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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Travel FAQs

Business Units have the discretion to request information deemed necessary to validate that travel expenses are appropriate, actual and necessary. This may include requesting information beyond the minimum required by the Comptroller’s Office. If you have questions that are not addressed below, please speak to your Business Unit’s travel office staff for further guidance.

  1. Are receipts always required for receipted per diem amounts?

  2. What should I do if I cannot provide a receipt because a receipt is not customarily provided?

  3. What if I lose a receipt?

  4. Do I have to buy individual fares for mass transit to ensure a receipt for each trip, or can I use a prepaid mass transit card which would result in a receipt only for the initial purchase? 
     
  5. Can I remove personal information from the EZ Pass statement that I attach to my expense report?

  6. What information can I remove from a receipt?

  7. Can I remove non-personal information (e.g., dates, times) from business related receipts?

  8. If I return my rental car late at night, my receipt will be time-stamped the following day.  Is this allowable?

  9. Can I still submit an expense report if it’s been more than 30 days after the end of the travel event?

  10. The Travel Manual states that two overnight per diem methods cannot be used for the same overnight trip.  What is the definition of an overnight trip?

  11. I am a part time employee – am I entitled to an extra meal when in travel status?

  12. Can I charge expenses for other employees on my T-card?

  13. Am I required to submit receipts for charges on my T-card? 

  14. Can I use points earned while using a T-Card for my personal use?

  15. What per diem rate should I charge if the location where I traveled to
    work has a different per diem rate than the location where I stayed overnight for the travel event?

 


  1. Are receipts always required for receipted per diem amounts?
  • Except as otherwise stated in question 3 (lost receipts), you will not be eligible for a receipted per diem amount unless you provide the required receipt.  Examples of this are:
    • If you claim a receipted day trip meal, you must submit the meal receipt to be entitled to receive more than the $5 or $12 amount for unreceipted day trip meals. 
    • If you claim a receipted overnight per diem (Method II), you must submit the lodging receipt to be entitled to the receipted overnight per diem.  Without the lodging receipt, you will only be entitled to the unreceipted (Method I) overnight per diem.

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  1. What should I do if I cannot provide a receipt because a receipt is not customarily provided?
  • There may be cases where receipts are not customarily provided and, therefore, you are unable to provide receipts for your expense. You are still entitled to reimbursement of these expenses.  You should claim the reimbursement on your expense report and note that a receipt was not provided for the expense.  Examples include:
    • Tolls where a receipt is not available (e.g., Garden State Parkway, NYC Westside Highway Bridge).
    • Parking (e.g., coin meter parking, parking lots with no receipt machine, honor system parking lots).
    • Train/bus fare when used from a personal, prepaid mass transit card (e.g., MetroCard).

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  1. What if I lose a receipt?
  • Lodging, rental vehicle, train ticket, and airline ticket receipts can be replaced fairly easily by contacting the vendor.  Business Units also have the discretion, on occasion, to allow reimbursement if a receipt is missing and there is no reason to question the legitimacy of the expense.  Even if you are unable to replace a receipt, you should still claim reimbursement on your expense report and note that you have lost the receipt.  In reviewing the expense for payment, Business Unit staff may consider the type of expense, reason why no receipt was provided, whether the charge was made on a State T-Card, and the frequency of missing receipts for the individual traveler.

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  1. Do I have to buy individual fares for mass transit to ensure a receipt for each trip, or can I use a prepaid mass transit card which would result in a receipt only for the initial purchase?  
  • You should purchase mass transit fares in the most economical manner to meet your business needs, which may result in purchasing individual fares or prepaid mass transit cards.  If you are unsure of the most economical manner, you should discuss the different options with your supervisor.  If you do purchase a prepaid mass transit card, you should account for the purchase on the first expense report you complete for the travel event.  Any remaining balance should be used for business purposes only.  Subsequent expense reports should indicate that the mass transit fare was previously accounted for.

    Note - If you purchased a prepaid mass transit card for personal reasons and used the card for a business related trip, your agency has the discretion to allow the reimbursement for the business portion of the expense without a receipt.  In this instance, you should claim the reimbursement on your expense report and include a note that you used a portion of your personal, pre-paid, mast transit card to cover the cost of the trip.

