This policy is provided to assist City employees, appointed officials and members of City trusts, boards and commissions, when traveling for public business purposes. It is designed to be an accountable plan under Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidelines. The IRS requires all travel advances or expense reimbursements to be included in wages and subject to FICA, FUTA and income tax withholding unless certain requirements are met. The following three conditions shall be met for an accountable plan:
- Business Connection. This requirement is satisfied if the expenses are incurred in connection with the performance of services as an employee or appointed official.
- Substantiation. The employee or appointed official shall submit information to the employer sufficient to meet IRS regulations of substantiation requirements for an accountable plan. This includes a log of expenses and appropriate documentation to substantiate the amount, time, place and business purpose of the expenses paid or incurred in traveling away from home.
- Return of Excess Amounts if Applicable. The employee or appointed official shall return amounts received in excess of those substantiated or deemed substantiated within a reasonable period of time. This situation only applies to claims involving a travel advance issued to a City employee or appointed official.
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