Resources: Types of University Receipts – Examples, Exceptions and Important Notes

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Examples, Exceptions & Important Notes regarding:

Designated Income Generated by Schools and Departments

Schools and departments may generate income by selling products or by providing services that relate to the primary research and educational missions of the University. Income-producing activities that are not related to Stanford's primary missions have serious tax ramifications and require written permission from the Provost. See important compliance information on Unrelated Business Income. School and department income is processed using Stanford CASHNet or the Department Transmittal form and deposited directly to Wells Fargo Bank, located on the second floor of Tresidder Memorial Union.

Examples of Designated Income Receipts Include Payments for:

  • Sale of publications, class notes, syllabi, photocopies, audio or video tapes, or software
  • Special student fees (e.g., lab fees, course fees, placement fees, executive education fees, etc.)
  • Fees for admission to public events (e.g., box office receipts for drama, music, or athletics)
  • Fees for use of specialized department equipment or services (e.g., external use of service centers)
  • Fees for participation in a corporate affiliates program
  • Fees for access to libraries or other University facilities
  • Registration fees for workshops, symposia or conferences

Exceptions and Important Notes

  • Sales and Use Tax:  Many income transactions involving the sale of tangible property (as opposed to services) require the payment of state sales taxes which must be paid even if the department fails to collect them. See Overview: Sales and Use Tax at Stanford.
  • Facility Rental Fees:  It is against Stanford policy to charge rent or use fees for facilities belonging to Stanford without proper written approval. Fees may be charged for services provided such as audio / visual equipment and cleanup.
  • Selling to Other Departments:  If a department is providing products or services primarily to other Stanford departments, a service center should be established by requesting a new Service Center. See Service Centers information on the DoResearch web site.
  • Checks Made out to Individuals for Professional Services and Honoraria:  An honorarium or consulting check made out to an individual is that individual's personal, taxable income. If the individual wants to donate the fee to Stanford, he or she should endorse the check to Stanford University. In this case the check is processed as a gift from the individual payee, rather than as income from the original payer.
  • Industrial Affiliate Income:  Supported by corporate membership fees, industrial affiliate programs are designed to facilitate the relationship between academia and industry. Although all affiliate income is non-tax-deductible to the payer, and is therefore technically not a gift to Stanford, these payments are still processed through Gift Processing using the Affiliate Income Transmittal Form. Before receiving any affiliate income, units should have previously applied for and received approval from the Office of Technology Licensing (OTL) under the Dean of Research. See the Research Policy Handbook, Section 13.4: Establishment of Industrial Affiliates and Related Membership-Supported Programs.
  • Depositing Cash Receipts in Excess of $10,000:  Any cash payments over $10,000 (not including charitable donations, i.e., gifts) must be reported to the University's Tax Department using IRS Form 8300. This includes cash equivalents such as cashier's checks and traveler's checks, money orders, or any other method of payment in which the payer is not specifically identified.
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Sponsored Project Receipts, including Clinical Trials

Monies received from sponsoring agencies in support of sponsored research projects, contracts or agreements, require special care and are handled by the Office of Sponsored Research.

Examples of Sponsored Project Receipts Include:

  • Contract payments
  • Grant payments
  • Program income when the program is a sponsored program/project
  • Payments related to clinical trials

