Payments to Distinguished Guest Speakers
Instructions for Payments to Distinguished Guest Speakers
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 as determined by the GLACIER Tax Compliance System.
Non-wage payments may be processed through the university’s accounts payable system under the following conditions:
- Documentation 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.
- Appropriate backup documentation will be attached to the wire transfer request form.
- 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.
- It is recommended that the department provide a letter of invitation to the guest speaker, and the letter should include language similar to “You will receive a fee of X dollars. Per IRS regulations, the university must report these fees, if they meet the threshold, on a Form 1099-MISC or 1042-S 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.”