The IRS regulations allow academic institutions to pay an honorarium to foreign visitors for services considered "usual academic activity," broadly defined to include lecturing, teaching and sharing knowledge, performances, master classes, readings, and meeting of boards or committees that benefit the institution.
Short Term Visitor Certifcation
The Honorarium rules also place limits on frequency and duration of a visit. During a 6-month period, an international visitor may accept an honorarium and reimbursement of associated expenses from no more than 5 organizations, and the event may not last more than 9 days at any single institution (called the "9/5/6 Rule"). The visitor may be at the institution longer than 9 days, however. The number-of-days limitation applies only to "the event." Clark requires the visitor to certify his/her compliance with these rules by signing a "Short Term Visitor" statement.
Thirty percent of an honorarium payment to an international visitor may be withheld, unless a tax treaty exemption applies. Clark University reports the income to the recipient and the IRS on a 1042S.
If the visitor will be receiving an honorarium and believes a tax treaty exists between the United States and his or her home tax country, then Clark will be happy to assist in applying for the treaty benefits with the IRS. To apply for tax treaty benefits, the visitor must first have either a U.S. Social Security Number or a U.S. taxpayer ID number. Once the visitor informs the Strassler Center staff of his/her intention to apply for tax treaty benefits, s/he may expect an email from the University Business and Financial Services office providing a link and password to a secure Web site. Once the information is submitted, tax status will be determined and a treaty analysis will be performed. A follow-up email from Business and Financial Services will communicate the results of the analysis and, if there is an applicable treaty, a completed Form 8233 will be generated for review and signature. Once the 8233 is returned, it will be submitted to the IRS for their approval. This process may take up to 2.5 weeks. Although the Form 8233 may be completed and signed prior to the actual visit, the Visa status at time of entry to the US may impact the results of the analysis, which may result in a revised 8233, which would need to be signed and submitted to the IRS.
US Tax Indentification
Many international visitors to the Strassler Center have already come to the United States for work or research. In many of these instances, the visitors will already have obtained a U.S. Social Security Number or a U.S. taxpayer ID number. This number speeds the way for determining tax status, and helps provide a smoother payment process. Visitors who do not provide or obtain a Social Security Number or U.S. taxpayer ID number will have 30% of their honorarium withheld for tax purposes. If a visitor wishes to apply for tax treaty benefits so that they can avoid paying the 30% tax in the United States the Social Security Number or taxpayer ID number must be obtained. It can be a time-consuming process, so it is best to begin as soon as possible. For more information, visit the "Social Security Number" and "Tax ID Number" links below.
Tax Treaties: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p901.pdf
Social Security Number: http://socialsecurity.gov/online/ss-5.html
Tax ID Number: http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=96287,00.html
For More Information
For more information on the forms, or if you encounter any difficulties accessing any of these linked pages, please email or call Leah Derr at 508.793.8897.
The Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies works in conjunction with the Office of Intercultural Affairs at Clark University. For answers to more specific questions related to entering the country, visas or passports, contact OIA director, Amy Daly Gardner, at 508.793.7750, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or contact the assistant director, Patty Doherty, at 508.793.7762 or email@example.com.