Spending Money

Spending Money

Most events at MIT Sloan require making payments, whether for food, facilities, decorations, or other items. Below, you'll find detailed information on the four options you have for making payments. Additionally, you'll find MIT's tax exempt forms, so you can ensure you are taking advantage of MIT's tax exempt status, and information on navigating travel expenses,  contracts, prize payments, and non-profit donations.

Ways to Make Payment for your events:



Buy-to-Pay (B2P)

MIT's procurement system

Pros: Shop, buy, pay and view transactions, direct invoicing. (Easy to purchase)
Cons: It's slow! We recommend starting the payment process at least two weeks in advance.


MIT Credit Card

Pay with SLO credit card

Pros: Relatively quick and easy
Cons: Under $500 only, limitations on use


Personal Funds

Pay out of pocket for small dollar purchases and request a refund

Pros: Quick (no advanced paperwork)
Cons: You are gambling that you will be reimbursed; some reimbursements may take a while to process


MIT Journal Voucher

Transferring money between accounts

Pros: quick, easy, no limit to amount of money, doesn't require a form
Cons: only for moving money between MIT accounts


1. Buy-to-Pay (Also B2P & Coupahost)

Please see our full guide on how to purchase via B2P here.

What is B2P?

Buy-To-Pay is MIT's procurement system, which provides you with direct access to online catalogs of many suppliers as well as preferred vendors. Use Buy-to-Pay to access/create requisitions, purchase orders, invoices, and reports.

B2P Overview
Purchase via Punchout Catalog
How to create a PO
Complete Requisition Details
B2P Tips and Tricks

How it works

1. Determine what you want to buy

2. Submit a requisition (request for permission to buy)

3. Receive permission in the form of a purchase order (PO)

4. Submit invoice to invoices@mit.coupahost.com

5. Get your thing or use the service!

For more details on how to spend club funds via Buy-to-Pay, please see our detailed guide here.


Who submits a RFP?

Club Finance Leads are responsible for submitting all requests for club members' reimbursements on Atlas. This allows your club more oversight of expenditures, and streamlines the approval process.

How long does reimbursement take?

If everything is in order you should receive a reimbursement check about 2 weeks later. (Students are eligible to receive reimbursements through direct deposit, please manage your payment preferences through Atlas).

What might delay your reimbursement or make it impossible for MIT to reimburse you at all?
  • You bought alcohol and want to be reimbursed from a student account (note: you WON'T be).
  • You paid tax (MIT cannot legally reimburse most kinds of tax).
  • You hired someone to perform a service (purchasing services often involve extra forms/information for tax purposes).
  • You spent a large amount of money (usually over $1000) without consulting MIT first, and MIT feels the purchase could have easily gone through one of the standard purchasing methods listed above.
  • Do not pay an individual via Venmo. You will NOT be reimbursed.

If you want to pay for something yourself and then be reimbursed by an MIT account, check with Student Life to make sure in advance that the account can and will reimburse you! We can only approve club and Student Life department accounts.

How to Submit
  1. Make your purchase, and keep your original itemized receipt(s) Hand in your receipts to the Club Finance Lead (digital copies are acceptable)
  2. Finance Lead will go to https://atlas.mit.edu/
  3. Choose the "Request a Reimbursement" option.
  4. Fill out the refund request, including the club account number and detailed information on what you're reimbursement is for. Please be thorough in the description of the purchase and why it was purchased for your club. Include the number of MIT and Non-MIT attendees
  5. Upload a copy of the ITEMIZED receipt. (receipt must be the itemized copy, which lists out the items purchased)
  6. The Club Finance Lead should then forward the RFP to Rebecca Bourke

Please track your reimbursement, but do not click on the Document number after you submit the RFP. This action will pull the RFP back to you inbox and will not be able to be approved.

Check out our helpful video on how to submit an RFP here!

3. MIT Credit Card

How to make a credit card payment:
  1. Call the vendor and place the order - verify the cost, and make sure the vendor knows that MIT is tax exempt.
  2. Tell the vendor that the credit card number for this purchase will be called in by an employee of MIT within two business days. DO NOT use a card on file if it is offered to you as each event is classified and must be charged to the appropriate account .
  3. Fill out a Credit Card Purchase Online Form by noon at least two full business days in advance of when you need the card called in.
  4. Student Life will then call in the credit card number to the vendor.
  5. Turn in the original itemized receipt from the purchase to Student Life within two full business days of receiving the food /goods. Be sure to record what you gave for tip (if applicable) on the customer receipt.
About the MIT Credit Card:

The Student Life Office manages an Institute credit card with a $500 purchase limit. Splitting a purchase so its components are each under $500 is not allowed. If your club's account is in good standing, then you are entitled to use it for certain types of purchases, typically food. Ask Student Life in advance if you can use the card by filling out this form.

The MIT credit card cannot be used for:
  • flowers
  • gifts
  • alcohol
  • Or, anything purchased at a hotel or at most entertainment facilities. Talk to Student Life if you want to use the card for travel-related expenses

If you do not turn in your itemized receipt in a timely manner, you will receive a warning by email. If you still do not turn in your receipt, the Student Life Office will determine an appropriate action (typically suspension of credit card privileges for the club).

4. Journal Voucher

What is a Journal Voucher?

A Journal Voucher (JV) is a quick and easy way to transfer money between two MIT accounts. All you need to do is complete this online form.


Be sure to check in with Student Life (E52-101) after you submit the form in order to confirm that the transfer has gone through, as there are occasionally reasons why it cannot.

