Human Resources Manual

Policy No.: 4-9 This policy applies to:
Policy Name: Spousal Travel Policy   Non-exempt staff
Effective Date: 04/21/10   Exempt staff
Revised:     Faculty

 Purpose

This policy provides a framework, in compliance with the IRS code, for determining the need and processing the expenses related to the spouse of an employee to travel on behalf of Loyola University New Orleans to further the mission of the University.

Policy

It is anticipated that from time to time spouses of the Deans, Provost and Vice Presidents of Loyola University New Orleans will be expected to attend certain functions related to the ongoing mission of the University. Such functions where the employee and spouse are representing the University may include meetings either at association or convention levels, alumni meetings, donor events or other meetings of organizations in which the university is involved. It is the responsibility of the Human Resources Department to review and render a determination of eligible spousal travel expenses PRIOR to the commencement of such travel.

  1. In these cases, it is the position of the University that if it is determined that the attendance of the Dean’s, Provost’s or Vice President’s spouse serves a bona fide business purpose of the University, the travel expenses of such spouse may be paid by the University in accordance with the University's travel policy. To be a bona fide business purpose, the presence of the spouse must be essential (not just beneficial) to the employee being able to carry out his/her business purpose for the University. The spouse's performance of some incidental service does not make it a bona fide business expense. An employee's spouse performing certain tasks (such as typing notes) and/or accompanying the employee to luncheons and dinners is not a bona fide business purpose. The spouse must perform substantive business related functions. In such cases, the bona fide business purpose of the accompanying spouse must be clearly documented on the Spousal Travel Request form. If the authorization is rendered PRIOR to travel, there will be no tax consequence to the employee.
  2. In other cases, the Deans, Provost and Vice Presidents may determine that it would be desirable for his/her spouse to attend a particular function on behalf of the University, but that it does not necessarily serve a bona fide business purpose to the University. In these cases if the reimbursement of the spouse's travel is approved at the next signatory level, it will be necessary under IRS code to include such reimbursement in the employee's income as a taxable employer-provided benefit. In these cases the Spousal Travel Request Form will not need to be completed or sent to Human Resources. Spousal travel expenses must be separately documented and submitted to Financial Affairs for processing upon completion of travel.
  3. In any other cases, a spouse's travel will be the personal responsibility of the Deans, Provost and Vice Presidents.

Procedure

All travel by spouses of the Deans, Provost and Vice Presidents of Loyola University New Orleans will be reviewed and a specific determination made as to University need and business purpose based upon the following:

  1. In some cases, it will be determined that there is a bona fide business purpose for the spouse to travel and represent the University at a particular function. For spousal travel to be considered for application of the bona fide business purpose exemption the Spousal Travel Request Form must be completed and travel must be authorized PRIOR to traveling. If this form is not approved prior to travel, the amount of reimbursable expenses associated with the spouse’s travel will be automatically added to the employee’s taxable income. If it is determined that a bona fide business purpose does exist, Human Resources will authorize the expenditure, and the travel expenses of such spouse may be paid by the University in accordance with the University's travel policy. The approved Spousal Travel Request form should be submitted along with the expense statements and appropriate documentation upon travel completion. There will be no tax consequences to the employee with PRIOR travel authorization.
  2. In other cases it will be determined that it would be desirable, but that it does not serve a bona fide business purpose to the University, for the spouse to attend a particular function on behalf of the University. In such cases, if the appropriate signatory authority approves the reimbursement of the spouse's travel, it will be necessary, under IRS code, to include such reimbursement in the employee's income as a taxable employer-provided benefit. In these cases the Spousal Travel Request Form will not need to be completed or sent to Human Resources. Spousal travel expenses must be submitted to the Financial Affairs for processing upon completion of travel. To appropriately account for the cost of the spouse’s travel, a separate expense statement must be completed by the employee documenting the expenses of the spouse. Additionally, any cost increases that resulted from the spouse’s travel (ex. double vs. single room, additional driver added to rental vehicle, etc.) must be clearly indicated on the spouse’s expense statement. The employee will be reimbursed for the spouse’s travel, but the total amount of the spouse’s expense will be imputed as taxable income to the employee and applicable taxes will be withheld on the employee’s next regular paycheck.
  3. In any other case, a spouse's travel will be the personal responsibility of the employee.