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This section applies to individual independent contractors who wish to file for reimbursement of their travel expenses through UAB's accountable plan for independent contractors.

All other independent contractors (e.g. consulting companies, other universities, computer programming companies, etc., or individuals who do not wish to file their travel expenses under UAB's accountable plan) should pay their own travel expenses and include them along with their other applicable business expenses in their invoiced fee.

The independent contractor accountable travel plan only applies to specified meals, lodging, and transportation travel costs directly attributable to business travel for UAB. All other costs and business expenses are excluded from the independent contractor accountable travel plan and should all be included in the contractor's taxable fee if they are applicable.

Note: The independent contractor must pay for these travel expenses personally and then apply for reimbursement after the trip.

There will be no payments to third parties (travel agencies including UAB Travel Center, rental car agencies, airlines, other individuals, etc.) on behalf of the independent contractor under any circumstances.

Under the individual independent contractor accountable travel plan, reimbursement requests must be filed timely. The IRS defines timely as within 60 days of the date that the expenses were incurred. Independent contractor travel reimbursement requests beyond this 60 day period will be denied unless:

  1. the documentation includes special approval by the applicable Dean (if it is going to paid by a School), Hospital Finance (if it is going to be paid by the Hospital), or the applicable Executive (if not being paid by either a School or the Hospital) authorizing special payment even though the 60 days deadline has passed, and
  2. payment will be made as taxable income to the individual (i.e., it will be deemed part of the fee instead of part of the independent contractor accountable travel plan).

In order to apply for reimbursement under the accountable plan, the independent contractor will have to complete an official UAB Individual Independent Contractor Travel Expense Report form which will become an attachment to the Oracle Payment Request. The department will need to generate and print the form within Oracle and have the Independent Contractor sign it. This form includes a certification to be made by the individual contractor and must be signed personally by the contractor. Because it details the expenditures and includes the contractor's signature, this form may substitute for an invoice in regard to these travel expenses.

Prepaid Expenses

No prepaid expenses will be allowed for UAB employees acting as Independent contractors. All expense should be paid on the Oracle travel form and then deducted based on the honorarium. (Flight, hotels, taxi, and meals to cap). UAB will reimburse the following:

  • Hotels based on a single room rate.
  • Taxis to and from the airport up to 10 miles each trip.
  • Meals up to: $25 for breakfast, $50 for lunch, $75 for dinner.

Coming to UAB


Specially worded purchase orders may be issued to secure a room at some local hotels for independent contractors visiting the UAB campus. A current list of these hotels and the procedure to request a hotel room purchase order requisition are available in the Traveling forms library. (Note: Limited Purchase Orders, normal Purchase Orders, and Payment Request forms cannot be used for this purpose). If the independent contractor uses their personal credit card to cover the expense, reimbursement cannot be made until after the trip. In addition, UAB employees should never use their personal credit card to reserve/pay for the expenses of an independent contractor.

Reimbursement for laundry services is not allowed. Such services are considered to be personal costs, not business costs.


Independent contractors may be reimbursed for breakfast, lunch, and dinner — but not between-meal snacks — with itemized receipts. If there is no overnight stay involved for the independent contractor's trip, the meal reimbursements must be included in the 1099-reportable fee, per IRS regulations.

Independent contractors cannot be reimbursed for alcoholic beverages or alcohol-related costs under any circumstances. Contractors will need to personally certify on the travel form that such costs are not included in their reimbursement requests.


First class airfare/transportation is generally unallowable under the independent contractor's accountable plan, unless documentation is attached justifying that it was necessary for medical reasons or because reasonable alternatives were clearly not available.

If independent contractor tickets are ordered through the UAB Travel Center, they must be paid for with the independent contractor's credit card or the independent contractor's personal check.

Under the accountable plan, the independent contractor will follow the federal mileage allowance (see the IRS website for the applicable rate). Because they are not employees, they are not required to follow the State of Alabama's mileage allowance.


  • The plan includes actual expenses, not per diems. If UAB is invoiced for travel based upon a per diem rate or some other flat rate, then it is required to be made part of the contractor's fee because they have not made a full accounting to UAB.
  • Tips must be kept reasonable.
  • Telephone calls home are considered to be personal expenses and therefore cannot be reimbursed by UAB. Business phone calls and use of internet in support of UAB business may be included in the independent contractor's travel request.
  • Original receipts will be required for all expense reimbursement items (other than baggage-handling tips) made under the independent contractor accountable plan. This is stricter that the current employee accountable travel reimbursement plan. However, this is considered necessary to permit UAB to defend these costs upon audit, because we do not have the same level of control over contractors that we have over employees.
  • In order to document the capacity of the individual, a copy of executed contract, contract document number, or an approved Personal Services Form (PSF) should be provided in the backup documentation for the request.
  • Independent contractor travel reimbursement requests approved by the accountant as qualifying under this accountable plan must use special object codes designated for this purpose, so that those amounts can be properly distinguished from the 1099-reportable amounts.

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