Frequently Asked Questions and Helpful Hints

 
 

Transportation Expenses

Question:

While on official State business a traveler parks a State, personal or rental car in a no parking area and the car is ticketed. Who is responsible for the fine?

Answer:

All fines are the personal responsibility of the traveler.


Question:

I cross a bridge into New York City and I am given a toll receipt with the wrong date and time stamped on it. Should I cross out the stamped information and write in the correct date and time?

Answer:

No, never alter a receipt. Attach the receipt to a statement explaining which information is wrong and what the correct date and time should be.

Question:

My official station is the Albany Empire State Plaza and I am required to drive my car to Schenectady to attend a meeting. While the most direct route is 17 miles, it can take up to one hour through city traffic. However, using the expressway the actual mileage is 25, but the trip takes one-half the time. Can I be reimbursed for this additional mileage?

Answer:

Yes, when determining the direct route, the traveler should consider both the distance and the time necessary to travel such distance. The additional mileage and the route selected, should, however, be reasonable and explained on the mileage sheet.

Question:

I drive my personal vehicle from Albany (official station and residence) to Plattsburgh on State business. Enroute to Plattsburgh I stop at Tupper Lake to visit my family. My actual mileage driven to Plattsburgh via Tupper Lake was 250. However, the direct route from Albany to Plattsburgh is only 160 miles. May I claim the total miles I actually drove for reimbursement?

Answer:

No, only 160 miles (which represents the most direct route) would be allowed.

Question:

I drive my personal vehicle from Albany to NYC because I need my vehicle in the evening for personal reasons. I incur costs of $100 which represents mileage, tolls and parking. How much reimbursement am I allowed?

Answer:

Reimbursement is allowed at the current Amtrak round trip rate ($56). In cases where a common carrier should have been used instead of a personal vehicle, reimbursement will be at the allowable common carrier fare.

Question:

I have returned from an out-of-state trip and am getting ready to submit my travel voucher. I have misplaced my airfare passenger receipt which I need in order to get reimbursed for my airfare. What can I do?

Answer:

You can submit a travel voucher for reimbursement provided that you follow the steps listed below:
1. Write up an explanation of what has happened to the receipt.
2. Submit paperwork stating the following: a.) flight number, b.)destination, c.)arrival and departure time of the flight out, d.)arrival and departure time of the return flight.
3. Method of payment used.
4. An explanation from the agency (the finance officer) explaining what has happened.
5. A signed statement from the traveler and the finance officer that the ticket was not refunded and that it was used.

Meal and Lodging


Question:

If my last job assignment of the day is less than 35 miles from my official station may I drive to a place of lodging more than 35 miles away and be reimbursed?

Answer:

No, your last assignment must be more than 35 miles from your official station and your home and it must be necessary for you to remain in travel status to be eligible for reimbursement.

Question:

Two employees have traveled together. They stop for dinner on the return trip and are given one receipt. Can the receipt be photocopied and each traveler claim reimbursement for their portion of the bill?

Answer:

Yes, one must submit the original receipt and the other may submit a copy. Each must cross reference the receipts on the Travel Vouchers.

Question:

If I am more than 35 miles from my official station and residence, may I sleep in a camper or tent and claim reimbursement for per diems in accordance with Method I (unreceipted)?

Answer:

Yes, as long as it is necessary for you to be in travel status and you have your supervisor's approval to be in overnight travel status.

Question:

If I am two hours from home and finish my assignment at 3 PM, am I entitled to dinner reimbursement if I arrive home after 7 PM because I stopped for dinner?

Answer:

No, you will receive reimbursement for dinner only if the time of departure and the total travel time would have caused you to arrive home after 7 PM.

Question:

How much is allowed for tips to bellhops and maid service?

Answer:

Tips are considered an incidental expense which are included in the meal allowance and are not reimbursed separately.

Question:

I leave for an overnight trip on Monday morning at 6 AM and return home at 8 PM on Tuesday. Which meals do I need receipts to claim the receipted (higher) meal allowances if I have a lodging receipt for Monday?

Answer:

Receipts are not required for meals when submitting a hotel bill. The additional meals requested will be based upon departure and return time rather than an actual meal receipt.

Question:

I receive a cash rebate when I check into a hotel but the hotel bill upon checking out does not reflect the rebate. What amount should I claim as reimbursement for lodging expense?

Answer:

The amount claimed for lodging should be based on actual cost incurred. Since a rebate was given at check-in, that amount should be deducted from the lodging expense.

Question:

While on a routine travel assignment I choose to stay at a hotel whose lodging rate exceeded the allowable lodging rates for the area of assignment. May I be reimbursed for the full cost of my lodging?

Answer:

No, the maximum lodging rates established in accordance with State employees bargaining agreements may not be exceeded.

Question:

Two employees share a room. If one employee claims Method II (receipted lodging) may the other employee claim Method I (un-receipted lodging)?

Answer:

No. When two employees on official State business share a room each employee must claim only one half of the actual lodging cost.

Question:

My dinner receipt is missing the name, address and telephone number of the respective restaurant. Should I write the missing information on the receipt?

Answer:

No, never alter a receipt. Attach the receipt to a statement explaining the missing information.

Conferences


Question:

I am attending a non-State sponsored conference and the conference hotel exceeds the allowable lodging rates. May I be reimbursed for the actual lodging cost incurred?

Answer:

Yes, if prior approval is obtained from your finance office. This approval will be based on adequate documentation justifying the higher cost.

Question:

If I incur expenses for a rental vehicle while attending a conference, will I be reimbursed?

Answer:

Generally, it is not necessary to rent a vehicle while attending a conference, especially when lodging at the conference site. Many conferences provide transportation from terminals to the conference. You should not expect to be reimbursed for a rental vehicle unless you have received the appropriate prior approval. The need for the rental vehicle must be fully justified with the Travel Voucher if reimbursement is claimed.

Question:

I am attending a conference that requires pre-registration and prepayment. I am going to submit a purchase requisition for the conference registration fee which also includes some meals. How do I show this when I return from the conference and submit my travel voucher?

Answer:

When submitting your travel voucher be sure to make the appropriate reductions for the meals included in the registration fee. Also, please attach an explanation explaining what was included in the registration fee.