1.32.14  Gainsharing Travel Savings Program

Manual Transmittal

August 07, 2014

Purpose

(1) This transmits revised Internal Revenue Manual (IRM), 1.32.14, Servicewide Financial Policies and Procedures, Gainsharing Travel Savings Program.

Material Changes

(1) 1.32.14.3 (4), Authorities - Deleted Financial Management Codes Handbook.

(2) 1.32.14.6, Acronyms - Incorporated a list of acronyms.

(3) 1.32.14.7.2, First-Level Managers (e) - Added the first line manager's responsibility to sign form 13631-A, IRS Travel Savings.

(4) 1.32.14.7.4, Business Units (f) - Added the responsibility for business units to establish a centralized repository for gainsharing records.

(5) 1.32.14.8 (1), Program Requirements - Revised for clarification and included an example of the gainsharing computation.

(6) 1.32.14.8 (4), Program Requirements - Added program requirements to incorporate one IRS gainsharing award per fiscal year.

(7) 1.32.14.11 (2) (b), Gainsharing Award Process - Added the first line manager's responsibility to sign form 13631-A, IRS Travel Savings.

Effect on Other Documents

This IRM supersedes IRM 1.32.14, Gainsharing Travel Savings Program, dated September 27, 2011.

Audience

All Divisions and Functions.

Effective Date

(08-07-2014)

Robin L. Canady
Chief Financial Officer

1.32.14.1  (09-27-2011)
Overview

  1. This IRM provides policies and procedures for IRS employees who save the Government money while on official city-to-city travel.

  2. All IRS employees who perform official temporary duty travel are eligible for the Gainsharing Travel Savings Program. However, an employee is not required to participate in the program.

  3. The Chief Financial Officer, Financial Management Unit, Office of Financial Management Policy, develops and maintains this IRM.

1.32.14.2  (08-07-2014)
Background

  1. The Government Employee's Incentive Awards (GEIAA) Act, 5 U.S.C. Section 4501-4507, authorizes an agency to pay a cash award for "efficiency" or "economy" .

  2. Initiated by IRS on November 1, 1999, the Gainsharing Travel Savings Program is a voluntary program that rewards employees who save the IRS money on common carrier transportation and lodging while on official city-to-city travel.

  3. At the core of the program are the principles that an employee must take affirmative, purposeful action to:

    1. Save public funds.

    2. Keep an accurate record of public funds saved.

    3. Provide documentation for review.

  4. Based on these principles, IRS has determined that the only savings it recognizes are those arising from an employee paying less than the maximum lodging rate for a Temporary Duty (TDY) location and/or using frequent traveler benefits to purchase common carrier tickets for official travel.

  5. The employee's award amount will be 50% of the savings on lodging expenses and/or contract carrier airfare.

  6. Federal, state, and local income taxes, and Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes will be withheld on any award amount paid.

1.32.14.3  (09-27-2011)
Authorities

  1. 5 USC 4501-07, Government Employees' Incentive Awards Act.

  2. 5 CFR Part 451, Awards.

  3. National Defense Authorization Act of 2002, Pub. L. 107-107, section 1116.

1.32.14.4  (09-27-2011)
Related Resources

  1. 41 CFR Chapters 300-304, Federal Travel Regulation.

  2. IRM 6.451.1, Employee Performance and Utilization-Awards and Recognition, Policies, Authorities, Categories, and Approvals.

  3. IRM 1.33.4,Financial Operating Guidelines.

  4. IRM 1.32.11, Official IRS City-to-City Travel Guide.

1.32.14.5  (09-27-2011)
Definitions

  1. In this IRM, the terms below have the following meanings:

    1. City-to-City - A form of travel to a place, away from an employee's official station, to which the employee is authorized to travel.

    2. Common Carrier - Airline, bus, or railroad transportation.

    3. Contract City-Pair Fare - An airline transportation fare negotiated under contract by General Services Administration (GSA). The fare is fully refundable and exchangeable and reserved for Government travel.

    4. Frequent Traveler Benefits - Miles or points accumulated using common carrier rewards programs that result in free tickets.

    5. FedRooms - A GSA program which provides a list of hotels that have agreed to provide lodging at rates equal to or less than the per diem rate for a given locality.

