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Honorarium Payments

An honorarium is a payment given to a professional person for services for which fees are not legally or traditionally required.  An honorarium is not a speaker fee or consultant fee.

If an international visitor will receive an honorarium payment from Vanderbilt University, the recipient must hold a visa that permit them to receive an honorarium.  For example, under current U.S. immigration regulations, persons in H-1B status, cannot receive honoraria.  In addition, an honorarium payment for the benefit of an H-1B recipient cannot be made to the visitor's employer for disbursement to the H-1B visitor.  If any international visitor cannot legally receive an honorarium payment based on visa restrictions, payment cannot be made.

In general, payments made to international visitors are immediately subject to US tax withholding. There are some exceptions to this general rule but international visitors should clearly understand that taxes may have to be deducted from honoraria, speaker fees and travel reimbursements. If an international visitor meets certain requirements, however, they may be able to benefit from tax treaty and other visa status benefits that reduce or exempt them from US taxation.

Vanderbilt University uses Glacier, a secure nonresident alien tax compliance system to determine our guests U.S. tax residency status. The visitor will need to complete their profile in GLACIER. The visitor will need to print and sign any tax forms that generate and submit them to the ITO along with copies of their immigration documents listed on their Glacier Tax Summary Report.