Policies and Procedures

B0600P Travel and Expense Reimbursement

All in-district and out-of-district travel by a Western Technical College employee must conform to the Western Technical College policies to ensure uniformity.  To be eligible for reimbursement, expenses must be claimed in accordance with this procedure.  These procedures comply with the authority, rules and requirements prescribed in Chapter 38 of the Wisconsin State Statues and Wisconsin Technical College System (TCS) Administrative Code.  All expenses shall be planned with the principles of fiscal austerity, employee productivity, and energy conservation in mind.

TCS 6.04 (6) requires each technical college district to "establish a procedure for auditing the expense voucher prior to payment." Responsibility for compliance with this policy and for the accuracy and completeness of the Travel Expense Reimbursement Form resides jointly with the supervisor, department administrator and the Business Office.

A separate procedure authorizes travel and reimbursement for District Board members.


All reimbursements for official business travel by College employees must be approved by the employee's supervisor or the department administrator.  

TCS 6.04 requires that reimbursement for travel expenses incurred may not exceed the actual, necessary and reasonable amounts. The Business Office shall be the judge of necessary and reasonable. 

No portion of a reimbursement claim shall have been provided free of charge, or previously reimbursed by the District, or reimbursed by a person or organization other than the District.


National travel is defined as any overnight travel occurring outside of Wisconsin.  National travel will require approval of the employee's Dean/Manager and the President prior to committing college funds related to the trip.  A Travel Pre-Approval Form must be completed and submitted to Business Office at least 45 days prior to trip departure.


All travel to destinations outside the United States shall be approved by the President or his/her designee.  In addition, advance notice of travel outside of the United States (including Canada) must be given to the Business Office at least 45 days in advance in order to ensure foreign travel insurance is obtained by Western.


The Business Office will be responsible for auditing all travel expense reimbursement requests prior to issuing payment. (All travel and mileage reimbursement requests will be turned into the Business Office and we will determine which payments will go to Payroll).


Reasonable transportation expenses incurred on necessary authorized trips away from the employee's permanent work site are reimbursable regardless of the type of transportation used.  If an individual, for personal convenience, does not use the most direct, time efficient route and incurs additional expense(s), such additional expense(s) must be considered personal with reimbursement limited accordingly. Employees planning travel to the same destination are encouraged to coordinate transportation arrangements.  Use of public transportation is encouraged when feasible and economical.

Airfare Employees are expected to book the lowest air fare available. The maximum amount permitted for air travel shall be limited to the fare for the lowest class available. Employees should arrange for direct bill to the College or use a purchasing card whenever possible to avoid the need for reimbursement. Any refunds must be returned to the College.

The employee's receipt for payment of the ticket must be attached to the travel voucher.

Flight insurance coverage for employees is not allowable as a reimbursable expense.  When airfare is purchased using a College issued purchasing card the following insurance coverages are included:  Travel & Emergency Insurance, Lost Luggage Insurance, and Common Carrier Travel Accident Insurance.  These coverages are only available when using a College issued purchasing card. 

Reasonable charges for taxis, buses, and car rentals are reimbursable provided they are necessary and the most economical choice.  Itemized receipts must be presented for such expenditures.  If itemized receipts are not available, a written memo must be provided explaining the rationale and reasonableness of the expense incurred, and supervisor approval is required.

Vehicle Usage-- The preferred priority of vehicle selection should first be the use of a College fleet vehicle and if not available, then either a rental car or personal vehicle, depending on the lowest cost of the two options. 

  • Fleet vehicle – Only employees of the College or other authorized personnel are permitted to operate or ride in fleet vehicles.  The fleet consists of sedans and 7 passengers vans.  To schedule a fleet vehicle use the online scheduling tool, PoolCar.  Contact Gerry Hyzer in the Business Office to register to use the PoolCar system.  Fleet vehicles are charged back to the department at $.40/mile.

