Business & Entertainment Expense Reimbursement Policy

Printable version of the Business & Entertainment Expense Reimbursement Policy

Scope of Policy & Rationale

Temple University is a state-related institution whose primary mission is to serve its students. As such, the University strives to ensure that funds are properly used in the furtherance of University business.  This policy sets forth guidelines for the reimbursement of business and entertainment expenses incurred by the Temple University community. In certain cases, grants and/or contracts may state additional restrictions beyond those described below.  In these cases, the more restrictive policy will prevail.

Policy Statement

It is the responsibility of each individual approving business and entertainment expenses (“expenses”) to assure their accuracy and appropriateness and that they are in compliance with all aspects of University policy.

Business and entertainment expenses include those that are directly paid by the University (e.g. purchasing card, request for payment) as well as expenses reimbursed to individuals who incur them on behalf of the University. All reimbursements are subject to review and approval by the Accounts Payable Department.

This policy is intended to comply with external requirements including those of the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) and of federal, state and nongovernmental sponsors.  Business and entertainment expenses that are reimbursed following IRS “accountable plan” rules are not included in the gross income of the employee and are therefore not subject to income or employment taxes. Generally, an IRS accountable plan requires that the expenses are: 1) reasonable and necessary, 2) accounted for with appropriate documentation, and 3) reported timely.  

The University is not obligated to reimburse for expenses that do not comply with this policy.  Such expenses will be the obligation of the individual.  Misuse or attempts to circumvent the policy may result in restricted privileges, additional requirements for documentation and/or disciplinary action. 

Allowable Business Expenses:

The University reimburses employees for business expenses incurred in the performance of responsibilities and deemed to be in the best interest of the university.  Such allowable expenses include, but are not limited to:

Exceptions to use an outside catering vendor requires prior written approval from the Office of Business Services. Documentation must be provided that shows appropriate insurance coverage and allows for a comparison between what Sodexo Catering Services can offer, and what the outside vendor will supply when a department is using on campus facilities.

Exclusions:

Temple University will not reimburse or pay for expenses that are personal in nature.  Such exclusions include, but are not limited to:

Moving Expenses:

The University is required to report all reimbursements for moving expenses to the IRS. The amount must be treated as compensation, subject to required payroll tax withholding, and reported on the employee's W-2 Form. Any legitimate deductions for moving expenses must be taken on the individual’s tax return.  All moving expenses must be in accordance with the employee’s employment agreement, if any, and approved by either Human Resources or the Provost Office.