The Binghamton University Student Association (SA) Vice President for Finance (VPF) has entered a new partnership with Amazon.
The new initiative allows organizations to take advantage of the Amazon Tax Exemption Program (ATEP) by creating an Amazon account that falls under a larger SA account. ATEP allows organizations to bypass Amazon taxes, which, in the past, many have had to cover with their personal finances.
Daniel Croce, VPF and a junior majoring in business administration, attributed the reasoning behind the program to the difficulties individual organizations have had enrolling in the ATEP.
“I saw how student groups struggled to coordinate Amazon purchases as there was no means through which they could easily get tax exemption when purchasing from Amazon,” Croce said. This meant that the person who purchased from Amazon would have to personally pay for the cost of tax without reimbursement. Given how important Amazon is for our groups, this was a major barrier to the student leaders and members of groups.”
Besides the convenience of no longer having to individually apply for ATEP, students will also no longer have to pay out-of-pocket for tax charges. Previously, students were funding tax charges themselves, drawing on their personal finances in order to bolster their organizations.
Many clubs have already begun to benefit from this new ability, especially those that purchase large amounts of products from Amazon in order to function.
Noah Walsh, secretary of the Ballroom Dance Association and a junior majoring in biochemistry, explained how the association was making use of the new tool.
“We have had to make a lot of online purchases,” Walsh said. “Such as through Amazon for our upcoming royal ball, so this has been very helpful to us as we make a lot of use of it.”
Croce explained that he had spent time with Amazon business representatives this past summer to figure out the logistics of the project. He also acknowledged that there are still aspects of the initiative that he wishes to implement, such as allowing groups to use purchase orders on Amazon, a new tool he hopes to implement for organizations in the future.
Jonathan Jacobson, a junior majoring in English, said he believes the initiative will have an impact.
“It could help out when we are purchasing things for events,” Jacobson said. “I think it’s pretty neat, and could be helpful to a lot of clubs on campus.”
Croce also pointed to how the partnership will benefit campus involvement by helping to streamline a previously stressful part of club and organization finances.
“I am hoping that this is one step of many I am taking to increase access for our student groups,” Croce wrote. “All students should be able to easily access the resources available to the student groups they are members of without great burden. The tax exemption status (and hopefully future access to using purchase orders for Amazon) are steps in the right direction. The truly special part of the SA here at [BU] is the strong prevalence of our student groups on campus. I hope this initiative helps make the road to campus involvement easier.”