    Usage of fleet vehicles must adhere to the following:
    • Vehicles must be used exclusively for official College business.
    • Operators must be approved by the Business Office annually.  Approval is obtained by completing the Motor vehicle record check which verifies the operator has an acceptable driving record. 
    • All persons riding in College-owned vehicles are required to wear safety belts and observe all applicable laws.  Smoking is prohibited in College-owned vehicles. 
    • Driving a college vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants and other drugs (which could impair driving ability) is forbidden and is sufficient cause for discipline, up to and including termination of employment.
    • No driver shall operate a College vehicle when his/her ability to do so safely has been impaired by illness, fatigue, injury, or prescription medication.
    • Cell phones shall not be used while driving.  Texting while driving is also prohibited.
    • Departments using College vehicles will have their travel budgets charged an established rate approved by the Board.  This rate is lower than the rate reimbursed for personal mileage reimbursement.
    • A master vehicle calendar for travel using College vehicles will be maintained in the Business Office.  Vehicles will be scheduled in terms of departure and return dates and hours.  If there is a schedule conflict, the conflicting parties should attempt to resolve the conflict to mutual satisfaction.  If the conflict cannot be resolved, the Purchasing and Accounts Payable Manager shall have final authority as to vehicle use.
    • Vehicles will be housed on College-owned or controlled property, unless other arrangements are made.
    • Operators will complete a log form for each trip.  Operators normally purchase fuel, oil, and minor repairs with College credit cards.  Operators are responsible for normal operating conditions of the vehicle such as oil, water, air pressure, and reasonable cleanliness.
    • When leaving a vehicle, the motor should be stopped, ignition keys removed, and doors locked.
    • Vehicles should be inspected by operator before and after use; any damage or operating deficiency should be reported immediately to the Business Office.
    • Gas cards are available in the Business Office.  Vehicles should be returned with full gas tanks.  Receipts and gas cards should be turned in to the Business Office or placed in the drop box located on the Center for Childhood Education building immediately upon return of the vehicle. 
    • General fleet vehicle keys will be kept in the Business Office.  Keys must be returned to the Business Office or placed in the drop box located on the Center for Childhood Education building immediately upon return of the vehicle. 
    • All accident facts must be reported to the Business Office within 24 hours of the incident.

  • Personally-assigned fleet vehicle – A College-owned vehicle may be assigned to an employee for an extended period of time where the President or his/her designee determines that it is in the best interest of the College for accomplishing a job assignment.  The use of a personally-assigned vehicle shall be for official College use and is subject to the following:
    • All requirements outlined under fleet vehicles must be adhered to.
    • Persons to whom a College-owned vehicle is assigned may not file for reimbursement for their privately-owned vehicle unless the assigned vehicle is disabled and a pool vehicle is not available.
    • Persons to whom a College-owned vehicle is assigned must see that the vehicle is serviced as recommended and maintained as required.  Tire replacement or major repairs should be handled through the Business Office.  All warranty work must be performed by an authorized dealer.
    • Operators must submit a vehicle log prepared daily showing mileage.  The vehicle log must be completed and returned to the Business Office by the fifth working day following the end of each month. 

  • Rented vehicle Whenever possible, employees are expected to use the College's designated provider, Enterprise Inc. and the College's corporate account, which has prearranged and special coverage provisions.  Insurance coverage is automatically included under the corporate account.  Additional insurance will not be reimbursed. 
    • Please note: Western's insurance carrier does not carry insurance coverage for 15-passenger van rentals.  Therefore, rental of a 15-passenger van is not allowed – including a 15-passenger van converted with seats removed to make the van a 12-passenger van.
  • Personal vehicle - Use of an employee's personal vehicle for college business requires the employee to possess a valid driver's license and to carry personal automobile liability insurance.  Personal auto insurance will be primary in the event an accident occurs while traveling on college business. All traffic citations, parking tickets, and other violations will be the responsibility of the individual.

Business mileage related to use of your personal vehicle is reimbursable for the lessor of the mileage from the employee's home or the employee's base location.  Base location is defined as the campus to which an employee is assigned or the closest campus to his/her work area.

Mileage for local travel is not allowed unless an employee's job assignment regularly requires travel. Local travel is defined as travel within the city limits of an employee's base campus.

Mileage reimbursement is limited to activities or events relating to the employee's job duties, professional development, and/or to the promotion of the College. 

Mileage will be reimbursed by Western Technical College when the request meets one of the following:

  1. Getting from one workplace to another in the course of your business or profession
  2. Visiting clients or customers
  3. Going to a business meeting away from your regular workplace
  4. Getting from your home to a temporary workplace when you have one or more regular places of work 

Mileage for discretionary travel when use of a fleet vehicle is feasible will be paid at $.40/mile.  Discretionary travel is defined as travel that is not part of your normal daily job duties.  Discretionary travel includes, but is not limited to, travel to conferences and professional development seminars.

Mileage for non-discretionary travel (required as part of your normal daily job duties) will be paid at the current allowable IRS reimbursement rate. This rate is established for the purpose of recovering a proportionate share of the vehicle's depreciated cost, cost of maintenance and repair, insurance and gasoline. The rate generally changes annually, usually on the first of the year.

These guidelines are intended to assist you in calculating your business mileage reimbursement:

a)    The mileage from an employee's assigned campus to an off campus worksite and back to the employee's assigned campus is eligible to be reimbursed.

b)    If an employee leaves from home, goes to an off campus worksite (other than their assigned campus), and back home, they are eligible to be reimbursed for the lesser of:

      • The mileage from the person's home to the off campus worksite and back to their home;
      • The mileage from the person's assigned campus to the off campus worksite and back to the assigned campus.

c)   If an employee leaves from home, travels to an off campus worksite and then returns to their assigned campus, they are eligible to be reimbursed for the lesser of:

      • The mileage from their assigned campus to the off campus worksite and back to the assigned campus;  
      • The mileage from their home to the off campus worksite and back to their assigned campus.



Instructional mileage related to use of your personal vehicle is reimbursable for the lessor of the mileage from the employee's home or the employee's base location. 

  • Adjunct Instructors

Mileage will be paid to adjunct instructors when their round trip travel exceeds sixty (60) miles from the lesser of their home or place of employment to their teaching assignment. Adjunct instructors may only claim the net difference.  Adjunct instructor should complete the Adjunct/BIS Instructors Mileage Claim Form for mileage reimbursement claims.  This form should be submitted to the Business Office.  These miles are taxable.

  • BIS Instructors

    Mileage may be paid to BIS instructors based on the College's ability to recoup the costs through the billing of outside organizations.  BIS instructors should complete the Adjunct/BIS Instructors Mileage Claim Form for mileage reimbursement claims.  This form should be submitted to the Business Office.  These miles are taxable.  
  • Faculty

Instructors teaching a section that involve students from more than one Western location (e.g. regional locations) are requested to visit each location that is part of the section, once per term.  Mileage is reimbursable for the lessor of the mileage from the employee's home or the employee's base location.  Faculty should complete the Travel/Miscellaneous Expense Reimbursement form.  This form should be submitted to the Business Office.  These miles are not considered commuting miles and therefore the reimbursement is not taxable.   

When an instructor is required to transport equipment from one campus to another campus or to an off campus instructional site in a college vehicle, travel time will be paid. Travel time will be calculated using the distance from the pickup location of the college vehicle to, and from, the instructional site. A rate of thirteen dollars ($13.00) per such allotted hour, or prorated portion thereof; provided that such instructor actually drives the college vehicle the distance between that facility and such location:

Travel Distance..............................Time Allotment
0 – 12 miles.....................................1/4 hour
13 – 25 miles..................................1/2 hour
26 – 40 miles..................................3/4 hour
41 – 55 miles..................................1 hour
56 – 75 miles..................................1-1/2 hours
76 – 100 miles................................2 hours 


A claim for meals must represent actual, reasonable, and necessary expenses for meals. Meal reimbursements will not be allowed for meals that are included as part of a conference registrations fee.

