​Travel Reimbursments

Travel expense reimbursements provide the detail information for travel expense transactions for entry into STARS.  This information includes the description of mode of travel, meals, lodging, and miscellaneous travel expenditures.

The State Board of Examiners establishes state travel reimbursement requirements. The State Travel Policy is on the Policies section of the SCO Web site. The policies for the Legislature are set by Idaho Code.

Travel Express

Many agencies use the Travel Express web application instead of STARS. Each agency administers their users, approval process, and can attach scanned documents. Per diem rates are automatically calculated reports and audit trails are available.

Taxable Meals and Subobject codes

Internal Revenue Code § 162(a)(2) and Regulation 1.162-2 address meal reimbursements. The Idaho State Board of Examiners adopted a resolution requiring all agencies to report partial day meal reimbursements paid to their employees for state business travel beginning and ending on the same day. To accommodate taxability on partial day meal reimbursements, three subobject codes have been established in STARS:

  • 5353 (In-State meals taxable)
  • 5356 (Out-Of-State meals taxable)
  • 5357 (Out-Of-USA meals taxable)

These subobject codes are for payments to state employees only (vendor type SE).
 All partial day meal reimbursements identified with a subobject code noted above will electronically pass from STARS to the Division of Statewide Payroll.  Payroll receives this information based on the paying agency and the payee's social security number. 

 Each agency with employees who will incur partial day meal reimbursement should establish processing cutoff dates so that reimbursements and taxes do not cross calendar years.

 NOTE:  Most of the expenditure subobjects for travel are under the summary object of Employee Travel Costs (subobjects 5352 – 5399). If reimbursement amounts are greater than those identified in the travel regulations, your agency may have to submit information for preparation of an IRS supplemental W-2 as additional income to the employee

Payroll Processing

On the Wednesday of the week prior to payday, the Division of Statewide Payroll will process these reported payments into the payroll system as a time batch.  There will be one batch per agency including all of that agency's employees who received taxable meal reimbursements during the prior 14-day period. Each employee in the batch will be reported with a TFB (Taxable Fringe Benefits) earnings code, which will increase the FICA, Federal, State, Retirement and Unemployment grosses with the employee's regular time for taxing purposes only.

The Division of Statewide Payroll has created the following reports to assist you in monitoring taxable meals transactions:

A-443330 Generated TFB Earnings for Taxable Meals

B-443330 Taxable Meal Error List

The Generated TFB Earnings for Taxable Meals report (A-443330) is the list of employees who will be processed on payroll, or your copy of the batch detail.

NOTE:  If the employee is not paid on the same payroll that the TFB is processing, the Division of Statewide Payroll will delete the TFB earnings and notify the employee's payroll clerk. The payroll clerk will then have to resubmit the TFB earnings on an EIS-107 form or a 081 transaction on a payroll when the employee is being paid.
The Taxable Meals Error List (B-443330) is the notice to the agency that there was something about the payment made in STARS that payroll could not process. If the agency receives this report the problem should be researched and corrected.


There are three exceptions to using the taxable meals subobject codes, even though the expenses meet the criteria to be taxed. The Division of Statewide Payroll has recommended using the non-taxable meals subobject codes in these circumstances.

  • Exception 1: Expenses incurred by board members who have waived their right to compensation for attendance at regularly scheduled board meetings.
  • Exception 2: Expenses incurred by boards that meet very infrequently and their members are not paid on any type of regular basis.
  • Exception 3: Expenses incurred by some employees of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) of the Department of Health and Welfare. These particular employees meet and are paid perhaps only once or twice a year and yet their jobs require some travel during the year.

Solving Common Issues

Reactivate an employee to process a travel voucher

E-mail the DSA Helpline or use the Vendor Maintenance application. Complete the form and put a note in the Comments section that the records needs to be reactivated to process a travel voucher and also include the date when the record can be re-inactivated.

Taxable meals

Several scenarios may arise in regards to taxable meals:

  • The meal reimbursement is paid by an agency other than the agency in which the employee is actually employed. In this situation, the agency that receives the report should notify the employing agency. The employing agency will have to submit the TFB earnings on an EIS-107 form or a 081 transaction. If the Attorney General's Office is the employing agency, contact that office for assistance.
  • The meal reimbursement is paid using a social security number that is not on the payroll system. If the employee has a different social security number in STARS than on the payroll system, the agency should correct the wrong social security number and resubmit the TFB earnings on an EIS-107 form or a 081 transaction with the correct social security number. If the employee has not been set up on payroll yet, the agency will have to wait until the employee is set up and submit the TFB earnings on an EIS-107 form or 081 transaction.
  • The meal reimbursement is charged to a non-state employee. Such a payment will be in error because Payroll will not have that person on the system. When the person on the error list is not a state employee, the agency's accounting department will need to make an adjusting entry in STARS to reverse the original transaction and enter a new transaction with the correct subobject code. If a payment is made incorrectly in STARS, when a reversal is put through in STARS it will be sent through payroll as a negative TFB and reduce the taxable gross by that amount, thus reducing the taxes.
  • The meal reimbursement in STARS is charged to a different PCA or Index than from where the employee is normally paid. The taxable fringe benefit for the employee will process in the same funding as the meal reimbursement. If this causes a problem for you, contact the Division of Statewide Payroll.

Traffic or Parking Tickets

Within the regulations mentioned above, there is a section that states, “Employees shall be personally liable for any fines arising from infractions of state and local traffic laws." Traffic and parking tickets are an infraction of state or local traffic laws and are not reimbursable regardless of whether you are in a personal or state vehicle.

Incapacitated Claimant

If an employee becomes seriously disabled, the Legislative Services Office allows a knowledgeable person to complete and sign the travel voucher on behalf of the claimant/traveler.

Travel Voucher Form

If you do not use the Travel Express application, use the Expenditure Disbursement form (EXPDISB) for data entry into STARS, unless your agency has other means of data entry. Use the Travel form (TRVL) as supporting documentation.

Travel Reports

Data is on the same reports as the general expenditures and disbursements. Report data is also on IBIS.