Exceptions and Important Notes

  • Distinguishing Gifts from Grants:  To determine whether a check is a gift or part of a sponsored agreement, see RPH 13.1 Definition of Sponsored Projects and Distinctions from Other Forms of Funding and Checklist for Determining Whether Funding is a Gift or Support for a Sponsored Project.
  • Institutional Allowances:  Institutional allowances are payments to the University which are intended to compensate for some of the expenses associated with administering a sponsored grant.
    • Institutional Allowances from Non-Government Agencies are considered gifts and are processed as gifts through the Office of Development.
    • Institutional Allowances from Government Agencies are processed using Stanford CASHNet or the Department Transmittal form and depositing the receipts to Wells Fargo, 2nd floor, Tresidder Memorial Union as designated income into a designated income fund specifically for recording institutional allowance payments.
  • Sponsored Program Income:  Sponsored projects occasionally receive income related to the project, but from sources other than the sponsor (e.g., for service fees, sales of commodities, usage or rental fees, or fees from participants at a conference or symposium). This income, when earned as part of a federally sponsored project, is referred to as “Program Income.” It is highly sensitive, and must be reported to the sponsoring governmental agency for further reporting to Congress. Before receiving any program income related to a governmental sponsored project or grant, obtain prior approval from the sponsoring agency and contact your OSR representative for guidance. For more information about Program Income, visit the DoResearch web site.
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Receipts are considered gifts when the payment is from an outside entity in support of a school or departmental program, with no deliverables (i.e., the donor receives nothing in return other than an acknowledgement). Examples include:

  • General support of a school or department
  • Support of a specific school or departmental event
  • General support of an individual faculty member's research program or of a specific research activity
  • An institutional allowance to cover costs related to administering a grant from a non-governmental agency

Gifts are initiated and processed using the Gift Transmittals system.

Exceptions and Important Notes

  • It Is Critical to Distinguish between Gifts and Sponsored Projects. To determine whether a check is a gift or part of a sponsored agreement, see RPH 13.1 Definition of Sponsored Projects and Distinctions from Other Forms of Funding and Checklist for Determining Whether Funding is a Gift or Support for a Sponsored Project.
  • Proposed Fund-Raising Activities:  Any proposed fund-raising activities should be cleared with the Office of Development in advance to ensure compliance with tax laws and regulations.
  • When Donors Receive Something in Exchange for their Contribution:  Whenever a fund-raising activity is designed to solicit payments which are partially a gift and partially the purchase of admission to an event or other benefit to the donor, separate amounts must be clearly stated in the solicitation and on any ticket or evidence of payment furnished to the donor. Copies of solicitation materials must be kept by the department for a period of five years. If the donating entity receives anything (e.g., special event seating, an auction item, or any other benefit), then at least part of the revenue is considered income to the University (not a gift) and needs to be recorded separately in a designated income fund. When submitting these receipts, include information on the transmittal form regarding how much of the gift is non-tax-deductible, along with the designated income fund to which the non-deductible portion should be credited.
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Reimbursements to Stanford University (Non-Salary Related)

Payments that represent reimbursement to the University (Non-salary and non-student aid) are generally processed by completing Stanford CASHNet or a Department Transmittal and depositing the reimbursement at Wells Fargo.

Examples of Reimbursement Receipts:

  • Refund for a cancelled order
  • Payment for damages to University property when the payment is for the exact amount of replacing or repairing the damaged item
  • Refund for overpayment (non-salary, non-student aid)
  • Rebates
  • Payments from an individual for personal use of University phone
  • Third-party reimbursement of travel expenses charged to a University account

Exceptions and Important Notes

  • Salary and Sick Leave Reimbursements to Stanford:  When an employee has been erroneously overpaid wages, or is reimbursing Stanford for sick leave pay, there are complex tax considerations. These reimbursements are handled by payroll and should be initiated via a HelpSU request.
  • Student Aid Payment Reimbursements to Stanford:  In the event of student aid (stipend) overpayment, a student administrator should process a correcting transaction in the GFS system, causing the amount to show as a receivable on the student's account. The check for overpayment can then be processed through the University Payments office.
  • Reimbursements related to transactions that originated in iProcurement:  For reimbursements related to transactions that originated in iProcurement (i.e., receipts from vendors or other direct payees), deliver the reimbursement check via U.S. mail to Payment Services (anchor point: U203), University Hall, 485 Broadway Street Redwood City, CA 94063 or via ID Mail to Payment Services, MC 8440 (anchor point: U203), with a reference to the original iProcurement transaction number.
  • Personal Expense Reimbursements:  Reimbursement to Stanford from individuals should be very limited. Neither students nor employees should be using University phones, postal services, supplies, etc, for personal use on a regular basis. When this does occur, the amount reimbursed to the University should be for the actual expense incurred.
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