Information Needed to Complete a JV:

1. Account number money should be transferred from
2. Account number money should be transferred to
3. Amount of money to be transferred
4. Brief description of why the transfer is taking place

Travel Expenses

A travel expense is any expense incurred while traveling on MIT business. This may include hotels, airfare, restaurants, gas, reimbursement of personal vehicle mileage, etc. While "traveling" and "trip" may sometimes difficult to define, there are some expenses that will ALWAYS be defined as a travel expense: airfare, hotel, rental cars, gas for rental cars, personal vehicle mileage, or interstate train or bus fare, for example.

For more detailed information on the Institute Travel Policies, please visit the VPF Website.

Using the Student Life Travel Card for Payment:

Students are permitted to use the Student Life Travel Card for group travel for official student organization business. The travel card should not be used for individual travel.

  • Complete the Travel Card Request Form to request access to use the Travel Card to pay for hotels, airfare, and conference fees
  • After reviewing your request, a member of the Student Life team will contact you to schedule a time for stop by the office to use the Travel Card.
  • Please be sure to bring a note from the club finance lead approving the expense and referencing the cost object to be charged.
  • All original receipts, invoices, boarding passes, etc. should be turned in to Student Life no later than 7 days following the trip end date
Travel Reimbursement
  • All travel reimbursements for MIT Students and Staff should be completed on Concur upon return from trip. Upload copies of the itemized receipts, invoices, boarding passes into the Concur Report.
  • Concur submissions are completed by the individual being reimbursed
  • Concur submissions require a note, electronically attached as a receipt, from a financial signatory approving the expense AND referencing the cost object to be charged
  • Concur training video is available here
  • For NON-MIT people, please have the traveler complete the paper Travel Reimbursement Voucher**, have it signed by a finance lead and submit with receipts to the Rebecca Bourke in the Student Life Office
  • Reimbursements for personal expenses (including airfare) will not be reimbursed until the trip has concluded

Tax Status

Tax Exempt Status

MIT is exempt from paying state sales tax, which means you can save money on food and other items. Be sure to inform your vendors of this in advance.

Tax Exempt Forms
  • MIT's State Tax Exempt status: ST-2 and ST-5
  • MIT's Tax ID Number: 042103594


Do Not Sign Contracts

First and foremost: DO NOT SIGN CONTRACTS! Contracts may only be signed by designated employees of MIT. If you personally sign a contract, you may be liable for any resulting debt and legal liability.

What to do if a Contract needs to be Signed:

Notify the Student Life Office as soon as you know that a vendor will want a contract or agreement (includes any document that discusses liability or indemnification, or that uses the word "contract"). Notify us prior to making any arrangements with the vendor.

Prize Payments

Prize money is awarded to people individually, not as a group, is taxable income, and therefore follows certain rules. As a tax exempt institution, there are some people MIT cannot pay at all and others to whom MIT can only pay a percentage. It is important that you set and manage the expectations of all entrants in your competition - they are competing for the prestige of winning an MIT Sloan competition; prize money will be paid if legally possible

Information needed in order for payment to be received:

In order to evaluate each winner and pay any prize money we can legally pay, you will need to provide the following information about the winners. Please fill out the winner's information and return it to Rebecca Bourke in MIT Sloan Student Life Office.

  • Competition Name:
  • Winner's First Name:
  • Winner's Last Name:
  • Citizenship:
  • Visa Status (if applicable):
  • SSN (if applicable):
  • Amount of prize (pre-tax):
  • Do you want to pay the tax for them?
  • Mailing address:
  • City:
  • State:
  • Zip code:
  • Country:
  • MIT affiliated?
  • E-mail address:
  • Notes:

Collect this information immediately upon determining the winners and send it to the Student Life Office as quickly as possible. Follow-up with the Student Life Office to confirm that the data is complete, and to track the process of processing and sending the award to the winners. As always, you (the student organizers) are the project managers who must follow up to determine that this process is completed.

Examples of reasons why a winner would receive part or none of their prize money:
  • The winner is a full time employee of MIT (cannot receive prize money).
  • The winner has a certain type of financial relationship with MIT (prize may be reduced by some percentage).
  • The winner is not a US citizen (income tax must be removed prior to the money being released).
Common issues/solutions:
  • Issue: Winners are confused often by certain fields in the spreadsheet.
  • Solution: Do not send this spreadsheet to the winners. Collect the information and fill out the spreadsheet yourself.

  • Issue: Winners may feel uncomfortable giving you their social security number (SSN).
  • Solution: These people are welcome to contact Student Life directly with this number; employees of the Institute are bound by law to treat SSNs as sensitive data! But be sure to get the spreadsheet to Student Life BEFORE winners start contacting us with their SSNs.

  • Issue: Non-US citizen winners might be confused why their prize money check does not match the listed prize amount because approximately 30% in taxes has been taken out.
  • Solution: You can either set their expectations so that this is understood, or you can choose to increase their award by the roughly 30% needed to make the check they receive actually be the amount advertised. This is entirely the decision of the club paying the award. Example, if a prize is $1000 for a non-US citizen, the non-US citizen will receive a check for approximately $700. However you can choose to increase the prize by the 30% needed to make the check they receive actually be $1000. This is entirely up to the club paying the award.

Non-profit donations

Donating to Non-profit Donations as an MIT Sloan Student Organization

Approval is needed for your MIT Sloan Student Organization to donate funds to another non-profit organization. The donation funds need to come into your organization's account with the specific purpose of being donated to the charitable organization. Typically, student organizations host events to raise these funds. Please complete the proposal found here to apply for approval to donate funds to a non-profit organization. Please send completed proposal to slquestions@mit.edu.