Procedure for Requesting Honorarium Payment for Visitors to the College
Overview. Visitors to the College may receive an honorarium payment for services performed or reimbursement of expenses incurred during their visit. The following sections explain the procedures for requesting these types of payments and the documentation required before payment can be made.
Section I. Honorarium Payments to U.S. Citizens
Required Documentation. To ensure that requests for payment can be processed efficiently, please assist us by providing the following information for all prospective honorarium recipients:
1. A check request form which includes the following:
- Full legal name;
- Complete mailing address;
- Social security number (SSN);
- Description of services performed;
- Account Index code or Fund, Org, Acct, and Program number
- Amount of payment
2. Accompanying the check request, please also provide:
- Letter of invitation, or copy of news release for the event;
- Completed W-9 form, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification.
Taxation and Reporting. Payments for personal services are taxable income and must be reported to the IRS on form 1099-Misc. If the recipient is paid a cumulative total of $600 or more during a calendar year, he/she will receive a 1099-Misc by January 31 of the following year to be used when filing their personal tax return.
Section II. Honorarium Payments to International Visitors
If payment is to be made to an individual who is not a citizen of the U.S., additional information is required to ensure that we comply with immigration and tax laws. It is recommended that this information gathering process commence upon invitation of the international visitor since immigration rules dictate what non-immigrant visa status is required for eligibility of payment.
In November 1998, Congress passed the American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998 (ACWIA) granting academic institutions the authority to pay honoraria and associated expenses to visitors holding a specific non-immigrant status who are engaging in “usual academic activities.” The ACWIA defines “usual academic activities” to include lecturing, teaching, consulting, conducting research, attending meetings, symposia or seminars, and sharing knowledge. Performances or readings meet this definition if the event is free and open to the public and/or students.
The following criteria, or B honorarium rules, must be met for an honorarium payment to be made:
- The visitor must enter the U.S. with B visa status. The immigration categories below meet this criterion:
- B-1, Visitor for Business
- B-2, Visitor for Pleasure
- VWB, Visa Waiver for Business
- VWT, Visa Waiver as a Tourist
- Canadian entering without inspection
- The academic activity the visitor is engaging in may not exceed nine days.
- Other honoraria or associated expense reimbursements may not have been accepted from more than five institutions or organizations in the previous six-month period.
Required Documentation. In addition to the documentation listed in Section I, please provide the following information when payment is requested:
- Completed W-8BEN, Certificate of Foreign Status form;
- Foreign Visitor Compliance Statement;
- Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
Taxation and Reporting. Payments for personal services to a foreign individual are subject to 30% federal withholding under Internal Revenue Code Section 1441 unless a tax treaty exemption is available. The income, any withheld taxes, or treaty benefits enjoyed are reportable on form 1042-S, Foreign Persons U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding. The honorarium recipient will receive a 1042-S form from Rhodes by March 15 of the following year to be used for filing their personal 1040NR tax return.
- Tax Treaty Benefits. To claim a reduced rate or exemption from the applicable 30% withholding, the following is required:
- The individual must be a resident for tax purposes of a recognized treaty country and meet the requirements specific to the treaty articles and;
- The individual must have a U.S. Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
- The individual must complete form 8233, Exemption from Withholding on Compensation for Independent (and Certain Dependent) Personal Services of a Nonresident Alien Individual.
Please note that without a SSN or ITIN, we are required to withhold 30% from the gross payment amount without exception.
Section III. Reimbursements of Expenses
Required Documentation. Expense reimbursements for both citizens and non-citizens are not taxable or reportable as income as long as the accountable plan rules are met by providing receipts to substantiate the expenses. When requesting an expense reimbursement for an individual, please provide the original receipts for any item over $25 for items such as:
- travel expenses,
- lodging expenses,
- transportation expenses,
- or other incidentals.
These receipts should accompany the check request form with the individual’s information as listed in Section I. The recipient’s SSN or ITIN is not required for this type of payment since it is not considered income for personal services.