Expense Guidelines

The HTI expense guidelines were designed to help you document all your expenses in accordance with Internal Revenue Service regulations. These guidelines are provided to keep costs within reasonable limits and to follow consistent reimbursement procedures.
Please familiarize yourself with the HTI expense guidelines, so that you are not unpleasantly surprised when you are not reimbursed for an expense.

HTI’s procedure for submission of expenses

  • All reimbursement requests must be submitted within 15 days from the last dated expense to receive your reimbursement within two weeks after submission. Reimbursements not submitted within this timeframe can take much longer to process, and expenses submitted after two months will not be reimbursed. 
  • Requests for HTI-related expense reimbursements must be submitted via this form. You will need to upload the T-5-Expenses-Reimbursement Form and a file with all the electronic receipts and send it to the Associate Director of Operations, Angela Schoepf, at angela.schoepf@ptsem.edu.
  • Please email with scanned or electronic receipts (including itemized ones for meals). No expenses will be reimbursed unless they are properly documented.
  • If you are unable to download or print this form, please contact the HTI office for a faxed copy.
  • Include in your Reimbursement Form, the purpose for your expense, names, and titles of participants, business affiliation, and the date and title of the event. Expenses for spouses and/or children are not covered.
  • Make copies of the Reimbursement form (T-5) and all receipts you send to HTI.
  • The mailing address noted on the form must be your home address, not that of your school/institution.
  • Expenses incurred in foreign currency must be submitted with the rate of exchange in effect at the time of the transaction, not those in effect when you complete your reimbursement form. You are responsible for converting foreign currency to United States currency. Conversion rates can be found at oanda.com/convert/classic.

HTI’s policy for lodging, meal, and transportation expenses is outlined below:




Reimbursement is limited to the rate for single occupancy accommodations at moderate rate hotels or (for convenience) at hotels hosting the conference or seminar attended. These are some suggested moderate rate hotels:

  • Comfort Inn
  • Courtyard by Marriott
  • Fairfield Inn
  • Hampton Inn
  • Red Roof Inn
  • Wingate Inn

Try to find the most economical rate per night. The maximum rate we will cover is $150, including taxes, however, if you can find a more economical rate we would appreciate these efforts.

Hotel charges for nights preceding or following the meeting or conference dates are not reimbursable except when early arrival or late departure is made necessary because of flight schedules or when a longer stay results in a reduction of airfare which is greater than the cost of the additional lodging and meals.

HTI will not cover: alcohol, snacks, health clubs, mini-bars, room service (unless it is needed due to illness or late arrival at the destination, and itemized receipt is required for reimbursement), telephone use, or in-room movies. When using the service of a bellhop, the tip per piece of luggage should not exceed one dollar. Also, regarding the hotel housekeeper, a tip of one dollar per day may be left for each person in the room.

When requesting reimbursement, the original itemized hotel bill and the original receipt showing proof of payment must be attached to the T-5 form. Credit card receipts, on-line reservations, or other statements showing only the total cost of lodging do not provide adequate documentation for all hotel charges. IRS regulations require that lodging receipts indicate all of the following:

  • Name and location of the hotel
  • Date(s) of stay
  • Separate amounts for expenses such as lodging, meals, telephone calls and other charges.

Please keep in mind that personal toiletry needs, medicine, newspapers and other incidentals are not reimbursable.


Meals while traveling are reimbursable (except dinner on the day of return if the return is before 7:00 PM). The amounts allowed are $12 for breakfast, $15 for lunch, and $25 for dinner, and as mentioned above, HTI will not reimburse for coffee or water unless they are part of a meal, snacks unless they are in lieu of a meal, or alcohol. The original receipts you submit are to contain a breakdown of the meal (not just credit card vouchers), and the tips cannot exceed 20% of the total bill. For hotel meals where an 18% gratuity is automatically added to the check, additional tips should not be made, as these expenses will not be reimbursed.

Tips for drop-off catering or delivery, maximum is $10 or 15%, whichever is less.

When meal expenses include charges for individuals other than the traveler, the receipt must state the name(s), the business purpose(s), and the date of the meal.
Meals will not be reimbursed when meal service, including Continental breakfast, is provided as part of the meeting agenda. Conference packages, which include meal costs, must be fully disclosed on expense reports. Any overlapping meal costs incurred over the same period of time are not reimbursable unless necessitated by illness or late arrival at the destination.


Please note that for HTI sponsored events, our commitment is to reimburse your for transportation costs to/from the event, with your point of origin being your place of residence. If you will be traveling to an HTI event arriving from someplace other than your place of residence, or if you will be traveling to another destination after the HTI sponsored event, HTI will cover the cost of transportation from/to your place of residence, and you will be required to cover the difference. If, however, the cost of transportation expenses for departing from or traveling to a city other than your place of residence is less, HTI will reimburse you for the lesser amount.

  • Tips for transportation (Ubers, taxis, etc.) cannot exceed 20%.
Air Travel

For trips of significant distance, air travel should be utilized whenever possible via the most direct and/or economic route available to the major airport nearest the final business destination. All reservations should be secured at least eight weeks prior to the trip, via our travel agent, Uniglobe Ohio Valley Travel.  Please complete this form https://www.uniglobeohiovalleytravel.com/hti-passenger

Airline tickets should be purchased using the following guidelines:
1. Economy ticket
2. Seating – only seating with the ticket provided. Upgraded seating, extended legroom, etc., are not reimbursable
3. Low-cost airlines/Basic Economy – Some airlines charge independently for tickets and seating. If you are booking a flight that way, an economy refundable ticket and standard seating, and one bag fees are allowed. These are not
always the cheapest tickets when adding them up compared to other carriers, and should not be booked.

They will forward HTI an itinerary that we will authorize, usually within 24 hours of receiving the itinerary, for purchase with our credit card. Fares over $500 will receive special attention and may require more time to authorize.

When parking at airports, reimbursement for daily parking fees will be limited to the cost of economy long-term parking. “Short-term” parking should only be used when an airport stay does not exceed four hours.

Surface Transportation

Whenever possible, complementary/courtesy shuttles typically provided by hotels should be used.

When arranging transportation from and to the airport for a group, please check if renting of a charter bus is less expensive than individual reservations.

When expenses for cab fares or car mileage are submitted, these must be accompanied by a Google Maps search. Travel by private automobile will be reimbursed at the IRS per-mile rate. This per-mile rate includes the overall cost of operating an automobile for local travel or transportation away from home, including such items as gasoline, oil, maintenance, repairs, etc.

Properly documented parking fees and tolls will also be reimbursed. The use of electronic toll collection systems should be documented by submitting a copy of the monthly statement (generally available on the Internet).

When traveling by car, please ascertain that the reimbursement to be collected for mileage will be less than that of air travel. If, for some reason, you find that you still prefer to travel by car, please note that we can reimburse you only for the amount that would be paid for traveling by air. In order for you to determine this, and for us to establish the amount we will reimburse, please search the Internet for flight reservations for the corresponding dates, and attach a copy of the lowest rate/itinerary found. The cost of traffic violations, parking tickets, towing charges, or associated court costs will not be reimbursed.

Please note that the maximum amount for cab tipping is 20% of the fare total.

When traveling by train between New York City and Princeton, please buy tickets for NJ Transit instead of Amtrak, as the latter is approximately $60 more expensive, and make sure that you get a printed receipt.

For transportation from your home to local airports, we ask that if possible, you take public transportation. If this is not feasible, we ask you to compare the price of a cab ride and the price of mileage and parking for leaving your car overnight at the airport, choosing the less expensive of these two options.

When parking at airports, reimbursement for daily parking fees will be limited to the cost of economy long-term parking. “Short-term” parking should only be used when an airport stay does not exceed four hours.

The total expense reported for transportation by a personal vehicle may not exceed the equivalent allowable economy airfare travel.

Tolls are fully reimbursable, and receipts are required. EZ Pass tolls should be documented by submitting a copy of the monthly statement (generally available on the internet) with a T-5 form.

Cars should be rented based upon a demonstrated need (i.e., no public transportation is available, visiting several locations is required, etc.) and rental must be pre-authorized by appropriate HTI staff to be considered reimbursable. Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) may be taken, but all other insurance coverage is declined. Reimbursement for auto rental-related expenses must be submitted with the T-5 form, attaching the original receipt and/or contract, which reflects that payment was made, or a copy of the credit card statement showing the expense incurred for this purpose. The cost of gasoline is reimbursable (receipts required) when renting. A rental vehicle must be returned with a full gas tank to avoid the typical excessive (and non-reimbursable) fuel costs charged by rental agencies.