    6. Temporary Duty (TDY) Location - A place, away from an employee's official station, to which the employee is authorized to travel.

    7. Travel Management Center (TMC) - The travel agency operating under GSA contract that provides transportation, lodging, and rental car services to the IRS.

1.32.14.6  (08-07-2014)
Acronyms

  1. (1) The following chart contains acronyms that are used throughout this IRM:

    Acronyms Descriptions
    GRS General Records Schedule
    GSA General Services Administration
    PAR Personnel Action Request
    POV Privately Owned Vehicle
    TDY Temporary Duty
    TMC Travel Management Center

1.32.14.7  (09-27-2011)
Responsibilities

  1. This section provides responsibilities for:

    1. Employees.

    2. First-Level Managers.

    3. Second-Level Managers.

    4. Business Units.

    5. Deputy Commissioners.

    6. Chief Financial Officer.

    7. Associate Chief Financial Officer for Financial Management.

    8. Director, Office of Financial Management Policy.

1.32.14.7.1  (08-07-2014)
Employees

  1. Employees are responsible for:

    1. Tracking gainsharing savings during the fiscal year.

    2. Preparing and submitting a completed Form 13631-A, IRS Travel Savings, with supporting documentation, including travel vouchers and receipts, to their first-level manager.

    3. Providing proof that the Government travel card was used for payment.

    4. Providing proof of savings claimed for exchanging frequent traveler benefits for a free common carrier ticket.

    5. Providing proof of savings for lodging.

    6. Adhering to all travel guidelines in IRM 1.32.11, Official IRS City-to-City Travel Guide, in order to qualify for a gainsharing award.

    7. Paying any fees charged to participate in frequent travel programs with personal funds.

1.32.14.7.2  (08-07-2014)
First-Level Managers

  1. First-level managers are responsible for:

    1. Serving as the recommending officials.

    2. Reviewing Form 13631-A, IRS Travel Savings, and applicable travel vouchers and related receipts.

    3. Ensuring the gainsharing award is processed in accordance with applicable award processing requirements contained in this IRM and with business unit award processing requirements.

    4. Indicating their concurrence by signing and dating Form 13631-A, IRS Travel Savings.

1.32.14.7.3  (09-27-2011)
Second-Level Managers

  1. Second-level managers are responsible for:

    1. Serving as the approving officials.

    2. Reviewing Form 13631-A, IRS Travel Savings, and applicable travel vouchers and related receipts.

    3. Ensuring the gainsharing award is processed in accordance with applicable award processing requirements contained in this IRM and with business unit award processing requirements.

    4. Approving a gainsharing award by signing and dating Form 13631-A, IRS Travel Savings.

1.32.14.7.4  (08-07-2014)
Business Units

  1. Business Units are responsible for:

    1. Ensuring gainsharing awards are appropriately processed in HR Connect.

    2. Ensuring funds are available to pay for gainsharing awards.

    3. Entering an estimate of gainsharing expenditures at year-end into the financial system.

    4. Ensuring an award is coded to the correct fiscal year and accounting codes.

    5. Establishing internal procedures for authorization and approval processes, and the signed original Form 13631-A, IRS Travel Savings.

    6. Establishing and maintaining a centralized repository for all gainsharing records to include Form 13631-A, IRS Travel Savings , and other supporting documentation. Gainsharing records must be kept in a centralized location for six years and three months, following the General Records Schedule 9 (GRS 9) Travel and Transportation Records. The GRS 9 schedule can be found at: http://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/grs/.

1.32.14.7.5  (08-07-2014)
Deputy Commissioners

  1. Deputy Commissioners are responsible for serving as the second-level manager/approving official for all Senior Executive Service (SES) gainsharing awards. The Deputy Commissioner approves the gainsharing awards by signing and dating Form 13631-A, IRS Travel Savings.

1.32.14.7.6  (09-27-2011)
Chief Financial Officer

  1. The Chief Financial Officer is responsible for managing the Gainsharing Travel Savings Program.

1.32.14.7.7  (08-07-2014)
Associate Chief Financial Officer for Financial Management

  1. The Associate Chief Financial Officer for Financial Management is responsible for establishing, maintaining, and ensuring compliance with travel policy and procedures for internal accounting operations and financial reporting related to the IRS Gainsharing Travel Savings Program.

