Procurement Services 210: Honorariums

Purpose

To provide a method for giving a gift to a speaker, performer or other individual as a gesture of appreciation.

Reference

University of Alaska Procurement Manual (not available online)

Definitions

Honorarium: An honorarium is a gift for services for which no fee has been set or agreed upon in advance. An honorarium is a "thank you" gift to a guest speaker, performer or other individual who, at no charge, provides a service to the university. It is a token payment; a tangible gesture of appreciation.

Policy

Requirements
Protocol and custom suggest that the honorarium should be processed in advance so that the gift may be presented in a timely manner. In conformance with IRS regulations, an honorarium is reportable as income by the university. Therefore, the recipient's social security number is required. The payment may be expedited by having the recipient complete an IRS Form W-9 in advance (but after an agreement to perform or provide the service has been confirmed) to certify their tax identification number and submitting it with the honorarium form to Procurement Services.

Note: Teacher honorariums for mentoring students may be processes as a Direct Payment. See Finance 302: Direct Payments for information on this method.

Payments Not Qualifying for Honorariums
Any compensation, monetary or non-monetary, negotiated, committed to, or otherwise forming an obligation to pay, made in advance is, by definition, not an honorarium. It is a fee, and is subject to the applicable regulations of the university, IRS and other relevant agencies. Any verbal or written agreement in which the university will be obligated to pay for services or expenses or accommodations is a contractual arrangement and must be made in accordance with procurement regulations.

A fee cannot be paid to any current employee, permanent, part-time, full-time or temporary. Payroll and other taxes must be withheld from any payments made to any employee. A bonus or monetary award to an employee must be approved by Human Resource Services.