Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Terms...And some things you should know...

Official Business

To protect the traveler and the institution, it is important to establish the official business nature of the travel prior to departure, whether or not costs are reimbursed. Unless formally stated elsewhere (specific reference in performance program, etc.) a fully approved Travel Request is necessary to satisfy this requirement.

Active New York State employee status normally demonstrates official business activity. However, official business may occur while in leave status, student status, Research Foundation employment status, or volunteer status.

Personal Car Mileage

Reimbursement for personal car mileage is made in accordance with the rates established by the employee's respective bargaining agreement, with some units basing reimbursement on the standard allowance established by the Internal Revenue Service. These rates change periodically and will be verified by the Accounts Payable Office when vouchering.

To document personal car mileage for reimbursement, travelers must complete a Statement of Automobile Travel (Form AC 160) (pdf) detailing the mileage claimed, sign and attach to the Travel Reimbursement Voucher.

Hotel Reservations

Hotel reservations are normally made by the traveler. Hotel/motels within New York State should be advised that the business travel is sales tax exempt and that a Tax Exemption Certificate (pdf) will be provided. "State rates" should be requested. The traveler must obtain an itemized receipt in order to gain reimbursement.

Lodging Tax Exemption Status

When traveling within the State of New York on official business, lodging charges may be exempted from State and Local Sales Tax by presenting a Tax Exemption Certificate (Form ST-129) (pdf) to the lodging vendor at the time of check-in. These forms are available in the Accounts Payable Office and should be acquired prior to travel since reimbursement for sales tax is not allowed by OSC when lodging is secured within the State.

Federal lodging per diem rates are for room rates only, and do not include taxes. When traveling outside of New York State on official business, reimbursement of actual costs paid for lodging taxes may be reimbursed to the traveler as a miscellaneous expense, subject to funding availability.

State Vehicles

The college maintains a fleet of state-owned (college-owned) passenger cars and vans for official business travel. Whenever practical, state-owned vehicles are to be used, based upon economy, availability and requirements. A state vehicle must be requested for all travel exceeding 50 miles one way before mileage will be granted.

Travel Advance

A Travel Advance is money granted by the college prior to a trip to cover expenses such as the per diem costs of meals and lodging, tolls and parking, as well as registration fees in cases where a purchase order is not accepted. There is a maximum limit of $400 for a Travel Advance.

Advances will be issued by Accounts Payable approximately one week before the date of travel. Advance repayment is accomplished through the SUNY voucher reimbursement process. Please be sure to turn in your Travel Voucher and all original receipts within the time period noted above.

Travel Per Diem Rates

Per diem rates are established by the Federal government. Rates are identified by county and the traveler must indicate the county as well as the city on the Travel Voucher (Form AC 132) (pdf). A full per diem is considered to be dinner the first day, and lodging and breakfast the following day.

NYS Per Diem Rates are available online and may also be obtained from the Accounts Payable Office at X4436.

Registration Fees

Registration fees may be paid directly by the traveler with reimbursement via Travel Voucher after the trip when supported by a proper registration receipt, or may be paid via travel advance or paid through the standard purchase requisition process prior to the conference.