1.32.14.7.8  (09-27-2011)
Director, Office of Financial Management Policy

  1. The Director, Office of Financial Management Policy is responsible for developing and issuing policy for the IRS Gainsharing Travel Savings Program.

1.32.14.8  (08-07-2014)
Program Requirements

  1. IRS employees are eligible to participate in the gainsharing program when they qualify to receive an award of at least $100, before taxes. For example, an employee who saves a combined total of $200 in lodging and airline tickets during the fiscal year is eligible to share 50% of savings with the IRS. Total Savings = $200 x 50%= $100.

  2. Federal, state, and local income taxes, and FICA tax will be withheld on the award.

  3. The minimum cumulative award that can be paid for a fiscal year is $100.

  4. An employee can only submit one request for a gainsharing program award per fiscal year.

  5. An employee accumulates travel savings over a fiscal year period and documents the savings by utilizing Form 13631-A, IRS Travel Savings.

  6. An employee must submit Form 13631-A, IRS Travel Savings, with supporting documentation, to the manager no later than December 31 for the immediately preceding fiscal year.

    1. The first-level manager reviews Form 13631-A, IRS Travel Savings, with supporting documentation submitted by the employee and approves or disapproves the request.

    2. If approved, the second-level manager signs and dates Form 13631-A, IRS Travel Savings, and forwards for award processing.

  7. An employee can claim any savings they realized from staying in less expensive lodging and/or using frequent traveler benefits to purchase common carrier tickets for official travel. All city-to-city travel with lodging expenses, foreign and domestic, are covered under this program. Relocation travel expenses are not eligible for this program.

1.32.14.8.1  (08-07-2014)
Common Carrier Savings

  1. An employee who obtains a free ticket using the frequent traveler benefits they earned on either official or personal travel is eligible for a gainsharing travel savings award.

  2. Savings on airfare costs are measured by the contract city-pair fare in effect at the time of the flight, plus the applicable Travel Management Center (TMC) fee. If there is no contract city-pair fare, the employee must use the lowest available non-restricted fully refundable coach class fare, plus applicable TMC fee, as the basis for determining travel savings.

  3. To determine savings, the employee must compare the city-pair fare with the cost of the actual airfare paid.

  4. Acceptable documentation to support savings realized includes any of the following:

    1. A SATO itinerary showing what the travel would have cost on a common carrier.

    2. A screen print from the E-Travel system showing the selected flight information for the scheduled flight.

    3. The credit slip or receipt showing the trade-in value of the Government airfare.

    4. A screen print of the city-pair fare for the contract carrier for both the origin and destination cities of the travel period.

1.32.14.8.2  (08-07-2014)
Lodging Savings

  1. An employee who incurs lodging expenses at a daily rate that is less than the maximum lodging locality rate may be eligible to receive a gainsharing award for lodging savings. Maximum lodging rates can be found at: www.gsa.gov/portal/category/21287.

  2. Eligible lodging savings must be the result of:

    1. Choosing a hotel or motel costing less than the maximum lodging rate for the TDY location.

    2. Sharing a room with another Government traveler, where each traveler saves one half of the single lodging rate every day. Each employee should request a separate lodging receipt. However, if the employees are unable to obtain separate receipts, the employees need to determine the daily rate and divide the total lodging costs by the number of employees and the number of nights to arrive at a daily rate for each employee.

    3. Staying with family, friends, or associates and incurring no lodging costs. Lodging costs must not be claimed on the travel voucher.

  3. The employee must charge lodging expenses to an individually billed Government travel card to be eligible for gainsharing, unless the vendor does not accept the credit card for payment.

  4. If the lodging vendor does not accept a credit card in payment for lodging expenses, the employee may use cash or a personal check. In order to be eligible for a gainsharing award when personal funds are used, an employee must provide a letter from the lodging vendor on company letterhead that clearly indicates the vendor does not accept credit cards as payment for lodging expenses.

  5. IRS employees are required to stay in hotels that meet the requirements of the Hotel and Motel Fire Safety Act of 1990. A list of hotels that meet this requirement can be found at: Hotel and Motel Fire Safety.

  6. Employees should use tax-exempt certificates for hotel taxes when applicable. Taxes on lodging are not considered in determining lodging savings.

