Business and Travel Expense Reimbursement Policy

This policy provides guidelines and procedures for faculty and staff, as well as other authorized individuals on the University's behalf, incurring business and travel expenses while conducting official University business.

Expense Reimbursement

The University will reimburse personnel for reasonable, necessary, and appropriately documented expenses in accordance to the Internal Revenue Service Accountable Plan rules (IRC Section 62) and within the guidelines of this Business and Travel Expense Reimbursement policy while conducting authorized business.  Due to the University's tax status as a non-profit charitable and educational institution, business expenses should be moderate both in frequency and in amount. Specific departments may, at their discretion, impose greater control than required by this policy but never less control.  

Responsibilities and Enforcement

  • Employees must submit requests for reimbursement within 30 days after incurring business expenses.
  • Employees are responsible for complying with this policy. Individuals submitting expenses that do not comply with this policy risk delayed, partial, or forfeited reimbursement.
  • Approvers are responsible for ensuring that personnel within their department are informed of and adhere to Business and Travel Expense Reimbursement policy and for accurately reviewing expense reports for compliance.
  • Only actual expenses incurred within the guidelines of the policy will be reimbursed.
  • The University assumes no obligation to reimburse faculty, staff, students, residents or guests of the University for expenses that do not comply with this policy.
  • Employees must receive approval to travel using the LIU Travel Approval Form in order to receive reimbursement for travel expenses.

Overnight Travel Expense

Reimbursable Travel Days

Reimbursable travel days are from one day prior to the actual dates of University business related activity through the final day of the University business related activity.  If the business related activity begins in the afternoon or evening, the traveler should attempt to travel the morning of same day.

Prepaid Expenses

All travel prepaid expenses, such as hotel deposits and conference registration fees, should be requested on a Direct Payment Request (DPR) payable to the hotel or company.  The use of personal credit cards is also acceptable. However, with the exception of airfare and conference registration, expenses relating to the travel will not be reimbursed until after the travel is completed.  Cash advances relating to travel on behalf of the University are limited to estimated out-of-pocket travel expenses and should be requested on a Direct Payment Request (DPR) payable to the employee.

Air Travel 

Travel must be planned at least several weeks in advance to qualify for discounted fares.

Economy Class: Only economy class fares will be considered for reimbursement for travel.

First Class and Business Class: Incremental costs for first class and business class fares are not reimbursable.

Frequent Flier Programs: University travelers will not be reimbursed for airline tickets purchased with frequent flyer miles.

University travelers will not be reimbursed for the purchase of travel accident or baggage insurance.

Unused Tickets/Cancellations

All airline reservations must be cancelled through the same process used to make original reservations. Cancellation or change penalties generally cannot be charged to federally-sponsored agreements unless the Federal Government caused the change (e.g., the Feds cancelled the symposium or meeting.) Advance approval by the Office of Sponsored Research is required. Changes for the convenience of the traveler are not allowable.

Car Rental
The use of a rental car must be justified as a business need based on the following guidelines and not as a matter of personal convenience.

Travelers may rent a car to their destination if it is less expensive than airfare or mileage reimbursement for their personal car or if transporting large or bulky material and shipping is more costly.

Travelers may rent a car at their destination if it is less expensive than the total cost of all other transportation modes such as taxis, airport limousines and shuttles, particularly for a group.

Only the cost of compact, intermediate, mid-size vehicles will be reimbursed.  Use of a rental car one size larger than that allowed by policy is acceptable when: four or more employees travel together and share the rental, entertaining guests of the University, cars in authorized category are not available, the upgrade is at no additional cost, transporting large or bulky material, or pre-approved for medical reasons, i.e., drivers with disabilities.

When possible, travelers should rent from Enterprise and request the Long Island University discount. To ensure receiving the discount, travelers should contact Procurement and Sourcing Services (Purchasing) prior to the trip.

Rental Insurance
Travelers should neither accept nor request rental insurance. The University will not reimburse for any additional rental insurance unless the transportation includes students.

Mileage Reimbursement

Long Island University will reimburse its travelers for mileage expenses incurred on official University business that is properly authorized, reasonable, and appropriately documented. Mileage will be reimbursed for miles incurred on an individual's personal vehicle at the current IRS mileage rates coinciding with the actual dates of travel.


