2020 Travel Guidelines and EDGAR
Getting out of the office is fun, but then comes the tedious travel reimbursement paperwork! So gather up those receipts, and make sure your rates are current. On January 30, 2020, school officials were notified by the TEA that the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts has announced travel and mileage reimbursement rates effective as of January 1, 2020.
See the full TEA Memo here.
New Reimbursement Rates
- The automobile mileage reimbursement rate has been reduced from 58 cents per mile to 57.5 cents per mile.
- The meal reimbursement rate for overnight travel is listed by city on the federal per diem rate map. If the city you are traveling to is not listed, use the daily rate for the county. If the county to which you are traveling is not listed, use the current maximum daily reimbursement rate of $55.
- The meal reimbursement rate for non-overnight travel is up to $36.
- Lodging reimbursement rates for in-state and out-of-state travel are listed on the federal per diem rate map. If the city you are traveling to is not listed, use the daily rate for the county. If the county to which you are traveling is not listed, use the current maximum daily reimbursement rate of $96.
The mileage, lodging, and meal reimbursement rates published by the comptroller apply to all grants funded by the Texas Education Agency and to charges recorded in the General Fund to state programs for individuals on travel status.
The CSS team provides assistance to clients as they update their written travel procedures to be aligned with EDGAR regulations.
Connection to EDGAR
If your charter uses federal funds to pay for allowable travel, be sure:
- You have in place written policy and procedures for travel paid from state funds AND written policy and procedures for travel paid from federal funds.
- The two policies must specify which set of travel costs to follow — state rates as listed in the TEA letter or rates as published in the Federal Per Diem Rate Map (GSA) website. Federal reimbursements may never exceed the GSA rates.
- The policies are consistent regardless of fund source paying the cost of travel. You cannot reimburse federally funded travel at a rate higher than state-funded travel.
- Advances of any kind are not allowed with federal funds. Travel must be reimbursed after it takes place. This includes air fare. Registrations are considered contracted services and can be paid in advance.
- Although the GSA website establishes a meal per diem, paying flat per day meal rates is not allowed in federal grants. You must reimburse actual costs of meals to the penny, and tips are not allowed out of federal grants.
It is important to carefully review your written policies in light of regulations regarding allowable travel expenses. More detailed information on travel expenditures and what is allowable can be found in the TEA memo.