An honorarium is a one-time payment granted in recognition of a special service or distinguished achievement for which custom or propriety forbids any fixed business price to be set.
- An honorarium should only be offered after approval both for the honorarium and the amount of the honorarium has been obtained from the relevant individual delegated authority as specified in IDA 629 (or redelegation IDA 630).
- The amount of the honorarium should be specified, after receiving approval and before the event, in the correspondence with the individual who will receive the honorarium.
- A copy of the correspondence should accompany any request for payment.
- Honorarium payments are generally not allowable charges to federal funds unless a contract or grant specifically authorizes such payments.
- State funds may not be used for honoraria payments to UC employees, but may be used to pay honoraria to individuals not employed by the University.
Who Can be Paid and Who Can Receive an Honorarium
Generally, honoraria are paid to persons of scholarly or professional standing in conjunction with an academic activity at UCI. Both employees of the University of California and individuals who are not university employees are eligible to receive honorarium payments, except as restricted by Regents’ Senior Management Group (SMG) Policies 7701 and 7707, APM 666, UCI’s APP 9-10, and this Special Policy Topic page.
Only in specific circumstances is additional compensation allowed for academic appointees, these circumstances are outlined in the salary administration section of the Academic Personnel Manual (APM). A one-time payment is additional compensation provided to an academic appointee for occasional service or activities that fall outside of the appointee’s normal responsibilities. Further details are provided in APP 9-10.
No designated employee shall accept any honorarium from any source if the employee would be required to report the receipt of income or gifts from that source on their statement of economic interests.
If an individual being offered an honorarium requests that the honorarium be paid to another individual or entity or refuses an honorarium payment, such a request must be documented in correspondence before the event.
Honoraria can be offered to foreign nationals providing services within the U.S, however foreign nationals are subject to federal tax withholding and reporting, and must have a visa classification that permits honorarium payment. The following verbiage should be included in the correspondence with the honorarium offer to inform the foreign national payee that their payment may be subject to tax withholding:
- Tax Withholding Statement
- Honorariums and other service payments may be subject to income tax withholding under federal and State law. UCI’s central accounting office will automatically deduct taxes from your payment if it is required by IRS or California Franchise Tax Board guidelines. As a result, the net payment you receive may be lower than the pre-tax amount listed in this agreement.
Examples: What is Considered an Honorarium
Payment to UC Academic Appointees:
The types of activities for which honoraria payments may be made to academic appointees are detailed in APP 9-10.
Payment to individuals who are not university employees for:
- Conducting a seminar or a workshop of no more than two-week's duration.
- A musical demonstration related to Music Department instruction.
- Speaking at a commencement exercise or other similar function.
- Appraising an article to be submitted to a professional publication.
Non-academic UC Employees
- UC staff employees are not eligible for payment of honoraria. UC staff employees include student assistants in casual/restricted appointments. Any questions regarding compensation for UC staff employees may be referred to your Human Resources representative.
Examples: What is NOT Considered an Honorarium
Performance fee payments to individuals or groups for professional services not directly related to academic functions.
Note: If parties enter into a formal agreement on price, the transaction constitutes an agreement/contract, not an honorarium. Honoraria correspondence does not include terms and conditions or result in the receipt of an invoice for payment. Agreements/contracts are subject to procurement policies and procedures.
Payments to independent consultants providing primarily professional or technical advice to the University in an independent contractor relationship.
Payments to faculty consultants who hold a academic appointment and who provide specialized professional or technical advice to a campus extramurally supported project or to an activity supported from University funds.
Additional compensation for Summer Session Teaching, University Extension Teaching, University Extension Correspondence courses or Extramurally Funded Research.
Authority to Approve Honoraria
Complete details of the individuals delegated authority to approve honoraria, and the dollar limits they are authorized to approve, are specified in IDA 629 and IDA 630. The following is a quick reference summary.
Approval of all honoraria must be obtained prior to the offer being made to the intended recipient.
Honoraria for UC individuals who are not university employees may be approved by:
|Vice Chancellors, Associate Chancellors, Deans, and the Chief Executive Officer—UCI Health||up to $5,000|
|The Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor and Associate Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor||up to $10,000|
|The Chancellor||over $10,000|
Requests for pre-approval for honoraria for individuals who are not university employees greater than $5,000 must be submitted to the Director of Financial Operations, Office of the Chancellor and Office of the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor.
Honoraria for UC Academic Appointees may be approved by:
|The Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor and the Vice Provost for Academic Personnel||up to $2,500 per event for one or more days and exceptions up to $5,000 per event|
How to Submit an Honorarium for Payment
UC Academic Appointees
All requests must be approved by the Office of Academic Personnel to ensure compliance with APM 666 using one of the following forms:
All Individuals Who Are Not University Employees
A Disbursement Voucher (reason code: E) is used to pay honoraria to individuals who are not University employees. All relevant documentation including written formal preapproval of the honorarium should be attached to the request for payment. The invited guest will be sent information to vendor onboard and complete registration in order to receive payment.
Foreign Nationals Providing Services Within the U.S.
Requests for honoraria payment to foreign nationals must include the following additional documentation:
The foreign national's tax status information (Glacier Tax Summary Report) will be sent to the Glacier Lead Administrator, Tax Compliance and Reporting, by the foreign nationals when the GLACIER tax packet is completed. For questions, call 949 824-3647.
NOTE: A Non-California State Tax of 7%, and/or a Non-Resident Federal Tax of 30% will be assessed on honorarium payments that exceed $1,500.
Contacts and Related Policies
Accounting Office - Accounts Payable
Director of Financial Operations, Office of the Chancellor and Office of the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
POLICIES & PROCEDURES
California Fair Political Practices Commission
The Political Reform Act
UCI Administrative Policies & Procedures
Section 700-09, Policies on Gifts, Gratuities and Conflict of Interest
Section 701-06, Processing and Distribution of Checks
Section 712-12, Guidelines for Performance Agreements