Expense claims for travel, subsistence and other expenses

If you are a salaried member of staff of Leiden University and travel on official business, you are entitled to a reimbursement of your travel and accommodation costs according to the Business Travel Reimbursement Regulation. Several other work-related expenses can also be declared

Submitting expense claims

You should submit your expense claim yourself via Self Service
In the Self Service under “Travel and Expenses”, you will find the application which allows University employees to submit their claims for business trips in the Netherlands and abroad and to apply for advance payments. Self Service also includes a short manual that explains how to use this application. On the basis of the entered start date of your business trip, the system will determine which regulation is applicable. You can read more about this in the grey box.

Supporting documents
Please include with your expense claim any receipts required by the regulation. You should if at all possible submit your expense claim in the current calendar year, but in any case no later than three months after the end of the current calendar year. Make sure that you have a digital copy of the receipts (scans) before you complete the expense claim form as this makes the claims procedure much easier.

What expenses are reimbursed?

If in your function as an employee you have to undertake a business trip in the Netherlands or abroad, you are entitled to have your travel and subsistence expenses reimbursed under the terms of the Leiden University Regulation on Business Travel and Subsistence Expenses 2015. Business trips that are directly linked to your work are defined as those that you are asked to undertake by your employer. Note that in principle, the employer only decides retroactively, when approving or rejecting your expense claim, whether the expenses incurred were indeed required in the context of your work and whether the declared expenses are compatible with the applicable regulations. You should ask your employer for permission before undertaking any business trips that do not fall under your regular work responsibilities.

Commuting
Your usual commuting route does not fall under the definition of a business trip and is therefore not reimbursed under the terms of the above-mentioned regulation.

Reimbursement from a third party
It goes without saying that if the expenses of your business trip are reimbursed by a party other than your employer this amount will be deducted from the amount you can claim from your employer. You are responsible for making sure that reimbursement by third parties does not in any way run the risk of compromising your integrity.

If you receive any other kind of remuneration from your employer that is considered to include business travel and subsistence expenses, these expenses will no longer be eligible for reimbursement under the terms of the Leiden University Regulation on Business Travel and Subsistence Expenses 2015.

WHEN DOES THE NEW REGULATION APPLY?

Some time ago, Leiden University entered into a Horizontal Supervision agreement with the Tax Office. This has made it possible to simplify the process of claiming business travel expenses and to reduce the administrative workload of our staff. As a consequence, a new regulation on business travel and subsistence expenses has been formulated to articulate these changes, and a number of fixed expense allowances have been introduced. This means that you are no longer always required to produce receipts in order to claim your expenses.

 

After 1 April 2015

If you undertake a business trip in your function as an employee of Leiden University, you are entitled to reimbursement of your travel and subsistence expenses in accordance with the Leiden University Regulation on Business Travel and Subsistence Expenses 2015. This new regulation comes into force on 1 April 2015. Business trips taking place on or after 1 April 2015 should be claimed on the basis of this regulation.

 

Before 1 April 2015

Business trips that end before 1 April 2015 should be claimed on the basis of the old Leiden University Regulation on Business Travel 2013. Due to the requirements that the Tax Office imposes on fixed expense allowances, you cannot claim expenses incurred prior to 1 April 2015 under the new regulation, which is why these expenses fall under the old regulation.

 

Before and after 1 April 2015?

If you undertook a business trip that began before 1 April 2015 but ended after this date, you should claim the expenses incurred before 1 April 2015 in accordance with the old regulation, and the expenses incurred after 1 April in accordance with the new regulation. In claiming expenses incurred as of 1 April, select 1 April 2015 as the start date of your business trip in the claim system.

Travel expenses in the Netherlands

Form of transport: Public transport or other
Reducing the level of road traffic is one of our priorities in the context of business trips, which is why you are in principle expected to travel by public transport (by train: first class). If it is not possible or appropriate to travel by public transport, you can use your own vehicle. Your employer will decide whether it is appropriate to make the business trip by public transport. If it is not possible or appropriate to travel by public transport or using your own vehicle, you may exceptionally be allowed to use a taxi or rented vehicle. We advise you to discuss this beforehand with your employer to avoid your expense claim being rejected retroactively.

Travel expenses
If you travel by public transport, your actual costs will be reimbursed. You are required to submit a receipt. If you travel by train, you may travel first class and the costs of first-class travel will be reimbursed.

If you make a number of consecutive business trips to one and the same destination, you should use a season ticket or similar type of discount ticket so as to reduce as much as possible the expenses incurred by your employer.

If you travel using your own vehicle, you will be given a maximum tax-free kilometre allowance. If you could in fact have travelled by public transport, you will only be reimbursed the costs of second-class travel by public transport. Note: your employer is not liable for damage of any kind resulting from the use of your own vehicle, and you are obliged to take out any insurance required.

If you use a taxi or rented vehicle with the permission of your employer, you will be reimbursed the full costs on condition that you submit a receipt.

If you travel with your own vehicle and you have a disabled person’s parking card, you will also be reimbursed for the actual costs of parking.

Subsistence expenses in the Netherlands
You will also be reimbursed for any subsistence expenses incurred during a business trip. There are allowances for accommodation, breakfast, lunch, dinner, minor expenditure during the day and an evening component for every full day of the business trip.
These costs are not reimbursed in the following cases:
- If the business trip is shorter than four hours;
- If the business trip takes place close to your own location, i.e. if the destination lies within one kilometre of your place of work.

The subsistence expenses allowances are based on the amounts established on an annual basis by the government for the period 1 January 2015 to 1 January 2018:

  • Minor expenditure during the day (day component): € 4.76
  • Minor expenditure in the evening (evening component): € 14.20
  • Lunch: € 14.96
  • Dinner: € 22.63
  • Accommodation: € 91.13
  • Breakfast: € 8.90

The allowances for lunch, dinner, accommodation and breakfast are fixed: they are tax-free and independent of the actual expenses incurred. You are however required to actually have incurred these expenses in an establishment intended for this purpose. By submitting your expense claim, you are declaring that these costs were actually incurred. You do not need to submit a receipt for these expenses as part of your expense claim. It is however important that your business trip actually covers lunch time (between 12.00 and 14.00 hrs) and dinner time (between 18.00 and 21.00 hrs).

You are also not required to submit receipts for the day and evening components. You will receive a day component allowance if your business trip lasts at least 4 hours for every full day. The evening component and breakfast allowance will only be paid out if your business trip requires you to spend a night away.

If your business trip lasts longer than eight days, you will receive the full evening component for the first eight days, and half of that amount for any consecutive days.

Travel expenses abroad

Advance allowance
You can apply to your employer for an advance allowance for any expected travel and subsistence expenses. If you successfully apply for an advance allowance, you have to submit your expense claim within six weeks after the end date (or cancellation) of your business trip so that your advance payment can be accounted for and settled (if you do not apply for an advance payment, you have more time to submit your expense claim).

Travel expenses abroad
If you travel by train you may travel first class and the actual costs of first-class travel will be reimbursed, on condition that you include a receipt with your expense claim.

If you use another form of public transport, such as a boat or plane, you are required to use the lowest safe class. Your actual costs will be reimbursed, on condition that you submit a receipt with your expense claim.

If you are planning to travel in a higher class, such as business class, you have to first ask your employer for written permission, pending which your costs will be reimbursed on condition that you supply the relevant receipts with your expense claim. This permission will only be granted in highly exceptional cases.

If you use your own vehicle, a taxi or a rented vehicle for your business trip, the amount reimbursed will be the same as for business trips within the Netherlands.

Subsistence expenses abroad
Subsistence expenses incurred for a business trip abroad are also reimbursed. The amounts are based on a government list of rates (in Dutch) published twice a year (in April and October).

The subsistence allowance can comprise five components:
- An hourly component for minor expenses for each hour of the business trip;
- An accommodation component if you have to spend a night away in the context of the business trip;
- A breakfast component;
- A lunch component;
- A dinner component.

The allowances for breakfast, lunch and dinner are fixed: they are tax-free and independent of the actual expenses incurred. You are however required to actually have incurred these expenses in an establishment intended for this purpose. By submitting your expense claim, you are declaring that these costs were actually incurred. You do not need to submit a receipt for these expenses as part of your expense claim. It is however important that your business trip actually covers breakfast time (between 6.00 and 8.00 hrs), lunch time (between 12.00 and 14.00 hrs) and dinner time (between 18.00 and 21.00 hrs).

You are also not required to produce receipts for the hour component. You will receive an hour component to cover minor expenditure for every hour of the business trip.

If your business trip lasts longer than 60 days in a single location, the allowance amounts for minor expenditure, breakfast, lunch and dinner will be halved starting from the 61st day.

In order to qualify for the accommodation allowance, you do have to include receipts in your expense claim. You will be reimbursed for your actual costs up to the maximum amount per night as listed in the list of rates.

Other relevant information

Travel portal: booking a business trip abroad
If you book your flight using Uniglobe, the costs will be invoiced directly to the university, which means that you will not have to submit a claim form or apply for an advance for expenses. Either way, the employer must approve your application beforehand.
Business travel abroad via Uniglobe

Travel insurance for business travel abroad
The university has signed a collective travel insurance with Centraal Beheer Achmea covering business travel for staff of the university. This means that you don't need to arrange a business travel insurance when you go abroad on business or fieldwork.
Collective travel insurance

Travel advice
Employees who travel abroad for their work or studies, may run an increased health risk, depending on their destination. The Department of Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) will inform you of any risks and can also arrange vaccinations.
Travel advice from HSE

Expense claims by non-salaried staff members of Leiden University
As a non-salaried staff member, you can claim expenses for certain staff and equipment costs. For more information on how to submit your claim, please see “Expense claims by staff members without employment”.

Important information on business travel to high-risk areas
The Executive Board has composed a guideline for business travel to high-risk areas. More information is available on the HR page on this topic. On this page, you will also find the guideline itself, as well as relevant links.

Last Modified: 23-01-2017