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 05-07-01 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.
Reimbursement to an honorarium, guest speaker, or visiting scholar will require the area responsible for the speaker to submit a guest reimbursement through Concur.
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. Panther Express provides information on their website addressing payments made to foreign nationals along with specific issues related to withholding, speaking engagements, and honorariums.
Professional Speaking Services Versus Honoraria
Payments to companies, professional speakers, bureaus, or any individual providing professional services may not be reimbursed using the Travel, Business Entertainment, Honoraria, and Miscellaneous Reimbursable Expense policy. Please contact a Purchasing Services Procurement Specialist for assistance in developing a contract for your professional speaker.
Detailed guidelines to assist in differentiating between services and honorarium payments are available here.