Certification of Tax Filing SOP

This standard operating procedure (SOP) includes the following sections: Purpose, Procedure, Contacts, and Links.

Some links will work for NIAID staff only.


To require grantees to meet rules for tax compliance if they 1) receive a grant funded for more than $5 million annually and 2) file U.S. taxes (does not apply to foreign entities).


For awards of $5 million or more, NIH can fund only institutions that certify they have done the following:

  • Filed all U.S. federal tax returns for the past three years.
  • Avoided conviction for tax crime.
  • Paid all taxes, or settled any unpaid tax liabilities with the Internal Revenue Service. (Exceptions are made for legal challenges and assessments made less than 90 days before the certification.)

NIAID grants management specialists send a Certification of Filing and Payment of Federal Taxes form to each institution receiving an award worth more than $5 million annually. The institutional business official fills out the form, signs for the institution, and sends it back to the specialist.

The certification applies only to institutions that file U.S. taxes, and covers funds awarded in the fiscal year it's signed, even if those funds are carried over to another year.

Business Officials

When you receive a certification form from the grants management specialist, sign and return it by fax or email.

  • Make sure you get it in by the deadline stated in the cover letter from NIAID.
  • If you return it by email, attach your signature as a scanned PDF file.
  • Don't include a signature for the principal investigator.

Each form covers only the grant referenced on it, so you may receive a separate form for each award.

If you receive the form in error or you cannot confirm that your institution has met the certification requirements, immediately contact the grants management specialist.

Grants Management Specialists

Before making an award worth $5 million or more, get signed certification forms from the awardee institution.

  • Send the certification form with a cover letter.
  • After you get the signed certification form, put it in the institution's grant file.

For any institution that has an award of $5 million or more but does not have a certification, send out a form with cover letter ASAP. Tell the institution to respond immediately.

If you have an institution that cannot certify, contact the grants management officer immediately and notify the program officer that NIAID cannot fund the project.


Grantees with questions should contact the grants management specialist on the Notice of Award. Go to Contacting Program Officers and Grants Management Specialists.

Grants Management Officer—Contact for NIAID Staff

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Instructions for Certification of Filing and Payment of Federal Taxes

Content last reviewed on August 15, 2014