1. Introduction

It is the policy of the Society for the Study of Addiction (“the Society”) to offer claimants full reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses incurred on the Society’s behalf, providing that the nature of these expenses has been agreed in advance.

All claims must be submitted within one month of the expenditure being incurred.

Consideration must always be given to using the most cost-effective method of travel. As the Society is a charity, claimants are expected to keep expenses to a minimum.

The Society will only make reimbursement for actual expenses necessarily incurred and if supported by a receipt where appropriate. The Society does not pay ‘flat rate’ expenses; paying round-sum amounts unsupported by actual expenditure receipts may result in an individual becoming liable to tax on the payments and may put the benefits they receive at risk. The Society will hold receipts (the original document, or in electronic or scanned format) for all claims for at least six years as required by the Inland Revenue.

The Society will pay the following out-of-pocket expenses:

  • petrol/mileage costs incurred whilst on Society business
  • travel from home to and from the place of a meeting and any additional travel necessary in the course of work on behalf of the Society
  • postage, phone calls and stationery costs necessary to the work of the Society
  • meals taken while on Society business, subject to a minimum time commitment, an upper limit of payment and arrangements for the provision of meals during the Society business
  • accommodation costs if overnight stays are necessary to the activity undertaken on behalf of the Society.

It is not acceptable to claim sums above the level of out-of-pocket expenses. Claims for travel not actually taken or food not actually consumed is fraudulent and defrauding the Society.

Travel costs between home and the normal place of work can never be claimed. Costs incurred by travelling companions not engaged in official Society business may not be claimed.

Where expenses are incurred in foreign currencies, the amounts should be shown with the currency in question clearly indicated. Reimbursement will be made in sterling at the rate of exchange in force on the date of the claim, as calculated by the Chief Officer.

2. Administration

Expenses will usually be reimbursed by electronic funds transfer. Original or electronic receipts, or photo-scans of the original (not credit card vouchers) must support all claims and, if VAT has been charged, the receipt should contain the VAT registration number and rate of VAT. In the event of hotel accommodation, please ensure that the receipt is either in the name of the Society or your own name. Receipts made out in the name of other organisations, may be returned unpaid.

Expenses should be claimed using the Society expense claim form, available either on the website (www.addiction-ssa.org) or from the Society’s Chief Officer (telephone: 07759 093 062, e-mail: martin@addiction-ssa.org).

3. Travel expenses

3.1 General

If you are attending a Society Executive Board meeting, a Society Subcommittee meeting or another meeting as a Society representative, the Society will reimburse the expenses incurred, subject to the terms of this policy. If you are attending a meeting at the request of, or as a representative of another professional body, association or institution then the Society may require that such costs should be claimed directly from that professional body, association or institution and not from the Society.

The Society will reimburse travel expenses from home to and from the place of a meeting. Dates of meetings are often known well in advance, when discounts may be offered by travel companies for advance booking.

In order to encourage the booking of tickets in advance, should it subsequently not be possible for you to attend a particular meeting, the Society may reimburse you any non-refundable element of the ticket. All travel expense claims must be supported with a receipt.

3.2 Use of alternative forms of transport for persons with disabilities

In circumstances where disabled persons are unable to travel by public transport or their own vehicle, taxis may be used, subject to prior approval of the Chief Officer.

3.3 Rail travel

All rail journeys must be arranged on a second (standard) class basis. Expense forms must have attached as supporting documentation either the actual train tickets or a receipt from the railway company. If a receipt is required, this should be requested at the time of ticket purchase as these are not routinely supplied.

Claimants should ensure that they secure the best price possible by, for example, taking advantage of Senior Railcards (if appropriate), adopting flexible travel arrangements and booking tickets in advance of the day of travel.

3.4 Travel by privately owned car

The driver, not the Society, is personally liable for any incident. Thus drivers should ensure that their own private motor vehicle insurance policy is comprehensive and permits the use of their own vehicle for the purpose of travel on Society business.

If an individual’s own vehicle is used, a mileage rate will be paid (as detailed in section 6.2 below). Please note that the total claim for any journey made by car (including the mileage rate, parking, toll fees, congestion charges etc) should not exceed the standard-class rail fare. A receipt should support claims for parking or other incidental expenses.

