As a gesture of appreciation, the University may pay honoraria to certain individuals such as members of Boards of Visitors, guest speakers, judges, panel members, peer/program reviewers, or symposium participants. In some cases, the University may pay an honorarium and/or agree to reimburse the honoree’s out-of-pocket expenses. Honoree expenses substantiated in accordance with Policy FN 28 are not tax reportable to the IRS. Honorarium payments are tax reportable if the total paid by the University exceeds $600 in a calendar year.

Review the University’s policy for visitors to determine if a contract is required, and whether the University permits honorariums or expense reimbursements for your visitor. Information for Paying Foreign National Visitors and Independent Contractors for Activities Performed In the United States has been created to help determine whether the University is permitted by law to pay your foreign national visitor. US law may preclude any type of payment due to a visitor’s country of origin, type of VISA, or other factors. If the University is permitted by law to pay the visitor, you will also find easy-to-understand US tax withholding options and processing instructions in the above guide. 

Review the Guidelines for Contractual Services vs. Honoraria Payments to understand when each payment type is appropriate.

Reimbursement to an honorarium, guest speaker, or visiting scholar will require the area responsible for the speaker to submit a guest reimbursement through Concur and is required to include the following forms:

  • W-9 or W-8 (Foreign Nationals); and
  • Document stating amount paid and purpose of payment
  • Every payment to a Foreign National is required to include the W-8 even if they have been paid previously

In the Concur Expense Report, be sure to select the Pitt Guest Policy. This will display the fields for Vendor ID (payee supplier name) and Vendor Site Code (payee address). If the Payee has not already been established in the PRISM system for payment, the W9 or W8-BEN can be attached to the expense report for supplier creation.

Visitors who receive an honorarium or Fellowship Grant payment(s) may be subject to federal, state and/or local taxes. For non-resident aliens (foreign nationals), a tax treaty may be available that would reduce or eliminate applicable taxes.

Additional Honoraria Payment Information

  • If the honoree has not been paid within the last 24 months, you must attach an IRS form W9 to the honorarium payment request in Concur.
  • Payments are IRS Form 1099 reportable
  • An IRS Form 1099 Non-Employee Compensation (NEC) will be generated and sent if total reportable payments to individual from the University meet or exceed the $600 threshold in a calendar year
  • Reported in Box 1of the IRS Form 1099 Non-Employee Compensation (NEC)
    • Foreign Nationals will receive an IRS Form 1042S
    • Initiated by the Payroll Office

Speaker Participation Content Recording Agreement

If you desire to record speakers or retain rights to the content presented, you must document the speaker’s grant of permission and transfer of rights in writing using the Speaker/Participation Content Recording Agreement.

Professional Speaking Services Versus Honoraria

Visit this page for more information about the differences between professional speaking services vs honoraria as well as assistance with developing a contract for your professional speaker.