Methods of Payment and Reimbursement
Tax Exempt Purchases
Payments to Foreign Vendors
Employee Expense Reimbursements
Requesting a Travel Advance
Whistleblower and Conflict of Interest Policies
The Accounts Payable Office is responsible for processing vendor payments for goods and services as well as reimbursements to individuals for expenses incurred while conducting College business.
1. College Check : Paper checks are used to pay a majority of vendors. Checks are run each Tuesday and Thursday. Please allow 7 to 10 business days from the date a payment request is submitted to Accounts Payable for the check to be cut. The Accounts Payable office can facilitate payment requests outside this time frame on a limited basis if a rush payment is needed. Please contact the Accounts Payable office for more information. Requests may be sent via campus mail to box 2454 or dropped off in the accounts payable bin inside the door of the Accounts Payable office.
To request a payment: Check Request and Event Agreement Forms are used to collect payment information relating to invoices, contracts, refunds, and miscellaneous expenses, including reimbursements of personal funds used for College business travel. These forms should be filled out their entirety and supporting documentation with noted business purpose (i.e. original receipts) attached. All requests for payment are required to be signed by an employee with the appropriate procurement authorization. If the payment request is related to a new service provider, the Accounts Payable office will request the purchasing department to obtain a Form W-9 from the vendor before payment can be made. If the vendor is a non-U.S. citizen or foreign company Accounts Payable will request the purchasing department to obtain a Form W-8BEN (W-8BEN instructions). An employee may put the account code and authorized signature directly on an invoice (no Check Request Form is required).
Unless otherwise noted on the Check Request Form or Event Agreement Form, all payments will be mailed directly to the vendor.
The Check Request and Event Agreement Forms may be downloaded from the Accounts Payable landing page or the forms menu.
2. Purchasing Cards: Purchasing Cards are restricted use credit cards issued to employees with demonstrated need upon the approval of their department head to facilitate business travel and the purchase of goods and some services.
Monthly statements and purchase card activity should be downloaded from https://www.paymentnet.jpmorgan.com/ and submitted along with all supporting documentation and receipts to the Accounts Payable office by the 10th of the following month.
Further information regarding purchasing cards can be found under the Procurement Services area of the Financial Services website.
3. Wire Transfer or Electronic Transfer of Funds: If a vendor requires a payment be made via wire or EFT please contact the Accounts Payable office.
Sales Tax Exemption: Gettysburg College's status as a nonprofit educational institution allows for an exemption from sales and use tax in Pennsylvania and many other states. Sales and use taxes are typically imposed on retail purchases, and on the consumption, rental or use of tangible personal property.
Please note: Sales tax exemption does not typically include exemption from hotel occupancy tax, which must be paid on room rentals for College employees.
Sales and use taxes are governed at the state (and local) level and exemption rules vary from state to state. The College has filed for exemption certificates in the following states based on the frequency of employee travel and purchases made in those states:
District of Columbia: Provide a copy of the Certificate of Exemption to the vendor prior to purchase. In order for the exemption to apply, purchases must be made with College (not personal) funds and purchases must be used within the District (exemption does not apply to purchases delivered to campus).
Florida: Provide a copy of the Consumer's Certificate of Exemption (DR-14) to the vendor prior to purchase. In order for the exemption to apply, purchases must be made with College (not personal) funds.
Maryland: Provide a copy of the Sales and Use Tax Exemption Certificate to the vendor prior to purchase.
Massachusetts: Complete Parts 1, 3 and 4 of Form ST-5 and provide a copy of the form along with the Certificate of Exemption (Form ST-2) to the vendor prior to the purchase.
New Jersey: Provide a completed Exempt Organization Certificate (ST-5) to the vendor prior to purchase. In order for the exemption to apply, purchases must be made with College (not personal) funds. The College's exemption in New Jersey does not apply to energy and utility services.
New York: Provide a completed Exempt Organization Certificate (ST-119.1) to the vendor prior to purchase. In order for the exemption to apply, purchases must be made with College (not personal) funds. The College's exemption in New York does not apply to purchases of motor fuel or diesel motor fuel.
Pennsylvania: Provide a completed Pennsylvania Exemption Certificate (Rev-1220) to the vendor prior to purchase. In order for the exemption to apply, purchases must be made with College (not personal) funds. Pennsylvania's sales and use tax exemption does not include hotel occupancy tax, which must be paid on room rentals for college employees.
Virginia: Provide a copy of the Retail Sales and Use Tax Certificate of Exemption to the vendor prior to purchase. In order for the exemption to apply, purchases must be made with College (not personal) funds. Virginia's sales and use tax exemption does not apply to purchases of taxable services, such as meals and lodging.
When traveling or making a purchase from suppliers based in any of these states, please provide the appropriate exemption certificate to avoid paying sales tax. The exemption certificate for each state can be found by clicking on the link below. If traveling, print and carry the appropriate form with you. You will likely be asked by a supplier for a copy of the form. Use of the form is subject to the instructions on each form.
Please Note: State Sales Tax Exemption Forms are for internal users only. A College network (i. e., Gettysburg Email account) username and password are required at log-in. If you have any trouble accessing the forms, please call the Accounts Payable Office at extension 6290.
Payments to foreign vendors for services (honorarium, consulting, etc.) are generally subject to additional withholding. Please contact the Accounts Payable office for assistance prior to initiating payment. Accounts Payable will request the purchasing department obtain a Form W-8BEN (W-8BEN instructions) from the vendor.
The Internal Revenue Code requires the withholding of tax on residents of countries other than the U.S. (non-resident aliens) unless a tax treaty exists. Payments to foreign persons paid U.S. source income must be reported to the payee and IRS on IRS Form 1042-S, Foreign Person's U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding on an annual basis.
A non-resident alien is subject to tax only on U.S. source income. The College must file Form 1042-S to report amounts paid to foreign persons from sources in the United States. This includes interest, dividends, rents, salaries, wages, payments to independent contractors, scholarships, or other gains, profits or income unless specifically exempted under the Internal Revenue Code.
Withholding on payments to non-resident alien independent contractors must generally be at the statutory rate of 30%. Withholding on scholarship payments above mandatory tuition and fees to non-resident aliens must generally be at the statutory rate of 14% unless there is a tax treaty with the non-resident alien's home country.
Purchases from Foreign Vendors - Internet or Other: Purchases made via the internet or other methods from foreign vendors may have additional paperwork and charges related to getting the item through U.S. Customs and to campus. Please read the information provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection regarding getting items through customs.
Whistleblower Policy: Gettysburg College has adopted a Whistleblower Policy. While generally intended to protect College employees, anyone conducting business with the College may direct questions or matters pertaining to the Whistleblower Policy to the Executive Vice President or the Vice President for Finance & Administration/Treasurer.
Conflict of Interest Policies: Gettysburg College's Conflict of Interest Policy requires members of its Board of Trustees, Administrative Officers, Department Directors and Chairpersons who have a conflict of interest with a proposed transaction to refrain from participating in consideration of the transaction. Further, as a general policy, the College shall not transact business with a related party, and no related party shall solicit business from the College. Certain exceptions apply as specified in the policies.
Additional conflict of interest and code of conduct practices are in place for individuals providing oversight to the college's endowment, grant and student loan programs.
Individuals outside the College community may direct questions or matters pertaining to the college's Conflict of Interest Policies to the Executive Vice President or the Vice President for Finance and Administration/Treasurer. Businesses with Restraint on Participation
Background: The College reimburses employees for ordinary and necessary business expenses incurred while acting on behalf of the College. Under the College's accountable plan, reimbursement is made for actual expenses. In an effort to maximize College resources, per diem allowances are not utilized.
Expense reimbursements: Expense reimbursements made under an accountable plan are excludable from gross income when a business connection exits (if expense is not reimbursed by the College, the expense would be tax deductible on employee's tax return), substantiated (receipt is provided and date, time, place and business purpose of expense is noted), and reimbursement request is submitted within reasonable period of time (generally within 30 days of when the expense is incurred). Incomplete or unsubstantiated expense reimbursement request may not be eligible for reimbursement and/or may be considered taxable income to the recipient.
Supporting Documentation (as required by the IRS): Because the Accounts Payable Office receives many inquiries regarding College reimbursement and IRS documentation requirements, we have noted several items below to assist individuals in completing expense reimbursement requests.
- Attach original itemized receipts to the check request or expense report (i.e. itemized hotel bills, airline passenger receipt coupons, automobile rental invoices, parking receipts, taxi receipts, telephone bills, restaurant receipts).
- Photocopies of receipts, credit card statements or cancelled checks do not meet IRS substantiation requirements, therefore cannot be accepted.
- A credit card statement is not considered an adequate receipt for IRS purposes.
- If a transaction is under $25 for gratuity or taxi service or $75 for all other items, and a receipt is difficult to obtain, it is allowable to document the expense and note the lack of receipt.
- Please ensure receipts include the following:
- Identity of the vendor or supplier
- Business purpose for the expenditure
- Identity and business relationship of others participating in the event (e.g. entertainment, business meals, etc.)
- As a best practice, we recommend that cash payments be made only when other forms of payment are not accepted (i.e. check, credit card). When cash payments are made, please request a receipt.
Foreign Currency: When requesting reimbursement, all expenses incurred in foreign currencies must be converted to U.S. dollars by the traveller. Documentation supporting the exchange rate used (such as a screen shot) must be attached to the reimbursement request or the travel advance reconciliation.
Each individual receipt must be converted to U.S. dollars using the currency exchange rate for that day. When traveling for a week's time, you may use the average currency rate for that week.
Vendor documentation and/or receipts printed in a foreign language should include a notation as to what the expense is.
Currency exchange rates for specific dates of travel can be found using OANDA's website: https://www.oanda.com/currency/converter/.
Receipts are not required for mileage. Please provide a mileage calculation on reimbursement requests.
For calendar year 2017, the mileage reimbursement rate is 53.5 cents per business mile driven and 17 cents per mile for moving.
When using an odometer reading as basis for reimbursement please provide as part of the calculation the starting and destination locations, beginning and ending odometer readings, College's reimbursement rate (same as IRS mileage rate), deduction for normal commute if the employee did not begin or end the trip at the College (see below), and the business purpose for the travel. When using a MapQuest printout (or similar online program) as basis for reimbursement please provide as part of the calculation the printout (with the starting and destination locations and the total number of miles), College's reimbursement rate (same as IRS mileage rate), deduction for normal commute if the employee did not begin or end the trip at the College (see below) and the business purpose for the travel.
Please keep in mind that IRS regulations state that your daily commuting mileage from home to work is to be subtracted from any mileage reimbursement when travel begins/ends from home instead of the College.
Please note, in some circumstances the employee may not be eligible for mileage reimbursement after the calculation is done. Documentation for reimbursed mileage amounts must include the mileage calculation.
An employee lives in Littlestown and travels from Littlestown to Harrisburg for a conference
Less daily commute miles
Mileage for reimbursement
An employee lives in Camp Hill and travels from Camp Hill to Harrisburg for a conference
Less daily commute miles
Not eligible for reimbursement
Travel Advances: Travel advance use is limited to employees who do not have a College purchasing card or who will be traveling out of town for an extended period of time with travel plans including patronizing places that do not accept credit cards as a form of payment. A completed and approved Travel Advance Form is required in order for a check to be issued. The Travel Advance forms should be submitted to the Accounts Payable office the same way as any payment request (either via campus mail or in the bins in the Accounts Payable office).
The reconciliation of the travel advance (completing the lower half of the Travel Advance Form) must be submitted to the Accounts Payable office within 30 days of the activity and must include original documentation for the expenses. In instances where no supporting documentation is provided for expenditures, IRS regulations require the College to treat the advance amount as taxable income to the employee and include such amount on the employee's W-2.
The Travel Advance Form may be downloaded for the Accounts Payable landing page or the forms menu.