A.   Definition

An honorarium is defined as a nominal payment to an individual given in gratitude for services rendered. This typically is a one time, non-recurring payment.

While an honorarium may be interpreted as a fee, it is a payment given to a professional person for services for which fees are not legally or traditionally required. The giving of it and the amount are both discretionary. An honorarium is appropriately given to a person who has volunteered time and effort on behalf of the University and who is not otherwise being remunerated for the service provided. The individual should not stand to realize a profit or loss as a result of the service provided.

B.   Qualifications

The individual must not have been on the payroll of the University for one year prior to providing services. The individual must not have been retired from the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education within the past two years. The service must be of the type which the University stipulates for only the desired objective; the individual is free to determine the process or procedures to achieve that objective. Generally, the individual should be an authority or recognized expert in the field of endeavor for which retained, and the service should be of a non-recurring nature. The service should not be available within the staffing of the University. Examples of services which qualify are:

1.  A guest lecturer whose lecture is directed by the University only in terms of general subject matter to be covered. If included in a course, the lecture should only enhance and not serve as a source of fundamentals essential to the course of instruction.

2.  An entertainer, guest artist, or guest director.

3.  A recognized authority in a field of endeavor whose expertise is not otherwise available through University sources.

The amount of an honorarium should not be geared to lost fees or wages, expenses, or other opportunity costs incurred by the service provider, but to the amount of recognition appropriate for the service provided. An honorarium is typically of nominal value; however amounts in excess of $5,000 must be on a purchase order.

Generally, an honorarium is not allowed on sponsored (SPNSR) funds. If the payment is to be made on SPNSR funds, please contact the Office of Research Administration (ORA) to inquire on the allowability of the payment, prior to arrangements.

An honorarium payment is to include all expenses, including travel expenses, associated with the service provided. Whether paid in a lump-sum payment or separately, both the honorarium and expense reimbursement must be coded as a professional service expense. The combined honorarium and expense reimbursement payment(s) will be reported to the IRS on Form 1099.

C.   Qualifications for Non-Resident Aliens

Under Section 212(q) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, non-resident aliens are only allowed to receive an honorarium if their services last no longer than 9 days at any single institution and if the non-resident alien has not accepted such payment or expenses from more than 5 institutions or organizations in the previous six month period. The services, for which the non-resident alien will receive an honorarium, should benefit the University and must be open to students and/or the general public free of charge.

An individual that enters the United States on a visa with a B-1 or WB status is seeking admission for legitimate activities of commercial or professional nature. The University will allow payments of an honorarium and travel expense reimbursements to non-resident aliens who enter the United States with either a B-1 or WB visa status. If the payment is for travel reimbursement only, there is no time limit on the travel reimbursement for a visa holder with a B-1 or WB status.

If the individual enters the United States on a visa with a B-2 or WT status, Federal Guidelines allow payment of an honorarium. However, the University cannot reimburse for related travel expenses incurred while providing the service. B-2 and WT visitors are allowed entry to the United States for pleasure and not with the intent to do business.

All other visa entry types have to be reviewed individually according to merit. All requests must be submitted prior to making travel arrangements or services being rendered.

All honorarium payments to non-resident aliens require the following documentation:

1.  Documentation from the non-resident alien listing the number of days the individual has been in the United States during the current calendar year, the 1st preceding year, the 2nd preceding year, and the total number of such payments or expenses he/she has received in the previous six months.

2.  Copy of valid passport

3.  Copy of United States Visa

4.  Front and back copy of INS Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record

5.  Copy of Social Security Number (SSN) card, Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) card, or IRS Authorization Letter

6.  Completed Request for Honorarium Approval form and Foreign National Information Form (FNIF)

7.  Copy of the letter of invitation issued by the inviting department prior to travel to be presented by the non-resident alien at entry into the United States. The letter must contain a description of the event or activity to include the dates, locations, and amount of honorarium offered. This is required for B-1 and WB status ONLY.

Adopted 6-24-05.