Financial Procedure Note FPN 6

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1 Financial Procedure Note FPN 6 Travel Related Expenses October 2012 Financial Procedure Notes supplement Financial Regulations, providing detailed guidance on various topics. Failure to comply with these procedures could result in disciplinary action. 1. Business Travel 1.1 The University will only provide for or reimburse the costs of necessary business travel. Business travel is defined primarily as travel for a necessary business purpose between one workplace and another - i.e. travelling by an employee in the performance of their duties or travelling to/or from a place a claimant has to attend in the performance of their duties, as long as the journey is not ordinary commuting or private travel. The University will pay for or reimburse the cost of the travel - subject to the specific guidance detailed below - without there being a liability to tax or national insurance. 1.2 When travelling on University business staff must always seek to obtain the best value for money no matter mode of transport is used. 1.3 If staff use their own car for University business they must ensure that their insurance cover extends to business use. The University will not fund the cost of this cover as it effectively reimbursed through mileage allowances. 2. Ordinary Commuting 2.1 Ordinary commuting - travel between home and the normal or permanent place of work - is not a tax-allowable expense and the University will not normally reimburse the cost of such travel for any employee. 2.2 Where non-allowable travel costs have been reimbursed then this will be subject to tax and national insurance and must be reported for P11D purposes. Note: it is not considered to be ordinary commuting in those instances where non-staff claimants attend the University or an associated place for the purpose of taking part in a research activity. In these instances non-staff may travel from home to the University but this is not their normal place of work and as such the expense is allowable. Example - Victoria is engaged as an employee by the University to carry out 6 month s work in Colchester. She normally lives in Manchester and travels to Colchester on Sunday evenings to stay in temporary accommodation during the week, travelling back to Manchester on Friday evening. Her journeys between Manchester and Colchester are classed, for tax purposes, as ordinary commuting (as indeed are her journeys between her temporary accommodation and specific place of work). The University would not normally fund these travel expenses. If the University agrees to fund these expenses Victoria will pay tax and national insurance on the expenses claimed. 3. Travel from home to a place of work which is not the usual place of work 3.1 A place of work is deemed a temporary workplace if a claimant goes there only to perform a task of limited duration or for a temporary purpose.

2 3.2 The cost of travel between home and a temporary workplace, whether provided for by the University directly or claimed as reimbursement, is tax allowable in these circumstances and will be paid by the University without there being a liability to tax or national insurance. In these circumstances the allowable expense is the travel between home and a temporary workplace less the travel between home and a usual workplace 3.3 The diagram below explains the principles of what is and is not an allowable expense: Home Not an allowable expense, seen as ordinary commuting A C An allowable expense = Distance C minus Distance A Usual workplace e.g. campus B An allowable expense non usual workplace e.g. visiting another campus or a third party 3.4 If staff undertake any part of their journey from their normal workplace, then they may only claim to and from their normal workplace and must not claim for any mileage between their normal workplace and home. Example (i) Jane lives in Ipswich and her work base is Colchester, travelling 18 miles to work. Her role requires her to occasionally attend meetings on the Southend campus. When she goes to Southend she normally drives directly from her home in Ipswich. In this case Jane can claim for travel from Ipswich to Southend less the 18 miles she normally travels to work. Example (ii) After Jane s Southend meeting she returns to Colchester to drop some files off and then drives home to Ipswich. Jane can only claim mileage from Southend to Colchester. She cannot claim from Colchester to Ipswich as this would be deemed ordinary commuting by HMRC. Example (iii) Bob lives in Islington, London and works on the Loughton campus. He has to attend an all day conference in Colchester but drives to his office in Loughton first to do some preparatory work. He then drives to Colchester. Bob may only claim mileage from Loughton to Colchester. However, after the meeting he drives home directly. Bob may claim mileage from Colchester to Islington less the mileage from Islington to Loughton for the return journey.

3 4. Travel costs of spouse, other family members or guests 4.1 The University will not normally meet the travel or subsistence costs relating to the spouse, partner, other family members, or guests of a claimant who accompany them on a business trip. 4.2 Exceptionally, it may be necessary, for medical or business reasons, for an accompanying non-employee to be paid for by the University. Any requests for such costs to be met should be referred in advance, however, to the Payroll & Benefits Manager for consideration of any Income tax and national insurance liabilities. 5. Travel by rail or coach 5.1 Travellers must use a standard class period return (or equivalent) although claimants are expected to investigate the possibility that day return tickets or savers may be available at lower cost. 5.2 Details of any rail or coach journeys and costs for which reimbursement is sought should be reported on form FI.3(a) - Claim for reimbursement of travel/subsistence expenses. Please note that, if purchasing tickets at a railway station, you should ask for a receipt at the time of purchase as many exit barriers retain tickets thus the only way of supporting the expenditure is to submit a receipt. 6. Travel by air 6.1 Travel will normally only be reimbursed at economy rate, taking advantage wherever possible of any reduced rates. 6.2 Travel at business rate (or club class or first class) is not permitted other than in very exceptional circumstances. Business class travel should be approved in advance by the relevant faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellor or the Registrar and Secretary if it can be shown there is an overarching business need such as flying for more than 5 hours and a requirement to teach or meet on University business within 2 hours of arrival. 6.3 Trading down of travel tickets, i.e. travelling by a lower class in order to claim an extra ticket for a guest of the employee, is not permitted. 6.4 Details of any flight costs, together with invoices or air tickets for which reimbursement is sought should be reported on form FI.3(a) - Claim for reimbursement of travel/subsistence expenses. 6.5 The University has travel insurance policies and provided that the journey undertaken is on University business, the employee will normally be covered. The traveller should notify the University s Insurance and Risk Manager of their journey in writing at least 3 working days in advance of their departure who will confirm that cover is in place. As such should an employee purchase insurance for such journeys this will not be reimbursed as this is an unnecessary expense incurred as a result of the employee s choice. 7. Private vehicles 7.1 Claimants who use their own private vehicles on University business will be paid a standard rate of mileage allowance based on limits set by HMRC. Mileage rates applicable from 1 August 2011 are: i. For motor cars or vans: 45p per mile for the first 10,000 miles per year and 25p per mile thereafter; ii. iii. For motor cycles or mopeds: 24p per mile for all mileage; For bicycles: 20p per mile for all mileage.

4 7.2 Where other University employees are carried as passengers on University business an additional 5p per passenger per mile may be claimed for each journey - thus if a claimant travels to a seminar on business and takes two colleagues as passengers who will also be attending the seminar, a rate of 55p per mile may be claimed (being 45p plus 5p plus 5p). This allowance is aimed at encouraging car sharing when more than one member of staff is travelling to the same event. 7.3 Prior to using private vehicles for business use claimants must ensure that their insurance cover extends to business use and the insurer should, if necessary, be asked to endorse the insurance certificate to confirm that driving in the performance of the employer s business is covered by the insurance policy. 7.4 Claims for private vehicle usage should be submitted on form FI.3(a) - Claim for reimbursement of travel/subsistence expenses - together with full details of the journey, date, reason, departure points and destinations and names of any University passengers. 7.5 No income tax or national insurance liabilities will arise in respect of amounts claimed in accordance with these rules. 7.6 University credit or purchasing cards must NOT be used to purchase fuel for private vehicles as this creates a potential taxable benefit for the vehicle owner. 8. Travel by University vehicles, pool cars and vans 8.1 A number of University Departments use pool cars, ie University-owned vehicles placed at the disposal of various staff for work-related activity. These vehicles are not allocated to any one individual but to the department or a specific location. Each department possessing such a vehicle or vehicles must nominate an administrator who will arrange bookings, servicing, etc. As these vehicles are not insured for private use and since there may be substantial VAT, tax and national insurance costs if there is any private use, these cars must be used only for business journeys: private use is expressly forbidden. 8.2 To ensure that tax charges will not apply in respect of vehicles designated as pool cars, the following rules must be adhered to at all times: i. pool vehicles must be used for business journeys only and must not be used for any private purposes; ii. iii. iv. pool vehicles must not be used by any one person exclusively; pool cars must normally be kept overnight at the office location to which they are allocated and not taken home by employees. Exceptionally it may be necessary to take a pool car home when a long business journey on the following day is to be commenced early in the morning. However, in such a case, specific permission must be sought in advance from the pool car administrator who will check whether such intended private use would be incidental and exceptional. a log must be kept in the car which shows mileage before and after every trip, the date, the name of the person who has used the car, destination and business reason for the use of the car. 8.3 Where fuel is purchased using a University corporate or purchasing card, the registration number of the vehicle concerned must be submitted with the claim, and this will be checked against the database of approved University vehicles. 8.4 Some employees are provided with the use of University vans or other vehicles for the purpose of carrying out their duties. Where such vehicles are provided, private use is expressly prohibited. Vans should normally be kept overnight and at weekends on University premises.

