- 1.32.11 Official IRS City-to-City Travel Guide
- 184.108.40.206 Overview
- 220.127.116.11 Background
- 18.104.22.168 Authorities
- 22.214.171.124 Related Resources
- 126.96.36.199 Definitions
- 188.8.131.52 Acronyms
- 184.108.40.206 General Rules
- 220.127.116.11 Allowable Travel Expenses
- 18.104.22.168.1 Transportation Expenses
- 22.214.171.124.1.1 Airline Accommodations
- 126.96.36.199.1.2 Train Accommodations
- 188.8.131.52.1.3 Privately Owned Vehicle (POV)
- 184.108.40.206.1.4 Special Conveyances
- 220.127.116.11.1.4.1 Taxicabs, Shuttle Services, and Other Courtesy Transportation
- 18.104.22.168.1.4.2 Rental Cars
- 22.214.171.124.2 Per Diem Expenses
- 126.96.36.199.3 Miscellaneous Expenses
- 188.8.131.52.4 Types of Temporary Duty Travel
- 184.108.40.206.4.1 Travel of an Employee with Special Needs
- 220.127.116.11.4.2 Threatened Law Enforcement/Investigative Employees
- 18.104.22.168.4.3 Pre-Employment Interview Travel
- 22.214.171.124.5 Foreign Travel
- 126.96.36.199.6 Invitational Travel
- 188.8.131.52.7 Official IRS Representation at Funerals
- 184.108.40.206 Taxable Travel Reimbursement
- 220.127.116.11.1 Overnight Long-Term Taxable Travel
- 18.104.22.168.2 Income Tax Reimbursement Allowance (ITRA)
- 22.214.171.124 Arranging for Travel Services, Paying Travel Expenses, and Claiming Reimbursement
- 126.96.36.199.1 Arranging for Travel Services
- 188.8.131.52.2 Fees
- 184.108.40.206.3 Profiles
- 220.127.116.11.4 Paying Travel Expenses Using the Government Travel Card
- 18.104.22.168.5 Paying for Common Carrier Transportation Expenses
- 22.214.171.124.6 Travel Advances
- 126.96.36.199.7 Claiming Reimbursements
- 188.8.131.52 Using Promotional Materials and Frequent Traveler Programs
- 184.108.40.206 Death of Employee While in Travel Status
- 220.127.116.11 Travel Payments from Other Federal Agencies
- 18.104.22.168 Payment of Travel Expenses from a Non-Federal Source
- 22.214.171.124 Travel Forms
Part 1. Organization, Finance, and Management
Chapter 32. Servicewide Travel Policies and Procedures
Section 11. Official IRS City-to-City Travel Guide
September 30, 2011
(1) This transmits the new Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) 1.32.11, Servicewide Financial Policies and Procedures, Official IRS City-to-City Travel Guide.
(1) City-to-City sections were removed from IRM 1.32.1, Official IRS Travel Guide and are addressed in this IRM.
(2) Local travel, gainsharing and light refreshments sections are covered in separate IRMs.
(3) This IRM references the relevant FTR chapters, instead of repeating or quoting them.
(4) We incorporated changes resulting from the IRS implementation of GovTrip, the IRS new E-Travel system, including new terms and business processes.
(5) We updated many sections throughout the IRM for language clarification, web addresses, and organizational names.
(6) A summary of additional updates is listed below:
|1||126.96.36.199 (2b) Approving Official||Modifies the definition of approving officials to include managers and management officials.|
|2||188.8.131.52(5) Travel Authorization||Redefines general authorizations as city-to-city; changes the period of time that can be covered by a city-to-city travel authorization from 90 days to one year.|
|3||184.108.40.206 (7) Foreign Travel Authorization||Establishes six months as the earliest time that a traveler can submit travel authorizations for foreign travel.|
|4||220.127.116.11 (25) Texting while driving||Incorporates Executive Order 13513, which prohibits texting while driving a POV or a rental car on official travel.|
|5||18.104.22.168.1 (1) Approving Official Responsibilities||Adds the following as additional responsibilities for approving official: |
a) Reviewing and approving travel authorizations and vouchers to ensure expenses and accounting information are correct;
b) Ensuring the approval of any special travel requirements (i.e., first-class or business-class travel) before approving an authorization or a voucher.
h) Reviewing receipts and other supporting documentation scanned or faxed into GovTrip or attached to manual vouchers.
i) Maintaining copies of approved travel authorizations and supporting documentation for manual vouchers.
j) Reviewing advances to ensure that they are appropriate for expected travel requirements.
k) Ensuring that employees who are either transferring or separating have repaid outstanding travel advances.
l) Ensuring that travelers submit travel vouchers within five days after completion of travel.
m) Approving or returning a voucher within seven calendar days of submission of a travel voucher for correction to ensure payment within 30 calendar days after submission.
q) Providing employees who are expected to travel more than twice a year with information on how to apply for a Government travel card.
|6||22.214.171.124.1 (2) Traveler’s Responsibilities||Adds the following as additional responsibilities for travelers: |
a) Submitting a travel authorization before departing on travel and canceling unused travel authorizations.
b) Submitting a travel voucher within five days after completion of travel and ensuring claimed travel expenses are correct.
j) Paying all charges and fees associated with the Government travel card by the due date on the invoice. You are liable for all charges and will not be reimbursed above maximum levels prescribed by law.
k) Liquidating a travel advance on a voucher or submitting a check to the BFC.
l) Accounting for funds manually advanced to you for travel purposes. You are indebted to the Government for advances and must repay any advances that are not liquidated by travel expenses.
(Deleted responsibilities related to GTRs)
|7||126.96.36.199.1.1 (3) Airline Accommodations||Changes authority to approve the use of business-class accommodations from a Deputy Commissioner to the Commissioner, LB&I.|
|8||188.8.131.52.1.2 (1) Train Accommodations||Changes authority to approve the use of business-class accommodations from a Deputy Commissioner to the Commissioner, LB&I.|
|9||184.108.40.206.1.2 (5) Train Accommodations||Provides that a traveler may use train service instead of a contract airline, when IRS determines it to be more cost effective and clarifies cost comparison requirement.|
|10||220.127.116.11.1.4.2 (3) Rental Cars||Provides that a traveler will be reimbursed for a GPS in a rental car, if the GPS charge is included in the rental fee and the GPS is permanently affixed to the vehicle.|
|11||18.104.22.168.2 (2) Per Diem||Realigns the distance that an employee must travel before receiving per diem from 50 miles to 40 miles.|
|12||22.214.171.124.2 (6) Per Diem Expenses||Incorporates new FTR policy regarding consuming Government-furnished meals.|
|13||126.96.36.199.2.1 (4) Reduced Per Diem||Includes, as an unusual circumstance requiring an employee to stay in IRS-furnished lodging, the requirement that an employee keep highly valuable/classified material in his possession.|
|14||188.8.131.52.2.2 (1) Actual Expenses||Changes authority to approve actual expenses from Head of Office to managers and management officials.|
|15||184.108.40.206.2.3 (1) Per Diem on Non-Workdays|| |
Changes 3 weeks to third weekend for authorized return trip home during an extended TDY assignment.
Changes 2 weeks to every 2 weekends for subsequent trips home during an extended TDY assignment.
|16||220.127.116.11.3 (8) Miscellaneous Expenses||Adds that an approving official may authorize reimbursement of the fee for a window or aisle seat if the traveler has a documented medical condition.|
|17||18.104.22.168.3 (9) Miscellaneous Expenses||Provides that a traveler may be reimbursed for up to 2 checked bags, with approving official authorized to reimburse for additional bags when deemed necessary.|
|18||22.214.171.124.7 (2) Official IRS Representation at Funerals||Changes authority to approve representation at funerals from Commissioner to Head of Office.|
|19||126.96.36.199.2 (4) Income Tax Reimbursement Allowance (ITRA)||Adds requirement to file an ITRA claim within six months after receiving notice of the need to file.|
|20||188.8.131.52.4 (5) Paying Travel Expenses Using the Government Travel Card||Changes the authority to grant exemptions from use of travel card from CFO to AWSS.|
|21||184.108.40.206.5 (1) Paying for Common Carrier Transportation||Deletes GTR as a method of payment.|
|22||220.127.116.11.6 (4) Travel Advance||Adds that travel advances for long-term taxable travel cannot exceed the estimated cost of the trip less taxes.|
|23||18.104.22.168.6 (6) and (7) Travel Advances||Adds that travel advances can be offset to recover delinquent debts through the Treasury Offset Program.|
|24||22.214.171.124.6 (19) Travel Advances||Changes the length of time that a traveler has to repay a travel advance before it becomes taxable from 120 days to 150 days from the first deobligation notification.|
|25||126.96.36.199.7 (9) Claiming Reimbursement||Adds a list of receipts that must be filed with a voucher.|
|26||188.8.131.52.7 (15) Claiming Reimbursement||Adds that training and conference fees must be paid using small purchase cards.|
|27||184.108.40.206.7 (18) Claiming Reimbursement||Informs traveler that an approving official should approve or return a voucher within 7 calendar days.|
|28||220.127.116.11 (3) Travel Payments from Other Federal Agencies||Adds that, in order for another Federal agency to pay the travel expenses for an IRS employee, the traveler must complete an Interagency Agreement Form prior to travel.|
|29||18.104.22.168 (5) Payment of Travel Expenses from a Non-Federal Source||Adds the requirement that the traveler must submit the request for a non-Federal source to pay for travel expenses to the CFO for processing and approval at least 30 days prior to travel.|
|30||22.214.171.124 (11) Payment of Travel Expenses from a Non-Federal Source||Adds that is it the traveler’s and business unit’s responsibility to ensure that IRS receives payment from the non-Federal source.|
|31||126.96.36.199 (18) and (19) Payment of Travel Expenses from a Non-Federal Source||Adds requirement for travelers to provide documents to FMP after travel is completed.|
|32||188.8.131.52 Travel Forms||Adds a list of travel forms.|
Pamela J. LaRue
Chief Financial Officer
This Internal Review Manual (IRM) provides IRS policies and procedures for city-to-city travel, including domestic, foreign, invitational and emergency travel. It uses the term city-to-city and temporary duty travel (TDY) interchangeablely. It does not cover local travel.
This IRM is intended to supplement the Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) (41 Code of Federal Regulation 301, 303 and 304) which provides governmentwide temporary duty travel. It is, therefore, structured in a question and answer format to conform to the FTR format.
The Chief Financial Officer, Internal Financial Management, Office of Financial Management Policy develops and maintains this IRM.
The General Services Administration (GSA) is responsible for establishing governmentwide temporary duty travel policies and procedures through the Federal Travel Regulation. The FTR represents the governing document for temporary duty travel and transportation allowances for all IRS employees. This IRM supplements the FTR by providing IRS - specific policies and procedures where needed.
IRM 1.32.20, Using Appropriated Funds to Purchase Meals and Light Refreshments address IRS policy regarding light refreshments. The Comptroller General of the United States determined the Government Accountability Office (GAO) had the sole authority to render decisions regarding the use of appropriated funds for purchasing light refreshments. Previously published GSA policy regarding light refreshments at formal conferences where the majority of the employees are in travel status became invalid.
Local travel is not covered in this IRM. IRS policy regarding local travel is covered in IRM 1.32.1 Official Travel Guide. In 2010, GSA amended the FTR to clarify that it covers only temporary duty travel, not local travel.
5 USC § 5707, 5 USC§ 5738, and 5 USC§ 5741-5742.
31 USC 901-904.
31 USC 1353.
49 USC § 40118.
Title 41, CFR Chapters 300-304, Federal Travel Regulation.
Department of Treasury Directives.
Revenue Ruling 93-86.
Revenue Ruling 99-7.
IRM 1.32.4, Travel Card Program Handbook.
IRM 1.2.40, Delegation of Authorities for Organization, Finance and Management Activities.
IRS Employee Resource Center (ERC).
Policy Number 87- Compensatory Time Off for Travel.
This section provides IRS terms to supplement the FTR, Chapter 300, Part 300-3, Glossary of Terms.
Accounting Label -- The short name for GovTrip accounting codes.
Approving Official -- The manager or management official authorized to approve travel authorizations and vouchers in accordance with Servicewide Delegation Orders pertaining to travel.
Attendant -- An individual who provides personal care and travels with an authorized IRS traveler who has a disability or special need.
Centrally Billed Account (CBA) -- A corporate credit card used by IRS employees and other persons who do not have Government travel cards to obtain transportation for official IRS travel.
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.
Commuting Area -- The area within 40 miles of the employee’s residence and official station.
Conditional Routing -- The electronic routing of GovTrip authorizations that require special approval by an appropriate IRS official.
Contract City-Pair Fare -- An airline transportation fare negotiated under contract by GSA. The fare is fully refundable and exchangeable and reserved for Government travel.
Constructive Cost -- The estimated cost of travel by an alternate mode which is compared to the standard or authorized mode of travel to determine the best way for travel to be performed. When a traveler chooses a mode of travel other than the standard or authorized mode, the traveler is reimbursed for the constructive cost of travel or the actual cost, whichever is less.
Digital Signature -- An electronic "signature" used to indicate that an individual has certified or approved the information on the document.
Driving -- Operating a motor vehicle on an active roadway with the motor running, including while temporarily stationary because of traffic, a traffic light or stop sign, or otherwise. It does not include operating a motor vehicle with or without the motor running when one has pulled over to the side of or off, an active roadway and has halted in a location where one can safely remain stationary.
Eticket -- An electronic ticket allowing a traveler to travel without a paper ticket.
Federal Agency Travel Administrator (FATA) -- The individual responsible for the overall management of GovTrip at the organization level. A FATA may serve as a systems administrator, a resource manager, or an administrator responsible for loading, updating, and maintaining GovTrip tables.
Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) Tax -- A U.S. payroll tax or employment tax imposed by the Federal Government on both employees and employers to fund Social Security and Medicare.
Government Travel Card -- A Government contractor-issued charge card issued to employees to pay for official travel expenses such as transportation, lodging, meals, and rental cars for which the contractor bills the employee.
GovTrip -- A Government-contracted computer application and database that provides IRS travelers with automated travel planning and reimbursement capabilities. GovTrip includes authorization, reservation, and vouchering capabilities for domestic and foreign city-to-city and local travel.
Head of Office -- Any of the following IRS officials: Commissioner of Internal Revenue; Deputy Commissioners; Division Commissioners (Large and Mid-Size Business; Small Business/Self-Employed; Tax Exempt and Government Entities; and Wage and Investment); Chiefs (Agency-Wide Shared Services; Appeals; Communications and Liaison; Criminal Investigation; Equity, Diversity and Inclusion); Directors (Research, Analysis and Statistics; Office of Professional Responsibility, Whistleblower Office; Office of Privacy, Information Protection and Data Security; Office of Return Preparer, Office of Online Services); National Taxpayer Advocate; Chief Financial Officer; Chief Technology Officer; IRS Human Capital Officer; and Chief Counsel.
Income Tax Reimbursement Allowance (ITRA) -- An allowance designed to reimburse employees for Federal, State, and local income taxes incurred because of an extended temporary duty (TDY) assignment at one location.
Interim Voucher -- A city-to-city voucher that is submitted during a travel period to obtain reimbursement for expenses that have already been paid.
Line of Accounting (LOA) -- A set of accounting codes that determines the fiscal year, appropriation code, activity, cost center, source code, functional area, fund, purpose, program/project field, and internal order that is used to finance travel.
Local Travel -- Travel within a 40-mile radius of the official station and residence that is performed within one day and does not involve an overnight stay or lodging expenses.
Official Station -- The location where the employee regularly performs his or her duties. The geographic limits of the official station are the corporate limits of the city or town where the employee is located, or, if not in an incorporated city or town, the reservation, station or other established area having definite boundaries where the employee is located, not to exceed 50 miles from the employee's location. If the employee’s work involves recurring travel or varies on a recurring basis, the location where the work activities of the employee’s position of record are based is considered the regular place of work.
Official Work Location --The official work location is the building or street address where the employee is normally assigned.
Online Booking Engine (OBE) -- A self-service travel planning and reservation tool which provides Government rates for services such as airline flights, hotel rooms, rail, and rental cars. The reservation booking capability creates reservations that comply with appropriate Federal and IRS travel policies.
Residence -- The permanent or principal home from which an employee commutes on a daily basis to the official station.
Travel Management Center (TMC) -- The travel agency operating under GSA contract that provides transportation, lodging, and rental car services to the IRS. The IRS TMC is SATO.
Supplemental Voucher -- A document used to reimburse employees for travel expenses omitted from a previously paid travel voucher.
Travel Authorization -- An electronic or written document submitted for approval to authorize official travel. The travel authorization obligates funds and must be submitted and approved before traveling, except in emergency situations.
Temporary Duty (TDY) Location -- A place, away from an employee's official station, to which the employee is authorized to travel.
Texting or Text Messaging -- Reading from or entering data into any handheld or other electronic device for the purpose of SMS texting, e-mailing, instant messaging, obtaining navigational information, or engaging in any form of electronic data retrieval or electronic data communication.
Travel Authorization and Voucher (TAV) Fee -- The charge or fee assessed for processing a travel voucher in GovTrip.
Travel Authorization and Voucher System (TAVS) -- The automated GovTrip function for travel authorizations and vouchers. The travel authorization for temporary duty travel includes detailed itinerary and pricing information and calculates estimated authorized per diem. Users create and route vouchers electronically, and travelers are reimbursed through direct payments.
Work Location -- The building or street address where the employee performs duties.
YUP Fares -- Code used by airlines to identify discounted fares in first-class domestic markets.
This section provides IRS acronyms to supplement the FTR, Chapter 301, Appendix D, Glossary of Acronyms.
Acronyms ATM Automated Teller Machine EFT Electronic Funds Transfer CBA Centrally Billed Account FATA Federal Agency Travel Administrator FTR Federal Travel Regulation GDS Global Distribution System ITRA Income Tax Reimbursement Allowance LOA Line of Accounting LTTT Long-Term Taxable Travel M&IE Meals and Incidental Expenses POV Privately Owned Vehicle TAV Travel Authorization and Voucher TDY Temporary Duty TMC Travel Management Center WTA Withholding Tax Allowance
This section provides IRS guidance and instructions to supplement FTR, Chapter 301, Subchapter A, Part 301-2, General Rules.
Who has the general authority to direct travel?
Delegation Order 1-30, Approval of Travel Advances, Travel and Transportation Services, and Travel Vouchers, identifies the appropriate IRS officials with the delegated authority to direct travel. This delegation order is available in IRM 1.2.40, Delegation of Authorities for Organization, Finance and Management Activities.
How must the approving official administer the authorization and payment of travel expenses?
The approving official must limit the authorization and payment of travel expenses to those which are necessary to accomplish the mission in the most economical and effective manner, in accordance with the policies stated throughout this document. The approving official should always consider less expensive alternatives, including teleconferencing, before authorizing travel.
Do I need a travel authorization?
Yes, you are required to have a travel authorization before departing on travel. An approved authorization is necessary to ensure that the funds are obligated to support the travel and the reservation is ticketed in a timely manner. It is recommended that your approving official approves your authorization at least four working days before departure for city-to-city travel.
What is a city-to-city travel authorization and what period of time may a city-to-city authorization cover?
A city-to-city travel authorization allows for travel outside the commuting area of the official station. It may cover up to one year but not more than a one year.
May I take multiple trips against a single city-to-city authorization in GovTrip?
No, you must submit a separate authorization and separate vouchers for each trip. You may submit interim vouchers or supplemental vouchers for a single local trip.
How soon may I submit my travel authorization for domestic or foreign travel?
You may submit a:
Domestic travel authorization no earlier than 60 days before departure.
Foreign travel authorization no earlier than six months before departure.
When must I submit my travel authorization?
You should enter your travel authorization at least five working days before your travel departure date as it must be approved before you travel. Remember, if a common carrier transportation reservation is required, your approving official needs to approve it no later than four working days before the beginning date of travel or the reservation will be automatically cancelled.
Must I sign my authorization?
Yes, you and your approving official must electronically sign your GovTrip authorization. If filing a manual authorization, you and your approving official must sign the authorization in ink.
What type of travel or conditions require manual travel authorizations and manual travel vouchers?
Invitational travel and new hire employee travel require manual authorizations and vouchers. In addition, if the travel is unforeseen or urgent, for example processing a search warrant, you may need to use a manual authorization and manual voucher.
What is a group authorization and when should a group authorization be used?
A group authorization is a travel authorization for two or more individuals who are traveling together to a single destination. A group authorization allows the IRS to generate one authorization with multiple names. Upon completion of travel, each traveler must create an individual travel voucher from the group authorization.
What travel arrangements require additional approval by another office?
Travelers must obtain additional approval before travel for the following:
Business-class or first-class travel (See IRM 184.108.40.206.1.1).
Payment by a non-Federal source (See IRM 220.127.116.11).
Foreign travel (See IRM 18.104.22.168.5).
Use of the CBA (See IRM 22.214.171.124.4).
Use of cash, $100 or more, to pay for common carrier transportation (See IRM 126.96.36.199.5).
Official IRS representation at funerals (See IRM 188.8.131.52.7).
How do I enter a travel authorization when my travel is funded by another business unit?
You must enter the accounting codes of the other business unit on your travel authorization.
Must I use accounting codes?
Yes, if you are going on official travel, you must use the appropriate accounting codes on your authorization.
What if I need to use multiple accounting codes for my trip?
If you are using multiple accounting codes, you can select "Multiple Accounting Labels" from a drop-down menu in GovTrip.
Must I use GovTrip?
Yes, unless you have an approved exception, you are required to use all GovTrip components for all TDY travel.
Who may grant a traveler an exception from using GovTrip?
The Director, Office Financial Management Policy may grant individual exceptions when such use:
Causes an unreasonable burden on mission accomplishment(s) (for example, for emergency travel and when GovTrip is not accessible).
Involves invitational travel, new hire travel, or accommodations for a disability or special needs in accordance with the FTR.
Compromises a national security interest.
May endanger the life of the traveler (for example, an individual traveling under the Federal Witness Protection Program or threatened law enforcement/investigative personnel traveling in accordance with IRM 184.108.40.206.4.2, Threatened Law Enforcement/Investigative Employees).
How do I get an approved exception from using GovTrip?
Your Head of Office must submit a request in writing or electronically to the CFO, IFM, Director of Office of Financial Management Policy (FMP). FMP notifies you when it approves the request.
Where can I find more information about GovTrip?
You can find more about GovTrip, by going to the IRS Employee Resource Center (ERC) at: http:erc.web.irs.gov/.
Is GovTrip training available?
Yes, an online GovTrip training course is available through Enterprise Learning Management System (ELMS). There are also specialty courses available for Approving Officials, Reviewers, Preparers, and Conditional Routers.
How do I access GovTrip?
You log onto www.govtrip.com. New GovTrip users need to follow the instructions for GovTrip System Access available on the ERC website.
How do I identify city-pairs?
City-pairs rates are available at GSA website City Pairs Program. The FTR requires travelers to use city-pair flights.
How do I know which Government fare to choose in GovTrip?
The following color rules will help assist you when choosing air fare in GovTrip:
Green -- GSA City Pair w/ Capacity Limits (Discount) -- These fares should always be your first choice when available. These fares are deeper discounted Contract City-Pair flights (Green). The carrier has reserved a limited number of tickets at this special price. These fares are also fully refundable and GSA negotiated. However, any changes to the itinerary may result in the full Contract City-Pair (Yellow). These fares can be found on the subsequent airline search when you click on Price Flights.
Yellow -- GSA City-Pair (Full Price) --These fares are reserved for Government employees traveling on official business. Travel regulations state that this fare should be used to the greatest extent possible when a capacity controlled city pair fare is not available. These fares are fully refundable and changeable and GSA negotiated.
Blue -- Government Non-Contract Fares -- These fares are offered to employees traveling on official Government business but are not GSA negotiated fares. The airlines offer this fare to compete with the contract city pair carriers and are fully refundable and changeable as long as seats are available in that category. Fare increases may result if reservation is not ticketed immediately. You may use these fares if you meet one of the exceptions for using non-contract carrier fares in accordance with the FTR.
What is the IRS policy on traveling during normal duty hours?
Employees should travel within regularly scheduled work hours whenever possible. Because employees are expected to travel as expeditiously as they would if traveling on personal business, they may have to travel during non workhours. The IRS Human Capital Officer issues IRS policy governing compensatory time while traveling during non workhours; see Policy Number 87- Compensatory Time Off for Travel.
What is the IRS policy on texting while driving a POV or a rental car?
In accordance with Executive Order 13513, issued October 1, 2009, IRS employees are prohibited from texting or text messaging while driving a POV or rental car on official travel.
What are the approving official's responsibilities?
The approving official is responsible for:
Reviewing and approving travel authorizations and vouchers to ensure expenses and accounting information are correct.
Ensuring the approval of any special travel requirements (such as first-class or business-class travel) before approving an authorization or a voucher.
Planning travel to ensure that employees' time and travel funds are used in the most efficient and economical manner.
Directing employees' attention to any possible travel savings.
Planning travel so employees do not incur personal expenses for properly authorized travel.
Determining the purpose and length of an assignment.
Ensuring travel expenses are authorized in accordance with travel policy. The IRS cannot reimburse an employee for inappropriate expenses incurred as a result of having received incorrect guidance.
Reviewing receipts and other supporting documentation scanned or faxed into GovTrip or attached to manual vouchers.
Maintaining copies of approved travel authorizations and supporting documentation for manual vouchers.
Reviewing advances to ensure that they are appropriate for expected travel requirements.
Ensuring that employees who are either transferring or separating have repaid outstanding travel advances.
Ensuring that travelers submit travel vouchers within five working days after completion of travel.
Approving or returning within seven calendar days of submission of a travel voucher, for correction to ensure payment within 30 calendar days after submission.
Providing employees with access to this Guide and any other regulations concerning travel.
Providing employees with an opportunity to review the material in this Guide before traveling.
Obtaining answers to questions that employees may have related to the content of this Guide or related travel matters.
Providing employees who are expected to travel more than twice a year with information on how to apply for a Government travel card.
What are the traveler’s responsibilities?
The traveler is responsible for:
Submitting a travel authorization before departing on travel and canceling unused travel authorizations.
Submitting a travel voucher within five working days after completion of travel and ensuring claimed travel expenses are correct.
Planning travel to minimize travel cost to the IRS.
Exercising the same prudence and economy when incurring expenses in the performance of official travel that you would exercise if traveling on personal business.
Using the mode of transportation that results in the greatest overall advantage to the Government.
Being familiar with and performing all official travel within the guidance of travel policies, regulations, or procedures.
Requesting clarification on any travel policy, regulations, or procedures that you do not understand.
Paying any additional expenses resulting from scheduling travel for personal convenience and charging excess travel time against leave.
Using the Government travel card for official travel including purchases of common carrier transportation, lodging, meals, automobile rentals, and other major travel-related expenses.
Paying all charges and fees associated with the Government travel card by the due date on the invoice. You are liable for all charges and will not be reimbursed above maximum levels prescribed by law.
Liquidating a travel advance on a voucher or submitting a check to the BFC.
Accounting for funds manually advanced to you for travel purposes. You are indebted to the Government for advances and must repay any advances that are not liquidated by travel expenses.
Not delaying the performance of official travel for personal benefit.
This section provides IRS guidance and instructions to supplement FTR Chapter 301, Subchapter B, Allowable Travel Expenses, and covers the following:
Per diem expenses.