1.32.14.9  (09-27-2011)
Excess Transportation and Miscellaneous Costs

  1. An employee must take into consideration whether to incur any additional transportation or miscellaneous costs when seeking to incur lodging expenses below the authorized location.

  2. An employee who incurs additional transportation expenses must deduct those expenses from the lodging savings. Examples of excess transportation costs include, but are not limited to:

    1. Renting a vehicle (when one would not normally be rented) at a TDY site to travel to a place of free or reduced lodging.

    2. Driving a privately owned vehicle (POV) more miles than would normally be traveled to/from the TDY site to obtain free or reduced lodging.

    3. Incurring taxi or other public transportation fares which would not normally be incurred to obtain free or reduced lodging.

  3. For example, an employee could stay at a hotel near the TDY location and incur no transportation expenses between the hotel and the TDY location. Instead, the employee chooses to stay farther away, at a less expensive hotel and, as a result, incurs extra transportation costs each way. The extra costs may be rental car fees, mileage, parking or the cost of public transportation that would not have been incurred if the employee stayed at a hotel near the TDY location. The excess costs of the transportation must be deducted from the amount of the lodging savings.

1.32.14.10  (09-27-2011)
Travel Ineligible for Gainsharing

  1. The following activities are examples of travel ineligible for the Gainsharing Travel Savings Program:

    1. Relocation travel.

    2. Weekend travel to an alternate location, instead of returning to the residence/official duty station or staying at the TDY location. IRS will not approve a gainsharing award for weekend travel to an alternate location, since this is personal travel.

    3. Travel paid by another Government agency.

    4. Choosing an airport that has a lower city-pair contract rate. The only air travel savings that qualifies is using frequent traveler benefits to purchase a coach class ticket.

    5. Choosing to take an early morning flight and return the same day instead of staying overnight at the TDY location. There are no savings because the employee did not incur any reimbursable lodging expenses.

    6. Having someone drive the employee to the airport instead of driving and parking at the airport. Parking savings are not eligible for gainsharing.

    7. Driving a POV and claiming mileage instead of flying by the appropriate common carrier to a destination.

    8. Lodging that was prepaid or prearranged through contractual arrangements with the hotel, except if the savings resulted from shared accommodations.

    9. Lodging under FedRooms, unless the accommodations are shared with another Government employee on travel.

    10. Lodging costs incurred on personal time, such as annual leave during official travel or any other type of personal preference travel used in conjunction with official travel.

    11. Lodging that has been contracted by the IRS for extended TDY.

    12. Lodging costs paid with a personal credit card or funds, except as provided in IRM 1.32.14.8.2 (4) Lodging Savings.

1.32.14.11  (08-07-2014)
Gainsharing Award Process

  1. The employee:

    1. Accumulates eligible travel savings, incurred during a fiscal year, on Form 13631-A, IRS Travel Savings. Only one Form 13631-A may be submitted for a fiscal year.

    2. Signs and dates the form, attaching travel vouchers and receipts supporting the qualifying savings.

    3. Submits the completed form to the first-level manager.

  2. The first-level manager:

    1. Reviews the vouchers, receipts, and the recorded savings on Form 13631-A, IRS Travel Savings.

    2. Signs and dates the Form 13631-A, IRS Travel Savings, as recommending official.

    3. Forwards the form to the second-level manager.

  3. The second-level manager:

    1. Reviews the vouchers, receipts, and the recorded savings on Form 13631-A, IRS Travel Savings.

    2. Approves by signing and dating Form 13631-A, IRS Travel Savings.

    3. Forwards to appropriate business unit contact for processing, including inputting the PAR into HR Connect.

  4. Based on internal procedures, and in accordance with GRS 9, Travel and Transportation Records, the employee's Business Unit retains originals or copies of the:

    1. Form 13631-A, IRS Travel Savings.

    2. Related travel vouchers.

    3. HR Connect PAR action.

1.32.14.12  (08-07-2014)
Taxes

  1. IRS withholds appropriate Federal, state, and local income taxes, and FICA tax and other applicable deductions from the award amount.

  2. The employee receives a Standard Form 50, Notification of Personnel Action, indicating the award amount.

  3. The award amount will be included in the employee’s Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement.


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