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Handbook of Business Procedures

Date published: 
Last revised: 
Issued by: 

February 2, 2004
June 18, 2014
Travel Services Cash Advances

 

Part 9. Expenditure Procedures - Table of Contents


9.1.7. ADVANCES FOR RESEARCH SUBJECTS AND SURVEY PARTICIPANTS

A. Introduction

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires The University of Texas at Austin to report all cumulative payments of services in excess of $600 in a calendar year. The research subject and survey participant forms will assist the University in meeting IRS regulations and should be used according to the following guidelines.

United States Internal Revenue Service

B. How to Request a Participant Study Cash Advance

Participant Study cash advance requests must be submitted to the Travel Section of the Office of Accounting at least seven business days prior to the date funds are needed. To request a Participant Study cash advance, take the following steps:

  1. Complete the Participant Study Cash Advance Request Form.
  2. Print the completed form on departmental letterhead.
  3. The form must be signed by two people:
    1. A University Business Officers Council (UBOC) member
    2. The Principal Investigator (PI) on the account (See GB1 screen of *DEFINE.) Note: If the PI is receiving the funds, another authorized signer on the account must sign the request form. (See GB1 screen of *DEFINE.)
  4. Send by campus mail or hand deliver the packet of original documents to the Cash Advance Desk in the Office of Accounting, Main 132, Mail code K5300.

C. Payment Amounts and Documentation Requirements

Cash advances for research may not extend beyond a six-month time frame. If the study is planned to last longer than six months, multiple cash advances may be issued accordingly so that researchers will not experience a lapse in coverage.

Research and study consent forms will acknowledge that the University may need to collect certain taxpayer information under compensation limits set forth below.

Research subjects and study participants must be asked whether or not the compensation received for the current research project in combination with all other research subject compensation received from the University will equal or exceed $600 in the current calendar year.

Research subjects and study participants receiving $600 or more in a calendar year from all University of Texas at Austin research subject participation activities must provide IRS 1099 related information.

University employees must be paid on a *DEFINE OV7 payroll voucher for participant fees of any amount. The Individual Receipt Form must be provided to Payroll Services as support for the OV7 payment.

Participant Study Cash Advance Request Form

D. Payments of $600 or Less During a Calendar Year

If a research subject or survey participant expects payments for all research and survey compensation received from the University to collectively total $600 or less for the calendar year, the following is required:

E. Payments in Excess of $600 During a Calendar Year

If a research subject or survey participant expects payments for all research and survey compensation received from the University to collectively total $600 or more for the calendar year, the following is required:

  • Complete the Individual Receipt Form,* and the Summary Reconciliation Sheet* for reconciliation totals.
    • Printed name of participant
    • Signature of the participant acknowledging receipt of funds
    • Date the funds were received by participant
    • Dollar amount of funds received by participant
    • Social Security Number of participant for IRS purposes
    • Mailing address of participant
    • Initials of individual disbursing funds

Specific information must be provided by the researcher if any of the above cannot be ascertained from the individual. These exceptions must be approved by the College or School Business Officer prior to payment.

F. Internet Studies

If a research subject or survey participant receives a small payment via an internet study for research and survey compensation, less documentation is required. The de minimis payment threshold for payments to participants in internet studies is $25. All payments for participant fees must be made using gift certificates. If payment is for $25 or less, the following documentation is required:

  • Researcher-assigned identification number or printed name
  • Email address of the participant acknowledging receipt of funds
  • Date the funds were issued to the participant
  • Dollar amount of funds issued to the participant
  • Initials of individual disbursing funds

Note: You may use either the Individual Receipt Form* or the Multiple Participant Receipt Form* for these payments. If you use either the Individual Receipt Form* or the Multiple Participant Receipt Form*, you must also use the Summary Reconciliation Sheet* for reconciliation totals

If payment for internet studies is more than $25, you must follow the policy in the above sections D and E and obtain either physical or electronic signatures.

G. Reconciliation of Cash Advances

Administrative personnel for the department conducting the research or study must reconcile the research payments and verify that all appropriate information has been collected.

Review and approval of the payment reconciliation information must be given by the Principal Investigator's supervisor and the College or School Chief Business Officer using the Summary Reconciliation Sheet*.

H. Returning Unused Funds

When turning in a reconciliation that includes unused funds, send an e-mail to the Cash Advances section at oa.cashadvances@austin.utexas.edu to set up an appointment between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to hand deliver the funds to the Office of Accounting. The Cash Advance Desk will reply to confirm the appointment. The e-mail should include:

  • The approximate time the funds and travel cash advance reconciliation documentation will be brought to the Office of Accounting
  • An attachment of the original cash advance request memo

Note: If the original cash advance memo is not available, the e-mail should include the following information:

  • cash advance payment voucher document ID, if known
  • recipient’s name
  • title and dates of the study
  • amount of the cash advance

At the appointment, the front desk personnel in the Office of Accounting will issue a receipt of payment to document the return of funds.

Do not send documentation, checks, or cash via campus mail. The Office of Accounting is not responsible for documents, checks, or cash placed in campus mail.

I. Use of Procard

The Procard may be used to purchase gift cards or gift certificates for research subjects and survey participants if preferred. Departments must follow the same procedure that is required when gift certificates are purchased by cash advance. This includes asking participants if they will be receiving $600 or more in research subject compensation from UT Austin during the calendar year, using the same receipt and reconciliation forms, and performing the same reconciliation. The VP7 document ID number must be included in the reconciliation. Departments must send the reconciliation with required tax information to The Office of Accounting, Cash Advances—mail code K5300, for any participant who answered "yes" to the $600 question.

J. Voucher Coding

Research subject and survey participant payments should be coded 1340, the object code for Participant Fees.

K. Survey Confidentiality

Survey information, including payment information, is confidential. Payment information may be used to process federal income tax documentation.

L. Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding payments to survey and study participants, please contact Cash Advance Services in the Office of Accounting.

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Part 9. Expenditure Procedures - Table of Contents