The City of Portland will reimburse employees for miles driven in their own vehicles when conducting official City business. Mileage is computed by using the distances between points listed in standard mileage guides or by odometer readings. Reimbursement will be at the current Internal Revenue Service standard mileage rate.
However, an employee’s commuting expenses will not be reimbursed. “Commuting expenses” means the costs of traveling between an employee’s primary place of residence and the employee’s main or regular place of work. To determine whether expenses are commuting expenses, it is the intent of the City to be consistent with the Internal Revenue Service regulations for travel expenses.*
Miles driven between the employee’s residence and the Revenue Division (Division) office are considered to be commuting miles and would not be eligible for reimbursement, regardless of whether or not they occurred on the employee’s regular workday.
Miles driven between the employee’s residence and a work location other than the Division office would not be considered to be commuting miles and therefore would be eligible for reimbursement. Examples would be training, fieldwork, meetings, etc.
Commuting miles and expenses cannot be reimbursed regardless of the employee’s regular mode of transportation used in their commute. Parking at (or near) the Division office would be considered to be a commuting expense and would not be eligible for reimbursement, regardless of whether or not it occurred on the employee’s regular workday.
An employee drives from home to the Division in the morning. Later in the day, they drive from the Division to a training event. After the training, they drive directly home. They could request reimbursement for the miles driven from the Division to the training and from the training to home, but not the miles driven from home to the Division.
An employee normally takes the bus to work. One day, they drive their car to the Division so they can attend a work meeting in North Portland in the middle of the day. They return to the Division after the meeting and then later in the day, they drive directly from the Division to home. They could request reimbursement for the miles driven from the Division to the meeting and back to the Division, but not for the miles to and from home and the Division. They also could not request reimbursement of any parking expenses they incurred related to their time parked near the Division.
Reimbursement requests should be done on a monthly basis, and must be turned in by the end of the following month. For example, all driving in June should be submitted on one request no later than July 31st. Late reimbursement requests may be denied. For privacy reasons, “Home” or your home address should not be included on the request. Instead, please include the intersection nearest your home (e.g., “25th and SE Main”).
Guidelines posted 3/25/15
*These guidelines and examples are based on the current City (Accounting Administrative Rule FIN-6.13 and related guidelines) and IRS rules (2013 Publication 463). If these rules change, these guidelines would defer to the rules in effect at the time the expenses are incurred.