Expense Policies and Limitations

While we try to accommodate every request, we work within some limits defined by the IRS, the human capacity of our staff, and technical limitations.

Expense Basics

  • OSC will only process payouts approved by an admin of the collective.

  • OSC doesn't pay future expenses, such as invoices for work scheduled in the future. For instance, an invoice can only be paid for work completed the day prior to its submission.

  • Expense submitter must have their "Legal Name" in their profile info setting.

  • Payouts must be broken down into individual expenses that detail the money spent. We do not pay out undifferentiated chunks of money and can not issue funds for future expenses.

  • All expenditures must be permitted under 501(c)(6) regulations and adhere to our mission statement 'to promote a sustainable and healthy ecosystem to sustain open source technology for the future.'

  • We are unable to process payments for expenses that were incurred before Open Source Collective started hosting the collective.

  • Due to IRS regulations, we may need to collect W9 forms before we can pay someone. If this applies to you, we will let you know.

Collective admins can set additional expense policies to give guidance to expense submitters.

Permitted Countries, OFAC Checks, and Payments to Certain Countries

  • OSC cannot pay people in territories in the following sanctioned countries: Crimea, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, and Venezuela.

  • In addition, we may be unable to pay people in: Afghanistan, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Republic of South Sudan, Yemen.

  • We may face issues processing payments to some countries because Wise, our payment processor, doesn't support all countries. If your bank or country is not supported by Wise or PayPal, we cannot guarantee payment. You can find the list of countries on this website: https://wise.com/help/articles/2571942/what-countriesregions-can-i-send-to. Note that some banks that Wise can send to may require assistance from intermediary banks, which may result in additional charges. We have no control over these charges, as they are determined by the payment processors.

  • When it comes to sending payments to certain countries, such as Nigeria, there may be difficulties due to the high fees charged by banks. Unfortunately, we have no control over this. If you are based in Nigeria, please be aware that you will need to have a minimum balance of over $30 for payouts, as the fees are typically more than $15. Please be aware that there may be instances where the fees are higher than the actual payouts you receive.

Methods of Payment

  • The payment method must be owned by the person submitting a claim to be paid.

  • OSC only makes expense payments via PayPal and bank transfers.

    • We can't make direct payments via cashapp, venmo and similar services (because they don't allow nonprofits like OSC to sign up, among other reasons).

  • Collectives can use OSC-issued virtual cards for expenses (more info here).

PayPal Limits

  • We limit PayPal expense payments to a maximum of $5,000 USD. For expenses larger than $5,000 USD, payments must be made by electronic bank transfer via Wise. This allows us to prevent potential risks and protect our community and its financial assets.

Paying Upwork, Fiverr, or Kofi contractors

You can create a reimbursement or use a Virtual Card to pay for these services if it is easier. Fiverr, Kofi, and Upwork all issue a 1099 for their contractors/users.

Reimbursing shipping, duty, or import fees

For any payment reimbursing costs related to import or duty fees, please also include a receipt for the package/item related to the shipping fee. For tax purposes, we need to see that the shipping expense was related to a purchase/cost that is directly associated with your hosted project.

Outstanding or Incomplete Expenses

The responsibility for ensuring payment completions lies with the collective and/or payee. In case of a payment error

  • OSC will notify the collective and payee by commenting on the expense ticket and marking the ticket as 'incomplete.'

  • Should payment still be required once the expense is marked as 'incomplete,' the collective and/or payee should edit the expense accordingly.

  • If the collective and/or payee fails to respond and rectify the issue within 30 days, OSC will proceed to close the expense request. If payment is still required, the submitter should resubmit the expense request.

By declining unresolved expense requests after 30 days, OSC is able to avoid having many unresolved tickets pile up. This will help the OSC team avoid confusion, inaccurate financial reporting, and potential budgetary complications.

To address pending 'error' payments predating 2023, OSC will make one final attempt to reach out and confirm the necessity of the payment. The expense will be closed if no response is received within 30 days.

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