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Honorarium Policy

Summary

This policy defines the types of activities for which an honorarium payment is appropriate and provides information on the eligibility for and processing of such payments.

Full Description

Title:  Honorarium Policy

Effective Date:  November 15, 2019

Revision Date:  Original

POLICY TITLE:  Honorariums

I. Scope

This policy is to provide the framework and guidelines for consistent application when offering honorarium payments to individuals at the University. This policy does not apply to employees or students who provide services to the University.

II. Purpose

This policy defines the types of activities for which an honorarium payment is appropriate and provides information on the eligibility for and processing of such payments.

III. Definitions

Honorarium:  An honorarium is a “thank you” gift to an individual who, at no charge, provides a service to the university. It is a token payment, a tangible gesture of appreciation.

IV. Policy

A. Honorarium Transactions

The types of activities for which honorarium payments may be offered include the following: 

  1. A special lecture, a short series of such lectures or other creative activity.
  2. Participation in a seminar or workshop as a guest, speaker or panelist, provided such services furnished on a short-term basis.
  3. Award to an individual for a special achievement or renown for participation in a short term activity or event that is of an educational, research, or public service nature and no-specific deliverable or specific result is requested or expected.

 An event that requires set-up of equipment, staging, use of temporary structures, etc., or invites business risk, does not qualify as an honorarium eligible transaction.

B. Eligibility

  1. Honorarium may be paid to persons of professional or scholarly standing in conjunction with an academic activity.
  2. Honoraria may be paid to foreign visitors but subject to the restrictions of their visa classification.

C. Payments Not Qualifying for Honorarium 

  1. No honorarium payments may be made to a current employee, permanent, part-time, full-time or temporary.
  2. No honorarium payments may be made to a current student.
  3. An honorarium may not be based on a negotiated amount between the individual providing services and the individual seeking services.
  4. Any verbal or written negotiated agreement in which the university will be obligated to pay for services is a contractual arrangement and must be made in accordance with procurement regulations.
  5. Honorarium payments may not be used for independent contractors or consultants.
D. Allowable Rates and Procedures

Honorarium payments may not exceed $1,500 to an individual in one fiscal year.  If payment is $1,500 or more then the payment must follow the appropriate University procurement protocol (i.e. speaker, performer, independent contractor process).

Travel expenses may be reimbursed or paid directly on behalf of the guest, in addition to an honorarium, provided they are in accordance with the University’s travel policies.

An Honorarium may be paid in lieu of travel expenses directly to the individual.

1. Honorarium Payments

  • Honorarium payments to individuals that are US Citizens/Permanent Residents will be disbursed through the Accounts Payable office. If the recipient information does not exist in the Vendor Database, the department must submit a W-9 Form for the recipient.  All Honorarium payments will be reported on Form 1099 MISC.
  • Honorarium payments to individuals that are Non-Resident Aliens will be disbursed through the Accounts Payable office. If the recipient information does not exist in the Vendor Database, the department must submit a W-8 Form for the recipient.

    Honorarium payments to Non-Resident aliens are subject to Federal Tax withholding and reported on a Form 1042-S.  Federal Taxation of Non-Resident Aliens is dependent on the NRA Visa classification. VISA classification and Immigration status establishes if the NRA is allowed to receive an honorarium payment. 
2. Payments are NOT transferable.

  • An individual who assigns or transfers compensation for personal services to another individual or entity is not relieved of Federal income tax liability, regardless of the motivation behind the transfer. This includes donating the honorarium payment to the university.

 VI. Approval and Amendment

This policy was created by Office of Financial Operations and is effective November 15, 2019 and may be amended or terminated by the Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration.

Questions about the implementation of this policy or its interpretation should be directed to the Vice President for Finance and Technology.