Purchasing Restrictions

Alcohol is not reimbursable without written approval from a Dean. An alcohol form (available in SOLE) must be completed and signed by the Dean of Graduate Groups or the Dean of Undergraduate Groups. An electronic copy of this form must be attached to any RFP or Requisition in order for payment to be made.

Business Purchases
Items purchased from individuals, sole propietors, partnerships, or LLC/LLP require a W-9 to be attached. Please see our PIRN policy for dealing with Social Security Numbers. Please note: Tax ID/Employee Identificiation numbers are not considered private information. Reimbursements will be rejected by Accounts Payable if the payment requires a W-9 and one is not on file.

Computer Hardware/Software over $1,000
This category requires a requisition and purchase order or needs to be made through the eCat system. Additionally, these items must be tagged and entered into the property office database.
Student groups are responsible for ensuring all employees they hire through their student groups, comply with the I-9 policies and proceedures that they must adhere to. 

Equipment Purchases
Minor equipment is defined as equipment items with an acquisition cost of less than $3,000. All other laboratory, test, office, and general purpose minor equipment will not be identified and tagged. The information required to have the equipment tagged by the MIT Property Office for student group ownership: model number of equipment, serial number of equipment, campus addresses of where equipment will be stored, and the name and contact information for group members presently responsible for equipment.

Fuel for Personal Vehicles
Fuel cannot be purchased for personal vehicles. Please utilize a mileage reimbursement via the Concur system. Additionally, attach a map of the route driven by the personal vehicle as an extra supporting document.

Gift Cards
It is strongly recommended that gift cards are not to be used by student groups.

Grants, Scholarships, & Prizes
Please review the Purchasing Payments page on taxable, non-taxable, and restrictions when it comes to grants, scholarships and prizes

International Travel
The MIT Travel Risk Policy applies to any member of the MIT community travelling out of the United States for MIT business. This is defined as any program or activity that is required or run by the Institute or financially supported through any MIT account. Student Organizations must also comply with the travel policies of the Student Actvities Office.

Items and Services over $5,000
This category requires a requisition and purchase order.

Items and Services over $10,000
These require a Selection of Source in addition to a requisition/purchase order. Selection of source requires three bids from different vendors for the item or service being purchased by the student group.

Additional coordination is required if a student group wishes utilize LN₂. Please see the below checklist of items that must be completed for LN₂ permission from SAO:

  • Safety Plan submitted to EHS no less than ten business days prior to the event
  • Email approval by Leah Gallant (SAO) upon review of approved EHS Safety Plan
  • Email notification provided to Colin Codner that includes purchase requirements, dropoff/pickup points, and predetermined times and locations
  • Student(s) must be present to receive delivery. No delivery will occur if dropoff is unmanned by student group representative.

MIT-Branded Merchandise
The MIT Technology Licensing Office must review and approve designs for all MIT-branded merchandise.  Please review the MIT Graphic Identity website and forward all design requests to student-merch@mit.edu with a ‘cc’ to sao-desk@mit.edu.
Payments to Non-US Citizens
RFP payments for goods or services rendered to non-US Citizens will withheld at a rate of 30% per IRS regulations unless a W-8 form is completed. Please see VPF for more detail.

Sales Taxes
MIT does not reimburse for sales tax assessed in states where MIT tax exemption is recognized. Groups may prevent sales tax from being assessed on purchases of goods and services by utilizing the Sales Tax Exemption Listing on the VPF website. The ST2 form, located on the VPF website, will prevent sales tax from being assessed locally when given to a vendor or provider prior to completing an order or bill of sale.

RFPs that include sales tax will be reduced in the amount reimbursed or paid to recipients by SAO and Accounts Payable without notification to the recipient or creator of the RFP.