Reimbursement for the cost of travel meals will be made only if the individual's business trip is overnight or long enough to require a stop for sleep or rest.  A traveler shall be allowed reimbursement for actual cost of meals but not to exceed the daily per diem allowance.  When a traveler is entitled to a full day's allowance, the amount expended for any particular meal is left to the discretion of the individual, but the total for all meals in one day shall not exceed the maximum daily per diem allowance.  The need for prorating the meal and incidental per diem occurs when meals are provided at no additional cost to the traveler (meal is included in conference registration fees), or when the traveler is away for only a partial day which may be the case for the first and last day of travel.

Chart of Eligible Meal Reimbursements

Time of Travel for Partial DayMeal  to be reimbursed
Travel from 12:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m.Breakfast
Travel from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.Lunch
Travel from 5:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.Dinner


The maximum reimbursement amount for meals, including tax and tip, will be limited to the rates as stated below:

As of July 1, 2019

  • In Midwest Region (IL,IN,IA,KS,MI,MN,MO,NE,ND,OH,SD,WI)

Breakfast $10.00    Lunch $14.00     Dinner $23.00  (includes tax and tip)

Itemized receipts are required for all meal expenditures. If on occasion an employee does not have an itemized receipt, a written memo must be provided explaining the expenses and their costs. Supervisor approval is required in these instances.

Entertainment and meal expenses are allowed for employment positions requiring fundraising. Employees with positions requiring fundraising who are traveling for the purpose of fundraising will be reimbursed the actual expense for meals and entertainment. Receipts must be provided with proper documentation.

When performing a job assignment at a district location other than the employee's regular location, meal reimbursement is not provided.

While certain assignments require an individual to perform a substantial amount of in-District travel, meals during assigned normal routine periods of travel will not be subject to reimbursement.

Business Meals - Business meeting meal and entertainment expenses are considered allowable primarily for infrequently occurring functions with an explicit business purpose where a 3rd party (non-Western employee) is involved.

Entertainment and meal expenses are allowed for employment positions requiring fundraising. Employees with positions requiring fundraising who are traveling for the purpose of fundraising will be reimbursed the actual expense for meals and entertainment. Receipts must be provided with proper documentation.

Documentation required by the IRS for business meal and entertainment expense includes:

  • Names of individuals attending, their titles, and company name.
  • Name and location where the meal/event took place.
  • Exact amount and date of expense.
  • Specific business purpose and topic discussed. Give detailed information to justify the expense. For example, simply indicating "lunch" is not enough information to justify business purpose.  

In general, food, refreshments, and related supplies are not provided to individual employees.  Whenever possible, business meetings should be scheduled to avoid meals or break refreshments paid with College funds.  On rare occasions, Western may furnish meals during College-wide meetings or unit/division/ department wide meetings at the discretion of the administrator in charge when one of the following circumstances exist: 

  • Having the attendees leave the meeting would have an adverse effect on meeting continuity
  • Business is conducted during the meal
  • A presenter/speaker is scheduled during the meal

Meals are not to be provided to staff during individual staff meetings.  When refreshments or meals are furnished by Western, every effort should be made to purchase those refreshments or meals through Western's food service except where logistically this is not feasible as in the case of regional locations.

Areas of the College/Offices interacting with the public may choose to provide refreshments to the public at the discretion of the administrator.  Where refreshments and related supplies are shared between the public and employees we ask that the employee reimburse the College through a good faith donation cup.  Those funds should then be routinely submitted to the Business Office.


Employees traveling to conduct College business that requires an overnight stay should request the Wisconsin State Rate when procuring reservations and/or at check-in. Since the College is exempt from sales tax in Wisconsin, employees must provide hotels with a Certificate of Exempt Status (exempt number is also found on the College's purchasing cards) to avoid Wisconsin sales tax. Depending on the city, local or special taxes may still apply.  Within the State of Wisconsin (on or after June 28, 2015): The maximum amount reimbursable per day for lodging in other than high cost cities shall be $82, excluding tax. The maximum amount reimbursable per day for lodging in Milwaukee, Racine and Waukesha Counties shall be $90, excluding tax. 

