Student organization banking

The university does not maintain any form of banking account, nor banking services, for student organizations. Student organization financial management is the responsibility of the organization. 

The following information is presented as recommendations and resources available to student organizations.

Establishing an account

It is recommended that student organizations managing receipt and disbursement of funds have a business checking account. The university provides no recommendation on a banking institution to select.

At least two signature holders and an Employer Identification Number (EIN) are required in order to set up a new account. It is also helpful to have written procedures on how the account will be managed including processes to manage conflict of interest and transitioning control of the account to new officers. The credit union (or bank) may ask for proof or verification of who the officers of the organization are, and Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) can provide verification through the Get Involved (powered by Engage) system maintained by the Dean of Students Office (DOSO) via printing the officer list or providing the URL for that page.

EIN numbers

Financial institutions require an employer tax identification number (EIN) for all accounts. In order to request a new Employer Identification Number, go to the U. S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website and complete the Online Application for EIN. The application form (SS-4) can also be downloaded from this website and completed manually. For more information, or to verify your existing EIN Number, please call the IRS at 800-829-1040, or visit

In general, an organization with less than $25,000.00 in gross income (fundraising, donations, interest from checking account, etc.) and has an IRS issued EIN will need to submit a Form 990-N to the IRS. "Form for Small Exempt organizations". Student Organizations should research the specifics of their unique situation to ensure that they are addressing appropriate filing obligations with the IRS.

Lost or misplaced EIN If your organization cannot find a previously issued EIN, visit the IRS website at Search for "lost or misplaced EIN" to get current information on how retrieve the EIN from IRS records.

Disclaimer: The Wayne State University Dean of Students Office does not offer tax advice. Nothing in this publication or on this web site shall be construed as the offering of tax advice. For any additional questions related to obtaining an EIN, please contact a qualified tax/legal advisor.

Suggestions for maintaining student organization accounts


Record all deposits as they are made. For all deposits one person should prepare the deposit and another should verify the amount. This procedure helps reduce the possibility of mistakes or theft.


Record all activities in a checkbook register or savings ledger as they are made. Note the reason of the withdrawal. It is extremely important to keep all receipts from these distributions.

Reconciling bank statements

When you receive a bank statement, go through each withdrawal/deposit and place an asterisk (*) in front of each entry listed in the register. For business checking accounts, note outstanding checks written. Verify the ending balances. For business checking accounts remember to deduct the outstanding checks.

Reconciling problems

Business savings accounts

Double check the calculations in the savings account register. For discrepancies, verify the bank statement to the ticket deposit slips. If a problem still exists, compare the ticket deposit slips to the receipts of purchases and cash on hand. When it is determined that the error cannot be found, contact the financial institution. If the error still cannot be determined, reconcile the bank statement by making an adjusting entry in your savings account register.

Business checking accounts

First verify the math in the checking account register. If there is still a discrepancy, double check the outstanding items. For further error detection, verify the amount the checks are written for against the bank statement amounts. When it is determined that the error cannot be found, contact the financial institution. If the error still cannot be determined, reconcile the bank statement by making an adjusting entry in your checking account register.

Establishing student organization accounts

The following information outlines the some of the requirements a bank/credit union will ask for in establishing a student organization account. Students should refer to the specific institution for their requirements.

  • EIN letter from IRS in the name of the student organization
  • Meeting minutes dated and on group letterhead that includes a declaration of the group's desire to open an account, names of the persons to be added to the account as a joint owner or authorized signer and names of members present at this meeting.
  • Identification (Driver's License or Passport and WSU student ID) for all persons to be added to the organization account.  They must be present to be added.
  • At minimum deposit for the savings share in the form of cash, check or money order made out to the student organization.  Any checks or money orders made out to an individual cannot be accepted into a student organization account.

Changing the authorized signatures

Each time there is an officer change, update the bank records for the authorized users. Most banks require the old officers to be present to sign over the account to the new officers.

Tax filing requirements

Student organizations with a Tax Identification Number (also called a TIN or EIN) issued by the Federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are impacted by the information below. All organization accounts held at banks and/or credit unions MUST have an EIN on the account and are therefore impacted by this information. Student organizations are responsible for their tax filing and payment obligations to both the Federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Michigan Department of Treasury; it is the obligation of the organization members and officers to be aware of and comply with applicable tax codes.

