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Distinguished Guest Speakers

by ltfehl01 last modified Apr 28, 2011 10:12 AM

 

PAYMENTS TO DISTINGUISHED GUEST SPEAKERS INSTRUCTIONS

PAYMENTS TO DISTINGUISHED GUEST SPEAKERS FORM

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Under specific circumstances, units may independently contract for non-traditional instructional services which are viewed by the Internal Revenue Service as legitimate non-wage payments.  Non-wage payments for U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents may be routed through the university’s accounts payable system without mandatory income tax withholdings.  Non-wage payments to foreign nationals (non-resident aliens) are subject to mandatory tax withholdings and must be processed through the university’s payroll system.

Non-wage payments may be processed through the university’s accounts payable system under the following conditions:

  • Compensation is made to a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident, i.e., anyone other than a foreign national.
  • Documentation (Request for Disbursement Form) will indicate the individual is being compensated as a “distinguished guest speaker”.  The terms “visiting”, “professor”, “instructor”, “scholar”, or any other titles presently used throughout the payroll system will not be used.
  • Documentation will also include a signed and dated Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification.
  • Compensation must be established as a single payment.
  • Services are non-recurring and the period in which services are provided should be six (6) weeks or less.  Services provided over a longer period of time are assumed recurring and must be compensated through the payroll system.
  • The letter of invitation to the guest speaker should include language similar to “You will receive a fee of X dollars.  According to IRS regulations, the university must report these fees on a Form 1099-MISC at the end of the calendar year.  There will be no taxes withheld on this payment.  Please consult a tax advisor to determine the proper tax treatment.”

 

Non-wage payments must be processed through the university’s payroll system under any of the following conditions:

  • Compensation is made to a foreign national (non-resident alien).
  • Payment is established in multiple, recurring installments.
  • Period in which services are provided is greater than six (6) weeks.
  • Foreign national “distinguished guest speakers” must possess a visa which permits employment.  Federal income tax withholdings are required in all instances unless the guest speaker is eligible for an income tax treaty exemption.  Individuals holding a “J”, “M”, or “Q” visa are subject to 14% federal tax withholdings.  All other foreign nationals are subject to 30% federal tax withholdings.  State income tax withholdings are optional.
  • The letter of invitation to foreign guest speakers should additionally indicate a social security number or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) is required upon arrival.
  • Foreign guest speakers who do not hold a social security number must provide a completed IRS Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.  If the foreign guest speaker seeks applicable tax treaty exemption, the ITIN must be provided upon arrival.  It normally takes 4 to 8 weeks for the IRS to assign a taxpayer identification number.
  • Payments will be processed by submission of a completed non-wage payment packet.  Additional document requirements exist for foreign nationals eligible for income tax treaty exemption.

 

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