Types of temporary duty travel.
This section provides IRS guidance and instructions to supplement FTR, Chapter 301, Subchapter B, Part 301-10, Transportation Expenses.
What factors must the approving official consider in determining which method of transportation results in the greatest advantage to the Government?
An approving official should consider the total costs of all transportation methods, including, but not limited to: per diem; overtime; lost work time; total distance to be traveled; salary cost for additional travel time, and actual transportation costs.
Which airport must I use in a city served by multiple airports?
You can use the airport that best meets your needs. However, if a contract carrier is not available from that airport, then you must provide justification on your travel authorization for use of a non-contract carrier.
What classes of airline accommodations "other than coach class" require additional approval?
Business-class -- The Commissioner Large Business and International (LB&I) must authorize the use of business class fares before travel.
First-class or YUP fares --The IRS Commissioner must authorize the use of first-class fares before travel.
How do I request business-class accommodations?
You must submit a completed, signed and dated Form 1321 Authorization for Official Travel, through your approving official to the LB&I International Travel Office at least three weeks before your departure date. LB&I must sign and date the form. Contact the LB&I International Travel Office for additional information. The approved documents must be scanned or faxed into GovTrip for the approving official's review or submitted with a manual travel authorization.
What are the criteria for using business-class accommodations?
The criteria for business-class accommodations mirror FTR 301-10.124 as follows:
The use of business-class accommodations is necessary to accommodate a disability or other special need. A disability must be documented in writing by a certified competent medical authority. The certification must state that special accommodation is necessary, the approximate duration of the need for the accommodation, and a recommendation as to the suitable class. If you are authorized to have an attendant accompany you en route, you must separately request the use of business-class accommodations for this individual.
LB&I determines that security purposes or exceptional circumstances make the use of business-class accommodations essential to the successful performance of the IRS mission.
Coach-class accommodations on an authorized/approved foreign air carrier do not provide adequate sanitation or health standards.
Regularly scheduled flights between origin/destination points (including connecting points) provide only other than coach class (first-class and business-class) accommodations and you certify such on your voucher.
Your transportation costs are paid in full through IRS acceptance of payment from a non-Federal source in accordance with IRM 220.127.116.11.
Where the origin and/or destination are Outside the Continental United States (OCONUS); and the scheduled flight time, including non-overnight stopovers and change of planes, is in excess of 14 hours; and you are required to report to duty the following day or sooner.
The use of business-class results in an overall cost savings to the Government by avoiding additional subsistence costs, overtime, or lost productive time while awaiting coach-class accommodations
There is no space available in coach-class accommodations in time to accomplish the mission, which is urgent and cannot be postponed.
When required because of the IRS mission.
How do I request first-class accommodations?
You must complete, sign and date Form TD F 70-02.6, First-Class and Business-Class Travel Request and Authorization, for approval by the IRS Commissioner. In addition, you need to prepare a memorandum requesting approval of first-class travel accommodations and submit it to the Head of Office within your organization for signature. You must submit the completed form and signed memorandum to CFO, IFM, Office of Financial Management Policy (FMP) for clearance and coordination. FMP submits the package through the CFO's office to the Commissioner for signature. You must submit all requests at least three weeks before the departure date. If approved, the documents must be scanned or faxed into GovTrip for the approving official's review or submit them with a manual authorization.
What are the criteria for first-class accommodations?
The criteria for first-class accommodations mirror Treasury Directive 74-13, First-Class and Business-Class Travel, and the FTR 301-10.123 as follows:
No coach-class or business-class accommodations are reasonably available. Reasonably available means available on an airline that is scheduled to leave within 24 hours of your proposed departure time, or scheduled to arrive within 24 hours of your proposed arrival time.
When the use of first-class is necessary to accommodate a disability or other special need. A disability must be documented in writing by a certified medical authority. The certification must state that special accommodation is necessary, the approximate duration of the need for the accommodation, and a recommendation as to the suitable class. If you are authorized to have an attendant accompany you en route, you must request separately the use of first-class accommodations for this individual.
When exceptional security circumstances require first-class accommodations for travel. For example, when the use of other than first-class accommodations would endanger your life or Government property; you are an agent on protective detail and you are accompanying an individual authorized to use first-class accommodations; or, you are a courier or control officer accompanying control packages.
When required because of the IRS mission.
What if I don’t get approval for using first-class or business-class accommodations prior to departure?
You can purchase a first-class or business-class ticket at your own expense or by upgrading using your frequent flyer points. If you claim reimbursement for first-class or business-class which was not authorized, you will be billed for the difference between the first-class or business-class fare and the coach-class fare. This amount cannot be claimed on your voucher.
If I upgrade to first-class or business-class accommodations using my frequent flyer points, do I need approval?
You may use your frequent flyer points to upgrade to first-class or business-class accommodations without obtaining approval. However, upgrading to first-class or business-class accommodations through use of frequent flyer points must not result in an increased cost to the Government.
May I upgrade my accommodations at the airport?
No, not unless you are using frequent flyer points or are willing to pay the difference between the coach-class and the upgraded class.
How do I request business-class train accommodations?
The requirements for requesting business-class train accommodations are the same as those for airlines. See IRM 18.104.22.168.1.1(3).
How do I request first-class train accommodations?
The requirements for requesting first-class train accommodations are the same as those for airlines. See IRM 22.214.171.124.1.1(5). An additional criterion for requesting first-class train accommodations is when foreign coach class provides inadequate sanitation or health standards.
How do I compare airline fares to train fares when I am doing a cost comparison?
You must use current contract rates for coach class airfare to/from same destination and compare it to coach class train fare. If there is no contract fare for the origin and destination, then you must use the least expensive unrestricted coach class non-contract carrier airfare for the comparison. You cannot compare coach class airfare to first-class or business-class train fare. You must get IRS Commissioner approval before using first-class train fare per IRM 126.96.36.199.1.1(5) and LB&I Commissioner's approval for business-class train fare per IRM 188.8.131.52.1.1(3).
When may I use the Acela?
You may use the Acela or other regional trains that are faster or have fewer stops whenever your approving official determines it is more advantageous to the Government or is required for security reasons. On the Acela or other regional trains where the lowest available class of service is business-class, you need no additional approvals. All first-class train travel requires the IRS Commissioner's approval.
When may I travel by train, rather than airline?
You may use train service instead of a contract airline when the IRS determines that it is more cost-effective. To determine cost effectiveness, you must use current contract rates for coach class airfare to/from the same destination and comparable coach class train fare. If there is no contract fare for the origin and destination, then you must use the least expensive unrestricted coach class non-contract carrier for comparison. You need to compare like classes; in other words, unrestricted coach class train fare to unrestricted coach class train fare. You may not purchase first or business-class train accommodations, even as part of a cost comparison, without appropriate approvals as provided in IRM 184.108.40.206.1.1 (2).
This section provides IRS guidance and instructions to supplement FTR, Chapter 301, Subchapter B, Part 301-10, Subpart D, Privately Owned Vehicle (POV).
May I use a POV for TDY official travel?
Yes, when authorized by the approving official.
May the approving official prohibit me from using a POV on official travel?
No, the approving official cannot prohibit you from using a POV on official travel. However, if you elect to use a POV instead of the mode of transportation that the approving official authorizes, the approving official will:
Limit reimbursement to the constructive cost of the authorized method of transportation, which is the sum of per diem and transportation expenses you would reasonably have incurred when traveling by the authorized method of transportation.
Charge annual leave for any duty hours that are missed as a result of travel by POV.
Can I be required to use my POV?
No, the approving official cannot require you to use a POV for official TDY travel.
What will I be reimbursed if I use a POV to drive to the airport near my residence or official station to perform temporary duty travel?
If you are performing TDY travel, you are entitled to full round trip mileage reimbursement from your residence or official station to and from the airport.
What will I be reimbursed if a family member or friend drives me to and from a common carrier terminal?
If a family member or friend drives you to or picks you up from an airport or train station, you are entitled to claim roundtrip mileage reimbursement, for each roundtrip, not to exceed the one way cost of taxi or shuttle to the airport or train station.
If I rent a monthly parking space at my official work location to park a POV, but don’t use the parking space when I am on TDY travel, may I get reimbursed for the space?
No, a parking space at your work location is a personal expense.
This section provides IRS guidance and instructions to supplement FTR Chapter 301, Subchapter B, Part 301-10, Subpart E, Special Conveyances, including taxicabs, shuttle services, and other courtesy transportation, and rental cars.
How much will I be reimbursed for a tip to a taxi, shuttle service, or courtesy transportation driver?
You are entitled to be reimbursed the standard tipping amount up to 20% of the fare amount which must be included in the total fare amount claimed on your travel voucher.
When can I use a rental vehicle for TDY travel?
You can use a rental vehicle when the approving official has determined that the use of a rental vehicle is advantageous to the Government. If you are authorized the use of a rental vehicle, you must use a Government contract rental car agency, when available.
What are the requirements for making rental vehicle arrangements?
When authorized to use a rental vehicle, an employee must use a vendor that participates in the U.S. Government Rental Car Program, unless the TDY travel is OCONUS and there is no agreement in place for the TDY location. Reservations made through GovTrip or through the TMC comply with the FTR requirements for rental vehicles.
If I rent a car with a Global Positioning System (GPS), will I be reimbursed for the cost of the GPS?
Yes, if the GPS is permanently affixed to the vehicle and the charge for the GPS is included in the daily rate rental car fee. Portable GPS devices are not considered to be standard equipment, but an accessory so you would be liable for any costs if the device is lost or stolen.
What expenses will I be reimbursed if authorized to use a rental car?
You will be reimbursed the cost of the rental car, taxes, tolls, parking, gasoline, and oil charges. You will not be reimbursed for collision damage waiver, theft insurance, or personal accident insurance. You are responsible for any additional costs incurred as the result of an unauthorized use of a rental car.
Should I purchase insurance for a rental car?
No, you should not purchase collision damage waiver, theft insurance, or personal accident insurance since the Government rental car agreement includes full liability, vehicle loss, and damage insurance coverage for the traveler and the Government.
What type of rental car can I reserve at the Government's expense?
Economy or compact size rental cars are considered the most cost effective and advantageous to the Government. However, the approving official is ultimately responsible for determining and authorizing the appropriate size rental car necessary for the performance of official business under the circumstances.
Who must I contact to a file rental car accident claim?
You must contact Chief Counsel, General Legal Services (GLS) to file a rental car accident claim at,http://Counsel.web.irs.gov/gls/cmanager/.
This section provides IRS guidance and instructions to supplement FTR Chapter 301, Subchapter B, Part 301-11, Per Diem Expenses, including the following:
Lodging-plus per diem.
Reduced per diem.
Per diem on non-workdays.
The guidance and instructions in this section apply only in determining when the IRS may pay per diem or reimburse expenses. Some of these payments and reimbursements to you may be taxable income. See IRM 220.127.116.11.
Am I required to travel a certain distance to receive per diem?
Yes, the TDY location must be more than 40 miles from both your official station and residence, measured by odometer or other readings on the most commonly used route. Any point beyond both these distances is outside the commuting area. You may receive per diem even if the TDY location is within the commuting area, if the criteria under IRM 18.104.22.168.2(3) are met. This 40-mile rule does not necessarily mean, however, that you are "away from home" for tax purposes, and the per diem may be taxable income. See IRM 22.214.171.124.
Are there any additional requirements to receive per diem?
Yes, you must travel more than 12 hours to be eligible for per diem. If you travel more than 12 hours but less than 24 hours, you may receive 3/4 of the per diem for that day. This 12-hour rule does not necessarily mean that you are away from home for tax purposes, and the per diem may be taxable income. See IRM 126.96.36.199.
What are the exceptions to the required distance for per diem?
The following circumstances may justify an exception when the TDY location is less than 40 miles from the official station and residence:
The TDY assignment makes unusual demands on a traveler for several consecutive days due to an unusually long commute.
There is a need to participate in late night training sessions.
Severe conditions (for example, weather or excess travel delays) exist that may endanger the health and safety of an employee and the TDY location is at least 30 miles from both the residence and the official station.
The employee is attending training or a conference and the TDY location is at least 30 miles from both the residence and the official station.
What is the applicable M&IE rate when meals or light refreshments are furnished at nominal or no cost are included in the registration fee?
The applicable M&IE will be calculated as follows:
If meals are furnished, the employee must take the appropriate deduction from the M&IE amount claimed.
If light refreshments are furnished, the employee does not need to take any deduction from M&IE.
What if I am unable to consume a Government-furnished meal?
Your approving official may allow you to claim the full M&IE allowance if your situation meets all the criteria listed below:
You are unable to consume the furnished meal(s) because of medical requirements or religious beliefs.
You requested specific approval to claim the full M&IE allowance before your travel.
You made a reasonable effort to make alternative meal arrangements, but were unable to do so.
You purchased substitute meals in order to satisfy your medical requirements or religious beliefs.
Under what circumstances may the IRS prescribe a reduced per diem rate lower than the prescribed maximum?
When an employee is on extended travel at a TDY location for more than two months, the approving official may request approval of a per diem rate that is less than the prescribed maximum for the area if either of the following occur:
When the approving official can determine in advance that lodging and/or meal costs will be lower than the per diem rate.
When the Government provides meals and lodging at no cost to employees.
How does an approving official request reduced per diem?
An approving official must submit a memorandum which explains the need for a different per diem rate to CFO, IFM, Office of Financial Management Policy. If approved, the requesting official must inform the employee of the reduced per diem rate before the trip. The travel authorization must contain the lower authorized per diem rate in advance of the travel.
May the IRS contract for or provide Government-furnished lodging and meals to travelers?
What are the rules pertaining to the use of IRS-furnished or IRS-contracted lodging and meals?
When the IRS contracts with a facility to furnish lodging and meals and pays directly for these costs, then the employee must stay at the IRS-contracted facility. When the IRS makes arrangements for lodging but the employee must reserve the room and pay using the Government travel card, the employee has the option of remaining at the IRS-furnished lodging facility or securing other lodging arrangements, except in unusual circumstances. Unusual circumstances under which an employee may be required to stay in IRS-furnished lodging include:
No other service is available.
Government property cannot adequately be protected unless the employee stays in the IRS-furnished lodging.
Employees are participating in an investigation that requires their presence in the quarters at all times.
The IRS-furnished lodging is the only lodging reasonably close to the employee’s temporary place of duty and daily travel to and from another place of lodging would be impracticable.
Employees must keep highly valuable equipment or classified material in their possession and removal from the IRS-furnished quarters would threaten the security of those items.
The approving official determines that use of IRS-furnished lodging is a necessary and integral part of a particular mission or training course.
Employees must be notified in writing before travel if they are required to accept IRS-furnished or contracted meals or lodging. The notification must identify the days affected, explain the need for the use of the facilities, and inform the employees of the reduced per diem rate for those days.
Employees participating in training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, Glynco, GA, receive a special M&IE allowance of $5 for each day that the IRS provides lodging and meals.
What will I be reimbursed if I stay at IRS-contracted lodging?
If you stay in IRS-contracted lodging, you will only receive reimbursement for meals and incidentals.
What will I be reimbursed if IRS-furnished lodging is not available on non-workdays?
When lodging is not furnished for non-workdays, you are entitled to lodging reimbursement as well as M&IE for the weekend or holiday at the applicable rate for the TDY location.
Who in the IRS can authorize/approve my request for actual expenses?
The authority to approve requests for actual expenses has been delegated to approving officials in Delegation Order 1-5, Reimbursement for Actual Expenses. This delegation is available in IRM 1.2.40, Delegation of Authorities for Organization, Finance and Management Activities.
When may I take my first authorized trip home or to my official station for non-workdays during an extended TDY assignment at the Government's expense?
A return trip is only authorized when you are on an extended TDY assignment which lasts 30 calendar days or more. If you are on extended TDY, your first return trip can take place on the third weekend after you begin your TDY and may occur every two weekends thereafter.
What reimbursement will I receive if I voluntarily return to my residence or official station on non-workdays during my TDY assignment?
If you voluntarily return to your residence or official station on non-workdays during a TDY assignment, the maximum reimbursement for round-trip transportation and per diem or actual expense is limited to what would have been allowed had you remained at the TDY location. You must do a cost comparison to determine the constructive and actual cost. You must submit the comparison statement with the travel voucher and you will be reimbursed for the lesser of the two amounts.
When doing a cost comparison for voluntary return to your residence, you must use the lowest non-contract fare that is available to the general public. You may use any available resource to determine the non-contract fare such as those found through travel or airline websites. City-pair contract fares cannot be used in the calculation because city-pairs contract fares may not be used for voluntary return, which is considered personal travel.
May I claim transportation expenses for travel to a place other than my residence or official station during a temporary absence from a TDY location?
What are my options if I am completing an assignment at one TDY location on the day before a weekend or holiday and starting an assignment at another TDY location on the day after the non-workday(s)?
You have several options:
Stay at the first TDY location. You will be reimbursed based on the per diem rate for the TDY location.
Return to your residence. You will be reimbursed the cost to return to your residence from one TDY location and the cost to proceed to the next TDY location.
Split the days between the two TDY locations. If you split the non-workdays between the two TDY locations, you will receive reimbursement based on per diem rate or authorized actual expense for the time you are at each location.
Proceed to the new temporary location for all the non-workdays. If you spend non-workdays at the location of your next assignment, you will receive reimbursement based on the per diem rate or authorized actual expense for that area.
What if my TDY assignment begins on Monday?
If practical, your approving official should schedule your travel within the standard workweek. However, circumstances may require you to report for duty on Monday at a time too early to permit travel on that day. In this case, you should travel on the preceding day (Sunday), and you will be reimbursed three-fourths of the M&IE rate for your first day of travel. You may qualify for travel compensatory time in accordance with Policy Number 87- Compensatory Time Off for Travel.
You may travel during duty hours on the preceding Friday. In this event, subsistence reimbursement is limited to the amount that would have been payable if you had departed on Sunday. You will not receive reimbursement for expenses incurred on Saturday or Sunday.
What are my options if my TDY assignment is completed on Friday?
Employees may not remain in a travel status over a weekend solely to increase their entitlement to subsistence. The options available to you are as follows:
You should return to your home or official station on Friday unless arrival would be at an unreasonable hour. In that event, you should return on Saturday. In either case, you may claim per diem or other authorized subsistence expenses until you arrive at your home or official station.
Instead of travel on Saturday as described in (a) above, you may return on Monday following the weekend. In this event, your subsistence reimbursement will suspend as of midnight Friday, and resume at 12:01 a.m. Monday, continuing until you reach your home or your official station.
When it is advantageous to the Government for employees to travel after work hours on Friday, your approving official may still allow you, at your request, to travel at a later time. However, your travel expenses, including subsistence, may not exceed those that you would have incurred if you had returned immediately.
You may qualify for travel compensatory time in accordance with Policy Number 87- Compensatory Time Off for Travel.
What is considered annual leave that requires approval while on a TDY assignment?
When an employee is not performing official business during normal work hours at the TDY location.
When traveling over a weekend or holiday for personal reasons and an employee leaves the TDY location before the close of business or returns to the TDY location after normal tour of duty begins.
When an employee loses work hours due to travel by a POV when travel by common carrier is authorized.
When an employee loses work hours due to indirect travel for personal reasons.
How is my M&IE affected if I take annual leave for an entire day?
If you take leave for an entire day while on TDY, you will not be reimbursed for your M&IE expenses for that day. This applies whether leave is limited to that day alone or is part of a period of leave involving other days or parts of days.
How is my lodging reimbursement affected if I take leave for whole day(s)?
You are allowed lodging for the night preceding the first day's leave or the night preceding the return to duty status.
How is my per diem affected if I take leave for part of a day?
If you take leave for half of the prescribed working hours or less, you will receive reimbursement of either per diem or actual expenses, whichever applies for the entire day.
If you take leave for more than half of the prescribed working hours, you will not be reimbursed subsistence expenses. For example, if you are on an eight hour workday schedule and you take more than four hours of leave, you are not entitled to claim lodging costs for that day or M&IE for that day. If you are on an actual expense basis, you will not be reimbursed for expenses incurred for that day.
How is my per diem affected if I take leave before or after non-workdays (that is weekends or Federal holidays) while on a TDY assignment?
In general, you will be reimbursed for non-workdays as long as the travel status requires the inclusion of a non-workday (for example, if official travel is through Friday and resumes on Monday, you may be allowed reimbursement for Saturday and Sunday).
If you are required to return to the official station on a non-workday, you will be reimbursed the amount allowable for return travel.
When you take one or more days of leave between a weekend and a holiday, or when you take a full week of leave that falls between two weekends, you will be reimbursed per diem or actual expenses for a maximum of two non-workdays.
The approving official determines if it is more cost effective for you to remain in a travel status and receive per diem or to permit your return to the official station.
This section provides IRS guidance and instructions to supplement FTR Chapter 301, Subchapter B, Part 301-12, Miscellaneous Expenses.
Will I be reimbursed for emergency personal telephone calls?
Yes, IRS may reimburse you for emergency personal telephone calls while away from your usual place of work, whether or not the calls are within the local area, if approved by your approving official. You must furnish a statement of telephone charges, including date, place called, and amount, for all long distance calls for which you request reimbursement. You are required to provide receipts regardless of amount.
Under what circumstances may I request reimbursement for emergency personal telephone calls while on TDY?
You may request reimbursement for emergency telephone calls when an emergency situation arises that requires an immediate telephone call and when you do not have access to a Government telephone.
What are examples of emergency personal telephone calls while on TDY?
Examples of authorized emergency telephone calls while on TDY are:
Calls to notify family/and or a doctor when you are injured while on official Government business, including injury on the job, injury while taking or in transit to Government approved training, and other similar circumstances.
Brief calls to notify family or other appropriate parties of a change in schedule caused by official business or transportation changes or delays.
May I be reimbursed for non-emergency personal telephone calls?
Yes, you may receive reimbursement for non-emergency personal telephone calls while on TDY if you are in TDY travel status for more than one day. You should make only an average of one brief call (usually 5 to 10 minutes) per day. You must furnish a statement of telephone charges, including date, place called, and amount, for all long distance calls for which reimbursement is requested. You cannot claim the cost of purchasing a prepaid phone card as a total expense – each call must be separately itemized. You are required to provide receipts regardless of amount.
What is the approving official’s responsibility for authorizing non-emergency personal telephone calls?
The approving official must ensure that the calls are brief (usually 5 to 10 minutes) and do not exceed an average of one call per day. Before denying reimbursement, the approving official shall discuss specific situations with an employee and advise of those situations which the approving official believes exceed the definition of prudent use.
May I be reimbursed for fees associated with airport security fast pass membership?
No, fees for individual employee memberships in registered and/or trusted traveler programs (such as Fly Clear) are not reimbursable for the purposes of Government travel.
May I be reimbursed for coach class seating upgrades to a window or aisle seat?
Generally no, IRS will not pay for the fee the airline charges to upgrade a seat selection in coach class. This is a personal expense. However, if the employee has a medical condition documented by a medical professional that requires the additional space, the approving official may authorize reimbursement of the fee.
May I be reimbursed for any additional fees the airline charges for checked baggage?
Yes, you may be reimbursed for the first and second checked bag when authorized. The approving official may authorize additional checked baggage if it is determined that additional baggage is needed for official reasons.
This section provides IRS guidance and instructions to supplement FTR Chapter 301, Subchapter B, Parts 301-13, 301-30, 301-31, and 301-75, including:
Travel of an employee with special needs.
Travel by threatened law enforcement/investigative employees.
Pre-employment interview travel.
Will the IRS pay additional travel expenses incurred by an employee with a disability or a special need?
Yes, the approving official may authorize additional travel expenses for an employee who has a disability or a special need. If the approving official and/or employee believes that the use of first-class or business-class travel is necessary to accommodate the disability or a special need, then the approving official or employee must request such accommodations in accordance with the requirements in IRM 188.8.131.52.1.1(4) and (6). The approving official may also authorize the reimbursement of seat selection or coach class upgrades as provided in IRM 184.108.40.206.3(8).
When should the approving official authorize and administer the payment of additional travel expenses for an employee with a disability or a special need?
The approving official should authorize those expenses necessary to reasonably accommodate an employee with a disability in accordance with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, 29 USC § 701-791, and 5 USC § 3102. An employee with a special need should be treated the same as an employee with a disability, so any additional travel expenses requested or incurred must be necessary to accommodate the employee's needs. See IRM 220.127.116.11.3(8) and 18.104.22.168.3(9).
Who in the IRS can authorize/approve additional expense(s) for an employee who is disabled or has a special need?
The authority to approve additional expense(s) for an employee who is disabled or has a special need is delegated to approving officials as designated in Delegation Order 1-30, Approval of Travel Advances, Travel and Transportation Services, and Travel Vouchers, with the exception of approval for the use of first-class and business-class travel accommodations.
Must the IRS pay transportation and subsistence expenses for me and/or my family as a threatened law enforcement/investigative employee?
No, the approving official decides when it is appropriate to pay these expenses based on the nature of the threat against your life and/or the life of your immediate family member(s).
How often must the approving official reevaluate the payment of transportation and subsistence expenses to me as a threatened law enforcement/investigative employee?
The approving official must reevaluate the situation every 30 days using the same factors that were considered when the expenses were originally authorized.
May the IRS pay pre-employment interview travel expenses?
Yes, when an approving official determines that it is in the best interest of the Government in accordance with funding and hiring policies.
How does the IRS pay for the interview travel cost?
Travel authorizations and reimbursements for interview travel are subject to the same regulations as travel by IRS employees. Pre-employment interview travelers, other than Federal Government employees, must use the CBA to pay for the purchase of common carrier tickets and must complete a manual authorization and voucher.
How is pre-employment interview travel claimed and reimbursed?
The interviewee must submit a travel claim in accordance with IRS procedures in order to receive reimbursement for pre-employment interview travel expenses. The office conducting the interview pays the travel expenses.
What is foreign travel?
Foreign travel is official travel outside of the United States and its territories and possessions.
Is advance approval required for all foreign travel?
Yes, all official travel to and from points outside the United States and its territories and possessions must be approved in advance by the Manager, International Meetings, Travel, and Visitors' Programs, Large Business and International (LB&I) Division.
How do I request approval for foreign travel?
Follow the instructions found on the LB&I International Travel Office website. Complete Form 1321, Authorization for Official Travel, and forward to the Manager, International Meetings, Travel, and Visitors' Programs, LB&I, for approval. You may not travel until you receive a signed copy of this form.
Complete a travel authorization in GovTrip as defined in IRM 22.214.171.124, General Rules. The authorization will be conditionally routed to the Manager, International Meetings, Travel, and Visitors' Programs, LB&I, for approval. Exceptions to using GovTrip must be requested as discussed in IRM 126.96.36.199(19).
After the Manager, International Meetings, Travel, and Visitors' Programs, LB&I, approves Form 1321, Authorization for Official Travel, the traveler should fax or scan the document into GovTrip or attach the Form 1321 to Form 13635 Manual Travel Authorization.
If you are eligible to travel to a foreign country by business-class, you must submit a separate request to use business-class transportation in accordance with the requirements in IRM 188.8.131.52.1.1(3).
Is the approval of, or notification to, the Competent Authority of Canada required for all travel to Canada?
Yes, you must obtain the approval of, or provide notification to, the Competent Authority of Canada for all travel to Canada. For more details, refer to LB&I International Travel Office website.
