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Employee Reimbursement Form

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Employee Reimbursement Form

Updated August 21, 2023

An employee reimbursement form is a standardized template an employee may use to report expenses paid on behalf of the company to receive reimbursement. The exact reimbursable items will be strictly up to the agreement between the employer and employee. The benefit of using a standard form to gather such information resides in the consistency of having the same pieces of information in the same areas of a document regardless of the Employee submitting it.

Most accounting departments will find such a level of organization to be efficient and easy to use when it is time to process the information presented. Departments dispensing this form will enjoy the basic structure established as it will allow them to edit categories, according to company policy, with the appropriate program quickly and easily.

Mileage (IRS) Reimbursement – Strictly for mileage as per the current IRS rates.

How to Reimburse Yourself for Expenses (4 steps)

  1. Determine What is Considered an “Expense”
  2. Keep Your Receipts
  3. Categorize Your Expenses
  4. Get Reimbursed

Reimbursing yourself for company expenditures is a process that involves collecting receipts, either online or in paper form, and presenting to an employer in the hope of being paid back. Typically, these expenses are incurred during the process of conducting any business-related activity, most commonly, travel, lodging, and food.

1. Determine What is Considered an “Expense”

person using calculator and receipt to write down expenses in notebook

A full list of what is considered to be an “expense”, under the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), can be found on Form 1040 (Schedule C) Part II. The most common types of expenses that are paid by employees looking to be reimbursed are:

  • Advertising – Costs attributed to the advertising of the business or employee’s activities;
  • Office Supplies – Such as pens, paper, printer cartridges, etc.;
  • Repairs and Maintenance – For machinery or utilities used by the business;
  • Taxes – Such as tolls, sales taxes, etc.;
  • Travel – Lodging, entertainment, meals, renting vehicles; and
  • Utilities – Cell phone bills, software subscriptions, etc.

The aforementioned expense types are allowed to be expensed from the company in accordance with IRS rules, although, this does not guarantee that the company will reimburse the employee.

2. Keep Your Receipts

stack of receipts being clipped together

Employers usually require documentation of reimbursement claims – so receipts for allowable purchases should be saved and submitted with the reimbursement form. Though it may not be possible to prove mileage, gas, and toll receipts are usually good enough. If driving a significant distance, you may also print and submit directions from an online mapping site such as Google Maps to verify the distance traveled. Note that the IRS sets standard mileage reimbursement rates.

All hope is not lost if you’ve discarded receipts. Most banks make records of credit or debit card activity available online. Log into your online banking site and check the account activity section to find electronic records of purchases.

3. Categorize Your Expenses

person using app on tablet to document expenses

Use the employee reimbursement form (Download) to properly categorize the expenses. It’s important to be as detailed as possible listing the payment:

  • Date;
  • Method – Credit card, cash, check, etc.; and
  • Purpose & Description.

Calculate the grand total and submit it directly to the employer or to the respective department.

4. Get Reimbursed

person filling out employee reimbursement form on clipboard

Most employers have a 30-day reimbursement program unless the company gives reimbursements immediately. The employee may have to also submit additional paperwork in accordance with company policy. Afterward, the employee should be given an untaxed check in the amount of the total expensed amount.

How Long Should I Keep Expense Records For?

Under IRS rules all expense reports should be kept for a period of three (3) years by the employer and employee. Therefore, a physical receipt is required for all expenses that are paid in cash. If the employee has submitted the necessary receipts and paperwork to the company then they will be responsible for providing them to the IRS if an audit is pursued.

How to Write

1 – The Form Used To Seek Reimbursement Is Available By Download Here

This template is designed to fit most situations where an Employee must formally document his or her expenses when seeking to be repaid by his or her Employer. Only expenses that are eligible for such remuneration should be reported here and it is strongly recommended that both Employer and Employee are clear on what items or services are reimbursable. You may use any of the caption buttons associated with the preview image to download a copy of this template in a format (PDF, Microsoft Word (.docx), Open Document Text (.odt)) compatible with your machine.

2 – Supply Some Standard Information To The Header

The heading used for this form will seek some basic facts regarding the Employee and Employer. Enter the First, Middle, and Last Name of the Employee seeking remuneration on the blank line labeled “Name.” Then on the empty line directly below this, record the official “Title” the Employee holds with the Employer. Furnish the Full Name of the “Employer” on the third blank line in the heading. If the Employer Name is a Corporation or similar Business Entity, make sure to include any applicable suffixes considered part of the Entity’s Name.

3 – Itemize Each Expense That Should Be Repaid To The Spender

The first area of this document will present a table where you may list the Employee Business Expenses in a concise manner. Four lines have been included in this table so that you may report on four individual Expenses. If there are more than four, then you may either add more lines with compatible software or you may attach the balance of this report as a separate document. Begin by entering the Calendar Date of a Purchase made by the Employee in the column titled “Date Of Expense(s).” Then in the second column (“Payment Method”), and on the same line, report how the Employee paid for this purchase. That is, whether this was paid from the Employee’s own money or through the use of a Business Account or Corporate Card. Finally, use the third column, labeled “Purpose Of Expenditure,” to provide the reason why the Employee had to make the Purchase he or she seeks Reimbursement for.

4 – Supply A Summary Report On Reimbursable Expenses

The next table presented here, titled “Summary Of Expenses,” will seek some additional information regarding Expenses that may require more information. Make sure to correspond the Dates and Line Numbers of the Expenses being reported in both tables whenever possible. Several columns have been supplied so a more detailed report may be submitted (as required).

The first column, designated with the heading “Description (Date, Details, Etc.),” requires the Date and the Employee Expense occurred as well as a description (i.e. a Client Account Name/Number). If there is not enough room the column may be expanded with an appropriate program or you may add more lines in the cell. If you are working with a hard copy, you may continue any required information on a properly labeled attachment. Next several columns have been supplied so that you may report the exact dollar amount the Employee spent on “Air/Rail Travel,” “Ground Trans” (Ground Transportation such as a Cab),” “Lodging,” “Meals,” and “Other.” If there are miscellaneous expenses that are being reported in “Other” make sure they are itemized. Use the last row (“Expense Report Total”) to document the Total Amoun tof Employee Expenditure for each of the columns.  The final column, “Total,” will accept the sum of all the Expenses reported in the previous five columns that have just been reported on. Add this total horizontally so that a total spent for the defined Calendar Date (in the first column) is displayed in the first four rows and the Total Expenses of each columns Total is displayed in the fifth row.

5 – Verify These Facts Then Submit For Approval

The end of this form has been reserved as a signature area for the parties directly involved with its submission and approval. Once, the Signature area below the bold words “I Certify These Are Valid Business Expenses” has been satisfied by the appropriate parties, this form should be surrendered to the Department or Individual who will review and approve this document.

The first Signature Party, the Employee, will have to sign the blank line bearing the label “Reimburse/Cardholder Signature.” Below this, the Employee must print his or her Name on the “Reimburse/Cardholder Name” line. The individual who has physically entered the information on this template should print his or her Name on the blank line labeled “Prepared By (Print)” then, he or she must enter the Date this form is completed.

6 – Retain A Signed Copy If Possible

The individual (either in a Department or acting singly in the name of the Employer) who must approve this submission, so the Employee may claim his or her Reimbursement should locate the statement “I Have Reviewed These Expenses And I Believe They Are True And Accurate.” The Approving Entity must then print his or her Name on the blank space labeled “Approved By (Print)” then supply the “Date” of Approval on the adjacent blank line.