Reimbursable Expenses and Its Tax Implications: What You Need to Know to Stay Compliant

Expense reimbursement is an essential aspect of business operations. Employees incur various expenses on behalf of the company, and reimbursement ensures that they are not out-of-pocket for these expenses. Reimbursement processes can be complex, and tax implications make it even more challenging to navigate. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at reimbursable expenses and the tax implications you need to be aware of to stay compliant.

What is a Reimbursement?

Reimbursement refers to the repayment of an employee’s out-of-pocket expenses incurred on behalf of their employer. Reimbursement policies vary by company, and it is essential to understand your employer’s policy to avoid confusion. Some companies offer a flat-rate reimbursement, while others require employees to submit receipts to be reimbursed.

Reimbursement Claim Explained

To receive reimbursement, employees must submit an expense claim. An expense claim is a document that outlines the expenses incurred by an employee, including receipts and other supporting documentation. This document serves as proof of the expenses incurred and is necessary for reimbursement.

Types of Reimbursable Expenses and Examples

Not all expenses are reimbursable, and it’s essential to understand which expenses can be reimbursed. Reimbursable expenses typically fall into two categories: business-related and job-related. Business-related expenses are expenses incurred in the course of doing business, while job-related expenses are expenses incurred while performing job-related duties. Here are some examples of reimbursable expenses:

Business-related expenses:

  • Travel expenses
  • Meals and entertainment expenses
  • Office supplies and equipment
  • Rent
  • Utilities

Job-related expenses:

  • Uniforms and work clothes
  • Tools and equipment
  • Training and Education
  • Licenses and certification fees
  • Job-related travel expenses
  • What is billable vs reimbursable expense?

Billable expenses vs. Reimbursable expenses

Billable expenses and reimbursable expenses are two distinct categories of expenses that businesses must track and manage to ensure accurate financial reporting and invoicing.
Billable expenses refer to any expenses incurred by a company on behalf of a client or customer that will be passed on to the client for payment. These expenses may include things like travel costs, materials or equipment purchased specifically for a client project, or fees for outside services used to complete a project. Companies need to track these expenses carefully to ensure that they are correctly billed to the client and recorded as revenue.
On the other hand, reimbursable expenses are expenses incurred by an employee on behalf of the company that the company will reimburse. These expenses may include travel expenses, such as airfare or hotel costs, or other work-related expenses, such as office supplies or software. It’s important to track reimbursable expenses to ensure that employees are reimbursed accurately and promptly.
Differentiating between billable and reimbursable expenses is crucial because it ensures that the company is billing clients accurately and paying employees correctly. Accurate tracking of these expenses also helps businesses manage their cash flow more effectively by ensuring that they are billing clients for all of the expenses they incur on their behalf and that employees are reimbursed promptly for any expenses they have incurred.

Tax Implications of Expense Reimbursement in the Philippines

In the Philippines, expense reimbursements are considered non-taxable income if they meet the following conditions:
  • The expense is necessary and directly related to the performance of the employee’s duties.
  • The expense is adequately supported by receipts or other supporting documentation.
  • The expense is reimbursed under an accountable plan.
  • An accountable plan is a reimbursement policy that requires employees to submit receipts and other supporting documentation for their expenses. Failure to comply with these conditions may result in the expense reimbursement being subject to income tax, withholding tax, and fringe benefits tax.

Reimburse with Help of OliviaXpense

OliviaXpense is the perfect solution for businesses looking to streamline their expense reimbursement process. With features like receipt scanning, automatic report generation, and customizable approval workflows, OliviaXpense makes it easy for both employees and employers to manage expenses. Its intelligent search feature helps users quickly find and retrieve documents, while its auto-categorization ensures accurate expense tracking. 
Additionally, OliviaXpense is tailored for the Philippine market, recognizing Philippine receipts and language and generating BIR-compliant SLP reports. By using OliviaXpense, businesses can significantly reduce the risk of errors and fraud, save time and resources, and create a single platform that consolidates spending data and speeds up processes.


1. Is reimbursable expense income?

No, reimbursable expenses are not considered income as long as they are reimbursed under an accountable plan and meet the necessary conditions.
Should I get reimbursements for my job expenses or take them as personal write-offs?
It is always advisable to seek reimbursement for job-related expenses to avoid out-of-pocket expenses. Taking them as personal write-offs may not be allowed and could result in the expense not being deductible.

2. What is the difference between reimbursement and refund?

Reimbursements are payments made to an employee to repay them for expenses incurred on behalf of the company. Refunds are payments made to a customer for goods or services purchased.

Summary and Key Takeaways

Expense reimbursement is an important aspect of business operations, and understanding the tax implications of reimbursable expenses is crucial to staying compliant. Reimbursable expenses can be classified into business-related and job-related expenses, and it’s essential to differentiate between billable and reimbursable expenses to manage cash flow effectively. In the Philippines, expense reimbursements are considered non-taxable income if they meet specific conditions. Using solutions like OliviaXpense can streamline the reimbursement process, reduce the risk of errors and fraud, and consolidate spending data. Remember that seeking reimbursement for job-related expenses is advisable to avoid out-of-pocket expenses and ensure deductibility.

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