When renting a vehicle, it is not necessary to purchase (and HTI will not reimburse) any additional insurance coverage from the leasing agency. Princeton Theological Seminary’s automobile insurance provides coverage for liability and physical damage for domestic car rentals when traveling is related to HTI business.

Rail travel will be reimbursed at the cost of standard coach/economy accommodations. reimbursement will generally be limited to the lesser of the cost of the rail ticket or the cost of a fully discounted airfare to the same destination, although exceptions can be made in the event that rail travel saves considerable time and/or other ground transportation costs.


Transportation to and from Newark International Airport to Princeton Theological Seminary

HTI requires that you use public transportation to Princeton Theological Seminary when possible.  However, if you should arrive at the Newark airport or at the NJ Transit Princeton Junction station after 10:00 pm, please take an Uber/Lyft to Erdman Center located at 20 Library Place, Princeton.

Transportation Logistics from Newark International Airport via NJ Transit

Newark “Liberty” International Airport (EWR) to Princeton by train

1. After claiming your baggage, please direct your attention to the AirTrain signs (red logo with an airplane and rail tracks). If you are not claiming baggage, direct your attention to any AirTran sign.

2. Follow the sign to the Terminal AirTrain Station. You have to go up at least one level from all Terminals to arrive at the AirTrain Stations.  Traveling from Terminal A at Newark International Airport will require you leave the terminal and walk across to Zone 15 for free shuttle buses to the AirTrain Station.

3. When you arrive at the AirTrain Station, please follow the signs directing to the Newark International Airport Train Station. If you have any questions, please ask an AirTrain clerk, who will be wearing a red jacket.

4. In order to go from the AirTrain Station to the Newark International Airport Train Station you need to purchase an NJ Transit train ticket from the orange and blue kiosk. Please note the following when buying your tickets:

· Buy a One-Way ticket.
· Purchase your ticket with cash, debit card or credit card.
· One ticket will be printed out from Newark International Airport (Code: EWR) to Princeton (Code: PRNCTN.) Note: Please request a receipt for all your transactions. The ticket you buy is good for the main line and the connection train to Princeton (a one or two-car train servicing Princeton, also known as the Dinky.) The ticket is used three times: you will pass it through the fare gate at the Airport Rail Station, the conductor on the NJ Transit will punch it and return it to you to use at the Dinky, and finally, the conductor of the Dinky will retain it.
· Please purchase NJ Transit tickets only! HTI will not refund AMTRAK tickets.

5. After purchasing your ticket please direct your attention to the digital train schedules. The line serving Princeton is the Northeast Corridor Line towards Trenton.
AirTrain service frequency
5 am to midnight – Every 3 minutes
Midnight to 5 am – Every 15 minutes
For more information visit: https://www.newarkairport.com/to-from-airport/air-train
NJTransit service frequency (From EWR to PRNCT)
There are trains available from 12:06 am to 10:58 pm. Be sure to check the digital train schedule or ask an AirTrain or NJ Transit clerk
For more information visit: http://www.njtransit.com

6. Upon arrival at Princeton Junction, direct your attention to signs leading to the Princeton Shuttle (the Dinky), which is at the end of the platform and to your left. It is approximately a 4-minute ride from Princeton Junction to the new Princeton University station, and the Dinky runs frequently. On rare occasions, the Dinky could be out of service. If this is the case,  please take an Uber or Lyft to 20 Library Place, Princeton (Erdman Center).

7. Upon arrival at Princeton University station, please walk to Princeton Seminary.
· When you get off the train in Princeton, walk toward the only stoplight you can see. Turn right on Alexander Street and walk up the slight hill to the PTS campus on your left.
· Please be advised that Princeton Theological Seminary is a 10-12 minute walk on a slow incline.
· For more information, please visit the Princeton Seminary website at www.ptsem.edu

8. If you have any questions regarding the directions to follow, please refer to the map on the Seminary’s website (above), ask an NJ Transit clerk, a Princeton Borough Police Officer, a Princeton Township Police Officer, a Princeton University Police Officer, or a Princeton Theological Seminary Security Officer.

Effective date June, 2024 until further notice.