Paying a foreign individual or entity

There are special documentation requirements when making payments to foreign individuals or foreign entities. Both immigration and tax rules must be followed when making payments to foreign vendors. Review Financial Services’ Guidance on Foreign Payees for more information.

Paying a research participant

Issues pertaining to making payments to foreign research participants in the U.S. are addressed on the Financial Services website. General information is provided by Financial Services in Study Participants & Blood Donors. You may also find helpful the Center for Clinical Studies’ guide to using the Advarra Participant Payments card system.

Value added taxes (VAT)

Value added tax is similar to sales tax, but unlike sales tax, it is levied incrementally throughout the value chain. Washington University is a tax-exempt organization under U.S. income tax laws. Not all U.S. non-profits enjoy tax exemptions in other countries.  Generally, WashU is not exempt from VAT taxes in foreign countries.

Purchasing goods locally

In certain cases, it is recommended that the services of a “Customs Broker” be utilized. Customs brokers provide customer service dedicated specifically to individual shipments, which helps to ensure that these shipments clear customs and reach their destination in a safe and timely manner. Consult Resource Management’s guidance on Import/Export for more information regarding using a customs broker.

If you are using sponsored funds to purchase goods outside the United States, it is best practice to check with the federal agency program official first. Some agencies will not approve purchase of goods outside the U.S.

If ordering goods abroad and shipping them to the United States, please see Export Control.