Social Security Number Requirements

Social security numbers (SSNs) are not needed if/when:

  • A single payment is less than or equal to $100.
  • The payment is for travel or reimbursable expenses and itemized receipts are attached, if the total is less than $600.

Social security numbers are needed if/when:

  • A single payment amount is greater than $100.
  • Total payments to the supplier from UVM are expected to equal or be greater than $600 in a calendar year.
  • The supplier is a non-resident alien. Additional tax documentation is needed regardless of the dollar amount of payment.

How do I process a payment for an honorarium that equals $100.00 to a guest speaker who is a U.S. citizen?

Complete a check request form (Excel), leave the SSN field blank, attach the signed Employee vs. Independent Contractor Determination form, and attach a guest speaker engagement letter (PDF) if applicable.

Are social security numbers not necessary for all payments less than or equal to $100?

Correct, they are not needed for a payment of $100 or under, except if the supplier is a non-resident alien or the supplier is set up in PeopleSoft but lacks an updated W-9. Additional tax documentation is required for payments to non-resident aliens, regardless of the dollar amount.

What happens if I am paying a study participant $75.00 each visit, but I know there are 9 visits in the study for the year?

If your department anticipates that the total payments from UVM to an individual study participant are expected to exceed $600.00 in a calendar year, the participant's social security number is required on their first visit only.

If we are reimbursing just for travel and expenses, but the total is over $100.00, do we need to include the individual's SSN?

SSNs are not necessary for any amount when reimbursing for travel or other reimbursable expenses, as long as all itemized receipts are attached and the total is less than $600. At $600 or more, the SSN is required.

Do I need to collect and submit the original itemized receipts for all non-employee travel reimbursements?

Photocopies or scanned copies of original, itemized receipts are acceptable to be attached to the check request form. Mailing in original receipts is not necessary. If detailed, itemized receipts are not submitted, the transaction is considered IRS 1099-Misc reportable

If I am paying a referee $50 for each game, but they will be refereeing 15 games in a season, do I process 15 check requests?

No. In this case, you are expecting the total payment to exceed $600 in a calendar year; therefore, this should be done via a blanket purchase order and the individual's SSN is required, and collected via an IRS W-9.

What are some examples of when I would process a check request form for a payment <=100.00?

  • Judge fees for a 4-H horse show
  • One-time referee for an SGA Club weekend tournament
  • Teacher mentor award
  • Guest speaker
  • Honoraria
  • Student prizes
  • Study participants

How do I process store gift cards <=$100.00 that are given to individuals as study participants?

If you have used your PurCard or Petty Cash funds to purchase store gift cards (e.g., iTunes) with a value less than or equal to $100.00, complete a Payment Acknowledgment Form (PDF) for each recipient that includes name, address, amount, and citizenship. You do not need to collect the participant's SSN unless they are a non-resident alien.

How do I process store gift cards <=$100.00 that are given to individuals as a prize?

Prizes to employees and non-employees are governed by the Awards, Prizes and Winnings policy (PDF). Prizes given to students are governed by the Payments to Students policy (PDF). Gift cards given to employees are tax reportable, and need to be processed through Payroll Services.

If I pay a supplier multiple times in my department, how do I know if they are getting any other payments from other departments that may exceed the total $600.00 tax reporting threshold?

Departments are asked to make the best judgment with the information they have or gather from the supplier. Please check witht he Disbursement Center for confirmation. Review the Researching Payments in PeopleSoft presentation (PDF).

At the end of the year, when the Disbursement Center reviews transactions to see if a particular supplier has exceeded the $600 tax reporting threshold, whose responsibility will it be to collect the SSN at that time?

The Disbursement Center will reach out to the department for help obtaining the social security number. It may not be appropriate for the Disbursement Center to contact a research subject.

Why don't we collect SSNs for payments less than $100 any more? It seems like a major change.

  • MOST IMPORTANT: Increased compliance by protecting Personal Identifiable Information (PII)
  • Saves time and effort for departments
  • Creates efficiencies for Student Financial Services, Disbursement Center, and Sponsored Program Administration
  • Higher confidentiality for research study participants and programs
  • Overall consistency in threshold standards across the University