2365 Travel and Entertainment

Receipt Requirements

Document purpose

This policy sets specific rules, including IRS accountable plan requirements for the retention of receipts for reimbursable travel and entertainment expenses to avoid reimbursements being considered taxable income to an employee.


April, 2015


April, 2015


May, 2024

Responsible Office

Procurement Services


Procurement Services


This policy applies to all faculty, staff, students and postdocs traveling and entertaining on behalf of the University and seeking reimbursement for related expenses from the University.

Faculty, Staff, Student, PostDoc Responsibility

It is the responsibility of Penn travelers to keep all itemized receipts of $25 or more for submission with an expense report. The University’s Schools and Centers may set and enforce stricter requirements. 

Full responsibilities of the employee, student or postdoc can be found in Policy 2352 

Responsibility of Approvers

Approvers perform a critical control function for the University.  Collectively, approvers ensure that expense reports processed for payment are complete, appropriately funded, compliant with policy, and are associated with activities that have a valid and necessary business purpose. Designated approvers should assist the employee or student as necessary with understanding applicable policies and compliance requirements.  

It is the responsibility of the approver to ensure that all necessary receipts are attached prior to submitting an expense report for processing to the University via Concur-TEM system.  

Full responsibilities of approvers can be found in Policy 2352.          


  1. The University requires that travelers provide receipts for all expenses that are $25 or more for reimbursement purposes.
  2. An acceptable receipt is a document that contains:  
    • Transaction date
    • Name of merchant 
    • Transaction details (what was purchased)
    • Form of payment used
    • Amount of purchase 
    • Indication that the amount was paid  
  3. An acceptable receipt for an airline or Amtrak ticket is defined by the type of ticket purchased.  
    • An acceptable receipt for a printed ticket is the original passenger receipt coupon. Such receipts are provided to the traveler when a printed paper ticket has been purchased.  
    • An acceptable receipt for an electronic ticket purchased through an agency or online, is the printed itinerary/invoice. The itinerary/invoice should show the airline, flight numbers, times and destinations, class of service, amount, and that a payment has occurred.
    • If the itinerary/invoice is not available, travelers should use as supporting documentation boarding passes and copies of credit card statements showing the cost of a ticket and any service or booking fees.  
    • An acceptable receipt for a change or cancellation penalty is a document showing the additional charge accompanied by an explanation as to the business purpose for the change or cancellation.  
    • Service fees charged by travel agencies do not always have a receipt; however, they are considered as reimbursable expenses.
  4. No receipts are necessary for mileage reimbursement in a personal vehicle; however, evidence of the mileage of the trip must be provided. The Concur-TEM system provides a tool for this purpose. 
  5. An acceptable receipt from the rental car company is an itemized receipt showing the breakdown of costs, i.e., size of vehicle, daily rate, tax, concession fees, city surcharge, etc. A credit card transaction record does not contain detailed information and it is not itself considered adequate documentation.  
  6. An acceptable receipt for business meals is an itemized meal receipt, along with the credit card payment receipt if a credit card was used for payment. Without an itemized meal receipt, it is difficult to ensure that unallowable costs such as alcohol are separated from indirect cost allocations, as required by the IRS.  
  7. An acceptable receipt for hotel charges is the itemized hotel receipt provided at time of checkout showing the room rate, tax and other items.
  8. If an expense is being paid by more than one university or entity, copies of receipts are acceptable documentation, provided a brief explanation is attached.  
  9. A receipt in foreign currency must be accompanied with the U.S. Dollar equivalent amount. The equivalent dollar amount can be obtained from:  
    1. Credit card statements. The best and most accurate currency conversion is the conversion that credit card companies provide on statements. 
    2. Oanda currency conversion. For non-credit card receipts in a foreign currency, use the Oanda currency conversion site. 
  10. Electronic receipts that are submitted on an expense report are maintained in the Concur-TEM system. Original paper receipts are not required for central expense processing through the Concur-TEM system. Retention of original receipts is subject to School or Center guidelines and/or sponsored project requirements.