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General Supplies Reimbursement Guide

This guide provides information on how to obtain a reimbursement for purchases of low-value supplies paid with personal funds.

The campus strongly encourages departments to purchase everyday supplies and low-value equipment items using either a CruzBuy Purchase Order, or the campus Purchasing Card.

When using one of these purchasing alternatives is not available or is not feasible under the circumstances, an individual may use personal funds to purchase such goods and obtain reimbursement for the purchase. This guide does not cover the reimbursement of travel, non-cash gift or award, moving, or event or meeting meal and refreshment expenses that are paid using personal funds. Each of these topics is addressed in a payment guide focused on the specific type of payment. ​​​

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  • Before you start

    Important information to know:

    1. Special conditions. The following conditions applying to this type of payment.
      • A purchase may be made with personal funds only if one of the following applies:
        • Other purchasing alternatives, such as CruzBuy or the Purchasing Card, are not available, or
        • The circumstances are such that using available purchasing alternatives is not feasible.
      • A reimbursement will only be made for purchases of non-inventorial tangible goods.
    2. Avoid conflicts of interest. Refer to the appendices for information covering employee-vendor conflict of interest issues.
    3. Payment. If this is the first time the recipient will be receiving a UCSC non-payroll payment, complete a Payee Setup 204 form.

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  • Unallowable costs

    Reimbursement is limited to purchase of low-value non-inventorial tangible goods using personal funds. The purchase of the following types of good and services using personal funds will not be reimbursed:

    • Restricted goods: Goods that are considered to be moderate to high risk that must be purchased by a Purchasing Office buyer, including equipment, materials, supplies and services whose purchase is restricted 1) for regulatory or legal reasons or 2) because of the significant risk involved in the delivery or use of the product. Examples include controlled substances, such as narcotics and dangerous drugs; firearms and explosives; equipment leases and rentals.
    • Inventorial equipment valued at $5,000 or more
    • Personal or professional services
    • Contractual payments, such as leases and rentals
    • Recurring payments for goods that should be purchased in the name of the University

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  • Requesting a direct payment

    Follow these steps to request a direct payment:

    • If this is the first time the recipient will be receiving a UCSC non-payroll payment, complete a Payee Setup 204 form.
    • Complete a Direct Payment form and obtain approval from an authorized expense approver.
      • Attach supporting documentation, such as original receipts. Refer to the “Receipt and Documentation” topic for more information
    • Submit the Direct Payment form to the divisional or departmental business office for review and “second-tier” approval.
    • The divisional or departmental business office will submit the form and supporting documentation to the Financial Administrative Services and Transactions/Accounts Payable Office (FAST/AP) for processing.

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  • Receipt and documentation requirements

    The following supporting documentation must be submitted with a completed Direct Payment form:

    Receipt: Submit all original vendor contracts, invoices, and itemized receipts.

    • An electronic receipt is acceptable as long as it provides the detail needed to substantiate the expense.
    • Photocopies of receipts are not an acceptable substitute for original receipts

    For any items with missing receipts, follow these steps:

    1. Obtain a duplicate receipt from the vendor.
    2. If a duplicate receipt cannot be obtained from the vendor, perform the following steps:
      • Submit a statement with the Direct Payment form explaining why the receipt was not provided and including a certification that the expense amount claimed is the amount actually paid to the vendor.
      • Obtain approval on the Direct Payment from a campus officer authorized to approve exceptions to policy. Refer to the appendices for a list of campus officers authorized to approve policy exceptions.
      • Depending on the expense involved, you may be asked to provide additional information by your divisional business office.

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  • Authorization and approval

    Only an individual with written delegated authority provided on the Manual Signature Authorization and Approval form may approve the payment.

    An employee having delegated authority may not approve his or her own reimbursement or payment request.

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  • Basic sales and use tax

    Generally, all purchases of tangible goods are subject to the assessment of sales or use tax.

    • If the full amount of sales tax is not collected by the vendor, the remaining amount of tax due will be charged to the department making the purchase.
    • A product, such as software, supplied in electronic form through email attachment, internet, or facsimile is not subject to the payment of sales and use tax; the same product supplied on a magnetic disk, CD, or DVD is subject to sales and use tax.

    See: Sales and Use Tax appendix for additional information on this topic.

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  • Funding sources

    Reimbursement is to be made from a funding source that allows for the purchase of the specific good.

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  • Common oversights

    Speed up the payment process by avoiding these common oversights:

    • Forgetting to provide the last four digits of the recipient’s social security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number on the Direct Payment form.
    • Forgetting to obtain the appropriate approvals on the Direct Payment form.
    • Forgetting to attach required supporting documentation to the Direct Payment form.
    • Forgetting to submit a Payee Setup 204 form for a first-time reimbursement or payment recipient.

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  • Where to get help

    Assistance is available for the following topics:

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  • Relevant Appendices

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