The University will reimburse personnel for the reasonable cost of lodging while on University business. Lodging costs for business travel will be reimbursed at the single room rate. Any incremental charges for deluxe, double, suite or concierge-level rooms are not reimbursable. The traveler is expected to secure lodging generally at no more than the mid-range rate for hotels in the travel area. The cost of a hotel stay should not exceed $250 per night (excluding taxes). Lodging costs in excess of $250 per night require the approval of the appropriate direct report to the President. If attending a conference, the reimbursement for lodging is generally the published conference block rate.

Travel Meals

Travel meal expenses are the cost of meals when on an out-of-town or overnight business trip. The University will reimburse personnel for the reasonable cost of meals while on University business. Meal costs in excess of $75 per day require itemized receipts and the approval of the appropriate direct report to the President.

Foreign Travel

When foreign travel is approved, consult for currency exchange rates. Convert all expenses to US dollars prior to entry on the Business and Travel Expense Reimbursement form.

Non-Reimbursable Expenses

  • Child care
  • Airline club dues
  • Barber/Hairstylist
  • Health/Spa Clubs
  • Hotel room movies
  • Kennel/Pet Sitting fees
  • Recreation and personal entertainment
  • Luggage, briefcases
  • Personal sundries such as tobacco, toiletries, clothing, newspapers and magazines
  • Fees for frequent flyer programs or hotel point programs
  • Mini Bar
  • Safe Charges
  • Tickets to Museums, Shows etc. (unless for students or business related)
  • ATM fees
  • Traffic and EZ Pass Violations
  • Laundry or Dry Cleaning
  • Expenses for Spouse or Family Members
  • Insurance—car rental, travel accident, and baggage

Local (including on-campus) Business Expense

Required Documentation

Original receipts such as an itemized bill, detailed credit card receipt, or cash register receipts are acceptable forms of documentation. (Every effort should be made to obtain an itemized receipt from restaurant establishments.)

To be in compliance with IRS regulations, the following information must be included on employee expense reports as support for all business meal and entertainment expenses:

  • Name, company, and business relationship of each attendee
  • Name and location of the establishment
  • Where the event took place
  • Amount and date of the expense
  • Description indicating the business purpose of the expenditure

Business Meals

Business meals are those meals during which a specific business discussion takes place involving non-University personnel. Actual and reasonable meal expenses (including gratuities up to 20%) will be reimbursed. Except under rare circumstances, these meals should not exceed $50 per person, excluding tips and tax. Business meals in excess of $50 per person require the approval of the appropriate direct report to the President. The cost of alcoholic beverages consumed during a meal may not be charged to a Sponsored Program fund.

Department/Division/Task Force meeting refreshments

Department/Division/Task Force meeting refreshments are permissible for meetings during which a specific business discussion takes place involving University personnel with the approval of the appropriate direct report to the President.  Snacks or breakfast may not exceed $6 per person; lunch may not exceed $12 per person.

Non-Reimbursable Meals and Business Expenses

  • Business meals solely between or among employees, except as described under "Department/Division/Task Force" (above).
  • Individual meals for employees transacting intercampus business will not be reimbursed.
  • Payments for employees to attend University sponsored events unless attendance is required.
  • Expenses for spouses will not be reimbursed unless their attendance serves a legitimate business purpose and is specifically approved by the appropriate direct report to the President.
  • Cost of personal events such as birthdays, promotions, showers, administrative professional's week including decorations, flowers or gifts.

Business Travel—Mileage allowance

Business travel is defined as any travel made to attend official University business that is beyond the employee's customary travel to and from work. University personnel who use personal automobiles in the conduct of University business will be reimbursed at the current IRS mileage rate.

For personnel traveling directly from home to a campus other than their customary workplace, mileage reimbursement is limited to the lesser of (1) the mileage between their home and the campus they are visiting or (2) the mileage between their customary workplace (home campus) and the campus they are visiting.

Standard round-trip distances in miles between University campuses appear below:

Post to Brooklyn 60
Post to Riverhead 110
Post to Brentwood  56
Post to Rockland 90
Post to Westchester 70
Brooklyn to Riverhead 170
Brooklyn to Brentwood  116
Brooklyn to Rockland 57
Brooklyn to Westchester  70
Rockland to Westchester  37

Note: University personnel who have access to University-owned vehicles or who receive standardized compensation for the use of their personal automobiles will not receive a mileage allowance.