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Payments: Honorarium

Read the information below to learn about honorarium payments.

People invited by UCSD to serve as guest speakers or participants in special events may be paid an honorarium. Honorarium payments are paid in lieu of reimbursement of travel expenses or any other payment of fees for service. Read the information below to learn more about honorarium payments.

If the honorarium is for a UC employee, follow the instructions in How to Process a One-Time Interlocation Payment instead. Also, you may review the differences between Honoraria vs. Travel Reimbursements.

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About Honorarium

  • An honorarium is payment in recognition of an individual's or organization's special service or distinguished achievement where propriety precludes setting a fixed price.
  • Activities for which honorarium payments can be made include:
    • Special lecture, concert, or other creative academic-related activities
    • Short-term participation in a seminar or workshop as a guest speaker
    • Appraisal of a manuscript or article submitted to a professional publication
  • A typical honorarium amount is $250-$500 per day, depending on the fund source and expertise of the speaker. Honoraria charged to 99100A funds are limited to $250 per event day, for a maximum of 10 days. Amounts in excess of $250 per day require academic personnel approval.
  • The following requirements must be fulfilled for foreign citizens to receive honorarium payments:
    • Payee must have a U.S. Taxpayer Identification Number, and completed Glacier Record
    • Payee must have appropriate visa type (some types may restrict payment)
    • Note: If the payee's Green Card application is pending, submit a copy of the visitor's "Work Authorization" card. If the payee has a Green Card, the income tax reporting will be handled the same as a U.S. citizen's.
  • If a payee declines to submit the W-8BEN or 8233, any applicable federal and state taxes will be withheld from the payment.
  • California state tax (PDF) is withheld for income paid by UCSD to non-California residents or foreign citizens, for service provided in California, in excess of $1500, either in part or whole, during a single calendar year.

Paying for Honorarium

  • Gather this information:
    • The payee's Social Security number (SSN) or
      Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
    • The payee's name and address
    • The payee's employment status (UC employee or non-employee)
    • California residence status
    • Country of residence (non U.S. citizens only)
    • The dates of the honorarium
    • The purpose of the honorarium
  • Departments are required to submit a W-9 form when setting up a new payee for MyPayments. (Applies only to U.S. citizens.)
  • If the payee is not a U.S. citizen,payee must have a U.S. Taxpayer Identification Number, and completed Glacier Record, and have appropriate visa type (some types may restrict payment). 

Note: Non U.S. citizens who are ineligible for a SSN must apply for an ITIN in order to be eligible for an honorarium payment. If the payee's Green Card application is pending, submit a copy of the visitor's "Work Authorization" card. If the payee has a Green Card, the income tax reporting will be handled the same as a U.S. citizen's.

Need more information about the ITIN? See the IRS publication 1915 (PDF) or the ITIN application(PDF).

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