5 8.5 All running costs (servicing, parts etc.) associated with departmental vehicles must be paid for directly by the University from departmental operating budgets. 8.6 Reimbursement of private expenditure relating to vehicle running costs except for fuel is expressly forbidden. Where it is necessary to purchase fuel for such vehicles this should be done, where possible, directly by the University, via a fuel account, or use of a purchasing card. Where this is not possible then reimbursement of fuel costs incurred by individuals must be made via form FI.3(a) - Claim for reimbursement of travel/subsistence expenses, supported by VAT receipts. 8.7 Petty cash must not be used to fund fuel or to reimburse individuals for fuel charges incurred. 8.8 Any use of University vehicles other than for business travel will be considered a disciplinary offence and will render the employee concerned liable to income tax on a deemed benefit in kind. 9. University provided lease vehicles 9.1 Some staff may be provided with a University-funded lease car for private and business use. 9.2 Mileage rates are lower for such cars as there is no depreciation element to fund. The mileage rate paid by the University is based on the lowest HMRC advisory rates, currently 15p per mile for petrol or hybrid cards and 12p for diesel cars. 9.3 The University will reimburse insurance and car tax but all other running costs, including servicing, are the personal responsibility of the employee. 10. Use of hired vehicles 10.1 Where vehicles are hired for use by staff the following criteria must be applied at all times: i ii iii The vehicle must be used wholly and exclusively for business purposes (i.e. undertaking the work of the individual for the University). Private use is strictly and expressly forbidden Payment for the vehicle must be made directly by the University (and not by the individual and subsequently reimbursed) 10.2 Provided these rules are applied it is permissible for a vehicle to be hired for a period longer than a single day, e.g. if it is needed for several jobs in succession If a car is hired for longer than a single day it is allowable to take the vehicle home without it being considered ordinary commuting as long as this is a supplemental part of the business journey, e.g. it is necessary to take the vehicle home the evening before an early start, or to return from the destination directly home rather than via work Where a hired vehicle is used for travel between home and the normal, designated workplace without a separate and subsequent business journey, then this will constitute taxable ordinary commuting and be subject to tax and national insurance Where it is necessary for a member of staff to take a hire vehicle home over a weekend, holiday or other non-work period then it is imperative that the vehicle is not used for private travel at any time Fuel purchased for use in a hired vehicle may be paid for directly by the University or reclaimed as an allowable expense as long as the vehicle is used solely for business purposes as described above. The registration number of the vehicle concerned must be

6 stated on the expense claim and this will be checked against the database of approved University vehicles Details of hire cars must be provided in advance to the University s Risk and Insurance Manager within the Finance section to ensure that the journeys are covered by the University s insurance policies The tax rules on the provision of motor vehicles are complex and use of a hired vehicle which contravenes these rules could result in a significant tax liability on the individual concerned as well as a charge on the department involved. 11. Car parking and road toll charges 11.1 Parking costs, road tolls and congestion charges incurred in the course of approved business travel may be claimed from the University. Where tickets or receipts are available these should be attached to claims as proof. No income tax or national insurance liabilities will arise in respect of such costs Staff may not reclaim speeding fines, parking fines, congestion charge non-payment fines or other penalties incurred due to non-payment of such charges. It is the employee s personal responsibility to ensure these do not arise Charges for parking at the normal place of work are not permitted expenses Staff may not claim any parking fines incurred on any of the University s campuses. It is the employee s personal responsibility to abide by the University s parking regulations. Summary of Financial Limits applicable from 1 August i Mileage rate for private cars 45p per mile for first 10,000 per year 25p per mile >10,000 per year 7.1 ii Mileage rate for motor cycles 24p per mile 7.1 iii Mileage rate for bicycles 20p per mile 7.2 Additional allowance for passengers in cars 5p per mile per passenger 9.2 Mileage rate for leased cars (petrol & hybrid) 15p per mile 9.2 Mileage rate for leased cars (diesel) 12p per mile

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