Reimbursement Guidelines

TAX- EXEMPT STATUS 

The University has tax-exempt status, which is extended to recognized student organizations. Tax-exempt forms may be obtained from Student Affairs, and will allow groups to makes purchases without paying Illinois sales tax. Tax-exempt forms must be used only for purchases made on behalf of a University-recognized student organization and for the benefit of Northwestern University students. 

***COFO WILL NOT REIMBURSE FOR ANY TAX THAT IS INCLUDED ON THE RECEIPTS SUBMITTED FOR REIMBURSEMENT*** 

REIMBURSEMENTS 

***COFO CANNOT REIMBURSE FOR CONTRACTED SERVICES PAID OUT OF POCKET*** 

Check payment from Northwestern University must be sent to the vendor/restaurant/bar before the event date. However, if additional charges (excluding alcohol) are added after payment has been submitted, students may pay the remaining balance and seek reimbursement through the COFO office. Additional charges for alcohol must be paid by a Northwestern-issued check. 

Payments approved for reimbursement: 

-Items or services without a contract AND paid to a company, NOT an individual. (Payments to individuals must be paid by check through the University.)

Reimbursement checks are issued in order to reimburse students who have used their own money to purchase items for a student organization. 

Requests for reimbursement checks require back-up documentation, which should be stapled to the Reimbursement Request Form and submitted to Courtney Williams

Acceptable back-up documentation for reimbursements must be either: 

  • An original itemized receipt, or 
  • An original itemized invoice stamped with “Paid in Full.” (If organization members pay a vendor directly, the vendor should stamp the invoice with “Paid in Full” in order to verify payment.) 
  • For items paid by case, COFO requires that the receipt is marked “Paid” by vendor.

Handwritten receipts or invoices must be itemized and created on the vendor’s company letterhead. Additionally, the organization’s advisor must sign handwritten receipts or invoices. 

Reimbursements for online purchases require a confirmation of payment printout, which should include the number of items purchased as well as the individual price for each item. 

For tax-reasons, all individuals who provide services for an organization must be paid using a COFO check. Reimbursements will not be issued to student organization members who use their own money to pay these individuals. Instead, a payment voucher should be submitted to the COFO office to obtain a check for these services. 

Receipts older than 90 days are not accepted. 

When checks are ready for pick-up, Courtney Williams will contact student organizer. Reimbursement checks are distributed within 2 weeks of submission.