The maximum reimbursement for domestic lodging for locations outside of Wisconsin shall be the published GSA rate for the business travel destination.  The published rates are available at http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/104877       

  • Any amount in excess of the maximums must be accompanied by a receipt and an explanation of the reasonableness of such expense. Maximums may be exceeded when unavoidable additional expenses, i.e., additional ground transportation costs, would be incurred by trying to adhere to the maximum resulting in a higher cost.
  • An employee may stay at the conference site where lodging exceeds the maximum on the basis that it enables the employee to gain professional benefits due to interaction with other attendees. In such situations, documentation corroborating that the site selected is the conference hotel is required.

Expenses for lodging at homes of relatives or friends are not reimbursable.


Expenses not reimbursable include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Gifts
  • Entertainment
  • Supplemental travel insurance
  • Insurance on rental cars – Use Enterprise Corporate Account, which exempt additional coverage and collision. Account number is available from the Purchasing Department
  • TV movies
  • Gasoline costs if mileage reimbursement is used
  • Cost beyond coach-class for air, train, or bus
  • Personal telephone calls
  • Dry cleaning or laundry service
  • Costs for meals, travel, or lodging for spouses or other personal guests


District purchasing cards are available to employees for College business at no personal cost to the employee.  These are credit cards issued in the name of the employee.  If appropriate for travel expenses, the use of the purchasing card is preferred whenever possible. This includes lodging, meals and other expenses such as conference registrations, car rentals, taxis, tolls, etc. Airfares may also be placed on a purchasing card. If the use of a purchasing card is not possible, then expenses may be directly billed to Western by completing a requisition and providing reasonable lead time.  

Expenses beyond reimbursement maximums must be paid by personal check/cash at the time the purchasing card statement is submitted.  Expenses shall be submitted as part of the normal purchasing card expenditure report.  Supervisors shall review and approve all travel expenses as part of the purchasing card approval process and ensure compliance with District travel procedures.

Reimbursement for travel and College business expenses provided by other organizations shall be disclosed when filing the prior approval reimbursement forms.  The Business Office must be notified if any expenses should be billed to another organization.


Except where noted, itemized receipts are required for all reimbursements.

The immediate supervisor shall review and approve all travel vouchers for employees under his/her jurisdiction to insure compliance with College policies and procedures.  The Business Office will provide oversight review and approval of all travel vouchers.


Business travel related to conference or meeting travel expenses that does not require an overnight stay may be reported using the Travel/Miscellaneous Expense Reimbursement form. 

Business travel related to conference or meeting travel expenses that requires an overnight stay should be reported using the Conference or Meeting Travel Expense Report form.  Please use the expense amounts located on the intranet at Travel Reimbursement Rates.

Prior to the trip:

  1. Check the travel expense section of your budget to ensure available funds
  2. Obtain approval from your supervisor

When you have completed the trip:

  1. Complete the Conference or Meeting Travel Expense Report form
  2. Attach conference or meeting agenda which includes dates of event and meals included with the registration fee
  3. Attach the necessary receipts
  4. Submit the form to your supervisor for approval and processing of payment



Employees are eligible for reimbursement up to 60 days from the date the expense was incurred.  All claims for the fiscal year (ending June 30) are due to the Business Office no later than July 15.

​Revised August 16, 2019
Revised July 1, 2017
Revised August 1, 2015
Revised July 9, 2012
Revised December 21, 2004
Revised November 16, 2004
Revised August 1, 2015
Approved April 18, 1997

​Reference Policy: B0600 Travel and Expense Reimbursement

Reference Procedure: B0600p(a) District Board Travel

See also: Travel Reimbursement