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  1. Can I remove personal information from the EZ Pass statement that I attach to my expense report?
  • Yes, you may redact personal information from the statement as long as all information for the business-related trip is clearly legible.   For example, the travel date, toll plaza, time and dollar amount should be included on the statement attached to the expense report.  When printing EZ Pass statements, you have the option to select a date range; by using this option you may be able to generate a statement which will only display EZ Pass records that relate to your business trip.

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  1. What information can I remove from a receipt?
  • You may remove personal information from a receipt, such as personal credit card information and non-business related portions of a receipt. 

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  1. Can I remove non-personal information (e.g., dates, times) from business related receipts?
  • No, you may not remove this information from receipts.   They are official records of your business related travel.

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  1. If I return my rental car late at night, my receipt will be time-stamped the following day.  Is this allowable?
  • Yes.  Late returns, although time-stamped the next day, do not incur additional charges.

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  1. Can I still submit an expense report if it’s been more than 30 days after the end of the travel event?
  • Yes, you are required to account for all your travel expenses.  Your Business Unit will approve the expense report provided your travel expenses can be substantiated and are for appropriate State business.  As time passes, it becomes more difficult to account for and validate all expenses, as well as to dispute any unauthorized charges to your travel card.  Although appropriate travel expenses will be reimbursed after the 30 day deadline, there may be other consequences of late submission, as indicated in the Travel Manual, such as revocation of the employee’s T-card.   

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  1. The Travel Manual states that two overnight per diem methods cannot be used for the same overnight trip.  What is the definition of an overnight trip?
  • Each overnight is considered its own “trip” for the purposes of calculating per diems.  The overnight trip includes dinner, lodging and breakfast the following morning.  You cannot claim Method I (unreceipted) lodging and claim Method II (receipted) meals for the same overnight trip.  The method you choose depends on whether you have a lodging receipt.  If you have a lodging receipt, you will receive the corresponding receipted meal per diem for that overnight.  If you do not have a lodging receipt, you will receive the unreceipted per diem for lodging and meals for that overnight. 

    Example 1:  I am staying with my family and claiming the unreceipted per diem, but I also have a dinner receipt for that same night. Can I claim the receipted meal per diem? 
    • No, your meal per diem depends on whether you have a receipt for lodging.  If you do not have a lodging receipt you cannot receive the receipted meal per diem. 
    Example 2:  During an upcoming trip I want to stay with my family on night one (unreceipted method) and stay in a hotel on night two (receipted method).  Can I do this?
    • Yes, you should claim the unreceipted method for night one and the receipted method for night two on the same expense report.

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  1. I am a part time employee – am I entitled to an extra meal when in travel status?
  • Yes, provided you leave for work at least one hour before your normal start time and/or arrive home at least two hours after your normal end time.  The Travel Manual does not distinguish between part time and full time employees.

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  1. Can I charge expenses for other employees on my T-card?
  • No, you should use your T-Card only for your own travel expenses.

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  1. Am I required to submit receipts for charges on my T-card? 
  • Yes, receipts for all travel card charges must be submitted. 


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  1. Can I use points earned while using a T-Card for my personal use?
  • Yes, a State employee may, under certain circumstances, accept for personal use, travel reward points and similar benefits received as a result of business travel related to his or her State employment.  For example, an employee may use his or her T-card to purchase lodging while in travel status from a vendor that offers rewards, and the employee is permitted to use those rewards for future personal use. 

    However, employees may not use points offered in conjunction with a State procurement card (P-card) for personal use.

    For more detailed information on this topic from OSC and the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, please see Guide to Financial Operations Chapter XIV.10 Travel and Purchase Rewards Programs.

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  1. What per diem rate should I charge if the location where I traveled to work has a different per diem rate than the location where I stayed overnight for the travel event?
  • You should use the per diem rate associated with the location of the overnight stay.  If there is an instance where you must stay in a location which has a higher per diem rate than where you are working, this should be approved by your agency prior to travel.

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