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Tufts faculty, staff, and students are periodically required to incur business expenses on behalf of the university in furtherance of its educational and research mission. The intent of this policy is to help facilitate those business expenses and is designed to be fair and equitable to both purchaser and the university. It applies to all university business expenses regardless of the funding source. To be reimbursable, all expenses incurred must be necessary to the business of the university and in compliance with IRS, state and/or granting agency regulations and represent a reasonable and appropriate use of university funds.

The university business expense policy is outlined in general terms and is not intended to cover every possible situation or scenario that may arise. In all matters, employees are representing Tufts and should act in an ethical, practical and fiscally responsible manner

Business Expense Policy (full pdf version)
Policy Statement Unallowable
Applicability and Responsibility Receipts
Grant Business Expenses Approvals
Typical Business Expenses Business Expense Guidelines

Applicability and Responsibility

This policy applies to Tufts faculty, staff, and students who incur business expenses for authorized university business regardless of the funding source. Purchasers are expected to be prudent and exercise good judgment when incurring business related costs. All expenses submitted for reimbursement must be in compliance with this policy.

Grant Business Expense/Purchases

Generally, grant-supported business expenses must comply with the university’s policies and procedures. However, specific grants may impose stricter requirements that must be followed. It is expected that grant funded purchasers are aware of applicable restrictions and acknowledge that business expenses submitted for reimbursement and charged to grants are in full compliance with a grant’s requirements. For more information regarding grant funded business expenses please see the Sponsored web-site.

Typical Business Expenses/Purchases

Expenses/Purchases should be in accordance with the Purchasing Department’s established procurement processes for the purchase of goods and services. Tufts is a tax exempt organization therefore no sales tax should be incurred with any expense/purchase. Employees should download a copy of the Massachusetts sales tax exempt certificate prior to making a purchase.

Expenses/Purchases that should NOT be Incurred Outside of the Established Procurement Processes

Payment for Services (Purchasing)
Scholarships/Fellowships/Awards/Stipends (Check Voucher)
Honorariums (Check Voucher)

Receipts and Reimbursements for Expenses

In the event you are unable to utilize the established procurement processes to make your purchase in order to be reimbursed for those expenses an itemized receipt must be submitted through one of the following Employee Reimbursement Methods

Petty Cash for expenses <$50
Business Expense Form through Accounts Payable


All business expense reimbursement requests must be signed by the employee and approved by their supervisor or someone with school budgetary and fiscal responsibility.

Business Expense Guidelines

These business expense guidelines are to be followed by university employees who are responsible for the arranging and/or authorizing business expenditures. The list is intended to exemplify business expenses that are appropriate and allowable as well as those which are not. While it is not an exhaustive list, the examples convey the concept of reasonableness.

Click to view the Travel and Business Expense Guidelines