Accounts Payable

Honorarium & Speaker Fees

Honorarium & Speaker Fees




What is an Honorarium?

An honorarium is a payment for “usual academic activity or activities” with the intent of showing appreciation for the participation.

            Activities may include:

·         Lecturing

·         Teaching

·         Sharing of Knowledge

·         Performance (when the audience is composed of non-paying students and/or open to the general public free of charge)


What is a Speaker Fee?

A speaker fee is a payment awarded to an individual for speaking at an event.


Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)

WSU is required to obtain the honoraria/speaker’s taxpayer identification number, i.e. social security number or EIN (for businesses).  WSU uses the Tax ID# to meet IRS reporting requirements.  See IRS website.



Payments to Individuals

Payment Methods for Individuals:

If the honorarium is less than $10,000 and includes reimbursable travel expenses:

Complete a Travel Authority (TA) and Travel Expense Voucher (TEV) which include a description of the services performed.  See BPPM 95.25

If the honorarium is less than $10,000 with no travel expenses:

Complete a State of Washington Invoice Voucher which includes a description of the services performed to request payment of the fee. See BPPM 30.45.

If the honorarium is more than $10,000:

Complete a Departmental Requisition and forward to Purchasing Services.  See BPPM 70.50.

If a contract is desired or required by the speaker:

If a contract is desired or required for a speaker, regardless of the amount of the fee, the contract may only be processed and signed by a person with delegated contractual authority, see Delegate List 

If the department does not have a person with delegated contractual authority, the contract must be processed and signed by the Contracts Office.  When submitting a speaker or performer contract to the Contracts Office, include a fully completed Contract Review Sheet.  See BPPM 10.11 for more information.



Payments to Businesses

Payment Methods for Businesses:

If the honorarium or speaker fee is less than $10,000 whether or not travel is included:

Create a Department Order.  After the speaking engagement, the vendor sends an invoice to WSU for payment.  The vendor should reference the K-order # on the invoice.  

If the honorarium or speaker fee is more than $10,000 whether or not travel is included:

Complete a Departmental Requisition and forward to Purchasing Services.  See BPPM 70.50.

If a contract is desired or required by the speaker:

If a contract is desired or required for a speaker, regardless of the amount of the fee, the contract may only be processed and signed by a person with delegated contractual authority, see Delegate List 

If the department does not have a person with delegated contractual authority, the contract must be processed and signed by the Contracts Office.  When submitting a speaker or performer contract to the Contracts Office, include a fully completed Contract Review Sheet.  See BPPM 10.11 for more information.



Payments to Non-Resident Aliens

Honorarium or speaker fees paid to non-resident aliens are subject to tax withholding.  30% of the final payment will be withheld and directly remitted to the IRS and reportable on the 1042S Tax Form.  For assistance in determining the recipient’s residency status, see Payroll website.


Accounts Payable , PO Box 641025, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-1025, 509-335-2060, Contact Us