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Reimbursing Expenses

From time to time in the normal course of work employees use their personal funds or resources for the benefit of the company. There are several provisions governing how employee expenses should be reimbursed, and various ways to implement reimbursement in your company.

Personal Cell Phone

If your employees use their personal cell phone for work purposes, you are required to reimburse a portion of their cell phone bill to cover those expenses. Typically companies will reimburse between $40 and $100 for personal cell phone use for company business. Depending on the nature of your business one way to get around this is to require your staff to use a company phone instead of their personal phone for business calls. This could work in a cafe, for example, but may not be appropriate for a group of sales professionals.


If your employees use their personal car for work purposes, there are some complicated rules that govern what you are and are not required to reimburse. For example, employees are not required to be reimbursed for commute to and from their primary workplace. Additionally, if the employee is working at an alternative location for the day, they are not required to be reimbursed for their normal commute, but might need to be reimbursed for any extra miles traveled. Typically miles are reimbursed at the Standard Mileage Rate which is determined by the IRS.

General Expenses

From time to time employees use their personal funds to make purchases for the company. This might mean they run to the store to pick up a few extra reams of paper, or it might mean they book a hotel for a conference. Regardless of the amount of the expense, policies on reimbursement for these kinds of expenses should require manager approval before purchase, require submittal of a receipt, and explain how long it usually takes to receive reimbursement.

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