What is re­im­burs­able un­der the Travel Ex­penses Act NRW?

Business trips should only be made if they are necessary for official reasons and a more cost-effective way of carrying out official business is not possible or does not make sense, in particular by using digital communication options.

They should be carried out economically and limited in time to what is necessary.

When selecting the means of transport, aspects of climate protection in particular must be taken into account in addition to economic considerations.

The reimbursement of travel expenses must be requested in writing within a preclusive period of six months.


Budget responsibility

The accounting object(s) to be debited shall be noted on the business trip approval. Travel expenses can only be reimbursed if the funds are available at the time of the travel expense report and, in the case of third-party funded projects, the expenditure complies with the funding guidelines.

Please note that with the signature of the person responsible for the budget object, the responsibility for the cost coverage at the specified booking office is assumed.

You can make an advance payment on the approved business trip in good time before the start of the trip for costs already incurred and costs likely to be incurred (travel costs and participant fees).

For this purpose, the original business trip approval including receipts for the costs incurred and expected to be incurred as well as the form "Request for the granting of a discount" must be submitted to the travel office.

Payments on account of less than € 100.00 should be avoided if possible.

Please note that the trip must also be settled within the statutory preclusion period of 6 months. If this is not done, the travel department will reclaim the advance payment.

As soon as it is known that a business trip for which a deduction has already been paid will not be taken, the travel office must be informed immediately.

The duration of the business trip is determined by the departure and arrival at the home.

If the business trip is started or ended at the place of work this shall take the place of the home.

In principle, only the necessary costs of the lowest bookable class are reimbursable in each case.

Travelling costs

From 1 January 2022, 1st class travel costs incurred for rail journeys of at least two hours can be reimbursed. If the business traveller has a disability with a degree of at least 50 and a severely disabled person's pass with the G, aG, GI, BI, Tbl or H mark, the costs of 1st class will generally be reimbursed.

Flight costs

In the case of air travel, the costs of the lowest bookable class of transport are generally reimbursed. In the event that the pure flight time is at least five hours, the costs of the next higher class of transport can be reimbursed. The consent of the person responsible for the budget must be obtained in advance.

Deutsche Bahn corporate customer discount for business trips (bahn.corporate)

Please take the customer number valid for the University of Paderborn from your business travel authorisation, as publication of the customer number is only permitted within the university. According to the state travel costs law, DB tickets for business trips must be purchased with the corporate customer discount.

The corporate customer discount has been 5% since 01.01.2014.

Online booking via PC:
You can book your ticket online and print it out yourself directly on any PC with an internet connection and printer, i.e. not just on your workplace PC. This "online desk" is available 24 hours a day. Payment is made by credit card. Further advantages of online booking are:

- Creation of online tickets/reservations up to 10 minutes before departure with immediate printout.

- Free online cancellation possible up to before the 1st day of validity.

- Identification on the train with BahnCard Business, credit card or EC card/Maestro.

- Seat reservation is currently € 4.90 per journey in 2nd class.

Before your first online booking, you only need to register. To do so, please send an e-mail with your surname, first name to the travel office. The travel office will record this data and arrange for your registration with Deutsche Bahn. Once you have registered, you will receive an e-mail with a link that you can use to log in to Deutsche Bahn AG and create your personal corporate customer account. For more information, see: Bahn: Information on the online ticket

Purchase at the station counter:
You can purchase your rail ticket as usual at the station counter, e.g. at the travel centre in Paderborn main station. Just tell the sales staff there that you would like to book the journey using the university's FKR number and have it ready. By the way, this can be done at any staffed station in Germany.

Purchasing a ticket from a ticket machine:
The purchase of a ticket with a corporate customer discount on the normal price in combination with the BahnCard discount is only permitted if you have a BahnCard Business that has previously been purchased in the Bahn's corporate customer portal.

If you do not have a BahnCard, the corporate customer discount on the normal price can be taken into account.

Online booking by mobile phone:
How exactly to proceed: Rail: Information on the online ticket

Purchase of a Business BahnCard or a privately purchased BahnCard:
The costs of purchasing a Business BahnCard or a privately purchased BahnCard are reimbursable. Please contact the travel office!

Procedural information for the reimbursement of a BahnCard

According to the circular of the Ministry of Finance dated 22.01.2021

  • BahnCard Business 25 and 50 and privately purchased BahnCard 25 and 50, will not be reimbursed until they have been fully amortized.
  • To this end, it is imperative that the business traveler submits a forecast of upcoming business trips in the next twelve months. Otherwise, there is no entitlement to reimbursement of the BahnCard costs.
  • The BahnCard 100 is generally not refundable (not even on a pro-rata basis).

A BahnCard Business is to be purchased for business trips, as this is the only card that is eligible for the Deutsche Bahn wholesale discount. The BahnCard Business can also be used for private travel. You can find more information about the BahnCard Business here.

BahnCard Business are reimbursed as follows:

  • There will no longer be a pro-rated reimbursement.
  • It is required that the business traveler provide a forecast of upcoming business trips over the next twelve months.
  • Afterwards, the purchase value of the BahnCard Business will be reimbursed with a corresponding account assignment sheet.

Privately purchased BahnCard will be reimbursed as follows:

  • There will no longer be a pro-rated reimbursement.
  • After full amortisation, the purchase value of the BahnCard will be refunded with a corresponding account assignment sheet.
  • When his/her BahnCard has been fully amortized, the traveler will receive a statement from the travel department with the corresponding accounting objects and the associated creditable BahnCard portions (these will be calculated by the travel office as before when the travel expense report is submitted, but will not be reimbursed on a pro-rated basis).

Based on this statement, the traveler submits the account assignment sheet provided for this purpose to the travel department, specifying one or more accounting objects.

After checking and signing off, the purchase value of the BahnCard is reimbursed by Department 1.

 Further notes on reimbursement:

  • Since reimbursement requires full monthly amortization, it is necessary that proof (in the form of a screenshot) of the regular fare be submitted with the travel expense report. If the amortization is only achieved with several business trips in the respective month, these business trips must be submitted bundled for one month with the travel expense reports. Proportional reimbursement is not possible!
  • Additional costs (e.g. further necessary travel by ICE) will be reimbursed as before.
  • The Deutschlandticket can only be purchased privately. Procurement by the department is not possible.
  • Since the Deutschlandticket is purchased as part of a subscription, it is pointed out that in the months in which no or no complete amoritization can be proven, no reimbursement can be made on the part of UPB in the context of business trip accounts.

The Travel Departmant is available for advice, also in advance when planning business trips.

You can find information about rental vehicles here.


If no vehicle is provided by the employer, a mileage allowance of 35 cents per kilometer shall be granted for business trips in the period from 1 January 2023 to 31 December 2024, and 23 cents per kilometer for two-wheeled motor vehicles and bicycles, if there are reasons in accordance with § 5 (1) RKG NRW.

Please always use a rented vehicle if possible.

Reasons for the use of a private vehicle only exist if the business traveller

  • is travelling with business luggage weighing more than 40 kg or bulky business luggage,
  • is travelling with other university employees on the outward and return journey, for at least half of the total distance,
  • there is no rail connection/local public transport available, or the journey by public transport is considerably more time-consuming than travelling by car,
  • you have a severe disability (ID card with features aG, Bl or G),
  • is travelling outside the reasonable travel time (10.01 p.m. to 5.59 a.m.) or
  • is travelling to several business locations in one day.

Carriage allowance 

A transport allowance of 5 cents per kilometer shall be granted for the transport of other members of the university in their own cars as well as for items which, according to experience, cause excessive wear and tear on the motor vehicle.

If a motor vehicle trailer is carried for official reasons, compensation of 10 cents per kilometer shall be granted.

The names of the university members travelling with them must be stated in the statement.

The explanation of the official luggage shall also be stated in the statement.

Taxi costs are only reimbursable if used for a valid reason.

This must be precisely stated in the statement of account (valid reason incl. submission of an original receipt).


For a one-day business trip:

The amount of the daily allowance for each calendar day of absence shall be

  1. of more than 8 to 11 hours 6 euros
  2. of less than 24 hours but more than 11 hours 12 euros and
  3. of 24 hours 24 euros.

In the case of a business trip lasting several days:

For the day of arrival and departure, the daily allowance shall amount to 12 euros, irrespective of the time of absence, if the official traveler spends the night away from home on this, a subsequent or preceding day.

If meals are provided to the official traveller free of charge, the daily allowance shall be reduced by

  • by 20 percent for breakfast and
  • for lunch and dinner by 40 percent of the daily allowance for a full calendar day.

I.e. the reduction for breakfast is € 4.80, the reduction for lunch and dinner is € 9.60 each.

According to the RKG-NRW, necessary accommodation costs can be reimbursed.

The necessity of overnight stays results conclusively from the nature of the travel (start of a business trip would have to take place before 6.00 a.m. without prior overnight stay, a return without overnight stay would only be possible after 10.00 p.m.).

Reimbursement can be made for the flat rate of € 20 per night without invoice receipt or, with invoice receipt, for the proven accommodation costs without breakfast (the UPB must be noted on the invoice address) up to € 80 without differentiating between small or large cities. Higher accommodation costs must be justified in any case.

For hotel bookings, please use the corporate customer discounts, which are deposited here.

Please note the information on the so-called bed tax!

(Annex to §3 para. 1 Auslandskostenerstattungsverordnung (AKEVO)).

You can find the list for the last year 2023 of current daily and overnight allowances abroad here.

You can find the list for 2024 for daily and overnight allowances abroad here.

Expenses necessary for the performance of official business, which are reimbursable as incidental expenses, e.g. pursuant to § 8 RKG NRW:

  • Transport of personal and official luggage
  • Room reservations
  • Entrance fees for visiting exhibitions and tickets for conferences or meetings, if the visit or participation is ordered by the official.
  • Fees for business-related purposes (e.g. business-related use of W-Lan in the hotel)
  • Visa fees
  • Passport fees and a photograph, insofar as a passport is necessary for the performance of official business.
  • Expenses for travel protection vaccinations prescribed by the country of entry (compulsory vaccinations)
  • Expenses for a compulsory health certificate

Attention: Incidental expenses must be proven by original receipts!

Incidental expenses within the meaning of the State Travel Expenses Act are e.g. expenses for:

  • usual social and representative obligations
  • taking out special accident insurance (including air accident insurance), health insurance or travel cancellation insurance
  • exchange losses on the sale of foreign means of payment; exchange gains are also not taken into account under travel expenses law
  • BahnCard travel insurance

If the business-related stay at the same external business location lasts longer than 14 days, a daily allowance reduced by 50 % is granted from the 15th day onwards. § Section 6 (2) RKG NRW must be taken into account, i.e. if the business traveller is provided with meals free of charge by official business, which must be provided, the daily allowance due must be reduced by 20% from the full daily allowance rate for breakfast and by 40% each for lunch and dinner, irrespective of actual use.

If a previously approved business trip is not carried out for valid reasons, the necessary expenses incurred in preparation and eligible for reimbursement under the NRW State Travel Expenses Act shall be reimbursed (travel preparation expenses).


Before cancelling a business trip for valid business reasons (this also includes a risk from the Corona pandemic), please be sure to observe the cancellation conditions so that unavoidable cancellation costs are kept as low as possible.

When cancelling, please insist on a refund of the amount paid. The acceptance of vouchers is to be avoided!

Also include receipts (original) and proof that an attempt was made to cancel and keep the costs incurred as low as possible.

For this purpose, please submit a statement with the non-cancellable costs to the travel office, within the statutory preclusion period of 6 months after the planned end of the trip.

A checklist for the settlement of cancellation costs can be found here.

Information on cancelling Deutsche Bahn tickets can be found here.


Reimbursement for a Corona test will only be made, if it is mandatory and prescribed by the organiser. This must be proven in writing!