for all miles.

    • Note: Miles per day is not a consideration anymore when determining the mileage reimbursement rate.

  • Refreshments (Sections 5.3.9, 5.8.3, 5.8.5, 5.8.7): The limit for refreshments (i.e., coffee, soft drinks, snacks) provided during board meetings, training sessions, and conferences increased from $4.50 to $5.00 per participant per day.

Reminders

  • Travelers are still encouraged to request motor fleet vehicles for University travel, subject to availability. As stated in Section 5.1.26 of the OSBM Budget Manual, “It is the intent of the State that state employee travel shall be conducted in the most efficient manner and at the lowest and most reasonable cost to the state.”

  • Travelers may also rent vehicles through the State's term contract. Note that, unless prior approval has been obtained from the department head or designee, employees will be responsible for the cost of renting a vehicle that is above the standard vehicle rate per the State's contract for short-term rentals (OSBM Budget Manual, Section 5.1.27).

Examples

  • Example #1: An employee travels to Raleigh for a meeting. They drive to Raleigh the night before (154 miles) and return after the meeting concludes the next day (154 miles),  total round trip mileage is 308. Reimbursement: The employee will be reimbursed $101.64 (.33/mi. x 308).  

  • Example #2: An employee drives from campus to an off-campus meeting and then returns to campus (60 miles), then on the same day drives from campus to another off-campus meeting and returns to campus (50 miles).  Total round trip mileage for both meetings on this day is 110. Reimbursement: Since the employee took two separate trips, the employee will be reimbursed $59.95 (.545/mi. x 110).

  • Example #3: An employee drives from campus to two separate back-to-back, off-campus business meetings and then back to campus during the same day. Total round trip mileage for both meetings on this day is 110. Reimbursement: Since the employee is considered by OSBM to have taken one trip, the employee will be reimbursed $36.30 (.33/mi. x 110).

Resources impacted

These new state policies are effective as of Jan. 1, 2018. The Travel Office will accept the previous version of the travel forms until Mar. 1. However, use of the new travel forms is highly encouraged for any travel occurring after Jan. 1, and adjustments may be needed to comply with the new policies if old forms are submitted. Any old forms submitted after Mar. 1 will be returned to be re-completed on the new forms.

Should you have any questions after reviewing this information and the updated resources, please email the Travel Office at travel@uncc.edu.