The Society will not reimburse parking fines, congestion charge fines or fines for other motoring-related offences.

3.5 Travel by taxi

Use of public transport or privately owned vehicle is encouraged and should be used wherever possible. However it is recognised that the use of a taxi may in the following circumstances be the most efficient mode of transport:

  • where equipment or heavy baggage is being carried
  • when no public transport is available, especially in the early morning or late at night when public transport is either not running or running infrequently
  • where the claimant is pregnant
  • where the claimant has a temporary or permanent disability
  • when it is important to save official time.

Travel by taxi should be kept to a minimum and should definitely not be used for long journeys. Claimants should obtain an official receipt from the taxi driver to substantiate their travel expense claim. Where it is expected that the taxi fare will exceed £50, permission to use a taxi must be sought in advance from the Chief Officer.

3.6 Air travel

All journeys by air travel within the UK must be arranged on an economy class basis. A receipt should be requested at the time of ticket purchase. Claimants should seek to minimise the cost of air travel by booking tickets in advance, taking advantage of early booking discounts where available.

In the case of overseas travel, particularly where the costs are to be funded by the Society, it is necessary to justify the journey. Please notify the Chief Officer before tickets are purchased for agreement as to whether the Society will reimburse the cost, which will normally be on an economy class basis. The Society will need to give consideration as to how the journey fits into the Society’s overall strategy and what outcomes are expected to be achieved.

3.7 Entertaining expenses

The Society will not normally reimburse entertainment expenses. However in the rare case where this may be appropriate as it is clearly of benefit to the aims and objectives of the Society, permission must be sought in advance from the Chief Officer and the maximum claim for an individual meal (for food and drink) is £30 per head in the UK with due allowance made for countries where costs may be higher.

4 Accommodation and subsistence

4.1 Overnight accommodation

Claimants may stay in 3- or 4-star accommodation, according to local availability. Claimants are reminded of the need to demonstrate value for money and reasonableness of expenditure when selecting accommodation.

In all cases, a receipt for the hotel costs should be obtained that is made out either in the name of the Society or your own name. Receipts made out in the name of your normal place of work (such as your university or hospital) may be returned to you unpaid. You will then need to contact the hotel for a replacement receipt made out in the Society’s or your own name.

4.2 Personal incidental expenses

The Society will not reimburse minibar expenses, alcohol, internet access or other hotel leisure costs, such as film or video hire.

4.3 Meals and subsistence

Round-sum subsistence allowances are not paid. A receipt should support all claims for meals or subsistence. Subsistence may not be claimed for absences from home of less than 4 hours duration. Where a meal has been provided at a Society meeting a commensurate reduction in claim will be expected. The maximum claim for an individual meal (i.e. the total bill for food and drink) is £30 per head in the UK with due allowance made for countries where costs may be higher.

Claims for breakfast will not be reimbursed where already included on a hotel bill or where the claimant is in receipt of a hospitality allowance.

5. Other expenses

The Society will reimburse other out-of-pocket expenses incurred by individual claimants on Society business such as the cost of postage, phone calls and stationery, subject to a receipt being submitted with the claim.

If you are in doubt about what may be claimed, or wish to claim for items not mentioned in this expenses policy, please contact the Chief Officer for advice prior to incurring the expenses.

6 Expenses and tax

6.1 General

It is Society policy only to reimburse for actual out-of-pocket expenses incurred, for which there is not tax liability. Claimants would only be liable to pay tax if payments were made that either exceeded actual expenditure or that where not supported by original receipts.

6.2 Drivers and tax

The Inland Revenue sets tax-free mileage rates under the Fixed Profit Car Scheme (FPCS). Please note that these rates apply to your total mileage claimed from any source (your employer, Society or other association/voluntary body). The Society reimburses for mileage at the tax-free mileage rate, therefore the Inland Revenue assumes that the claimant has made no profit.

The FPCS rates are 45p per mile for the first 10,000 miles in any tax year and 25p per mile thereafter. These rates apply only to travel in your privately owned car and are regardless of engine size.

7. Contact details

Chief Officer: Martin Wheeler (07759 093 062) martin@addiction-ssa.org

Download the form here.