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Due to workplace necessity, a department may require an employee to purchase a specific type of clothing and/or equipment for ongoing use on the job.
When funds are needed for the initial purchase or later replacement of these required items, the employing department issues an advance payment via Accounts Payable to the employee (similar to a travel advance) for the approximate amount of the purchase. The employee must complete the purchase and submit receipts for account validation to the department no later than 60 days from the date of issue.
If the employee fails to turn in receipts or fails to return remaining monies within that time period, the total amount of the advance payment given to the employee will be included as taxable income on the employee’s Form W-2 (or 1042-S for non-resident international employees), even if the employee eventually accounts for the purchase.