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Disbursements - Guidelines & Procedures

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Vendors (vendor portal)

  • Individuals being paid by the on-line Travel/Entertainment/Business Meeting form

    To request adding a T/E/BM person to Banner, a department may choose to submit the payee information online via the 'Rice Vendor Payables' portal. The is a secure site and is necessary when submitting confidential or sensitive information. This site is located on the Controller's Office website under 'Payables/Disbursements/Guidelines & Procedures/Vendors (vendor portal).  Please have the following information available prior to entering the site:
     

    • Name
    • Address (where check will be mailed)
    • Social Security Number (for non-Rice individuals)
    • Employee Number or Student Number (for Rice individuals)
     
    An email may be sent to Disbmt@rice.edu to request changes when no confidential or sensitive information is provided.

     
  • All other new vendors

    Departments should inform first-time vendors that certain information is required before a payment can be issued. Information for new vendors must be submitted online via the 'Rice Vendor Payables' portal. The link is located above.
     

    • Departments can request a completed W-9 form (US), W8-BEN (Foreign Individuals), or W-8BEN-E (Foreign Companies) from new vendors and upload the form on behalf of the vendor or 
    • Vendors may access the site directly to download a blank form or upload a completed form.

       

    All new vendors (vendors not paid by Rice in the past) must be verified and entered into the Banner financial system by the Disbursements area prior to a transaction being processed and a check being issued to the specific vendor.

    Verification of new vendors is an important financial control step and may take a few days based on the vendor's rate of response to inquiries by Disbursements. All required information to set up new vendors is included on the IRS Form W-9, W8-BEN, or W-8BEN-E. The new vendor provides acknowledgement on the W-9 form that backup withholding is not required. Failure to complete and return theW-9 form will result in backup withholding to the IRS on future payments.  Depending upon the type of payment to an international vendor, withholding may also be applied.

     

  • Changes to existing vendors

    To request adding a new address or terminating an old address for an existing vendor, a department or vendor may request changes via the 'Rice Vendor Payables' portal (for confidential or sensitive data) or send an  email to Disbursements at Disbmt@rice.edu (only when there is no confidential or sensitive data).

    For data security purposes all confidential (SSN, bank account, passport ID, driver's licenses, credit card numbers, etc.) and sensitive (home address or home phone number, etc.) information should no longer be sent via email. The vendor portal is the preferred method or hard copy is still accepted.

    Please contact Disbursements at Disbmt@rice.edu or X 3432 if you have questions.

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Payment Timing

Payables payments are generated each week on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. (Exceptions: holidays & winter break, which means there may be fewer than three check runs during those weeks). Disbursements matches selected payment data to the original invoice or check request before releasing payments.

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Post Payment Issues

Common issues that occur after a check has been printed for payment are:

  • Stop Payments

    Occasionally, a check that has been issued and mailed needs to be cancelled. A "stop payment" is an action taken to cancel the check with Rice's bank. When this occurs, Rice is charged a transaction fee per cancelled check. Once a "stop payment" has been issued by the bank, the check will not be honored by Rice's bank.

    To request a "stop payment" action on a check, email Disbursements at disbmt@rice.edu , with the following information:

    • the check number
    • the payee's name
    • the amount of the check
    • the reason for requesting a "stop payment"
    • if re-issuing, where the re-issued check should be sent
       
     
  • Voiding a Check

    Any time a "stop payment" is requested, the check must be voided within Rice's financial system (Banner). We will automatically void any check for which a "stop payment" has been issued.

    When a check has not yet been mailed by Disbursements and if a department needs to cancel a check, the department should immediately contact Disbursements ( disbmt@rice.edu or ext. 3432) to void the check (no "stop payment" action is needed).

    The following information will be necessary:  

    • check number
    • payee's name
    • amount of check
    • reason for requesting the check be voided
       
     
  • Vendor Refunds/Credit Memos

    Vendors occasionally have the need either to refund money or issue a credit memo to a department. It is preferable for the vendor to issue a refund check made payable to Rice University that is mailed directly to the department. Once a department has received a refund check, the following steps should be followed:

    • A deposit voucher form (available from the Cashier's Office ) should be completed

      indicating the correct fund/org/account codes to which the refund should be deposited.

      The refund should be deposited into the fund/org/account from which the original

      expense was paid.

       
    • The deposit voucher form, the check and a copy of the check should be sent to the

      Cashier's Office (MS 55) for deposit. Copies of the deposit voucher form and the check

      should be kept within the department until the refund is recorded in the Banner financial

      system.
       

     

    If a vendor issues a credit memo, the following steps should be followed:

    • The credit memo should be coded by the department to the correct fund/org/account

      (exactly the same way as an invoice payment) and approved by the appropriate

      department personnel.

       
    • The approved credit memo should be forwarded to Payment Solutions (MS 77) for entry

      into the Banner financial system.

       

     

    Once a credit memo is entered into Banner, it is forwarded to the Disbursements area. The Disbursements area "holds" the credit memo until the credit is applied against incoming invoices from the same vendor. At that point, the credit memo is filed with the payment that it is applied against.  

    It is important for departments to use any outstanding credit memos with the vendor as soon as possible. Expenses associated with credit memos that remain outstanding for more than three (3) years will be charged back to the department that was originally credited.

    NOTE: If a refund check is received from a vendor for a credit memo that has already been processed, the check should be forwarded to the Cashier's Office (MS-55) for deposit to the correct account. The credit invoice will be cancelled in Banner once Disbursements receives a copy from the Cashier's Office.  In these situations, please include an extra set of copies for Disbursements to cancel the credit invoice.

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Relocation Reimbursements

Relocation Reimbursements Procedures (PDF) 

Rice reports reimbursements of moving expenses in accordance with IRS regulations. Expenses that are deductible are not taxed and are required to be reported at the W-2 Box 12 with the IRS' Code P for Excludable Reimbursed Moving Expenses. Remaining expenses reimbursed that are not deductible must be treated as taxable wages with applicable income withholding, social security and Medicare taxes withheld. These taxable amounts are included with the wage and tax amounts reported on the W-2.
 
IRS Pub. 521 - Moving Expenses and FAQ's are available at www.irs.gov . By searching for "Moving Expenses" at this website, Pub. 521 and other helpful documents are available.

Rice generally reimburses the following nondeductible expenses:

  • Meal expenses
  • Temporary living expenses (refer to section B1C of the procedures above for the time length) 
  • Storage expenses within 30 days after items are moved from the former home
  • Pre-move house hunting expenses

Rice generally does not reimburse the following nondeductible moving expenses:

  • Car tags
  • Driver's license
  • Expenses of buying or selling a home
  • Expenses of entering or breaking a lease
  • Home improvements to help sell your home
  • Loss on the sale of your home
  • Losses from disposing of memberships in clubs
  • Mortgage penalties
  • Real estate taxes
  • Refitting of carpets and draperies
  • Security deposits (including any given up due to the move)

Click here to view the Relocation Reimbursement Form ( PDF , Word , or Excel )

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Reimbursement Direct Deposit Payments

Disbursements updates the system for current employees. New Employees should complete the Direct Deposit Form - Faculty & Staff, which includes an option for reimbursements. For security reasons, please do not send an email including confidential data (e.g. SSN, bank account numbers).

All payments made by direct deposit will be confirmed in an email that is sent to the employee on the day of the payment run. It is important to read this email to verify the payment being processed.

Click here for the Reimbursements Automatic Deposit Request Form ( PDF ).

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Electronic Payments (e.g. wire transfers, etc.)

Under certain circumstances, it is necessary for a department to request payment be made by wire transfer. Due to the time involved and the complexity of the transaction, wire transfers are discouraged unless no other payment method will suffice.  

The University is charged a transaction fee by the bank for each wire transfer. This fee will be passed on to the requesting department.  

  • Personnel within the department requesting payment should contact the vendor for specific details (i.e., bank instructions) regarding wiring instructions.
  • At the top of the payment document, please write "Electronic Payment". The coded/approved document, along with wiring instructions and appropriate backup, should be submitted to Payment Solutions along with a check request for the wire transfer. The check request for the wire transfer should also include who in the department is to be contacted if further information is needed. The transaction fee will be expensed to the fund/org codes designated on the check request for the wire payment.
  • The Payment Solutions area will verify signature authority on the document, enter it into Banner, and then forward it to Disbursements who will deliver it to the Treasurer's Office for execution.

The Treasurer's Office will process the wire transfer and inform the appropriate department personnel by email when the process is complete.  

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State Sales Tax

Rice University purchases are exempt from paying State of Texas Sales Tax. Click here to view the Rice University Texas Sales and Use Tax Exemption Certificate( PDF )

Departments that sell property, items, and/or services considered taxable under Texas sales tax laws are required to collect sales tax from customers. Rice, in turn, remits sales tax payments to the State Comptroller's Office. The Texas Comptroller's Office performs routine audits of sales taxes remitted by Rice. It is important to maintain detailed records which may be requested as part of this audit process.

What is taxable? According to Texas sales tax law, tangible personal property and taxable services are taxable items. Each sale of a taxable item (i.e., faxes, copies, books, magazines, t-shirts, prepared food, etc.) is taxable unless a specific exemption applies.

How much sales tax do I collect from my customers? You should calculate the amount of sales tax by multiplying the tax rate (currently 8.25%) by the sales price of the taxable item.

Am I required to separately state the sales tax amount to my customers? It is preferred that the sales tax amount be separately stated on the invoice or receipt. Otherwise, a written statement is required on the invoice or receipt that the sales price includes sales tax.

Is rounding permitted when computing sales tax? When you compute the sales tax by multiplying the tax rate to the sales price, you should extend the amount out to the third decimal place. If the third decimal place is equal to or greater than 5, you should round up to the next cent. If the third decimal place is 4 or less, then you should round down to the next cent.

If I do not collect the sales tax or collect an incorrect amount, who is responsible for paying sales tax to the State Comptroller's Office? As a seller, you are responsible for collecting the tax. Disbursements will remit payment to the State Comptroller's office. If you do not collect and remit the correct amount, Rice may owe any additional tax plus Rice may be assessed penalties and interest. Please notify Disbursements ( disbmt@rice.edu ) if an incorrect amount is discovered in order that Rice can adjust the sales taxes remitted to the State.

Are delivery or shipping charges taxable? Shipping and handling charges are taxable if the charges are associated with the sale of taxable goods and services.

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Primary account numbers used for deposits of sales

  • 57240 - Sales Subject to Sales Tax
    Use for depositing funds received for sales of goods/services by your department to an outside entity that does not present a sales tax exemption certificate. The Controller's Office will process a transaction quarterly to reduce this account by the amount of the sales tax due. Use the description field of the deposit voucher to indicate what is being sold and to whom.
  • 57220 - Sales External Other Non-taxable
    Use for depositing funds received for sales of goods/services by your department to an outside entity that is exempt from state sales tax. The buyer must provide a tax exemption certificate documenting its eligibility for exemption and the reason for it. Certificates must be available in the department for audit/review. Use the description field of the deposit voucher to indicate what is being sold and to whom.

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