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Expense Report Rules for Visitors

What You Need To Know About The AURA/STScI Travel Expense Report

Applicants for AURA employment, and official and scientific visitors as authorized in the Contract and in the AURA Policy Manual shall be reimbursed for actual and reasonable expenses upon the receipt of an approved Travel Expense Report.

When Is The Travel Expense Report Due? 

A Travel Expense Report is due within ten (10) days of completion of a trip.

What Expenses Are Not Reimbursable? 

STScI will not reimburse a traveler for sales tax, travel insurance (this includes the optional coverage offered by Auto rental agencies), entertainment expenses (including alcohol and hotel movies), and all personal expenses not related to official business. These expenses will be deducted from the total amount reimbursed to the traveler.

Please be aware as you make your arrangements that STScI is funded primarily by NASA and subject to stringent audit. Only "normal and reasonable" charges for goods and services are permitted. We are prohibited from incurring any charges that might be deemed unnecessary or "luxury" in nature. As an example, car rentals should compact models unless justification for a larger model, based on the number of business related passengers, is clearly documented.

What If A Receipt Is Lost? 

The traveler should submit all original receipts with the expense report. If receipts are lost, a detailed explanation of which receipts are not available should be written in the "Remarks" section on the Travel Expense Report, or on a separate sheet of paper if more space is needed. Generally, a traveler would not be reimbursed more than $25 for a lost receipt, unless alternate proof of payment is provided.

Meals are reimbursed on a Per Diem basis. You do not need to submit receipts for your meals. Here is the breakdown for your meals and incidentals while in Baltimore: MIE Breakdown

Do I Need To Itemize The Expenses Or Can I Lump Them On One Line?

Please make sure when submitting a travel expense report that all the expenses are written on the appropriate lines (i.e., the hotel expense should not include telephone calls made or meals charged to the hotel room).

What Is The Current Personal Vehicle Mileage Reimbursible Rate? 

Effective January 1, 2013, the standard mileage rate is 56.5 cents per mile. This rate is to be used on all requests for reimbursement of personal vehicle mileage. This conforms with the standard rate established by the Internal Revenue Service and will remain in effect until further notice. Please note: this reimbursement is for miles incurred while driving your personal car for a STScI business purpose.

How Do I Report Expenses With A Foreign Conversion Rate?

Please save the receipts you received when the funds were converted. If the receipt is unavailable or lost, please contact Ninel Serebreni at 410-338-4471 or e-mail In the event of a lost receipt, the bank will have to be contacted and the current exchange rate used. Please do not use the conversion tables out on the Web. They do not always reflect the current bank rates. Note: All figures must be converted to U.S. dollars prior to being submitted.

Please Submit Your Completed Travel Expense Report, W-9 Form* And Original Receipts To:

Attn: Flory Hill
Space Telescope Science Institute
3700 San Martin Drive
Baltimore, Md 21218

Thank You

* If You Are A Nonresident Foreign Individual, Do Not Use The W-9 Form, Instead, Use The Appropriate W-8 Form.