Student Senate is recognized as a 501c3 nonprofit organization by the Internal Revenue Service. 501c3 nonprofit status benefits organizations because it allows organizations to raise money through donations and grants. Donations to nonprofit organizations are tax-deductible. Grants are rarely awarded to for-profit organizations.
Since Student Senate is tax-exempt, it does not reimburse organizations or individuals for tax on purchases. If Senate approved funding for your organization, that purchase is also tax-exempt. Make sure a representative from your organization picks up a tax exemption form from the Student Senate Treasurer before the purchase is made! If a purchase reimbursement form includes tax in the total, the sales tax amount will be deducted from the total reimbursement.
Students receiving stipends as part of their organization budgets are required to comply with Internal Revenue Service codes by providing necessary information required to complete these forms. Information about this will be provided by the Student Senate Treasurer to applicable organizations near the end of each calendar year.
Receiving Your Approved Funding
Once an organization is approved for Senate funding, the organization must fill out an Encumbrance Form. This form asks for the organization name and the amount of the approved funding you are currently requesting. Please fill out an Encumbrance Form for each separate check you need. After the payment information, the form requests the organization contact’s name and signature as well as the organization advisor’s signature. Please note, however, that even if the form is filled out correctly, it cannot be processed unless adequate documentation is attached. Allow at least one week for processing by the Student Senate Treasurer.
NOTE: Any missing information will result in a delay of funding. The process cannot be completed without all of the requested information.
Check: Checks can be written either on a reimbursement basis or before the event. If a check is needed to reimburse a member of your organization for approved purchases, indicate the check be made payable to that individual and attach the original purchase receipt. Remember, sales tax cannot be reimbursed and will be deducted from the total amount if tax has been included in the request. If the organization needs the check before the event, an official invoice (pre-purchase receipt) must be received from the business for the amount of the purchase. A check can also be written directly to a visiting performer as long as a signed contract is attached to the encumbrance form.
Transfer: If money needs to be paid to another department on campus, a check is unnecessary. The encumbrance form can facilitate transfers both to another Student Senate organization and to University departments, Dining Services, Facilities Management, etc. To transfer funds to another student organization (e.g. VUTV), no account number is needed. You simply name the organization on the “transfer to” line. To transfer funds to a University department, write the department name and account number on the line. The department account number can be obtained from the department.
Purchase Order (PO): A purchase order is useful when an invoice cannot be obtained from a business. A University purchase order authorizes a purchase by the indicated organization up to an estimated dollar amount. Please indicate your purchase estimate in the “amount” blank on the encumbrance form. The business will then bill the University for the exact amount. Also, since the purchase order is generated in the University Finance Office, no tax exemption forms are needed. Many Valparaiso area businesses accept purchase orders from Valpo, but if you are hesitant please contact the Senate Treasurer. Please note that Wal-Mart no longer accepts University purchase orders.