Why computers or data storage devices are normally treated as indirect costs?
Technology has changed rapidly over the past few decades. Desktops, laptops, and Data-storage devices include a wide range of functions: computation, data storage, correspondence, communication, entertainment, etc. The regular use of computers and data-storage devices in daily business operations makes it difficult and impractical to isolate specific scientific functions and their related costs with a high degree of accuracy.
Desktops, laptops, and data-storage devices below the capitalization threshold are generally considered to support a variety of activities and cannot be linked to one specific project. Therefore, computers are typically treated as indirect costs.
Examples of computers that should be considered an indirect cost:
Examples of computers that can be charged as direct costs:
The Principal Investigator must attest that the computer would not be purchased if not for the sponsored project.
If you plan to charge computers or software to a sponsored project as a direct cost: