WSU follows an accountable plan, as outlined in IRS regulation 463. In order to meet the accountable plan per the IRS, the following three conditions must be met:
- The expenses must have a business connection.
- The trip purpose on the TEV is needed to document this, along with an audit of the expenses and whether they are essential to the transaction of official state business. Central will request additional information if the business purpose of the expense is unclear.
- The expenses must be substantiated and adequately accounted for within a reasonable time.
- The IRS has defined the reasonable time being within 60 days from when the expenses are paid or incurred. WSU will use the trip end date and the date the claimant signed the TEV to determine if this requirement is met.
- Any excess reimbursements/advances are returned within a reasonable time.
- The IRS has defined the reasonable time being within 120 days after the expense was paid or incurred. WSU will use the date the excess reimbursement or the advance was paid to the employee to determine if this requirement is met.
Note: If these conditions are not met, the applicable amount will be reported to Payroll Services who will have the payroll withholding taxes deducted from the employee’s paycheck based on the allowances on their W-4. The taxable amounts will be reported as additional taxable income in box 1 of their W-2.
Per Diem Rate Calculation
- If claiming meals and lodging, a location to determine the allowable per diem rate needs to be entered.
- For single day trips use the primary location of the trip.
- For overnight trips, IRS publication 463 requires all meals to be reimbursed at the rate in effect for the area where the traveler stops for sleep. The meal reimbursement rate for the last day of travel (return day) would continue to be the rate for the location where the traveler last stopped for sleep.
Defined Meal Period
- Traveler must be in travel status for the entire meal period in order to qualify for the meal.
- Breakfast: 7 am thru 9 am
- Lunch: 12 pm thru 2 pm
- Dinner: 5 pm thru 7 pm
For single day trips that meet the 11-Hour Rule, all qualified meal reimbursements are taxable. If the 11-Hour Rule is not met the meals are not reimbursable.