With the enactment of the Pension Protection Act of 2006, beginning in 2008, small tax-exempt organizations whose gross receipts are normally $25,000 or less that previously were not required to file with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) using Form 990 or Form 990EZ will now be required to file an electronic informational notice to the IRS: Form 990-N (Also known as the e-Postcard).

See e-Postcards frequently asked questions 

Form 990-N User Guide

Disclaimer: The Wayne State University Dean of Students Office does not offer tax advice. Nothing in this publication or on this web site shall be construed as the offering of tax advice.

Who must file:

Your organization may be required to file on an annual basis Form 990-N (e-Postcard) if the organization's gross receipts are normally under $50,000 and the organization does not already file a Form 990 or Form 990EZ.

Does an organization have to file Form 990-N if it is a subordinate organization in a group exemption ruling?

If an organization is a subordinate of a parent organization and your organization is included on the parent's group return, you are not required to file Form 990-N. The group return satisfies your reporting requirement. However, if you do not file as part of a group return and your annual gross receipts are normally $50,000 or less, you must file Form 990-N. Contact your parent organization for more information.

What information should be included in filing the 990-N?

The following information is required to file a 990-N:

  • Organization's legal name
  • Any other names your organization uses
  • Organization's mailing address (Form 8822 Change of Address on the IRS website to update)
  • Organization's website address if applicable
  • Organization's employer identification number (tax ID)
  • Name and address of principal officer of your organization
  • Organization's annual tax period (the chapter's fiscal year)
  • A statement that your organization's annual gross receipts are still normally $25,000 or less

How does one file Form 990-N?:

To electronically fill out Form 990-N, visit the IRS website.

When will the e-Postcard (Form 990-N) be due?

Beginning in 2008, the e-Postcard will be due by the 15th day of the fifth month after the close of your organization's tax period/fiscal year. See your organization's EIN and the IRS website to determine the organization's tax year.

Pension Protection Act requires the IRS to revoke tax exempt status of any organization that fails to meet this annual filing requirement.

For additional information about this new filing requirement, or information about other new developments, subscribe to Exempt Organization's EO Update, a regular e-mail newsletter that highlights new information posted on the Charities pages of To subscribe, go to and click on EO newsletter. For any additional questions, please contact a qualified tax/legal advisor.

Disclaimer: The Wayne State University Dean of Students Office does not offer tax advice. Nothing in this publication or on this web site shall be construed as the offering of tax advice.

Useful links

Federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

Keywords: Exempt organization, 990-N, e-Postcard, charities, Publication 775, Form 1023

Agency account closure and balance liquidation

Effective Dec. 21, 2018, the Dean of Students Office will no longer maintain student organization Agency accounts. After this date, all existing accounts will be liquidated and closed. Currently Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) who desire to liquidate and close their account prior to this date can submit a request to our front office immediately. Student organizations that have outstanding reimbursement and/or vendor payment requests, and want them processed by DOSO, must submit all documentation by Nov. 30, 2018. Any request received after this date will be returned unprocessed. Please review the following information prior to completing and submitting requests. Student organizations must be registered in order to withdraw funds.

  • Requests for reimbursement, vendor payment, and account liquidation and closure require completion of a Direct Payment Request (DPR) form. The completed DPR can be emailed to or hand delivered to the DOSO in Suite 301 Student Center. A copy of the DPR can be found on the Student Organizations page under documents in Get Involved.
  • First time payment requests require completion of IRS form W-9. The W-9 is needed in order to get the payee set up in the university's payment system.
  • All disbursements will be made via Wayne State University check. Please allow 7-14 business days.
  • Requests for payment issued to a student organization, for example, if the student organization wants to deposit the check to an existing outside bank account, require the approval of the organization's president or treasurer. If the payee is an organization member, a different member of the organization must approve payment.

Important: Student organizations must be currently Registered through Get Involved prior to submitting DPR forms for processing.

Please contact the Dean of Students Office at 313-577-1010 for questions regarding completion and submission of the DPR and Veronica Richards at 313-577-9421 for inquiries concerning account liquidation and closure.