Business Office - Reimbursement for Lodging

Expense Reimbursement Guidelines for Lodging from the SoHE Business Office.

E-Reimbursement System

Lodging payment/reimbursement

Lodging payment/reimbursement is limited to the maximum single/standard room rate. The University will not pay lodging costs when travelers are within 50 miles of their home or headquarters city unless the travel is for a multi-day event with an evening business related activity that makes returning to the employee’s home impractical.

Lodging Help Sheet - This tip sheet will show you how to enter a Lodging claim on an expense report.


Travelers and travel arrangers are expected to research rates and reserve lodging using either directly with a Travel, Inc. agent or via the online booking tool, Concur), to take advantage of potential cost savings.

If more cost effective rates are available outside of Travel, Inc., travelers and travel arrangers may reserve lodging directly with a lodging property or with a conference service/site. Use of internet based lodging brokers or third party sites (e.g. Expedia,, Kayak, Priceline, Hotwire) is prohibited. 

AirBnB is an allowable option as of July 1st, 2020. Nightly lodging limits still apply. Travelers are responsible for monitoring nightly lodging limits. Cleaning fees and service fees are considered part of the base price. 

Lodging Contracts

The University has contracts with various lodging suppliers in top travel destinations, including Wisconsin. UW contract rates are only offered within Concur or directly with Travel, Inc. agents. Travelers and travel arrangers are encouraged to take advantage of the contract rates when available at the location. Location-specific lodging contract details are available in the University Lodging Directory.

Note: Conference rates are not available in Concur; however, rates found in Concur/Travel, Inc. may be less than conference rates. Travelers and travel arrangers are expected to search Concur/Travel, Inc. for their conference hotel(s) prior to finalizing lodging arrangements. Travelers/travel arrangers must contact the lodging facility directly or utilize the conference/event link to obtain the conference rate.

Lodging Rate maximums and UW tax exemption in WI and select other states

Please refer to the Lodging & Per Diem Calculator for find maximum allowed lodging costs by location, and the Lodging Policy. Lodging within the state of Wisconsin is tax exempt when any of the following criteria are met:

  • The university pays for the lodging with a Purchasing Card or purchase order and provides the Tax Exempt Certificate at the time of the reservation.
  • Reservations are made in the name of the university and the employee. All subsequent invoices or receipts must be in the name of both parties.
  • The employee pays for the lodging with personal funds (e.g. My Corporate Card, personal credit card, cash) and presents the Wallet Tax Exempt Card to the lodging establishment to verify business travel and tax exempt status.
  • See Business Services' Tax Exemption Policy for more info

The UW is exempt from sales tax in many other states as well. Refer to Sales Tax Exemption From Other States for up-to-date information and to find the tax exemption certificates needed for each state or contact the Business office. 

Room Deposits or Guarantees

As of July 1st, 2020, prepayment of lodging expenses is allowed when required by the lodging facility. Travelers and travel arrangers are responsible for understanding the lodging facility’s cancellation/refund policy and minimizing the risk of forfeited prepayments. Travelers are responsible for refunding the University for prepaid lodging costs for trips cancelled due to personal reasons.

For the full policy related to the above, please see the University Travel Policies.

Lodging Checklist (click for printable checklist)

The following documentation and information is required for Lodging expenses: 

  • An itemized receipt/folio.  Receipt must include the following information: 
    • Name and address of lodging facility
    • Name(s) of traveler(s) in room
    • Dates of stay
    • Number of people per room
    • Daily sleeping room rate
    • Room rate
    • Taxes and other fees for each day of stay
    • Itemization of other costs ( e.g. parking, internet, room service)
    • Proof of payment (e.g. zero-dollar hotel folio)
  • A UW-Madison business purpose 
  • If a room was shared by two or more persons, indicate that, along with the name(s) of the other person(s).
  • Conference/event/meeting agenda(s), if applicable.
  • A justification/explanation is required if the allowable maximum lodging rate is being exceeded for the location.  This is typically entered in the Description/Notes field, or the “Exception Comments” field in e-Reimbursement.  (No justification is required for lodging booked at conference hotel rates – can simply enter “Conference hotel”). 

KeywordsTravel, e-reimbursement, reimburse, lodging, hotels, airbnb, overnight, hotel room, air b and b   Doc ID105080
OwnerAngela O.GroupSchool of Human Ecology
Created2020-08-19 10:27:08Updated2023-02-13 16:26:00
SitesSchool of Human Ecology
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