Often research studies provide payment or reimbursement to research participants. The amount of compensation may be minimal or in some cases research participants may earn thousands of dollars either through one high compensation study or through enrollment in multiple studies throughout the year, although research participants may only be enrolled in one study at a time.
The IRS mandates that Augusta University track all payments issued to research participants and report applicable payments to the IRS. To determine if your research payment is taxable, please see information below.
AU provides re-loadable Debit/Mastercard to allow for efficient subject compensation
There are 3 ways that study related compensation / reimbursement can be provided to research study participants. The choice of options available for each applicable study are listed in the Informed Consent Document.
Please note that when using AU funds to compensate a research participant, the source of funds must originate from fund 15000 or any fund beginning with 2xxxx. Fund 10000 may not be used for any research participant compensation.
If an Augusta University employee participates in a research study, their study reimbursement is payable to them via payroll. These payments will be reflected on their W-2 to be in compliance with IRS regulations. The Research Subject Check Reimbursement Form must be completed.
II. CHECK REQUEST
1. A check request may be used if the study provides only 1 payment to study participants.
2. Applicable IRB language must be included in the Informed Consent Document and is available in the IRBNet Library.
The ClinCard must be used if the study provides more than 1 payment to research participants provided that the participant is NOT an AU employee.
A request for setting up the study in ClinCard must be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org by completing the ClinCard Request Form and attaching a copy of the IRB approved Informed Consent Document. Please note that the AU IRB approved language for the Informed Consent Document must be used and is found in the IRBNet Library.
The study visits and associated payment milestones will be set up in ClinCard by the Clinical Translational Finance Manager or other delegated Department Manager.
Research participants must be consented prior to receiving a ClinCard or having payments issued. Upon completion of the approved consenting process, the study participant will be provided an AU ClinCard and a Research Participant FAQ sheet. The participant will be required to complete a ClinCard receipt and W-9, which will be retained by the study site. Visit payments can then be issued to study participant. If travel reimbursement is due to the research participant, original receipts or appropriate travel documentation must be retained by the study site.
Is study participant compensation taxable or non taxable?
Often research studies provide payment or reimbursement to research participants. The amount of compensation may be minimal or in some cases research participants may earn thousands of dollars either through one high compensation study or through enrollment in multiple studies throughout the year.
The IRS requires that individuals are responsible for reporting all payments to the IRS through their personal yearly tax return. Augusta University is required to issue a Form 1099-MISC to any study participant who receives $600 or more per calendar year and report this payment to the IRS. Box 3 on Form 1099-MISC is used to report “(a) payment or series of payments to individuals participating in a medical research study or studies.
Since AU cannot predict the total amount of total compensation that an individual may receive throughout the year (through participation in multiple studies), participants are required to provide personal information. The amount and type of required personal information is detailed in the section below, Collection of Personal Information. This information is used to ensure complete and appropriate reporting to the IRS in accordance with IRS policy.
There are some exclusions for IRS reporting:
Research participants - Collection of personal information
Collection, via W-9, of personal information (full name, address, and full social security number) is required for all research participants receiving compensation. This information is used to ensure appropriate oversight and compliance with IRS requirements. Waiver requests for consideration of alternative or limited collection of personal information may be requested.
Alternative payments - waivers
Waiver Request Submission
Waiver requests for consideration of alternative or limited collection of personal information or alternative forms of research participant payment may be requested. Requests for a waiver may be submitted for a study by using the AU Research Participant - Waiver Request.
Waiver requests must detail the following:
Waivers will be reviewed by:
Decisions on authorizing a waiver must be unanimous.
Conditions of an approved waiver
There are normally two types of waivers that may be approved. The conditions for the waiver approval are listed below:
I. Approved Waiver for Alternative Collection of Personal Information. Waivers approved under this category may include any of the following:
II. An Approved Waiver to authorize an alternative payment process. Waivers approved under this category would require that the following process is followed: