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Vendor File Maintenance Policy


In order to make a payment, the entity or individual you are trying to pay must have a vendor code on file. If you have checked the vendor file and determined there is not a vendor code on file, one must be added. In order to do so a W-9 with original signatures must be obtained from the vendor in question.

Who Must Complete a W-9:

The University is required to file 1099 Miscellaneous Income information with the Internal Revenue Service each year. In order to do this, the University needs a correct federal employer identification number (EIN) or Social Security Number (SSN) for each vendor. Form W-9 is used to gather this information. All vendors doing business with or providing a service to the University must complete and return a W-9 with a wet signature to Accounts Payable or Procurement.  The original W-9 can be mailed directly to the Controller's Office in 405 Goodell.


Exception: The IRS will allow the University to accept a Faxed copy (413-545-3144) or a PDF copy sent via email to the vendor team (vendors@admin.umass.edu) of a W-9 as a substitute for an original for companies only, as long as it bears a wet signature. W-9s including a SSN should never be sent via email.

For payment of foreign non-resident alien individuals the W-9 should not be used, please see the Foreign Visitors portion of this web site.

Names and EIN's

The vendor will be set up in the vendor file using the name, address and EIN or SSN provided on their completed W-9. If there is more than one payee or the account is in more than one name, on the first name line enter only the name of the recipient whose EIN or SSN is shown on the W-9. For sole proprietors, show the individual's name first and then the name of the business, you may not enter only the business name. Sole proprietors may use either the individual's SSN or the EIN of the business.

Employees and Students

To establish a vendor code for an employee or student, simply email their name, legal address, and employee identification number or student identification number to the Accounts Payable Vendor File Maintenance Clerk at vendors@admin.umass.edu. Please note that due to Internal Revenue Service regulations, employees and students are only allowed refund and reimbursement payments through Accounts Payable, any other type of payment must be processed through Human Resources or Student financials.

Penalties and Backup Withholding

Penalties are assessed by the IRS for each vendor the University fails to provide the proper information for. The amount of penalty ranges from $15 to $100 per vendor. The following is a list penalties can be given for:

  • Incorrect EIN or SSN
  • Missing EIN or SSN
  • Incorrect or missing name (name must correspond to IRS records)
  • Illegible forms

Failure of vendors to comply with W-9 requests could result in delay of payment and/or a withholding of about 30%. Vendors are also subject to about 30% backup withholding if any of the following are true:

  • Vendor does not supply a EIN or SSN
  • The IRS has notified the University that the vendor has provided an incorrect EIN or SSN ("B" Notice)
  • The IRS has notified the University that the vendor is subject to backup withholding ("C" Notice)
  • Vendor has completed the W-9
  • EIN with "applied for" status but does not provide the new EIN within 60 days.



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