TUC Sponsored Programs

Independent Contractor

Request Independent Contrator Form Microsoft Excel Spread Sheet


Type of Expenditure:
Payments to Independent Contractors (Individuals, only!)

Applies To:
Individuals not affiliated with the University or The University Corporation, in business for him/herself to provide services.

- Companies
- Employees (including Student or Graduate Assistant) of CSUN, The University Corporation or any other auxiliary
- Federal Government Employees

Responsible to Initiate:
Principal Investigator

Request Form:
Request for Independent Contractor

Required Signatures:
Principal Investigator (or authorized signer)


Time of Submission:
At least two weeks prior to the expected dates of the services.

Submit To:
The University Corporation - Accounting Dept.

Allowable Cost:
- Fees for Services
- Reimbursement of Travel Expenses,
- Reimbursement of Supporting Costs (Copies of receipts must be submitted for reimbursements)

Payment Limit:
Rates for services (excluding travel) cannot exceed 125% of salary rate of Full Professor in highest salary category. ( August 1, 2005: $75.75/hour.) Letter of justification required for exceeding this amount.


An Independent Contractor is an individual who is not affiliated with the University or The University Corporation and is in business for him/herself to provide services.


General Independent Contractors provide services such as lecturing, speaking, clerical, or other special trades.

Exclusions: Employees of CSUN, The University Corporation, and Auxillaries

Corporation, and Auxiliaries An employee (including Student or Graduate Assistant) currently on the payroll of the California State University, Northridge, The University Corporation or any other auxiliary of the California State University, Northridge, cannot be paid as an independent contractor.

Exclusions: Federal Government Employees

Fees for Independent Contractor services may not be paid to an employee of the Federal Government.

Contractual Partner

Only The University Corporation is authorized to enter into a legal agreement with an Independent Contractor. The Principal Investigator or other project-staff are not authorized to enter into such an agreement.

Allowable Costs

Payments to Independent Contractors may include fees for services, reimbursement of travel expenses, and supporting costs (copies of receipts must be submitted for any reimbursements.)

The compensation section of the "Request for Independent Contractor" form should show separately the rate and time calculation (dollars per hr/day/week/multiplied by the hrs/days/weeks) and the amount of travel reimbursement, if applicable, included in the total amount due.

Rates charged for services (excluding travel) cannot exceed 125% of the comparable salary rate of a Full Professor in the highest salary category. A letter of justification must accompany any request containing a payment exceeding the maximum allowable.

As of August 1, 2005, the current rate of a Full Professor at top step is $94,464 per year, which calculates into a monthly salary of $10,496 for a 9-month academic year, a weekly rate of $2,424 (divided by 4.33 weeks per month) and an hourly rate of $60.60 (40 hours per week. As a result the 125% limit for the rate paid to an independent contractor is $75.75.

For independent contractors providing instruction or lectures, the rate is calculated on an hourly basis and includes reimbursement for preparation, lecturing, and evaluation, if necessary.

Coding of the Accounting String

The Request for 'Independent Contractor' must be coded with an 'Accounting String' to ensure the proper allocation of the expenses to the correct project and the correct account.

625200S400024200 (Non-Observatory)
24300 (Observatory)

Procedure for General Independent Contractors

The Principal Investigator completes the form "Request For Independent Contractor". The original (white) and the yellow copy should be forwarded to The University Corporation Accounting Department, while the pink copy should be retained for the project records. The University Corporation Accounting Department must receive the form "Request For Independent Contractor" at least two weeks prior to the expected dates of the services.

Based on the information provided in the "Request For Independent Contractor" The University Corporation - Accounting Department will prepare a 'Lecturer and Independent Contractor Agreement'. Two copies of 'Lecturer and Independent Contractor Agreement,' signed by The University Corporation, accompanied with a prepared invoice will be sent to the independent contractor.

After receiving the two copies of the 'Lecturer and Independent Contractor Agreement', the independent contractor signs copies, maintains one copy for his/her records and returns the other fully executed agreement to The University Corporation.

All independent contractors, who are non-U.S. citizens and non-U.S. permanent resident aliens, must complete a tax analysis using the GLACIER Online Tax Compliance System before payments can be made. Prior to submitting an invoice, they must contact The University Corporation at 818-677-4695 to receive a password for GLACIER or obtain further information.

After completing the contracted services the independent contractor will send the pre-prepared invoice directly to The University Corporation, which will forward a copy of the invoice to the Principal Investigator.

The Principal Investigator will complete a "Check Request" and submit it with the invoice attached to The University Corporation Accounting Office.

Minor Contracted Services: Definitions

A non-resident is any person with his/her main residence outside of the State of California.

A non-resident alien is any person living or working in the United States , who is not a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident Alien (Green Card) and who failed to pass the 'Substantial Presence Test (SPT). The 'Substantial Presence Test (SPT) must be administered to all non-U.S. Citizens and non-Permanent Resident Aliens to whom a payment that constitutes gross income will be made. If an individual meets or exceeds the SPT, he or she is a Resident Alien for federal tax purposes. Please note that a Resident Alien and a Permanent Resident Alien are not the same categories for tax purposes.

Minor Contracted Services: Applicability

Contracted services for $500 or less may be processed in an expedited procedure, if the subcontractor is

A California Resident, and a US Citizen or Permanent Resident Alien (Green Card).

(Due to IRS/BOE regulations, this expedited procedure is not applicable to Non-Resident Aliens, and subcontractors with residence outside the State of California .)

Minor Contracted Services: Required Documentation

As part of the expedited procedure, the Principal Investigator must submit

A 'Check Request' and a 'Minor Contracted Service Invoice' (including the signed Hold Harmless Waiver & Release and Sworn Affidavit on page 2).

The 'Minor Contracted Service Invoice' must contain all the requested information, be signed by the contractor (including the signed Hold Harmless Waiver & Release and Sworn Affidavit on page 2) and be submitted in original form to The University Corporation. Fax copies or e-mails are not acceptable. Contractors reimbursed for supplies and/or travel expenses must submit all original receipts.