Request Honorarium Payment

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. Honorarium payments are paid in lieu of reimbursement of travel expenses or any other payment of fees for service.

If the honorarium is for a UCSF employee, follow the instructions in One-Time Payroll Payment Authorization – FT (UPAY 5642A)


Activities for which honorarium payments can be made include:

  • Special lecture, a short series of such lectures, concert, or other creative academic-related activities
  • Short-term participation in a seminar or workshop as a guest speaker or panelist
  • A speaking engagement
  • Appraisal of a manuscript or article submitted to a professional publication

Non-allowable honorarium transactions include:

Both employees and non-employees are eligible to receive honoraria payments.

The following requirements must be fulfilled for foreign citizens to receive honorarium payments:

  • Payee must have a US Taxpayer Identification Number
  • Payee must have appropriate visa type
  • If a payee declines to submit the W-8BEN or 8233 Form applicable Federal and state taxes will be withheld from the payment. For more information, see "Tax Deduction for a Nonresident".

Paying Honorarium

The following information is required to process honorarium payment request:

  • The payee’s Social Security number (SSN/Doc-C) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN/Doc-C)
  • The payee’s name and address
  • The payee’s employment status (UC employee or non-employee)
  • 8233 Form (foreign visitor/Doc-D)
  • Certificate of Academic Activity (foreign visitor/Doc-B)
  • Proof of visa status or I-94 (foreign visitor/Doc-A)
  • California residence status
  • Country of residence (foreign visitor)
  • The dates of the honorarium
  • Flyer or announcement of lecture, panel discussion or invitation letter

Departments are required to submit a W-9 Form or W-8BEN when setting up a new payee in PeopleSoft. (W-9 Form for US citizens; W-8BEN for foreign visitor).

Honorarium payment (non-employee) of $1501 to $3000 requires a Honorarium Exception Request Form and an additional approval from Vice Provost-Academic Affairs.

Request is submitted via BearBuy Payment Request Form.

Tax Deduction for a Non-Resident

Types of Payment

There are two types of payments to non-employee, non-resident aliens:

  • Honoraria – UC Honoraria Policy (Accounting Manual D-371-35)
  • Travel Expense Reimbursement – Travel Policy (G-28)

Federal and California State Applicable Tax Laws

Federal (IRS) Tax Laws

IRS Publication 901- U.S. Tax Treaties provides direction when making these payments and when it is allowable to exclude these payments from Federal income tax withholding. If the US does not have a tax treaty with the payee’s country of tax residence, or if the US has a tax treaty but the individual does not provide both the ITIN (or SSN) and 8233 Form (Exemption from Withholding on Compensation for Independent Personal Services), then UCSF Accounts Payable must withhold 30% from the payment and remit it to the IRS.

List of Countries with Tax Treaties

See the IRS website for a list of U.S. Income Tax Treaties (note: if a country is listed but has no treaty article cited, contact the Controller's Office Solution Center for instructions)

California (CA) State Withholding Tax Laws

The UC Accounting Manual provides direction on making honorarium payments to residents of foreign countries who perform services in California or who received income from California sources are subject to State income tax withholding. Non-California residents are subject to State income tax withholding of 7% of gross if the total payments excel $1500 during the calendar year. The State of California Franchise Tax Board publishes FTB Publication 1017, Resident and Nonresident Tax Withholding Guidelines.


Date / Description Amount

April 1, 2015 - First honorarium payment


August 15, 2017 - Second honorarium payment


Total 2015 payments to date


7% withholding on $1,600


Net payment


October 1, 2015 - Third honorarium payment


7% withholding on $600


Net payment


If withholding is required based on the information above, departments have the option of “grossing up” the payment so that the tax is expensed to the University and the individual will receive the original amount.


  • A $250.00 honoraria payment would be grossed up to $357.14 if total calendar year payments are less than $1500. Federal withholding of 30% is required.
  • A $250.00 honoraria payment would be grossed up to $376.14 if total calendar year payments have exceeded $1500 requiring 30% Federal and 7% CA State withholding.

Departments should submit honoraria payment requests using the BearBuy Payment Request Form with the required attachments shown in the table below.



Travel Expense Reimbursement


  • Visa type B1, B2, WB or WT
  • Usual academic activity form not exceeding 9 days in duration
  • Individual has not received honoraria from more than 5 educational institutions in the past 6 months
  • Reasonable travel and/or incidental expenses incurred in connection with University activity
  • Expenses comply with G28 Travel Policy

Country with Tax Treaty

If the visitor has:

  • Doc-A, Doc-B, Doc-C, and Doc-D


  • No Federal withholding
  • Withholding for CA State may be required in some situations

If the visitor has:

  • Doc-A and Doc-B only


  • Withhold 30% Federal
  • Withholding for CA State may be required in some situations

If the visitor has:

  • Doc-A and Doc-B


  • No Federal withholding
  • No California State withholding

Country without Tax Treaty

If the visitor has:

  • Doc-A, Doc-B, and Doc-C (if available)


  • Withhold 30% Federal
  • Withholding for CA State may be required in some situations

If the visitor has:

  • Doc-A and Doc-B


  • No Federal withholding
  • No California State withholding

Document Types:

Doc-A: Proof of Visa Status or I-94 (Arrive-Departure document completed by Customs Agent when entering the US; visa type is usually noted on this document)

Doc-B: Certificate of Academic Activity

Doc-C: Social Security Number (SSN), Individual Taxpayer ID Number (ITIN), or Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (W-7)

Doc-D: IRS 8233 Form (Exemption From Withholding on Compensation for Independent (and Certain Dependent) Personal Services of a Nonresident Alien Individual)