University Tax Frequently Asked Questions

A vendor is requesting a W-9 from the university. Where can I obtain a copy of GW’s completed W-9?

GW’s completed W-9 (PDF) is available on our website.

Where can I obtain a copy of GW’s federal tax exemption letter?

GW’s federal tax exemption letter (PDF) is available on our website.

Is the university exempt from sales tax on purchases it makes?

The university isn't exempt from sales tax in all states or on all purchases in a given state; however, we have sales tax exemptions for numerous states posted on our website, including all of those in the tri-state region. Each state determines which goods and/or services are eligible for exemption. Contact the Tax Department at [email protected] for guidance whether a particular good or service is eligible for exemption.

Note that sales tax exemption certificates must be presented to the vendor at the time of purchase.

Our department would like to hire an independent contractor. What is the process to do this?

Submit a Worker Classification Review Form (DOCX) to us for review. This form allows us to analyze whether an independent contractor classification is appropriate given IRS guidelines. If approved and a US vendor, submit this form to [email protected]. The vendor will need to self-register via the iSupplyGW portal. If approved and a non-US vendor, submit this form with the W-8BEN (PDF) and Supplier Registration Package (available on the Procurement website) to [email protected] to finish vendor set up. If not approved, you will work with your Human Resources Management & Development representative to set the individual up as an employee.

Our department would like to pay an honorarium for a guest lecture to a current employee of another department. Are we allowed to pay this through University Payables via the honorarium form?

Generally no. Honorarium payments to current employees should be processed through Payroll Services. Please work with your Human Resources representative to do this.

Our department would like to pay an honorarium to an individual who is not a US citizen or permanent resident. Is the process different than that for a US citizen?

Yes, it is. Before you invite the individual, please verify with the International Services Office that the person is on a visa eligible to receive an honorarium. If eligible, then you should submit the following with the honorarium form (available on the University Payables website) for services that took place in the US:

If services took place outside the US, then the honorarium form and W-8BEN are sufficient. Please clearly mark on the honorarium form that the location of the services was abroad if that is the case.

Our department would like to pay a foreign entity vendor. What forms are required to set them up as a vendor?

The Supplier Registration Package (available on the Procurement website) and W-8BEN-E (PDF) are generally sufficient. If the entity is providing services exclusively outside the US, then a Statement of Services (PDF) should also be provided to document the location of services with the invoice if the invoice does not already note this fact. Note that if the services were provided in the US or if the income is otherwise sourced to the US, the payment may be subject to 30% federal tax withholding absent a tax treaty exemption claim by the vendor.

We’ve noticed Region and Type of Activity fields in Concur, as well as on payment request documents. Is there guidance available for these fields?

Yes. Read about Schedule F Reporting for more information about these required fields.