Do I need an official passport for travel to Canada?
Yes, you need an official passport for travel to Canada. Employees traveling to Canada should access the LB&I International Travel Office website.
Do I need an official passport to travel to a foreign country on official business?
Yes, you must have a valid United States official passport unless the circumstances in IRM 184.108.40.206.5(7) apply.
Are there any circumstances in which I can travel to a foreign country on official business using a personal passport?
Yes, on rare occasions, when safety or other circumstances require the use of a personal passport. The Deputy Commissioner (International), LB&I will evaluate the circumstances on an individual basis and, when warranted, authorize in writing the use of a personal passport. If it is necessary for you to use a personal passport to travel on official business, the IRS will reimburse you for the cost associated with obtaining the passport; however, the personal passport then becomes the property of the IRS. You must submit receipts for any reimbursement claim for obtaining a personal passport when the amount paid exceeds $75.
What do I do if I don't have a United States official passport?
For passport application procedures, contact the LB&I International Travel Office for appropriate guidance or refer to the LB&I International Travel Office website.
What do I do with the United States official passport after the trip?
Official passports must be returned to the LB&I International Travel Office within 10 days of travel completion.
How do I file my voucher for foreign travel?
File a GovTrip travel voucher if you filed a GovTrip travel authorization. File a manual voucher if you submitted a manual travel authorization. Follow the normal TDY procedures in IRM 220.127.116.11.7.
May I receive a rest period preceding or following annual leave or non-workdays?
No, requests for a rest period immediately preceding or following periods of annual leave or non-workdays will be denied.
May I fly business-class in lieu of an authorized rest stop?
Yes, the Commissioner, LB&I, may authorize use of business-class accommodations in lieu of an authorized rest stop. A flight over 14 hours may not necessary qualify for the use of premium class travel see IRM 18.104.22.168.1.1(4)(f). You must make every effort to schedule your travel so you have a rest period prior to starting work. A rest period en route or at the temporary duty destination negates the use of business-class travel. You must submit a request to use business-class accommodations in advance of the trip in accordance with the requirements of IRM 22.214.171.124.1.1(3).
Do I reduce my per diem for a meal provided by a foreign government or entity?
No, you may accept meals from foreign governments or entities without reducing your per diem.
What is invitational travel?
Invitational travel occurs when the IRS invites and pays the travel expenses for individuals not employed by IRS or employed intermittently in the Government. This includes:
Persons employed by other Federal Government agencies.
Persons serving without pay or at $1 a year when acting in a capacity related to or in connection with official activities of the IRS.
Attendants to employees with disabilities or special needs.
Persons accompanying an employee to a major award ceremony.
Persons invited to interview with the IRS.
Persons detailed to the IRS.
What are the regulations for travel authorizations and reimbursements for invitational travelers?
Travel authorizations and reimbursements for travel by invitational travelers are subject to the same regulations as travel by IRS employees. Invitational travelers, other than Federal Government employees, must use the CBA to pay for the purchase of common carrier tickets and must complete a manual authorization and manual voucher.
Can an invitational traveler receive a travel advance?
How many guests may I invite to an award ceremony?
Travel expenses will be reimbursed for one guest, of the award recipient's choosing, to accompany the award recipient to a major award ceremony. Such award ceremonies include a Presidential Award, an annual ceremony of the IRS or major organizational component, or a prestigious honorary award sponsored by a non-Governmental organization.
What travel expenses will be reimbursed for the guest of an award recipient?
This is considered to be invitational travel and the travel expenses authorized are the same as those normally authorized for employees in conjunction with a temporary duty assignment.
What if an award recipient needs special assistance?
If an award recipient requires special assistance, he/she may receive reimbursement for an attendant, in addition to the person accompanying the award recipient, as permitted in IRM 126.96.36.199.4.1.
Is an authorization required for invitational travel?
Yes, Form 13635, Manual Travel Authorization, must be submitted for approval before travel.
Who can approve invitational travel?
An approving official may approve invitational travel as provided in Delegation Order 1-30, Approval of Travel Advances, Travel and Transportation Services, and Travel Vouchers.
How are invitational travel expenses claimed and reimbursed?
Invitational travel is reimbursed by submitting an approved SF 1012, Travel Voucher, required receipts, and Form SF 1199A, Direct Deposit Sign-up Form, to the Beckley Finance Center.
Mailing Addresses The approved SF 1012 and SF 1199A must be mailed to:
Internal Revenue Service
Beckley Finance Center
ATTN: Travel Section
P.O. Box 9002
Beckley, WV 25802
For overnight service, mail the forms to:
Internal Revenue Service
Beckley Finance Center
110 N. Heber St.
Beckley, WV 25801
Can the IRS grant a waiver of electronic funds transfer (EFT) for reimbursement to invitational travelers?
Yes, the IRS may grant a waiver if no more than one reimbursement is expected to be paid to the same recipient within a one-year period.
How can an invitational traveler request a waiver of EFT?
A traveler must inform the business unit that he/she is unable to accept payment by EFT, and complete a Request for Waiver of Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Payment for Individuals form. The business unit can obtain a copy of the form from the CFO, IFM, Office of Financial Management Policy website: http://cfo.fin.irs.gov/IntFinMgmt/PolicyProcedures/Htmls/TravelGuidance.htm, Select Forms.
The traveler must mail the form to:
Internal Revenue Service
Beckley Finance Center
ATTN: Travel Management Vendor Code Coordinator
P.O. Box 9002
Beckley, WV 25802
Or fax to 304-256-1203
May the IRS authorize travel at Government expense to attend funerals?
Yes, if attendance by an official IRS representative is considered important to the mission of the agency and the appropriate representative would be unable to attend without the travel being authorized at Government expense. Only one employee can serve as an official IRS representative at a funeral. This type of travel is limited to the United States and its possessions.
Who may authorize you to attend a funeral?
The Head of Office of the business organization may authorize attendance for IRS representation at a funeral. The authorization must be documented in a memorandum. After you receive the approved memorandum to attend the funeral, you can process the authorization in GovTrip. The memo must be scanned or faxed into GovTrip when you submit your voucher. The travel is charged to the accounting codes of the employee designated as the official IRS representative.
What are taxable travel reimbursements?
Taxable travel reimbursements include reimbursements of expenses for:
Overnight long-term taxable travel (overnight LTTT), as described in IRM 188.8.131.52.1.
Taxable local travel, which includes taxable local meal and lodging expenses as described in IRM 1.32.1, Official IRS Local Travel Guide.
Does it matter if my LTTT is overnight or local?
Yes, because the tax rules for overnight LTTT and for local LTTT are different. For overnight LTTT, the one year rule that makes the travel automatically long-term applies only to travel to a single location. For local LTTT, the one year rule applies even if you work in more than one location on a regular basis. The infrequent travel (35 day) and break in service (seven month) rules apply to local LTTT but do not apply to overnight LTTT.
What must managers and employees do regarding LTTT situations?
A manager who knows, or can reasonably expect, that an employee will receive a LTTT assignment must ensure that the LTTT is authorized on Form 12654, Authorization for Long-Term Taxable Travel and that the Form 12654 is issued and signed by the manager and employee each calendar year of the LTTT assignment. Employees must ensure that they use the appropriate purpose code and submit their vouchers via GovTrip promptly at the end of each month.
Must a separate Form 12654, Authorization for Long-Term Taxable Travel be completed for each work location?
Yes, you must complete Form 12654, Authorization for Long-Term Taxable Travel for each work location.
How should an employee classify LTTT?
When submitting an authorization or voucher, the employee must use Purpose Code "L" for LTTT expenses associated with temporary duty travel (both overnight and local), and Purpose Code "W" for LTTT expenses associated with training travel.
Does a copy of the Form 12654 need to be scanned or faxed with each GovTrip voucher?
No, the employee needs to scan or fax the Form 12654 into GovTrip with the first LTTT voucher.
What should my manager or I do if a travel authorization did not properly identify my trip as LTTT and proper withholdings were not made on my voucher?
You must amend your authorization and change the purpose code to "L" or "W" , whichever is applicable. Then, you and your manager should complete and sign the travel authorization as soon as possible to correct the potential misclassification of travel vouchers. All vouchers with expenses that should have been charged under purpose code "L" or "W" for LTTT expenses require manual intervention by the BFC. If an employee did not classify the vouchers properly, then the employee should submit a statement which gives an accounting of the LTTT transaction to the CFO, IFM, Office of Financial Management Policy. The Office of Financial Management Policy will instruct BFC to complete the process by adding the withholding tax allowance for current year adjustments, deducting the appropriate tax withholdings, paying the taxing authorities, and disbursing the net payment to the employee or establishing billing documents, if appropriate. LTTT is taxable income under the Internal Revenue Code so not classifying LTTT accurately violates established tax reporting requirements.
How are employees affected when they perform LTTT?
Employees are affected as follows:
All employees incur Federal, State, and local income tax and the Medicare portion of the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax liabilities. IRS withholds the appropriate tax liabilities from their travel reimbursements and reimburses them for the additional Federal, State and local income tax liabilities.
Employees covered by FERS also incur the Social Security portion of FICA taxes.
Is State income tax withheld from my LTTT when my state does not have that requirement?
No, the IRS payment system has been configured in accordance with state withholding regulations based upon information received from all states. If your state does not have a withholding requirement and your LTTT voucher reflects a state withholding, you should email the BFC Help Desk at *CFO BFC Travel Help Desk or you may contact BFC using the phone number listed on the website: http://cfo.fin.irs.gov/IntFinMgmt/BFC/BFC_Index.htm.
What if I reach the maximum FICA withholding amount of taxable earnings for the year?
You should apply to the BFC Over-withheld FICA Program. Each year in January, BFC sends notices to employees who received LTTT payments during the previous calendar year. This notice informs the employees how to file a claim for the over-withheld amount, if they believe excess FICA taxes were withheld on taxable wages.
Why are contributions not made to the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) since my LTTT is considered income?
While LTTT payments increase your income, they are not considered basic pay, as defined by the Office of Personnel Management, and, therefore, not subject to TSP contributions.
If an employee is incurring LTTT for parking expenses monthly at a temporary work location, is there a certain amount that can be excluded from income?
Yes, there is a qualified parking exclusion. This information is available in Publication 15- B Employer's Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits.
What is overnight LTTT ?
Overnight LTTT is travel away from home for a long enough period of time that is not considered temporary. Reimbursements for transportation, lodging, or meal expenses for overnight travel away from home usually are not taxable, if the travel is not LTTT.
What is travel away from home?
Travel away from home means travel in which the employee travels far enough away from the principal work location to require overnight lodging. The 40-mile standard in IRM 184.108.40.206.2, which determines when the IRS will pay per diem, does not necessarily mean that an employee is traveling far enough away to require overnight lodging. Travel of over 40 miles from an employee’s principal work location may be local travel for tax purposes, and payment of per diem under these circumstances may be taxable. IRM 1.32.1, Official IRS Local Travel Guide.
What is considered overnight LTTT?
There are two situations that can be overnight LTTT:
Travel to a single location that is expected to last more than one year; or
You perform your principal duties the majority of the time in a location away from your official station, and this arrangement is expected to last indefinitely or long enough that the new location becomes your main work location.
What is considered long-term for overnight LTTT?
Travel away from home is long-term if the travel is to a single location and is realistically expected to last for more than one year, or if there is no realistic expectation that the travel to a single location will last for one year or less (it is indefinite). The realistic expectation of long-term travel is based on the current facts and circumstances known to the employee and the employee's manager.
What is a single location?
A single location is the entire area within which employees would generally commute in order to work at a particular location. Travel to any other location or locations within that same area is travel that also comes within the single location determination. Thus, a period of overnight travel to one work location, followed by a period of overnight travel to a second work location that is within the same area as the first work location, are combined and constitute travel to a single location. For example, an employee whose official station is New York, NY who travels to Washington, DC for 13 months, and works at both the CNN Building and 1111 Constitution Ave, is away from home in a single location. The travel is overnight LTTT. However, if this employee instead travels to Washington for eight months and then to Chicago, IL for five months, the employee is not away from home in a single location for more than one year, and the travel is not LTTT.
When does the one year clock start for taxability purposes?
For purposes of determining an employee's length of travel expectation, the first date of travel to a particular work location is the beginning date or "start of the clock" (that is, travel is not expected to end within one year from that date). Physical presence at the work location is the determinative factor and not the date assigned to a project or when time first is charged to a project.
What if I later expect that the travel will last for more than one year?
Even if overnight travel is initially temporary, if an employee’s expectations for the length of travel change, the travel may become taxable long-term travel. The travel becomes taxable at the time the employee’s expectations change.
What if I am dividing my time between two or more work locations, so that I am not working in a single location for over one year?
Even if you work alternately in two different locations and are not working in a single location for over one year, you may be in a LTTT situation if you receive travel reimbursements. If you regularly perform duties in a location other than your official station, and this situation is expected to last for over a year or is indefinite, then you must determine which work location is your main work location for tax purposes. The key factors are where you perform your principal duties, how long you will be performing them at that location, and where you spend the majority of your time. If you are being reimbursed for travel to your main work location, whether or not this is your official station, then you are in a LTTT situation.
This section provides IRS guidance and instructions to supplement FTR Chapter 301, Subchapter B, Part 301-11, Subpart F, Income Tax Reimbursement Allowance.
How are employees reimbursed for the Federal, State and local taxes?
The Income Tax Reimbursement Allowance (ITRA) reimburses employees for their Federal, State, and local income tax liability incurred as the result of being reimbursed for tax expenses while on LTTT. The ITRA does not reimburse employees for the FICA taxes normally paid by the employee.
The ITRA is paid in two parts:
Payment of a withholding tax allowance at the time vouchers are paid.
Payment of the final ITRA in the following calendar year.
Under what circumstances am I required to file an ITRA claim?
