Employee Reimbursable Accountable Plan

February 20, 2024

This notification is to serve as a reminder that the University maintains a tax-free expense reimbursement plan, called an accountable plan, which requires all expenses to be substantiated within 60 days, regardless of funding source.

This means that when an employee incurs a business expense on behalf of the University, in order to be reimbursed on a tax-free basis, this expense must be submitted for repayment within 60 days. Any expenses submitted outside of this window are subject to denial without a strong case as to why the deadline was missed. Exceptions will be rare. It is the responsibility of the employee incurring the expense to ensure the deadline is met—this may mean following up with administrative employees for confirmation of timely submission.

We’ve noticed a few common issues that we’d like to offer additional guidance on.

Departments having “spend-down” money at the end of a fiscal year that they wish to utilize to make additional reimbursements for travel expenses previously incurred, may do so IF the additional expenses are allowable AND were included when all travel expenses related to the trip are submitted within 60 days. Departments may request that an amount less than the total be reimbursed immediately thereby holding some expenses in “suspense” while waiting to see how other budget items fall out. As long as the expenses were submitted within the 60-day window after they were paid or incurred, they were substantiated timely. For budget purposes, the reimbursement would need to be requested in the same fiscal year.
For on-going projects, waiting until the end of the project will not be an option. Expenses need to be submitted within the 60-day window. This may mean that multiple reimbursements are made on a project. The requirement could be monthly, every six weeks or however is going to work best for your area, but the requests need to be in the system before the 60-day threshold has been surpassed.

The accountable plan policy including examples is available here which also includes FAQs.  A matrix (guideline) is also available here.  

Share article to: