Guest Reimbursement Instructions

Thank you for visiting Columbia University. Please read the following travel reimbursement guidelines for guests and submit your original receipts and tax forms within 120 days of your visit.

Guests will only be reimbursed for the specific items outlined in their personlized invitation letter. If the guest chooses to purchase additional items, without receiving written permission from their host before their visit, the guest will be responsible for covering those expenses. In addition, Columbia University can only reimburse you for expenses incurred on the date of your visit, as well as one day before and one day after your visit.

Original receipts are required. Unfortunately, we can not accept scanned copies of receipts at this time. Please refer to the list of non-reimburseable expenses before submitting receipts. An original receipt may take many forms (i.e., cash register receipt, copy of an order form, web receipt or confirmation). A receipt must identify:

• the date of purchase

• the vendor name

• itemized list and unit price of the purchased items (including itemized meal receipts showing the breakdown between food and drinks)

• the total amount

If you are unable to obtain an original receipt that contains all the required information, documentation should be submitted to demonstrate as many of the required items as possible. A copy of your credit or debit card statement identifying the date, location and amount of the expense, or a rental agreement, may be submitted along with a description of the purchase, identifying the amount of any expenses to be segregated (i.e., alcohol).


Mail all documents to:

Attn: <insert name of administative staff host>
Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics Department
Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science
Columbia University
500 W. 120th Street
200 Mudd, MC 4701
New York, NY 10027

Note: Your check will be mailed to your home address. If you prefer to be paid via wire transfer, please fill out the Wire Transfer Form and submit it along with your other forms.
 



Honoraria Payment for U.S. Citizen / U.S. Permanent Resident

U.S. citizens only need to submit a W9 form (complete with current residential address, social security number, date and signature)
 



Travel Reimbursements for U.S. Citizen / U.S. Permanent Resident

U.S. Citizens must submit the following documents:

  • W9 form (complete with current residential address, social security number, date and signature)
    Columbia University requires everyone to submit a W-8 or W-9 form for travel reimbursement and honoraria payments. Although your travel reimbursement will not be taxed if submitted within 120 days of the date of the last expense, this information is required to set you up as a vendor in the system.

  • Phone number and email address
     
  • Columbia University Non-employee Expense Worksheet (itemizing all expenses in the order they were purchased)
     
  • Original receipts (showing date, method, and proof of payment - scanned copies will not be accepted)
     
  • Missing Receipts Worksheet (for all lost receipts)
    If available, please provide a copy of your credit card statement showing the date and proof of the transaction. If you purchased the item using cash, please indicate that on the Worksheet.
     


Honoraria Payment for Foreign Individuals

Non-U.S. citizen must submit an 8233 form, along with an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) or SSN (Social Security Number)



Travel Reimbursements for Foreign Individuals

Nonresident aliens may be eligible to receive a travel reimbursement based on immigration regulations.  Non-U.S. citizens need to confirm their reimbursement eligibility here

Please submit the following documents:

  • Phone number and email address
     
  • A completed and signed W-8 Ben or 8233 form
     
  • Evidence of immigration status if lecture was given in the United States
     
  • Copy of Identification page of the passport if the lecture was given in the United States (clearly showing your name and visa type)
     
  • Copy of visa or ESTA application approval
     
  • Copy of the I-94 Departure Card (or electronic I-94 receipt number) if the lecture was given in the United States
     
  • Columbia University Non-employee Expense Worksheet (itemizing all expenses in the order they were purchased)
     
  • Original receipts (showing date, method, and proof of payment - scanned copies will not be accepted)
     
  • Missing Receipts Worksheet (for any lost receipts)
    If available, please provide a copy of your credit card statement showing the date and proof of the transaction. If you purchased the item using cash, please indicate that on the Worksheet.
     
  • Certain non-immigrant statuses may require additional documentation. For example: if you are on a J1 or F1 visa, you must provide a copy of your work authorization and a letter from your place of work (on official letterhead) verifying your eligibility to work in the U.S. The letter should also state that you are allowed to receive payment from other institutions.
     
