Spouse or Dependent Travel

What is the allowable level of expense?

  • Spousal travel is generally limited to Deans and Senior Officers, and should occur infrequently. Spousal travel must be pre-approved according to the Required Approval heirarchy shown below. Approval will only be granted when the presence of the spouse on a business trip serves a bona fide "business purpose". IRS regulations outline the requirements for reimbursement for spousal travel and failure to meet those requirements will result in the determination of additional taxable income to the employee. (IRS Regulation 463, "Deductible Travel Expenses.")

Required Approval

  1. President must be approved by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees.
  2. Provost must be approved by the President or Chief Financial Officer.
  3. Chief Financial Officer must be approved by the President.
  4. Deans must be approved by the Provost.
  5. Officers must be approved by either the Chief Financial Officer, Provost or President.
  6. All other faculty or staff requests by the Associate Vice President for Finance.

Spouse's Role

  • Business Purpose: When a spouse who attends a function has a significant role in the proceedings or is involved in fund-raising activities, this constitutes a business purpose under IRS regulations. In such cases, the University will reimburse the business traveler for the spouse's non-personal expenses directly resulting from travel on University business.
  • Incidental Duties: The Internal Revenue Services ( IRS ) has ruled that when a spouse attends a meeting or conference as a companion and has no significant role or performs only incidental duties of a clerical or secretarial nature, the attendance does not constitute a business purpose.
  • Exception: Spouse or dependent travel during the employee recruitment/hiring process is allowed under this policy and does not require additional approval.

How do I make my travel arrangements?

How do I pay for the travel expense?

  • Credit card or cash

What level of audit will my Account Reviewer provide?

  • Request has been approved according to the Required Approval heirarchy (shown above)
  • Bona-fide business purpose conforms to IRS regulations.

What documentation do I need to be reimbursed?

  • Explanation of business purpose for the spouse or dependent to accompany traveler
  • Approval documentation from authorized individual as demonstrated in Required Approval heirarchy (shown above)