Honorarium is a gratuitous payment of money or other thing of value to a person for their participation in a usual academic activity for which no fee is legally required. An honorarium is provided as a token of appreciation for participation in an activity or event, and not as a contractual obligation to pay for services rendered.
Usual academic activity means activity conducted for the benefit of the university and includes lecturing, teaching, consulting, conducting research, attending meetings, or otherwise sharing knowledge. Readings and performances are included academic activities so long as the activity is open without charge to the public.
Honorarium Payments to U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents, Resident Aliens
- Honorarium payments are considered taxable compensation that is reported to the IRS if the sum of annual payments exceed $600 in a calendar year. Honorarium payments are generally not issued to employees. There are some extenuating services for which such a payment would be issued, but it must be paid through the Human Resource/Payroll process rather than Accounts Payable and will be reported on the employee’s W-2 form.
- Departments may check the Colleague Payment Request system or contact Purchasing to determine if the recipient is already an established vendor. If not, a W-9 form completed by the recipient must be forwarded to Purchasing.
- Once the recipient is added as a vendor, the department may enter a Payment Request to the SLU Portal. Print the payment request and send to the Business Office with a description of the activity for which the honorarium payment is being made.
Honorarium Payments to Foreign Individuals
Guests with a J1 or B visa or waiver status may receive an honorarium payment under the following criteria.
- The activity lasts no more than 9 days and the guest has not accepted payments from more than 5 institutions in the previous 6 months.
- Guests with a J1 visa issued from another institution must have a letter from the institution recommending such activity and explaining how it would enhance the visitor’s exchange program.
- Detailed instructions on the requirements and necessary documentation for issuing payment to foreign nationals is available at http://www.stlawu.edu/business/payments-foreign-visitors-organizations.