An honorarium is typically a one-time gratuitous payment made as a gesture of goodwill and in appreciation to speakers or participants in special Stanford events (e.g., symposia, lecture series or professional conventions). An honorarium is provided to help cover costs for volunteers or speakers.
If the fee is required by the individual or is negotiated, payment is no longer considered an honorarium, but rather a fee for service. This fee is processed as a service requisition through iProcurement.
An honoraria speaker can be a Stanford faculty member or non-Stanford employee. Payment methods vary by recipient type, and payments are subject to taxation.
Paying Stanford Employee Honorariums
When paid to Stanford employees, an honorarium is considered supplemental personal compensation. Stanford Payroll administrators can enter a Supplemental Pay Webform (recommended) or submit a One-Time Payment form to Payroll to add the honorarium to employees' next regular paycheck. For more information, refer to:
Paying Non-Stanford Employee Honorariums
Staff can arrange honorarium payments to non-Stanford employees by submitting a Non-PO (purchase order) Payment Request in the Expense Requests system. Customary travel expenses are reimbursed by submitting an expense report or reimbursement request in the Expense Requests System. The non-PO payment request must include an invitation letter from the department to the visitor containing details about the visit. This letter must not include the amount of any offer of payment, as this can be interpreted as an agreement.
Honorarium payments are tax reportable and therefore require specific documentation before payments are made. The payees (or their authorized agent) must submit this documentation via the secure Supplier/Payee Request Portal.
CA nonresident withholding of 7 percent is required for honoraria payments that total over $1,500 in one year made to non-resident recipients who come to California to fulfill their services. For more information, refer to withholding on nonresidents on the State of California Franchise Tax Board website.
Regarding foreign visitors, Stanford only makes payments to short-term visitors entering on a J-1, B-1 or WB (waived business) visa. For more information, refer to:
- Non-Stanford (Visiting) Speaker Honorarium Payment
- Inviting and Paying Foreign Visitors (includes foreign visitor categories and associated visa types)
For instructions on requesting non-PO payment, refer to:
- Guidelines for Use of Non-PO Payment Categories
- Create New Non-PO Payment Request
- Single Payee
- Multiple Payees
For instructions on submitting an expense report or reimbursement request, refer to: