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How to claim expenses

  1. The University's expenses form must be used for all claims, staff, students, visitors etc. 
    Download an expense form 
    (Only current versions of the forms can be accepted, older versions will be returned and an up to date form requested).
  2. Complete the form as far as you are able, ensuring you note the purpose of your travel if applicable, and provide a budget code against which the expense is to be charged.
  3. A claim form and all its accompanying receipts or other documents should be scanned or photographed and then passed all together by email through a sequence of approval that mirrors the usual wet signature approval process. If you cannot add an E-signature to the form then you can submit the form with the following statement in the body of the email: "I can confirm that the claim for reimbursement of £... whilst on University business for the period (date range) is in respect of bona fide business expenses, incurred wholly, exclusively and necessarily on behalf of the University"
  4. For further assistance contact the finance team.


  • Itemised, original, receipts must be provided for all expenses claimed.
  • If you are unable to produce a receipt you must give a brief explanation on your claim form as to why.
  • Credit card receipts and copies of credit card/bank statements are not valid receipts for these purposes. Statements are acceptable as proof of exchange rate only.

Foreign Currency

  • When claiming  foreign currency you expenses you must attach the source of conversion to your claim. This can be a printout from a website (e.g. or a bank statement. 


  • If claiming for a meal that is for more than one person, names of all attendees must be listed on your claim form, along with the organisation that they represent
  • see rules on business entertaining/working meals for more detailed information 

Oyster Cards

  • To reclaim travel made using an Oyster Card you must attach the statement showing the journeys made that you are claiming for
  • The payments team cannot pay any Oyster Card claim without proof of the journey. HMRC have insisted upon this.
  • If you top-up online you can view and print your journey history through your online account. Otherwise you will need to contact Oyster for details.

Season tickets/travel cards

  • Season tickets or a multiple journey travel card (Rail card, Oxford key card etc) do not normally meet the requirements for tax allowable travel because it is possible to use open tickets for private as well as business journeys. Whatever the intention, the strict requirement for exclusive business use is not therefore met.
  • Where it is believed that an exclusive business use can be shown against a season ticket or equivalent then arrangements can made in advance of any purchase. These purchases have to be approved with the Head of Accounting Services so please contact the finance team in the first instance.

Mileage expenses

In order to claim back mileage for any trips undertaken for the purpose of your work (excluding travel to and from your usual place of work), prior to any claims being authorised for payment you must have submitted the following to the finance team

  • Your driving licence
  • A Valid MOT certificate
  • Current insurance certificate, this must have you as a named driver AND specify that you are covered for business use.

If your insurance does not cover you for business use already, most insurance companies only charge a nominal difference to your premium to add it, and this can be reimbursed following approval from the Finance Team in advance of purchase. Please also note that when your MOT and car insurance are renewed, you must also send in copies (not originals) of the new documents to the team.  

IT Equipment

  • IT equipment and software is not an allowable expense and must be purchased directly by the University. 

Purchasing from another University Department

  • If you are buying from another University department you must raise a valid purchase order through the Finance Team
  • Do not pay for the purchase yourself as there is no VAT to pay if bought through the Department. VAT is currently 20% so it can be quite a saving to your cost centre/grant code. 


If, on your travels to conferences, meetings, presentations etc, you need to buy something that you would normally get through the department e.g. posters, paper, pens, postage etc, you must include the following information on your claim form:

  1. that the purchase was not for your own personal use but will now remain the property of the University OR
  2. the purchase relates to work use 

Guide to expenses

Read the full expense guide

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