You are required to file an ITRA claim if you received taxable reimbursements associated with long-term taxable travel during the previous year and received a withholding tax allowance (WTA).
When must my ITRA claim be filed?
You must file your ITRA claim no later than six months (180 days) after receiving notice of the need to file. If you do not file your ITRA claim, it will be assumed that your ITRA amount is zero. Consequently, you would have to repay the amount of the WTA previously paid to you for the related reimbursements. You may request an extension of the filing date; however, for the BFC to consider the request, you must show just cause, such as approval of extension to file your current year Federal Tax Return.
This section provides IRS guidance and instructions to supplement FTR Chapter 301, Subchapter C, Parts 301-50, 301-51 and 301-52, Arranging for Travel Services, Paying Travel Expenses, and Claiming Reimbursement.
How should I make my travel arrangements?
You must use GovTrip for transportation and car rental reservations. The preferred method for booking hotel reservations is GovTrip or the TMC.
How does a TMC fit in with GovTrip?
GovTrip travel management services include both online and agent-assisted travel reservations. Using the GovTrip OnLine Booking Engine (OBE) will not replace the TMC; the TMC will conduct quality checks to ensure your reservation is complete and provides travel reservation support.
Are there situations where I may go directly to the TMC for assistance?
Yes, in the following situations:
Travelers booking international reservations with multiple destinations.
Travelers needing to travel within the next 24 hours.
Travelers changing/modifying an existing reservations which have already been ticketed.
Travelers with disabilities and/or special needs (for example, second seat required, companion travel, service dogs, etc.).
Travelers booking leisure trips along with official business trips.
Travelers whose lodging circumstances, including travel to a remote location, will not allow them to book through the GovTrip OBE.
Are there situations where I may reserve a room by contacting the hotel directly?
Yes, in the following situations:
When you are attending a conference where a number of rooms for the conference have been reserved for participants and you have been instructed to call the lodging facility directly to book one of the reserved rooms.
When you are in a situation where it is not possible to book the lodging through the TMC.
What are the consequences of not using GovTrip or the IRS-designated TMC for my travel arrangements?
You are responsible for any additional costs such as outside vendors’ transaction fees, electronic ticketing fees, delivery fee, or cancellation fees resulting from failure to use GovTrip or the TMC. In addition, your approving official may take appropriate disciplinary actions as stated in IRS Guide to Penalty Determinations, Failure to Observe Written Regulations, Orders, Rules, or IRS Procedures.
How do I know that the TMC has received my reservation?
The TMC will email an itinerary confirming the reservation to the email address listed in your GovTrip profile. If you do not receive an emailed itinerary within 24 hours after your approving official has approved your authorization, contact the ERC.
When will my reservation be ticketed?
Unless otherwise requested, most refundable reservations will be ticketed two to three days in advance of the travel departure date. Upon ticketing, the TMC will email an invoice to you, as a confirmation of ticketing. Restricted and penalty fares usually require immediate ticketing. Amtrak tickets may be issued in advance as Amtrak has different ticketing requirements.
If my authorization is not approved will my reservation be ticketed?
No, unapproved authorizations/reservations in GovTrip will not be ticketed. Reservations are set up for ticketing when the manager has approved the authorization in GovTrip.
What if I need to cancel my reservation?
You need to immediately take the following actions to avoid unnecessary fees:
Reservations made through GovTrip which have not been ticketed should be cancelled in GovTrip. Reservations made by contacting the TMC for agent assistance must be cancelled by contacting the TMC directly. As long as the reservation has not yet been ticketed, no transaction fee will be incurred. You also need to close or cancel your authorization in GovTrip.
Reservations which have been ticketed cannot be cancelled in GovTrip. You must contact the TMC directly to cancel the reservations and you will incur the TMC transaction fee. You may be reimbursed if you submit a voucher and your approving official determines that the cost was unavoidable for official reasons.
What if I need to change my travel plans?
GovTrip allows you to make as many changes as necessary for air, hotel, and/or car reservations after you have submitted (booked) your reservation for purchase. However, once the TMC has issued tickets, you will not be able to make any changes in GovTrip. If a change in travel plans occurs after your ticket has been issued, you need to call the TMC to make the change. You will be charged a full-service TMC transaction fee for the change, in addition to your previous transaction fee, regardless if you made the initial arrangements using GovTrip. A transaction fee is charged each time a ticket is issued.
What if my trip is cancelled or rescheduled by the airlines?
In the event that your trip is cancelled or rescheduled by the airlines, and it is within the airline's control, the airline is required to book you on its next available flight, at no additional cost. If you have an after-hours travel emergency or need to resolve an en-route problem, you need to call the TMC for assistance.
What if I miss my flight?
If you miss your flight, you need to call the TMC for assistance.
How will the TMC handle emergency travel?
The TMC has a live representative to assist with emergency travel. The emergency phone number is listed on your itinerary.
How do I make train reservations?
If Amtrak tickets are under $100, you may purchase tickets directly from Amtrak utilizing your Government travel card. You must still enter your authorization and voucher in GovTrip. If Amtrak tickets cost more than $100, you must go through GovTrip to book the reservations.
Can I pick the tickets up at an Amtrak station?
Yes, if you want to pick up tickets at an Amtrak station, you should do the following:
Tell the TMC you want a courtesy reservation at Amtrak.
Get the record locator number from the TMC.
Take the record locator number to the Amtrak station.
Pay for the tickets at the Amtrak station using your Government travel card.
How do I book international travel?
You must use GovTrip to make your reservations for international travel. You should contact the TMC directly to book international travel with multiple legs as the TMC is better able to assist you. You must get prior approval for foreign travel from LB&I in accordance with IRM 220.127.116.11.5 before making your reservations.
How are travel expenses requiring special approval handled in GovTrip?
GovTrip has a feature called "conditional routing" which allows for various travel expenses to be routed to the appropriate official for approval. This includes, but is not limited to: first-class and business-class airfare, foreign travel, and use of the Centrally Billed Account.
Am I able to combine an official travel reservation with a personal travel reservation in GovTrip?
No, GovTrip is for official Government travel only.
What do I do if I want to combine personal and business travel?
If you would like to combine personal travel with official travel and go to multiple locations, you must contact the TMC agent for assistance. You are personally responsible for the additional transaction fee for this service. The TMC will provide you with the cheaper of two options:
Option One -- The TMC will book the official travel fare from your official station to the TDY location and return to your official station, and exchange the ticket for a leisure fare for the entire itinerary.
Option Two -- The TMC will book the official fare from your official station to the TDY location and return to your official station, and add a leisure fare from the TDY location to the leisure destination back to the TDY location.
If you want to make other arrangements, you need to ask the TMC to issue the official ticket early and go directly to the airline for an exchange or reissue. At least one portion of the leisure leg has to be on the same airline as the official travel. You will receive two invoices. The official fare is charged at a Government rate to the Government travel card, with a Government transaction fee. The leisure fare is charged at a leisure rate (Government fares are prohibited) to a personal charge card, with a leisure transaction fee. Also, you must agree and sign the leisure itinerary accepting financial responsibility for the ticket if the official trip is cancelled. These reservations are processed and ticketed upon receipt of the signed itinerary.
After the completion of my official travel, if I remain at a TDY location for personal reasons over the weekend before returning to my residence, can I use a contract carrier and charge the round-trip airfare to my Government travel card?
Yes, if you are performing official business at a TDY location and stay over for personal reasons, you may use a contract carrier and charge the airfare to the Government travel card. If you need to change the ticket to stay, then you are responsible for any additional charges.
How do I obtain a trip itinerary?
The TMC will email your itinerary, which you can print when you complete a travel authorization with reservations through GovTrip. Additionally, you can access your reservation through www.virtuallythere.com. You will need the six-digit alpha locator code, and your IRS email address.
Can I get either an eticket or a paper ticket?
GovTrip automatically defaults to etickets. Paper tickets are issued only when itineraries cannot be eticketed. Please note, travelers will not be reimbursed for fees associated with paper tickets when etickets are available. Travelers requesting paper tickets for personal reasons will need to provide a personal form of payment to the TMC at the time of reservation.
Are the hotels GovTrip displays all within the per diem rate for that destination?
No, the list of available hotels that GovTrip provides to travelers does not specifically isolate "per diem" hotels; some rates listed will be over the allowable per diem rate. You will need to know the per diem rate for the destination and then find a suitable hotel from the list of hotels. Links to domestic and international per diem tables are available on the GovTrip hotel request page.
May I do a cost comparison in GovTrip?
No, while GovTrip allows the traveler to see vouchers side by side, it has no cost comparison computation capability. A link is available on the IRS login page of GovTrip and also on the CFO website for travelers to do cost comparisons. The cost comparison should be scanned or faxed into GovTrip for the approving official review. When doing a cost comparison, you need to make sure that you compare like classes; for example, if you want to compare the costs of traveling by air versus rail, you would compare coach airfare with coach rail fare.
What are the fees for using GovTrip?
The fees charged for using GovTrip are:
Travel Authorization and Voucher (TAV) fee.
TMC transaction fee.
What types of TAV fees are there?
There are city-to-city TAV and city-to-city travel TAV fees. The city-to-city travel TAV fees are less than the city-to-city fees.
When is the TAV fee charged?
The TAV fee automatically populates on a GovTrip authorization when you complete your authorization in GovTrip. The TAV fees are not charged to the traveler. You should not add this as a separate expense.
How is the TAV fee paid?
The TAV fee appears automatically on each travel voucher and is paid by IRS after each travel voucher is processed. Travelers should not claim TAV fees as reimbursable expenses on their travel vouchers.
What types of TMC fees are there?
There are two types of TMC fees: an online booking fee that you incur when you make your travel arrangements using GovTrip and the OBE and an agent-assist fee which is a full-service fee that you incur if you contact the TMC for assistance. The agent-assist fee is higher than the online booking fee.
When is the TMC transaction fee charged?
The transaction fee is charged when the ticket is issued.
When will I be charged more than one transaction fee?
You will be charged an additional transaction TMC fee if another ticket is issued because of a required change to the itinerary.
What happens to the transaction fee if I remove my reservation from the travel authorization?
GovTrip will automatically remove the transaction fee when all reservations are removed from an adjusted or amended authorization that has not been stamped ticketed.
When does the online transaction fee change to an agent-assist reservation fee?
The online transaction fee will change to a agent-assist transaction fee when agent intervention/assistance is necessary.
What is a traveler profile and what is it used for?
Your traveler profile provides the TMC and GovTrip information needed to make a reservation in accordance with your preferences. It includes your name, home and office mailing addresses, office phone number, email address, billing information, preferred airport, frequent flyer numbers, preferred airline seating, and any special accommodations needed.
Should my name in the GovTrip profile match the name on the identification that I use at an airport security checkpoint?
Yes, in accordance with the new security Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requirements, the name printed on your tickets must match the name on the identification (ID) that you use at the airport security checkpoint.
For what expenses must I use the Government travel card?
You should use the travel card to the maximum extent possible. At a minimum, you must use the Government travel card to pay for transportation, lodging, and rental cars.
What types of expenses cannot be charged on the Government travel card?
You may not use your Government travel card for any personal expenses. See below for a list of some of the unauthorized uses:
Personal items and services.
Personal airline tickets and companion tickets.
Restaurants at your official station.
Alcohol and alcoholic beverages for which a separate charge is made.
Long distance calls (except for calls billed to your hotel room).
Fuel for a government-owned car (use the fleet purchase card).
Expenses associated with obtaining meeting space.
What are the consequences of using the Government travel card for non-official travel purposes?
Management may take disciplinary action when a Government travel card has been used inappropriately. Disciplinary actions range from oral and written reprimands, to suspension without pay, to removal. Managers should contact Labor Relations for advice and assistance regarding disciplinary action.
What travelers are exempted from the mandatory use of Government travel card?
The IRS exempts the following groups of travelers from the mandatory use of the Government travel card:
Infrequent travelers -- Employees who travel away from their official station less than twice a year.
New employees -- These employees are exempt until they obtain the Government travel card. New employees who are identified by their managers to be frequent travelers are expected to obtain and use a travel card within 45 days after they report for duty.
Employees with suspended or cancelled Government travel cards.
Who in the IRS has the authority to grant an exemption from the requirement to use the Government travel card?
The following have the authority to grant exemptions:
The Associate Director, Employee Support Services, Credit Card Services Branch has the authority to grant exemptions from mandatory use of the Government travel card for financial hardship and religious reasons.
The Manager, International Meetings, Travel, and Visitors' Programs in LB&I may grant exemptions from the mandatory use of the Government travel card for overseas travel on a case-by-case basis.
How do I request an exemption from use of the Government travel card?
You must prepare a memorandum requesting an exemption from use of the Government travel card and submit it for approval to the appropriate office described in IRM 18.104.22.168.4(5).
What is the difference between a standard Government travel card and a restricted Government travel card?
The differences between the features of the standard and restricted travel card are as follows:
Standard Government Travel Card -- includes a maximum monthly card limit of $5,000, a merchant category code template for official travel expenses, and ATM access.
Restricted Government Travel Card -- includes the same benefits of the standard travel card; however, ATM access is not granted. For additional information on the Government travel card, see IRM 1.32.4, Travel Card Program Handbook.
What method of payment must I use for all common carrier transportation expenses?
For common carrier transportation expenses, you must use one of the following methods:
For passenger transportation services costing $100 or less, you will use a Government travel card. If the Government travel card is not accepted or you do not have one, you may use personal funds.
For passenger transportation services costing, over $100, you must use a Government travel card or the Centrally Billed Account. You may not use cash, personal checks, or personal credit cards for any common carrier expenses that total more than $100 without prior approval from your Head of Office.
For baggage charges, you must use a Government travel card. If the Government travel card is not accepted, you may use personal funds.
Which payment methods are considered the equivalent of cash?
The following payment methods are considered the equivalent of cash:
Personal charge cards.
