New York State Homes and Community Renewal

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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

New York State Homes and Community Renewal
Taxable Travel
(Issued: 07/06/2018)


Purpose

We examined travel expenses a New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) rent inspector incurred during calendar years 2014, 2015, and 2016.  These included expenses for rental vehicles and fuel to conduct rent inspections throughout the New York metropolitan area.  The objective of our examination was to determine whether (i) the expenses were incurred for business or personal purposes, and (ii) HCR reported any personal expenses appropriately.


Background

The employee’s official station was New York City, and all of his assignments (alternate work locations) were within 35 miles of his official station.  According to the State Travel Manual, the employee was not in travel status because his alternate work locations were within 35 miles of his official station.  Therefore, the employee was not entitled to reimbursement for expenses to travel from his home (or rental vehicle pick-up location) to his work area, as these are commuting costs and, thus, personal expenses.


Key Findings

HCR was required to report the commuting expenses as supplemental wages of the employee, but did not.  As a result, we determined the employee incurred $3,543, $2,556, and $1,838 in personal commuting expenses during calendar years 2014, 2015, and 2016, respectively.


Key Recommendations

  • Ensure employees adhere to State travel expense reimbursement policies; in particular, by recording and reporting personal use of rental vehicles.
  • Ensure employees reimburse the State for the cost of any charges incurred when using a rental vehicle for personal use.
  • In instances where employees fail to reimburse the State for these costs, report supplemental wages for employee travel expenses related to personal use of rental vehicles.


For a complete copy of Report 2018-BSE7-01, click here.


Division of Contracts and Expenditures
Bernard J. McHugh, Director of State Expenditures

Phone: (518) 474-4868 Email: stexpend@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Contracts and Expenditures
110 State Street, 10th Floor; Albany, NY 12236