Administration & Finance


Honoraria 757150 Direct Payment (DP)

Honoraria for Visiting Speakers/Lecturers for services related to a speaking or lecturing engagement. This may be a flat rate which includes travel related expenses, or travel may be broken out separately on the Disbursement Voucher. Reimbursement Charged to 758980 is done as a direct payment.

An Honorarium is a payment for professional service for which no wage is established. The payment itself is an honorary award in recognition of that effort. Honoraria are further defined by the following characteristics:

Payment is to an individual (non-employee);

Payment is a onetime, non-recurring transaction for a performance by an individual for the University;

Recipient is usually a distinguished individual whose service may not have a precise value, and

Service performed does not normally generate a tangible product.

An Honoraria Visiting Speaker is done on a Disbursement Voucher.  A complete description stating the title of the lecture and the date the event is to take place is required.   If no bill is received then the department must submit a Disbursement Voucher once the services are completed, the date of service and a statement made on the disbursement voucher in the payment type, stating that the services are complete. The authorized signature of the account must sign this document.

If an honorarium is to be prepaid then a disbursement voucher is submitted directly to accounting stating the payment type on the disbursement voucher, that this is a prepayment and to contact the department when the check is cut. The department’s name and the contact person along with the telephone number must be stated and highlighted on the disbursement voucher. The authorized signatory must sign the disbursement voucher. Accounts payable needs at least a week and a half advanced notice if the honoraria are to be prepaid. All requests for a prepayment must be hand delivered to the Account Payable Department and handed to a person.

All honoraria over $10,000 are required to have a contract. Instructions to follow are the same as a Consultant Contract.

Performers (Tax Withholding) A purchase order is required for all Performers.

Only Account Code 757300 Applies
Effective January 1, 2006, the University of Massachusetts is required to withhold Massachusetts’s income tax on certain payments made to performers or performing entities. The requirement resulted from legislation and a directive issued by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue in December and applies as follows:

Effective Date: January 1, 2006
Tax Withholding Rate: 5.3%

Definition of "Performers/Performing Entities: Subject to Withholding & Reporting"

Performer. A performer may be (i) an athlete such as a wrestler, boxer, golfer, tennis player, sports team member or other athlete who is paid for competing, demonstrating, making a public appearance, or endorsing merchandise, as well as a person paid to further an athlete’s performance or an athletic event performing services such as owner or leader of a performing entity; agent or manager of a performing entity or performer; referee, coach, or trainer; member of a production crew; or (ii) a paid entertainer or speaker, such as an actor, singer, musician, dancer, circus performer, comedian, celebrity, public speaker or lecturer, as well as any person paid to further an entertainer’s or speaker’s performance such as owner or leader of a performing entity; agent or manager of a performing entity or performer; or writer, director, coach, designer, or member of a sound, light, stage or production crew. A performing entity is a corporation, partnership, limited partnership, Limited Liability Company, corporate trust or other entity that employs, engages, or comprises one or more performers.

There is no corporation exclusion for either tax reporting or withholding.

Withholding is required if the gross payment by the University (all campuses combined) to a performer equals or exceeds $5,000 during a calendar year. Withholding is not required on amounts paid to cover expenses.

Performance up to a limit of $10,000 annually; a requisition is required, complete description of services, rates that apply and the contract term must be on the requisition.

Performance over $10,000; requires a completely executed copy of the Contract for Services along with a requisition online. All documents must be in the Procurement Department before the services begin.  An executed copy will be sent to the Consultant along with the Purchase Order. The contract must be executed prior to the rendering of services.

Note: Travel expenses incurred by an individual receiving payment for a performance, may be accounted for separately, but the individual must submit the original receipts. These amounts are not included in any of the above limits and should be listed on the requisition as a separate line item using object code 758980. If using a Contract for Services, this amount can be inserted into Part 5, Payment Line D. These amounts will not be reported on a federal tax form 1099 at year-end. All other payments will be issued a 1099.