Cash withdrawals obtained from an ATM using a Government travel card.
Checks, both personal and travelers.
How is my transportation reimbursement affected if I make an unauthorized cash purchase of common carrier transportation?
Your reimbursement will be limited to the cost of such transportation using the authorized method of payment.
What is the policy governing the use of travel advances?
IRS policy is that employees will use the ATM feature of their Government travel cards to obtain advances. If an employee has a Restricted Government travel card or no card at all, then the approving official may authorize the issuance of travel advances through GovTrip or manual travel authorizations. The approving official should minimize the use of cash travel advances.
What method must I use to obtain a travel advance?
Automated Teller Machine (ATM) -- If you have a Government travel card with a standard cardholder status, you may obtain cash from the ATM for expenses that cannot be charged to the Government travel card. A limit of $100 per day with overall ATM withdrawal limit of $1,000 per month is allowed for official travel expenses.
Restricted Government Card (with GovTrip access) -- If you have a restricted Government travel card but GovTrip access, you can get a travel advance for up to 40% of all your reimbursable expenses, except transportation costs. The advance is deposited into your account by EFT.
Restricted Government Travel Card (without GovTrip access) -- If you have a restricted Government travel card and no GovTrip access, then you can get a travel advance for up to 40% of all your reimbursable expenses, except transportation costs. You need to submit Form 13635, Manual Travel Authorization, with Section 3, Travel Advance, completed and approved, to BFC. The advance is deposited into your account by EFT.
No Government Travel Card -- If you are exempt from using the Government travel card under IRM 22.214.171.124.4(5), you may request an advance up to 100% to cover all expenses excluding common carrier transportation, by submitting Form 13635, Manual Travel Authorization, with Section 3, Travel Advance, completed and approved, to BFC. The advance is deposited into your account by EFT. If you request a manual travel advance, you must file a manual travel voucher.
How many travel advances can I receive per authorization?
You can receive one advance per authorization.
Is there a limit on the amount of advance I can receive on an authorization, if I am performing long-term taxable travel?
Yes, travel advances can not exceed the estimated cost of the trip minus all taxes.
When must I account for my travel advance?
Your travel advance must be liquidated when:
You file your interim and/or final travel vouchers.
Your trip is cancelled or postponed.
Your travel authorization expires.
If your trip is cancelled, or postponed, or your travel authorization expires, you must submit payment by check or money order made payable to the Internal Revenue Service and mail it to the following address:
Internal Revenue Service
Beckley Finance Center
P.O. Box 9002
Beckley, WV 25802
Can my travel advance be used to offset delinquent debts I owe to a Federal or State agency?
Yes, through the Treasury Offset Program (TOP). If you owe a delinquent debt to a Federal or State agency and that agency refers the debt to Treasury. Treasury will offset any Federal payment due to you to enforce collection of the delinquent debt. Federal payments eligible for offset include your Federal salary, travel advances and reimbursements, tax refunds, and Federal retirement payments.
If my travel advance was processed in GovTrip and intercepted through TOP to pay a delinquent debt I owe to IRS (for example, an unliquidated prior travel advance) or another debt owed, can I request a manual travel advance?
No, you cannot receive two advances for the same authorization.
If I am eligible for an advance by EFT, when will I receive it?
It takes three to five days from the date your approving official approves your advance request for the EFT to process and be deposited in your designated account. If you wish to receive the advance two to three days prior to your departure, then your approving official needs to approve the advance request at least five working days before your departure date.
If I obtain a cash advance via an ATM, how do I account for the cash withdrawal on my voucher?
You do not account for the cash withdrawal on your voucher because it is accounted for through your expenses. When filing your travel voucher, you will enter all your expenses as you normally do, including any expenses you may have paid by using the ATM cash withdrawal (taxis, incidental expenses, etc.).
How do I claim the ATM fees on my travel voucher?
ATM cash withdrawal fees should be claimed as miscellaneous expenses.
Will GovTrip automatically liquidate my travel advance when I file my travel voucher?
Yes, GovTrip will automatically apply your travel reimbursement to any outstanding advance(s).
Are there exceptions to liquidating an advance at the time I file a travel voucher?
No, you must liquidate the advance when you file your voucher.
Can I liquidate my travel advance with a supplemental voucher?
No, after the final voucher is filed, the travel advance is no longer available in GovTrip. The travel advance is converted to an accounts receivable when a final voucher is processed.
Is the approving official responsible for ensuring the repayment of outstanding travel advances?
Yes, the approving official is responsible for monitoring your travel advance(s) to ensure repayment is made timely.
What portion of a travel advance becomes a debt upon completion of the trip for which the advance was issued?
The portion of the travel advance which exceeds the travel expenses claimed on an approved travel voucher becomes a debt.
What must I do if my outstanding travel advance exceeds the amount of my travel voucher?
When the outstanding advance exceeds your travel expenses, you must submit a check or money order for the excess amount. The check or money order must be made payable to the Internal Revenue Service and submitted to:
Internal Revenue Service
ATTN: Travel Management
Beckley Finance Center
P.O. Box 9002
Beckley, WV 25802-9002
What happens if I do not submit a check or money order for the full amount that exceeds the travel expenses with my approved travel voucher to fully liquidate my travel advance?
If you do not submit a check or money order to liquidate your travel advance, it is considered a debt and subject to the debt collection procedures provided by applicable legislative and regulatory authority, including the Debt Collection Act of 1982, Public Law 97-365, Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, Public Law 104-134, and the Federal Claims Collection Standards. These authorities provide for the assessment of interest, penalties, and administrative charges, and collection by administrative, salary, and tax-refund offset.
What happens if I do not repay my travel advance upon notification that my trip was cancelled, postponed, or if I do not file my travel voucher within 30 days of the end of my travel date, and my authorization expires?
The entire amount of the travel advance is considered a debt and subject to the debt collection procedures.
When does my travel advance become taxable?
Your travel advance becomes taxable if it remains outstanding for more than 150 days from the date on the first deobligation notification you received from GovTrip. Additionally, you must still repay the advance in full.
How can I avoid having my travel advance balance reported as taxable income?
Your travel advance will not be reported as taxable income if you file a travel voucher substantiating your expenses and return any excess amount to BFC within 150 days from the first deobligation notification. You should liquidate the advance by submitting a travel voucher within five workdays after completion of travel.
What should the approving official do if a traveler does not pay back a travel advance when submitting a manual travel voucher?
The approving official should return the voucher to the traveler and request that Section 8 on SF 1012, Travel Voucher be completed.
If I do not liquidate a travel advance within 150 days and it becomes taxable income, do I still need to repay the travel advance?
Yes, the advance is still owed despite it becoming taxable.
If I receive a Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, for my outstanding travel advance and later repay the travel advance, will I receive a corrected Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement?
Yes, you will receive a Form W-2c Statement of Corrected Income and Tax Amounts, to show the change in social security and Medicare wages and tax.
Under what authority does the IRS report as taxable income an unused travel advance?
The Family Support Act of 1988, Public Law No. 100-485, requires the IRS to report, as taxable income, any overdue unliquidated travel advance.
Am I required to file a travel voucher?
Yes, if you travel on behalf of the IRS, you must account for your expenses through the travel voucher process. You must submit your travel voucher in one of two formats: electronically using GovTrip or manually if your travel authorization was manually submitted. You must submit the voucher within 5 workdays after completion of travel.
What happens to my open travel authorization if I do not file my voucher?
Open travel authorizations, where no approved vouchers have been filed, are automatically cancelled 30 calendar days after the scheduled travel end date. You will not be able to modify the authorization once it is has been cancelled. If you have expenses associated with the cancelled authorization, you are required to process a new travel authorization.
When I complete my travel, how do I get reimbursed for my travel expenses?
You must prepare and forward a travel voucher in GovTrip to your approving official for electronic signature within five working days after you return or every 30 days for continuous travel.
How will I be reimbursed?
If you file through GovTrip, your reimbursement will occur through a split disbursement process. If you file a manual SF1012, Travel Voucher, you will receive reimbursement for all claimed expenses by EFT.
What is split disbursement?
Split disbursement permits direct payment via EFT to the Government travel card issuer for charges incurred on the travel card with the travel cardholder receiving any residual amounts by EFT for expenses not charged to the Government travel card. All airfare, lodging, rental car, and non-mileage expenses charged on the credit card will be credited to the Government travel card account after the approved voucher is processed and the payment will go directly to the Government travel card issuer. You will receive a bill reflecting the charges and the payments processed from GovTrip. The Government travel card issuer will bill you for the balance of any unpaid amounts.
Am I required to use split disbursement?
Yes, split disbursement is the default payment method for GovTrip. All travelers have the option to change the method and amount of payment. If the method and amount of payment is changed, you will be required to explain why you are not using the split disbursement payment method as part of the GovTrip pre-audit process.
What information must I provide on my travel voucher?
You must provide the following information:
The dates of arrival to and departure from the TDY location and any personal stopovers, if you did not travel directly to or from your TDY location. Do not include stopovers to change planes.
The M&IE allowance amount on a daily basis.
All common carrier charges and lodging expenses.
Expenses for telephone calls, local transportation fares, mileage, and parking meter fees. These amounts may be aggregated; however, any individual expenses over $75 must be listed separately.
Personal time taken during the TDY travel, for which you need to account.
When the approving official limits your M&IE reimbursement rate to below the maximum M&IE for the locality concerned, you must state the reduced rate on a daily basis.
Accounting code information.
How do I claim travel expenses that are to be charged to a different office's budget other than my own?
The office directing the travel is responsible for providing instructions to the traveler containing the correct accounting codes to use when filing travel vouchers.
What receipts and supporting documentation are required when I file my travel voucher?
You must provide receipts for:
Rental car expenses.
Baggage fees over $75.
Individual expenses over $75.
Reporting instructions for training classes.
What should I do with my travel receipts?
When using GovTrip, you must scan or fax all receipts required for expenses detailed in IRM 126.96.36.199.7(9) into GovTrip. The approving official must review the receipts in GovTrip before approving and signing the travel voucher. GovTrip retains copies of the receipts for six years and three months so they are available for subsequent audits. You may want to keep your original receipts for your records for six years and three months.
When filing a manual voucher, you must attach original receipts to your manual travel voucher for your approving official to review before signing the voucher. Your approving official must retain the attached receipts for six years and three months.
Must I provide original receipts if I file a manual travel voucher?
Yes, when filing a manual travel voucher, you must provide original receipts, or explain in writing why you are unable to provide the necessary receipts. The explanation must be acceptable to the approving official. If you submit copies of receipts, you must also attach a justification statement explaining the reason(s) why the original receipts cannot be provided. The approving official will return any voucher submitted with copies of receipts without a justification statement.
What if I cannot provide a receipt?
You must provide an explanation on the travel voucher indicating why the receipt was not provided. Inconvenience is not an acceptable explanation for failure to provide receipts.
Are there any non-travel costs that I can claim on my travel voucher?
Yes, you may claim reimbursement for the following expenses not directly related to the performance of travel, but incurred in the course of travel:
Administrative summons expenses.
Right to Financial Privacy Act fees.
You must identify these expenses on your travel authorization and voucher and provide receipts, regardless of amount. Claims for investigator expenses are normally limited to $75 on each occasion without prior approval. Investigator expenses up to $125 are allowed when accompanied by evidence of prior approval for the greater amount. In this case, receipts are not required.
Can I claim confidential expenses on my travel voucher?
No, you can not submit claims for confidential expenses on travel vouchers.
Can I claim a training or conference fee on my travel voucher?
No, training and conference fees must be paid using a small purchase procurement method. Contact the Financial Office in your business unit for more information.
Must I sign a travel voucher?
Yes, you must electronically sign your voucher in GovTrip and if filing a manual voucher, you must prepare your claim on SF1012, Travel Voucher, and sign the voucher in ink. Any alterations to a manual travel voucher must be initialed.
Who must authorize and approve travel vouchers?
The approving official must authorize and approve travel vouchers as provided in Delegation Order 1-30, Approval of Travel Advances, Travel and Transportation Services, and Travel Vouchers.
Within how many calendar days after I submit a travel voucher should my approving official approve my voucher?
Your approving official should, within seven calendar days, approve or return your voucher for correction to ensure payment within 30 calendar days after submission.
Who is responsible for the validity of the travel voucher?
The traveler and approving official are responsible for the validity of the voucher and must ensure all travel expenses are prudent, accurate, and necessary.
What must an approving official do if he/she disallows an expense claimed on a travel voucher?
The approving official will do the following:
If an employee files a voucher electronically and the approving official disallows an expense, then the approving official will provide the reason for the disallowance in GovTrip and will return the document to the traveler.
If an employee files a manual voucher and the approving official disallows an expense claimed on that voucher, then the approving official will issue a "Notice of Disallowance" and authorize payment of the amount of the travel claim which is not in dispute.
Notify the employee of the disallowance.
What must I do to challenge a disallowed claim?
You must submit a request for reconsideration of the disallowed amount by sending the voucher back to your approving official with a full explanation of the circumstances and the reasons for considering the amount of reimbursement. If your approving official denies the request for reconsideration, you may submit a request for reconsideration of the disallowance, to the CFO, IFM, Office of Financial Management Policy. Requests for reconsideration must include:
A full explanation of the circumstances and the reasons you requested reimbursement of the disallowed amount.
A full itemization for all disallowed items reclaimed.
Receipts for the disallowed items that require receipts.
A copy of the "Notice of Disallowance" .
The proper authority for the claim if challenging the IRS application of the law or statute.
If my challenge of a disallowed claim is approved, how do I get reimbursed?
If your request is approved by the CFO, IFM, Office of Financial Management Policy and if you submitted a voucher using GovTrip, then you must process a supplemental voucher in GovTrip using the Amend link. If you submitted a manual voucher, you need to:
Prepare a new SF1012, Travel Voucher, to claim the amount disallowed on the original voucher.
