Tax and Compliance

The Treasurer’s Office is responsible for interpretation of federal and state tax law as it relates to operations of the University; dissemination of tax policy and training of campus personnel in the areas of tax compliance; and distribution of tax pronouncements related to various activities of the campus.

General Information

Scope

This guideline is designed to answer questions about the University’s tax status.

Tax-Exempt Status

The University is tax-exempt under the doctrine of intergovernmental tax immunity. 

Governmental Tax Status Memo

Contributions to the University

For income tax purposes, section 170 provides that donations made for exclusively public purposes, to or for the use of a state or political subdivision, are deductible against the taxable income of individuals, corporations, and other taxpayers, subject to various limitations. For estate tax purposes, section 2055(a) provides that bequests, legacies, devises, or transfers made by an estate for exclusively public purposes, to or for the use of any state or political subdivision, are deductible from the value of the gross estate subject to various limitations. For gift tax purposes, section 2522(a) provides that transfers made for exclusively public purposes, to or for the use of any state or political subdivision, are deductible in computing taxable gifts subject to various limitations. The Internal Revenue Service has ruled (Private Letter Rulings 8336068, 8935012, and 9017014) that contributions to state universities qualify as being made for “exclusively public purposes” and “to or for the use of” a state. Although private letter rulings cannot be relied upon as legal precedent, they give a good indication of how the IRS would rule on a similar fact pattern. If donors prefer to contribute to a tax-exempt organization with an IRS determination letter and with section 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, they should contribute to the University of Massachusetts Foundation, Inc.

Federal Tax Identification Numbers

The University’s federal tax identification number is 04-3167352. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ tax identification number is 04-6002284. The Commonwealth’s number is used for payroll tax purposes.

Upon Admissions all students attending UMass will be assigned a unique and randomly generated identification number. This permanently assigned identification number is directly connected with the student's academic records and used by our students to access their own confidential enrollment and registration records.

UMass will request Social Security Numbers (SSN) at the time of application. The Social Security Number will not be used as the student ID number but will be provided to entities requiring Social Security Number, including but not limited to the federal government for financial aid and Tax Relief Act (1997) reporting, Immigration and Naturalization Service, and as required by court order in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

Although a student's SSN is not required for admission, failure to provide it may prevent UMass from matching a student's application with transcripts, test scores, and other materials. Students who choose not to provide their Social Security number will be ineligible for financial aid and deferred payment, and may be ineligible for other financial arrangements. UMass will also be unable to provide enrollment verification reports and other automated verification functions. The privacy and confidentiality of student records is protected by Federal and State law. UMass will not disclose a SSN without the student's consent for any other purposes except as allowed by law.

Download the Unrelated Business Income Tax PDF.