UO's BAO Policy on Payments to Participants

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The university has legal and fiduciary responsibilities to properly account for all payments made to individuals, be they employees, students, vendors, or research subjects. Responsibility for financial management of human subject research rests with the departmental accounting office (as account custodian) with oversight by the Principal Investigator (PI). Individuals in these roles should clearly understand the financial authority and institutional obligations as outlined in the UO Business Affairs Office procedures (pdf). 

The UO BAO procedures follow a tiered structure used to determine the appropriate level of information collected which may result in the tracking of a participant’s personally identifiable information. For questions regarding types of payments, payment procedures and tracking requirements, researchers and department administrators should contact UO Business Affairs Office.

Researchers need to be mindful of the tracking requirements and consider any risks compensating participants may introduce as a result.  Researchers need to ensure participants in research are informed that:

  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS) considers payments for participation in research studies to be taxable income to the recipient; and
  • When applicable, personally identifiable information may need to be given to the department depending on amount and method of payment.

The table below provides suggested language to include in the informed consent process and, if applicable, in the informed consent form based on the tiered structure for tracking of payments. Please contact Research Compliance Services if the language below is not compatible with your research design.

 

BAO Threshold for Individual Subject(s)

 

BAO Tracking Requirements

Suggested Informed Consent Language

$100 or less

None

Please be aware, compensation for participation in research studies may be considered taxable income.

$100.01-$599.99

Informal tracking at department level

Please be aware, compensation for participation in research may be considered taxable income. The University requires tracking for compensation that is paid to you; this may include your name and contact information. This information is stored confidentially and separate from research data. If you receive $600 or more in a calendar year, you may be contacted to provide additional information (e.g. Social Security Number) for tax reporting purposes.

$600 or greater

Subject needs to complete applicable IRS Form(s) for annual tax reporting

Please be aware, compensation for participation in research may be considered taxable income. The University requires tracking for compensation that is paid to you; this may include your name and contact information. Because you will receive $600 or more in a calendar year, you will be asked to provide additional (e.g. Social Security Number) information for tax reporting purposes. This information is stored confidentially and separate from research data. 

Note: The IRS rules differ for non-resident aliens and include additional requirements for paymentstotaling $100.01 or above; contact BAO for additional information.