Generally, equipment is defined as any item with an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more per unit and a useful life of more than one year.
Incorporating Equipment Into Your Budget
- Each individual equipment item must be identified, priced and justified separately.
- Calculate state and local taxes on equipment. You may use the USC Tax Exemption Form [pdf] to request an exemption from state taxes. In order to qualify for the exemption, the equipment's use must be novel or produce something that is novel.
- List shipping and freight charges for equipment under Other Direct Costs.
- Some non-federal sponsors may have different definitions of equipment. Contact your SAM Administrator to discuss these variances.
- If it is necessary to specify a particular brand of equipment, complete the USC Procurement Exemption Certification Form in USCeRA. This certification only applies if the brand-specific equipment is essential to the success of the project and does not involve a conflict of interest. If available, include a quote from the vendor as an attachment for the proposal. NOTE: This form must be completed when the proposal is routed for approvals. If the Procurement Exemption Certification form isn't in the USCeRA proposal, then the PI will have to go through the Procurement sole source justification process.
- Facilities and administrative costs (indirect costs) do not apply to equipment.
- Individual computer software over $5,000 does not carry indirect costs.
- Items for all federally funded proposals with a unit cost under $5,000 should be included under the Materials and Supplies section of the budget.