What can be reimbursed

As a Tails worker or regular contributor, Tails can reimburse:

  • hardware expenses
  • other kinds of expenses

as long as they are needed to do your Tails work.

Tails also reimburses:

  • travel to and from Tails meetings
  • food you paid during Tails meetings (sprints, summit)
  • food your bought during your travel to a Tails meeting.

See also:

Small expenses

You do not need pre-approval for expenses below 50€, like buying a new USB stick. See below for how to claim your expenses.

Bigger expenses

You need to ask for pre-approval for big hardware expenses, like buying a laptop. See below for how to ask for pre-approval and how to claim your expenses.

Getting reimbursed when attending Tails meetings

Before attending Tails meetings (work sprints, summit) you will receive corresponding information about travel tickets and reimbursements from the accounting team or the sprint organizer.

Before you spend money

Ask for pre-approval of a bigger expense

If you plan to buy a laptop or make another bigger expense, you need to ask the Board for pre-approval. To do this, send an email with:

  • planned expense: description of item, amount

  • short explanation of why you need to make this expense

  • tell us if you want Tails to cover the costs entirely or, if you will use it also for other work, if you want us to cover only parts of the expense

  • if you can: remind us if Tails has already paid for the same expense in the past and when

Expect a reply in 2-4 weeks.

Get ready for the next steps

Before you spend the money, please read the rest of this document: it contains information you'll need at the time of the purchase and shortly after.

After you've spent money: claim your expenses

When you have spent money on behalf of Tails and want to be reimbursed, you need to send an expense report and the corresponding receipts to the accounting team.

Proofs to provide

Please keep the original paper or digital receipts of every expense you want to see reimbursed, at least until you have actually been reimbursed.

Your proofs of expenses might be sent to our fiscal sponsor, their tax office, or our funders. If that's a problem for you, please get in touch with accounting@tails.net before spending your own money.

  • If the amount of the expense is under 250€

    You can send us a simple receipt without the name of the buyer, for example a supermarket receipt or the screenshot of the confirmation of an online purchase.

    Such a receipt must include:

    • name and address of the supplier
    • date
    • exact description of goods and services
    • gross price
    • VAT rate or reference to a tax exemption

    If the receipt you have lacks some of this information, we will ask for further evidence. In addition, if the receipt does not state that it is paid, we will need a proof of payment.

  • If the amount of the expense is 250€ or more

    You must send us a receipt or legal invoice that includes:

    • name of the recipient of the receipt (see details below)
    • name and address of the seller
    • tax number or VAT identification number of the seller
    • service rendered
    • gross and net amounts
    • VAT rate
    • date

    Ideally, the seller would establish a legal invoice on which the client is not you, but one of our fiscal sponsors, that is either:

    Riseup Labs
    PO Box 3027
    Lacey, WA 98509


    Center for the Cultivation of Technology gGmbH
    Gottschedstrasse 4
    13357 Berlin

    This practice is common in some countries (e.g. Germany) but uncommon in other countries. If you can only get an invoice in your name, no worries, it's OK.

  • In any case:

    • It's OK if the receipt or invoice also includes other purchases that won't be reimbursed.

How to claim your expenses

To get your expenses reimbursed, follow these steps in the following order:

You have to claim bigger hardware expenses within 10 days of the date of purchase.

  1. Gather all the proofs of expense as explained in "Proofs to provide".

  2. Ask the accounting team where to send your paper proofs, or send the digital receipts by email (see next step).

  3. Send one single email to accounting@tails.net with:

    • a detailed list of your receipts ("expense report") with for each:

      • Date of payment / Date of receipt
      • Description of item
      • Amount paid (convert to Euros using the rate of the day you paid the item)
    • total sum to be reimbursed if you send several receipts

    • for any expense that has no paper trail: the digital documents used as proofs;

    • for any expense that only has a paper trail: readable, proper scans of the documents used as proofs;

    • if relevant, a pointer to the expense pre-approval;

    • how you want to be reimbursed, if we don't already have your banking details.

Purchases made in a currency different that euros will be reimbursed using the official rate at the day of the purchase: