The Joy of Expense Reimbursements

Expense reimbursements have many different rules and regulations depending on the organization you work for. However, there are a few items that are set in stone; for example, if you spend your own personal money for business related activities, you should be reimbursed for that expense. Generally, you are required to turn in receipts or supporting documentation for the item you are seeking reimbursement for and an expense reimbursement template or request may be required as well. Below are a few examples of expenses you could be reimbursed for.  

Example #1: if you are required to drive somewhere during regular business hours for a business related activity. You can either record the number of miles you drove and multiply that number by the current year IRS mileage rate, which is .535 cents for 2017. Or you could ask your company to rent a car. TIP: If the trip is over 100 miles away, renting a car may be more cost effective.

Example #2: if you purchase office supplies like stamps or paper to perform daily work activities. Your company may order office supplies in bulk and require you to submit a supplies request when supplies are needed. If this is the case, then do not go out and buy your own supplies. However, if you work for a small business and need a package of post-it notes, your supervisor should not be upset if you go out and purchase them. TIP: Always ask for your supervisor’s permission before you go out and buy supplies.

As a general rule, ask for your supervisor’s approval before purchasing something and expecting to be reimbursed for it. Those Friday morning donuts may seem like a valid business expense, but your supervisor may think of it as a generous gift to your coworkers. Remember to read your companies handbook & policies if you have questions about expense reimbursements.