Carnegie Mellon University

Sales Tax Exemption Certificates

As a tax-exempt organization, Carnegie Mellon is exempt from sales tax in certain states. Visit the Pennsylvania Sales Tax Exemption page for additional information regarding the state sales tax requirements. To obtain a current and completed certificate, please contact Taxation directly with the following information:

  • Name of vendor
  • Address of vendor where purchase is being made
  • Reason/description and amount of purchase
  • Verification of how purchase is being made (PO; p-card, etc.)

Certificates will be emailed to the purchaser/buyer directly so that they can submit the exemption certificate with the purchase.

Form 6166, Certification of U.S. Residency

Many foreign countries withhold tax on certain types of income paid from sources within those countries to residents of the United States, even though the organization is tax exempt for U.S. income tax purposes.  An income tax treaty with a foreign country may reduce or eliminate the tax completely, including Value Added Tax (VAT). Note that CMU does not have a VAT number, so VAT usually does have to be paid.

To take advantage of these treaty benefits, the foreign taxing authorities may request Form 6166, Certification of U.S. Tax Residency from the IRS.  This certification is requested by Taxation from the IRS annually using Form 8802, Application for United States Residency Certification. 

Form W-9

This form is necessary when the university is being setup as a supplier/vendor with another organization. The Form W-9 verifies the university's legal name, address and employer ID number (EIN) and is signed by an authorized Carnegie Mellon officer.

IRS Tax Determination Letter

This letter is issued by the Internal Revenue Service verifying the tax exempt status of Carnegie Mellon as an exemption organization under the IRS Code Section 501(c)(3). The university's most recent affirmation letter was issued in 2022.

Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax

This information return is filed with the IRS annually for the fiscal year. The return is open to public disclosure with the exception of Schedule B (Schedule of Contributors). The return is informational in nature and contains an 11-page Core Form with 14 additional schedules; it is available upon request.

Form 990-T, Exempt Organization Business Income Tax Return

The purpose of the Form 990-T is to

  • Report unrelated business income;
  • Figure and report unrelated business income tax liability;
  • Report proxy tax liability;
  • Claim a refund of income tax paid by a regulated investment company (RIC) or a real estate investment trust (REIT), on undistributed long-term capital gain;
  • Request a credit for certain federal excise taxes paid or for small employer health insurance premiums paid; and
  • Report unrelated business income tax on reinsurance entities.

The return is also open to public disclosure and available upon request.