Write Supplemental Voucher at the top of the new voucher.
Sign the supplemental voucher.
Attach a copy of the approval notice.
Have your approving official sign and date the voucher.
Mail the supplemental voucher to:
Internal Revenue Service
ATTN: Travel Management Section
Beckley Finance Center
P.O. Box 9002
Beckley, WV 25802
Where do I submit my request for reconsideration if my challenge of a disallowed claim is denied by the CFO, IFM, Office of Financial Management Policy?
You request reconsideration as follows:
Bargaining unit employees should contact their Union representative.
Non-bargaining unit employees whose claims are denied may file a claim with GSA Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (GSBCA). (The burden is on the claimant to establish the timeliness of the claim and the liability of the claim based on the information submitted by the claimant and the Service).
Claims should be received by the GSBCA or Union within one year of the date the expense was incurred.
How long does it take for me to receive my travel reimbursement?
You will receive your reimbursement three to five working days after the travel voucher is approved in GovTrip.
Can a supplemental voucher be processed in GovTrip?
Yes, if a travel expense is inadvertently omitted from a travel voucher, you may file a supplemental voucher to claim the expense.
How do I correct an already paid voucher?
To add an expense to a previously submitted voucher, you must file a supplemental voucher to add the omitted expense, and sign the voucher. The voucher will be processed and the added expense will be reimbursed.
To adjust for overpayments on the voucher, complete the Debt Collection Repayment Memo and submit a check or money order to BFC for the overpaid amount to the following address:
Internal Revenue Service
ATTN: Debt Collection Unit
Beckley Finance Center
P.O. Box 9002
Beckley, WV 25802-9002
Do I need receipts for a supplemental voucher?
Yes, you must have receipts for amounts claimed over $75 on a supplemental voucher, just as required for an original voucher.
This section provides IRS guidance and instructions to supplement FTR Chapter 301, Subchapter C, Part 301-53, Using Promotional Materials and Frequent Traveler Programs.
May I join a frequent traveler program?
Yes, however, the IRS will not reimburse any membership fees for a frequent traveler program.
When the IRS participates in a mandatory travel management program, may I select an airline because it provides frequent travel credits?
Yes, as long as the airline provides contract city-pair rates.
This section provides IRS guidance and instructions to supplement FTR Chapter 303, Part 303-70, Agency Requirements for Payment of Expenses Connected with the Death of Certain Employees.
How are travel expenses reimbursed in connection with the death of an employee?
The approving official prepares a manual authorization and travel voucher to claim the travel expenses. The approving official annotates "Employee Deceased" on the employee signature line, signs the voucher, and forwards for payment to the BFC at the following address:
Internal Revenue Service
ATTN: Travel Management Section
Beckley Finance Center
P.O. Box 9002
Beckley, WV 25802-9002
Receipts must be obtained, where applicable and appropriate, and the travel agency contacted for a refund if a round trip flight was involved.
Can I personally accept payment for travel expenses to attend meetings, conferences, or training from another Federal agency?
No, IRS employees may not accept direct payment from another Federal agency. The IRS will be reimbursed by the agency.
Who must approve acceptance of payment from another Federal agency for travel expenses to attend meetings?
The approving official must approve acceptance of payment from another Federal agency.
How do I request payment from another Federal agency?
You must complete an Agency Agreement Form between IRS and the other Federal agency and submit it to your approving official. This agreement must be completed before your travel begins. The form IAG Federal Travel Form is provided on BFC website or you may contact BFC using the phone number listed on the website: http://cfo.fin.irs.gov/IntFinMgmt/BFC/BFC_Index.htm.
How should the other Federal agency pay for the travel expenses?
There are two methods for a Federal agency to pay travel expenses:
Pay-in-kind --The Federal agency pays all costs. There are no out-of-pocket expenses paid by the employee.
Direct Reimbursement --The Federal agency reimburses the IRS for the costs incurred by the employee.
How do I claim travel reimbursement when another Federal agency is paying my expenses?
You are required to have an approved travel authorization before travel. After you complete the travel, you must claim your expenses on a travel voucher to be reimbursed by the IRS. You may not claim travel expenses that were paid in-kind by the Federal agency. Once you complete your voucher, the business unit submits a request for reimbursement to the paying Federal agency. The business unit must contact the BFC Travel Management Section, if it needs further instructions.
What should we do if a Federal agency does not pay the full cost of expenses that an employee incurs during travel?
If the approving official determines, in advance of the employee's travel, that payment from a Federal agency will cover some, but not all, of the employee's allowable travel and subsistence expenses, the approving official should state on the employee's travel authorization that the employee will be reimbursed the difference between the full allowances and the in-kind payment from the Federal agency.
What happens if the approving official disapproves my request for another Federal agency to pay travel expenses?
If the request is disapproved by your approving official, you must graciously decline the travel payment from the Federal agency. However, if your business organization determines that your participation is in the interest of the IRS, it may be prudent and appropriate for the IRS to fund the trip.
May the IRS authorize an employee to exceed the maximum subsistence allowance prescribed in applicable travel regulations where we have authorized acceptance of payment from another Federal agency?
Yes, subsistence allowances are usually limited to the maximum per diem, actual expense, or lodging prescribed in this Guide. However, an employee may exceed the maximum subsistence allowance established by this policy and approved by the approving official if:
The Federal agency pays the full amount of subsistence expenses at issuance.
The subsistence expense paid by the Federal agency is comparable in value to that offered to or purchased by meeting attendees.
The maximum subsistence allowance prescribed by the Secretary of State for travel to foreign areas may not be exceeded.
May the IRS authorize an employee to travel by business-class common carrier accommodations if the IRS accepts payment in full from a Federal agency for such transportation expenses?
Yes, but the Commissioner LB&I must approve the request for use of business-class common carrier accommodations in accordance with IRM 188.8.131.52.1.1.
May I use first-class common carrier accommodations if the other Federal agency authorizes first-class transportation expenses?
Yes, if the non-Federal source pays for the use of first-class common carrier accommodations. You must still meet the criteria for the use of first-class transportation and obtain prior approval from the Commissioner in accordance with IRM 184.108.40.206.1.1.
This section provides IRS guidance and instructions to supplement FTR Chapter 304, Payment of Travel Expenses From a Non-Federal Source.
When can the IRS accept payment from a non-Federal source for travel to a meeting or authorize an employee to accept payment on behalf of the IRS?
The IRS can accept payment from a non-Federal source or authorize an employee and/or the employee's spouse to accept payment on behalf of the IRS only when:
The travel is in the interest of the Government and relates to the employee's official duties.
Chief Counsel, General Legal Services (GLS), has reviewed the request and determined that there is no conflict of interest.
The employee has obtained written approval from the Deputy Commissioner, Operations Support, or the Deputy Commissioner, Services and Enforcement, through IFM.
The travel authorization for the employee and/or the employee's spouse, when applicable, was approved before the travel began.
How do I request approval for payment from a non-Federal source?
The business unit Head of Office, including Chief Counsel, must prepare a letter for the appropriate Deputy Commissioner and route it through CFO, IFM, Office of Financial Management Policy (FMP) to GLS for a conflict of interest determination.
GLS will make a conflict of interest determination. Upon completion, GLS will forward the conflict of interest determination memo, along with the letter for the Deputy Commissioner back to FMP.
FMP will forward the letter to the Deputy Commissioner for signature.
The Deputy Commissioner will return the package back to FMP.
FMP will provide copies of the approval or disapproval to the business unit.
What information must be submitted to the Office of Financial Management Policy for the conflict of interest analysis?
The request must include the following information:
Identity of the non-Federal source.
Purpose of the meeting.
Location and dates of the meeting, including travel dates.
Identity of other expected participants.
Names and titles of all participants within the requesting office.
Nature and sensitivity of any matters pending at the IRS which may affect the interest of the non-Federal source.
Significance of the employee's role in such matters.
Monetary value of the travel benefit offered by the non-Federal source, including what expenses are being paid by the source (that is, lodging, taxi, meals, transportation, etc.).
A copy of the invitation from the non-Federal source.
How far in advance of travel should I submit the request to accept payment from a non-Federal source?
You must submit the memorandum at least 30 days before travel to the CFO, IFM, Office of Financial Management Policy.
What if GLS determines there is a conflict of interest?
If GLS determines there is a conflict of interest, then you must decline the offer.
Who will notify me if the non-Federal source travel payment is approved or disapproved?
If GLS finds that there is no conflict of interest, and a Deputy Commissioner approves the request, then the CFO, IFM, Office of Financial Management Policy will notify you of the approval. If GLS determines there is a conflict the request will be disapproved and you will be notified by CFO, IFM, Office of Financial Management Policy.
Are there any other factors besides the conflict of interest analysis that a Deputy Commissioner considers before authorizing acceptance of a travel payment from a non-Federal source?
Yes, the Deputy Commissioner must consider whether acceptance of the payment would cause a reasonable person with knowledge of all facts to question the integrity of IRS programs or operations. The Deputy Commissioner may find that, while acceptance from the non-Federal source is permissible, it is in the best interest of the IRS to qualify acceptance of the offered payment. For example, the IRS may authorize attendance for only a portion of the event or limit the type or nature of benefits that may be accepted.
What if my request for acceptance of a travel payment from a non-Federal source is disapproved?
If the Deputy Commissioner disapproves your request, the IRS cannot accept payment from the non-Federal source. However, your business organization may determine that your participation is in the interest of the IRS, and the IRS can fund the trip.
May I accept a monetary payment in the form of cash from a non-Federal source?
No, you may not accept a monetary payment in any form from a non-Federal source. Monetary payment(s) received from a non-Federal source must be in the form of a check or similar instrument made payable to the IRS. The non-Federal source must mail a check payable to the IRS to the BFC for processing. The mailing address is:
Internal Revenue Service
Beckley Finance Center
ATTN: Debt Collection Unit
P. O. Box 9002
Beckley, WV 25802-9002
Who is responsible for ensuring that the payment from the non-Federal source is received on behalf of the IRS?
The traveler or the business unit is responsible for ensuring the non-Federal source provides the IRS payment of travel expenses to BFC. The business unit is responsible for providing the non-Federal source with the proper accounting code information so that the payment can be credited to the correct account.
May the IRS authorize an employee to exceed the maximum subsistence allowance prescribed in applicable travel regulations where we have authorized acceptance of payment from a non-Federal source for such allowance?
Yes, approved subsistence allowances are usually limited to the maximum subsistence allowance (per diem, actual expense, or lodging) prescribed in this Guide; however, the maximum subsistence allowance established by this policy and approved by a Deputy Commissioner may be exceeded as long as:
The non-Federal source pays the full amount of subsistence expenses at issuance.
The subsistence expense paid by the non-Federal source is comparable in value to that offered to or purchased by meeting attendees.
The maximum subsistence allowance prescribed by the Secretary of State for travel to foreign areas may not be exceeded.
May the IRS authorize an employee to travel by business-class common carrier accommodations if the IRS accepts payment in full from a non-Federal source for such transportation expenses?
Yes, if the non-Federal source pays for use of business-class. The Commissioner LB&I must approve the request for use of business-class common carrier accommodations in accordance with IRM 220.127.116.11.1.1.
May the IRS authorize an employee to travel by first-class common carrier accommodations if the IRS accepts payment in full from a non-Federal source for such transportation expenses?
Yes, if the non-Federal source pays for the use of first-class common carrier accommodations. You must still meet the criteria for the use of first-class transportation and obtain prior approval from the Commissioner in accordance with IRM 18.104.22.168.1.1.
How should the non-Federal source pay for the travel expenses?
There are two methods for a non-Federal source to pay the IRS:
Pay-in-kind --The non-Federal source directly pays all costs. There are no out-of-pocket expenses paid by the employee.
Direct Reimbursement --The non-Federal source reimburses the IRS for the costs incurred by the employee.
What should I do if a non-Federal source does not pay the full cost for expenses that I will incur during travel?
If the approving official determines in advance that your travel payment from a non-Federal source will cover some, but not all, of your allowable travel and subsistence expenses, the approving official must state on the travel authorization, that you will be reimbursed the difference between the full allowances and the payment from the non-Federal source.
If the acceptance of payment from a non-Federal source is approved and my travel is completed, how will I be reimbursed?
If the non-Federal source is directly reimbursing IRS, you must follow the procedures detailed in IRM 22.214.171.124(4)-(11) on submitting an authorization and IRM 126.96.36.199.7 for filing a voucher. In addition, you must provide receipts for all travel expenses the non-Federal source is paying. If the non-Federal source paid in-kind, you must exclude these expenses from your voucher and claim only the expenses to be paid by IRS.
Must I provide any documentation to the Office of Financial Management Policy upon completion of my travel?
Yes, you or your business unit must provide the following additional information upon completion of your travel:
Travelers name, title, and office.
Description, sponsor, and date of event.
Location and travel dates.
Name of the non-Federal source paying for the travel.
Amount and description of expenses accepted (indicate if by check reimbursement or provided in-kind).
Why must I provide this information?
The IRS is required to report all payments received from non-Federal sources to the Treasury Department which, in turn, reports the information to the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Government Ethics. IRS is also required to provide details related to the payments accepted and all supporting documentation, including the conflict of interest analyses, the approval letters, and copies of checks.
Is there any other authority under which I may accept payments from a non-Federal source?
Yes, you may accept payments from IRC 501(c)(3) tax exempt entities for non-Government sponsored training or meetings under 5 USC § 4111. In these instances, you must still request a conflict of interest analysis from GLS before agreeing to the travel. Your request must contain documentation supporting the status of the entity as tax exempt under 501(c)(3). If GLS determines that there is no conflict of interest and the travel payments may be accepted under 5 USC 4111, you may accept payment directly from the non-Federal source. You would then submit a voucher for only those expenses that IRS needs to pay.