Accavallo & Company, LLC

Optimizing Reimbursement Procedures: A Guide for Nonprofit Organizations

Prepare Now to Compensate Staff, Board Members, and Volunteers

Regardless of how infrequently your not-for-profit organization needs to compensate staff, board members, or volunteers, there will likely come a time when reimbursement requests arise. Will your organization be equipped to handle these requests efficiently and in accordance with IRS regulations? A well-defined reimbursement policy is the solution. Not only does it provide clarity on reimbursement procedures, but it also reduces the likelihood of disputes.

Two Key Categories

According to the IRS, reimbursement plans typically fall into two primary categories:

  1. Accountable Plans: Reimbursements made under these plans generally do not count as taxable income for recipients, provided they meet three criteria:
    • Expenses must be related to the organization’s activities.
    • Claimants must adequately substantiate expenses within 60 days.
    • Any excess reimbursement must be returned within 120 days.

Advances given to employees or volunteers are compliant with the third criterion if they reasonably match anticipated expenses and are provided within 30 days of the expense being incurred.

  1. Nonaccountable Plans: Reimbursements under these plans do not meet the above requirements and are therefore considered taxable income.

Policy Considerations

Your reimbursement policy should outline which expenses are eligible for reimbursement and any associated restrictions. For instance, you might establish limits on lodging costs or exclude alcohol expenses from reimbursement.

Ensure that your policy mandates timely submission of expense documentation within 60 days, including receipts and a detailed statement of expenses. While the IRS typically requires receipts, exceptions exist for certain expenses, such as per diem allowances or transportation costs without readily available receipts.

Additionally, the policy should stipulate the prompt return of any excess payments within 120 days.

Standard Rates vs. Actual Costs

Address how mileage reimbursement will be handled, whether based on standard rates or actual expenses. Employees can be reimbursed at the federal standard mileage rate, while volunteers may receive a lower rate. Alternatively, actual expenses such as gas, repairs, and insurance can be reimbursed.

Tailored Solutions

Crafting a reimbursement policy tailored to your not-for-profit organization’s specific needs can be daunting. At Accavallo & Company, we offer assistance in developing a policy that aligns with your organization’s size, mission, and activities, ensuring compliance with IRS regulations and facilitating smooth operations as your organization grows.

If you need further information or assistance with preparing to compensate your staff, board members, and volunteers please don’t hesitate to contact us at Accavallo & Company.  You can reach us at (203) 925-9600 or email us at [email protected].

Dual Heading Example

Insert a meaningful line to evaluate the headline.

Sherri Fisher is a Tax Manager at Accavallo & Company, LLC.  Sherri has longstanding expertise in Trust and Estate Taxation, Eldercare, and Estate planning. Sherri appreciates the relationships she has built with estate planning attorneys and advisors, to provide a team approach to assisting her clients. Sherri also has seasoned experience in business and individual taxation and is partial to assisting start-ups in developing overall accounting and operating plans.

Prior to joining Accavallo & Company, LLC, Sherri was a manager in a large firm, servicing high net worth trust clients, business, and personal clients. She was also a Partner in a large bookkeeping firm, which specialized in cloud accounting systems for regional and national companies. Sherri led a team in assisting clients to organize their accounting systems.  She is a graduate of Florida Atlantic University with a B.S. degree in Accounting.    

Sherri’s experience includes working with companies and organizations in a variety of industries including:

  • Investment Trusts

  • DAPT and Family Investment Partnerships

  • Estate and Probate Administration

  • E-Commerce

  • Manufacturing

  • Construction

  • Real Estate Investment

  • Marketing and Service-based industries

In addition to her professional accomplishments, Sherri is an Intuit Advanced Pro Advisor, Intuit Future Firm Advisory Board member, member of the Valley WIN Network, and proudly served as past Connecticut Public School liaison for the Yale Tommy Fund for Childhood Cancer. Sherri enjoys time with her family, Cleveland sports, thrifting and gardening.