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The following information is for invited participants of U.S. GEOTRACES conferences who are not employees of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and/or Columbia University and its affiliates.

Please make an effort to submit your travel reimbursement request as soon as possible after the meeting since Columbia University has instituted a new time limit. All travel reimbursement requests must be received within 120 days after the completion of travel otherwise it will be reported to the IRS as income; i.e., it is flagged as a taxable payment.


required forms

  1. NON-EMPLOYEE EXPENSE WORKSHEET (Excel): Use this form to date and itemize your expenses. Under Column
  1. CHECK REQUEST (Excel): This is the travel reimbursement form cover sheet. Complete the top part of the form (from the DATE to VISA TYPE sections) and type the amount next to TOTAL AMOUNT field. N.B. this form is mandatory and must be submitted even if you are receiving reimbursement electronically.

  2. RECEIPTS: Columbia University strongly prefers to receive receipts for ALL expenses especially for items $25 and above. If you lose or are unable to provide receipts, there is no guarantee that you will receive reimbursement for those expenses. Note that not providing receipts will delay receipt of your reimbursement. In general, reimbursements are received within 2 to 8 weeks after submission.

Additional note: credit card receipts are not considered receipts by CU/LDEO Finance; they require itemized receipts. If you forget to get the itemized receipt, please submit the MISSING RECEIPTS FORM (Excel) along with your credit card slip.


Dollar Limits for Meals
(per meal/per day in U.S. dollars)

Meal Type With Receipts Without Receipts
Breakfast $25.00 $15.00
Lunch $35.00 $24.99
Dinner $50.00 $24.99


  1. MILEAGE: Use of PERSONAL Vehicle either to the point of departure (i.e. airport, etc.) or to the conference site is permitted. You may request roundtrip mileage. As of 1 July 2011,the mileage rate is currently $0.575/mile. Please use MapQuest (or similar web site) to provide proof of mileage.

N.B. Mileage is reimbursed in lieu of gas. Gasoline charges are reimbursed for rental vehicles (as is the cost of a rental vehicle).

additional forms


1) W-9 Form (Requests for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification - PDF): If this is your first time requesting reimbursement from CU/LDEO or your home address has changed since your last payment from CU/LDEO, please complete and submit this form.

2) Direct Deposit Form (online): To set-up electronic direct deposit with CU/LDEO, complete the form at this secured link.
Please note in your correspondence in your correspondence with your required forms that you have registered for direct deposit.


1) VISA/PASSPORT: Copies of your passport and visa designation are required. Please send copies of the following: ID, photo, the date of entry into the U.S. and the visa designation.

2) W-8BEN Form (Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding): This form certifies that you are living outside the U.S. and are exempt from U.S. taxes. If this form is not submitted, 30% of your travel reimbursement is deducted for taxes.

3) Wire Transfer Form (Excel): To have your funds wired to your financial institution outside the U.S., please complete this form.

4) Currency Conversion Rates: Please provide documentation for conversion rates. OANDA is one such site that provides daily conversion rates.