TDF/Policies/Community Refunds

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TDF Budget Refunds Guidelines

Starting from 2016, The Document Foundation has created two budget “buckets”, one for marketing (focus on outside work) and one for community related (focus on inside work) expenses, which provisions funds for requests coming from local LibreOffice or NLP communities (called NLPs as an abbreviation for Native Language Projects).

This document provides the guidelines for reimbursement of expenses from TDF Berlin against these approved budget buckets, and a series of suggestions to make the process as smooth as possible. Reimbursements from TDF Berlin are extremely quick, and usually happen within a week from the receipts of all documents if they match the guidelines.

First of all, once a specific project – e.g. trade show participaton or production of collaterals – out of these budget buckets has been approved, and you have received the email which confirms the approval by either a board or team member of TDF, you can start planning the activity. Before spending the money, though, you need a final confirmation after having provided a breakdown or at least an estimate of all amounts to sophie.gautier@documentfoundation.org, floeff@documentfoundation.org and italo@documentfoundation.org to allow proper management of the budget. Missing this final confirmation, the reimbursement might be delayed or even refused.

Per default, TDF can not provide any amount of money in advance, but only refund after the spending has occurred. Even TDF board and team members traveling to represent TDF are reimbursed at the end of the trip, based on receipts of incurred expenses. There might be situations where this is problematic – to find a solution, please write to treasurer@documentfoundation.org before the spending, so we can find a way to make things happen.

First of all, you should become familiar with TDF travel and reimbursement policies – as they are the golden reference for the entire project – which are available at the following links:

  1. . https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/TDF/Policies/Travel,
  2. . https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/TDF/Policies/Refunding.

So, for each approved project you should first send an email to treasurer@documentfoundation.org with a breakdown of the expenses, so we can insert them into a spreadsheet used to keep track of the different amounts. Once a board or team member of TDF confirms the amounts are in the spreadsheet, you can start spending the money.

To spend the money, and get the appropriate reimbursement from TDF Berlin, you have – according to the policies – several different options:

a) Get the amount invoiced directly to TDF Berlin (with a copy of the invoice sent by email to treasurer@documentfoundation.org). The address is the following:

The Document Foundation, Kurfürstendamm 188, 10707 Berlin, Germany.

Please note that while TDF does have a VAT number, as a charity, we have to pay VAT and VAT Reverse Charge does not apply for us. All sums must be gross sums and invoices contain the respective VAT.

In general, it is possible to get the invoice for events and exhibitions, to cover logistics and other disbursements (booth at exhibitions, rooms for meetings, print shops for brochures and stickers, suppliers for swags, etc).

b) Pay the amount yourself, and file immediately the reimbursement request in order to get the reimbursement as soon as possible.

There are a few rules that need to be kept in mind:

1) TDF is obliged by tax law to have a proper receipt before doing any payments or refunds. In other words, you are not allowed to pay anything if you do not get a receipt as TDF cannot reimburse any amount of money – not even a few cents – without a proper receipt.

2) When you organize your travel, always keep in mind that you are spending donations money (which means that you should not consider first class travels or 4/5 star hotels, unless you get a better deal and can provide proof for that e.g. via screenshots).

3) For receipts that are only issued in a digital form, a digital copy via e-mail (e.g. in PDF format) to treasurer@documentfoundation.org is sufficient.

For receipts that are issued on paper, TDF is obliged to get the original paper copy via snail mail to TDF Berlin. To speed up the process, you can send a scanned copy in advance to treasurer@documentfoundation.org so we can start the payment process.

For trips, even if all receipts are in digital format, we are tax-wise obliged to get the signed refund form on paper to Berlin. You can find the form at http://tdf.io/refundform.

4) As a charity, TDF is not allowed to make individual donations or presents (e.g. a dinner invitation, a bottle of wine, a voucher, and even a T-shirt are considered as presents). If you plan any of these activities, please always get in touch with treasurer@documentfoundation.org before to avoid problems.

5) Before sending the receipts to TDF Berlin by snail mail, we recommend to make a photocopy or preferably a scanned copy for your records.

6) TDF pays from a Berlin account. For transfers outside of the SEPA (Single Euro Payments) area, please mention all necessary details, including your own address, your bank's address, and any bank branch, account or routing numbers required to receive payments from Germany.