  • For information on honoraria for foreign individuals, see Administrative Policiy Library: Honoraria (read the full policy text)
     
  • If your purchases were not made in USD, please use the OANDA Currency Converter.  Along with your receipts, provide the printout of the OANDA rate page showing your expense in USD on the actual purchase date.

     



Note: Your check will be mailed to your home address. If you prefer to be paid via wire transfer, please fill out the Wire Transfer Form and submit it along with your other forms.
 



Reimbursement Guidelines

Airfare / Rail / Bus / Ground Transportation:

Guests will only be reimbursed for airfare if their host offered to pay for their flight. If prior arrangements were not made in writing with the Columbia University host, the guest will be responsible for covering their flight.

Airfare, rail, and bus tickets should be purchased at the lowest available commercial or economy rate. Please book air travel using U.S. air carriers and keep the original itinerary, confirmation, or quote provided by the travel agency or carrier. Travelers will not be reimbursed for airline tickets obtained, partially or completely, using frequent flier miles.

Please note: if you are submitting an airfare receipt which shows travel to multiple cities (for other business or personal travel), you will need to send a memo explaining your travel plans and you will need to provide a quote for how much a direct flight to/from your home institution/Columbia University would have cost. If the cost of the direct flight is less than the receipt you submitted, you will only be reimbursed for a the amount of the direct flight.

Taxis, private car services, and shuttle services will also be reimbursed. For rental cars, you will need to select a compact or intermediate/mid-size car. All original tickets and receipts must include:

  • dates and points of departure and arrival
  • class of accommodation
  • total amount of the fare
  • proof of payment


Hotel:

Guests will only be reimbursed for hotel bills if their host offered to pay for their accommodations. If prior arrangements were not made in writing with the Columbia University host, the guest will be responsible for covering their hotel bill.

If your host has agreed to cover your hotel bill, please respond to your email invitation and let us know your travel dates. We will book a room for you and have the room charges directly billed to Columbia University. Depending on the arrangements specified by your host this may, or may not, include room service. It will not cover other hotel amenities (such as minibar, spa services, and entertainment).

If you need to book a room yourself, please note that lodging expenses should not exceed $350 per night in the U.S. or $400 per night in international locations. The original itemized hotel bill must include:

  • dates of departure and arrival
  • detailed / itemized charges
  • total amount of the lodging
  • proof of payment


Mileage:

Columbia University will reimburse mileage (which covers fuel, maintenance, and insurance costs). Tolls and reasonable parking charges are reimbursable in addition to mileage. Gas, tickets, fines, and vehicle repairs are not reimbursable.

Personal Vehicle Mileage Rate for Travel

     $.545/miles for travel on or after January 1, 2018

     $.535/miles for travel on or after January 1, 2017    

   
Please submit a record showing:

  • Route map (which shows the city, state of departure and arrival points, along with miles)
  • total mileage
  • calculation of reimbursement


Meals:

Expenses for meals for an individual should not exceed the following thresholds per person. This excludes tax or tip. Please note: a threshold is not a per diem.

The original itemized restaurant or cash register receipts for personal meals must be obtained and submitted. The itemized receipt must show the breakdown between food and drink items (alcohol).

Please note: We can only reimburse you for the actual amount you spent on your meal up to, but not exceeding, these limits.  This is not a per diem - if you have lost meal receipts, you can not claim the full $25, $35, or $50 limit for each meal. You must estimate only what you remember spending on the meal.

  • $25 limit for breakfast
  • $35 limit for lunch
  • $50 limit for dinner

Note: Coffee and snacks purchased apart from a meal are not considered reimburseable items. Tips over 20% will not be reimbursed.

Itemized meal receipts must include:

  • date
  • type of meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  • meal items purchased (identify alcohol)
  • proof of payment

If you have any questions, please contact the APAM Department at (212) 854-4457.
 


500 W. 120th St., Mudd 200, MC 4701 New York, NY 10027 / Phone: 212-854-4457 / Fax: 212-854-8257 / Email: apam@columbia.edu

©2012 Columbia University