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  • Responsible Office: Procurement Services, Finance and Budget
  • Current Approved Version: 04/30/2020
  • Policy Type: Administrative

Policy Statement and Purpose

The intent of this policy is to provide the requirements when making honorarium payments. This policy complies with tax reporting and procurement regulations associated with the payment to persons not in an employment relationship with Virginia Commonwealth University who, in recognition of a special service, are receiving a token payment. Such persons providing services to the university must be paid in compliance with applicable personnel, Internal Revenue Service, Commonwealth of Virginia, and university purchasing requirements. University management must take necessary steps to ensure that all payments are thoroughly documented and reviewed before being approved for payment.

Noncompliance with this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination. VCU supports an environment free from retaliation. Retaliation against any employee who brings forth a good faith concern, asks a clarifying question, or participates in an investigation is prohibited.

Who Should Know This Policy

All employees (including faculty) who are responsible for requesting and approving honorariums are responsible for knowing this policy and familiarizing themselves with its contents and provisions.


Authorized Approver

An individual with authority to expend the source of funds being used to pay the honorarium.


An honorarium is a token payment to a non-employee or non-student granted in recognition of a special service which custom or propriety forbids any fixed business price to be set. The services involved vary but are generally associated with oral presentations made at university-sponsored functions.


Any individual who is not employed (full or part-time) by the university.


The Office of Procurement Services officially interprets this policy. Procurement Services is responsible for obtaining approval for any revisions as required by the policy Creating and Maintaining Policies and Procedures through the appropriate governance structures. Please direct policy questions to Procurement Services, accounts payable manager.

Policy Specifics and Procedures

Non-Resident Alien Recipient

If an honorarium recipient is a non-resident alien, contact Global Education Office for instructions and required forms prior to making any commitment to the recipient for an honorarium.

Honorarium Form

The amount of the honorarium must be specified on the honorarium form provided to the recipient. The recipient is not permitted to set the honorarium amount. The arrangement between the recipient and the university must be informal. It cannot involve a contract, and invoicing for an honorarium is not permitted.

The department requesting payment is responsible for providing the recipient’s Social Security number or Banner identification number and the home address of the recipient to be paid.

Payment of Honorariums

It is the responsibility of each school and center to assign a hierarchy of responsibility with reference to the approval for honorariums but must be an individual with authority to expend the source of funds being used to pay.

After the honorarium form is completed and signed by both the recipient and approver, the department will process the payment in VCU’s vendor, procurement, invoice and contracts portal using the one–time payment form. If the payment is over $2,000, the actual honorarium form needs to be attached in the portal. If the honorarium exceeds $2,000, then the responsible vice president, vice provost, dean, or executive director’s signature is required.

The honorarium check is made payable to the recipient listed on the form and sent to the recipient’s home address. The IRS Form 1099 Misc. is also mailed to the recipient’s home address.


There are no associated forms for thie policy

Related Documents

VCU Procurement Services Honorarium Information

Summary of Payment Methods for Non-Employees and Employees

Inviting Foreign National Guests Payments to Foreign Nationals.pdf

Revision History

This policy supersedes the following archived policies:

Approval/Revision DateTitle
November 17, 2011 Honorarium Policy
April 13, 2017 Honorarium



1. A professor in my department submitted an honorarium form for a student for assisting with a special project outside of class. Is this allowable?

No. Neither students nor employees are allowed to be issued honorariums.

2. My department is issuing an honorarium for a guest speaker. At what level does it need to be approved?

All honorariums must be approved by an authorized approver. If the honorarium exceeds $2,000, then the responsible vice president, vice provost, dean, or executive director’s signature is required. The form is located here: