Guest Travel and Honoraria Payment Documentation and Submission

This document is meant to serve as general advice for Penn employees serving as the Preparer in the reimbursement process.  This will guide you on the information that needs to be submitted at the time of the reimbursement request.

*When submitting reimbursements for travel expenses, the distinguishing trait to determine the paperwork needs is whether the person is US citizen/resident alien or not. 

Before submitting to Business Office:

  1. Compile all documentation required for the reimbursement or honoraria.

  2. Check documents for proper signatures and matching receipts.  Ensure the expenses/receipts are allowable & appropriate.

  3. Submit all paperwork to the business office. For documents that contain sensitive information, please use secure share to ensure proper confidentiality.  Link to Secure Share

*Honorariums are payments designed to confer distinction or symbolize respect for the recipient.  They are given at our discretion only, and rules govern that this should not be a negotiated amount or corresponding to an amount the individual has requested (i.e.- no invoice should be received!). 


*The activity they are being paid for must last no more than 9 days.


Honoraria, Non-Affiliate, US Citizen/resident alien:

  • Signed W-9
  • Honoraria Memo (from Perry World House) 
    • Should include the reason for the payment, and date/location of the activity or event


  • Taxability: Taxes will not be automatically withheld in this situation, although it is still reportable income to the recipient- who bears the burden of reporting and paying taxes each year.

Honoraria, Non-Affiliate, Non-US Citizen:

  • W-8BEN signed: W-8BEN
  • Honoraria Memo (see above)
  • Signed FINF form: FNIF Form
  • Foreign Visitors Honoraria Eligibility Certification: Honoraria Eligibility Form
  • Copy of Visa or Passport including entry stamp
  • If payment is being sent to individual who resides outside the US, payment will be issued via wire (see attachment with required banking information).


  • Taxability: Honorariums paid to foreign, non-affiliates default to having an automatic federal tax withholding (30% of the payment). 
    • In some cases, tax treaties may be available that will reduce the tax rate, or entirely exempt the payment from the automatic US federal tax withholding.  This will be determined by meeting all of the following conditions:


    • Individual must be resident of a country that has a current tax treaty with US.  List here.
    • Individual must have a US provided SSN (social security number) or ITIN (Individual Taxpayer identification number).
    • The payment may not be for an activity that lasts longer than 9 days.
    • If they entered the country on a visa, we must confirm their visa will allow them to receive an Honorarium
    • We will notify the tax office they are likely eligible for the tax treaty.  The tax office will confirm and provide the IRS Form 8223.  The individual will have to verify the information is accurate and then sign off on the form.  Once returned, their payment will be processed with the tax treaty benefits applied.


*If an individual does not claim the tax treaty, but is eligible, they may always claim the treaty exemption on a US income tax return directly with the IRS.