An honorarium is normally a one-time payment granted in recognition of a special service or distinguished achievement for which propriety precludes setting a fixed price, such as a special lecture, participation in a workshop or panel discussion, or similar activities. If the fee is prescribed by the individual or if it is negotiated, an honorarium situation does not exist, rather a contract for services exists.
It is inappropriate to pay honoraria to individuals who make significant instructional contributions to a course, or to pay honoraria over several months, such as to visiting scholars. Honorarium payments are generally not allowable charges to federal funds unless a contract or grant specifically authorizes such payments.
For more information, please see https://controller.berkeley.edu/financial-operations/accounts-payable/honoraria-guidelines
Required Documentation to include on Payment Request Form
Before submitting a request for a Honorarium on BearBuy, please complete the Honorarium/Gift Request Form. Honoraria payments greater than $1,000 must be approved in advance by the Dean and the Assistant Dean and are subject to applicable sections of the Academic Personnel Manual. Payments to individuals are subject to income tax reporting and visa restrictions.
Please include the following documents on your BearBuy payment request cart:
- Copy of flyer or announcement of speech, letter of invitation to the recipient, syllabus listing speaker, etc.
- Conflict of Interest Certification Form
- Completed Honorarium/Gift Request Form with business purpose and chartstring approval.
Honoraria Payments to UC Faculty from Other UC Campuses
The maximum honoraria rate that can be paid to University of California faculty is $1,500 (with exceptions allowed up to $3,000) per event. All University of California faculty honoraria payments of $3,000 or less require the written approval of a Dean, the University Librarian, and Vice Provost. Exceptional honoraria paid to University of California faculty in excess of $3,000 require written approval from the Office of the President. Payment of honoraria to faculty from other UC campuses should be processed on an Intercampus One-Time Payment Form (PDF). Please contact Berkeley Law Human Resources department for assistance on completing the form and routing it through the Academic Personnel Office (APO).
Non-Academic UC Staff
Non-academic staff members are not eligible to receive either honoraria or any other payments that are not related to the service they are providing as employees.
Honoraria Payments to Foreign Individuals
Honoraria payments to foreign individuals are subject to the same guidelines as citizens and residents of the U.S. In addition, there are other requirements that must be met before a payment can be made.
1. Determine if a GLACIER Tax Record is required
- If the foreign individual is not a U.S. Citizen, U.S. Permanent Resident, Refugee or Asylee, they must have a complete GLACIER Tax Record and all GLACIER forms must be signed and submitted to Central Payroll before the payment can be processed. Information regarding GLACIER can be found at GLACIER Tax Compliance System.
2. Determine if the foreign individual has a US Tax ID Number
- If the individual does not have a Social Security Number and is not eligible to apply for one, they must apply for an Individual Taxpayer ID Number (ITIN). Please see Individual Taxpayer ID Number (ITIN) for Honorarium Recipients for information on this process.
3. Secure a copy of the below documents along with the Honorarium/Gift Request Form
- Certification of academic activity (PDF)
- UC W-8BEN University of California certificate of foreign status for federal tax withholding (PDF)
- Foreign Supplier Information Update / Foreign Bank Authorization (Wire Transfer) Form
After reviewing the information above, if you have questions or need further assistance regarding payments to foreign individuals, please contact the Glacier team at firstname.lastname@example.org(link sends e-mail).