The following information relates specifically to the College of Law and is to be used as guidance specifically for College of Law employees. These guidelines are subject to change as SU Procedures and Policies change.

Fees and honoraria are lump sum payments for professional services rendered by non-employees of the University for a short-term period, as well as payments to bonafide consulting firms for services rendered fall into the category of payments to independent contractors.

For tax purposes payments to individuals at Syracuse University fall into two basic categories:

  • Payments for which no past, present, or future services are required to be performed by the recipient
  • Payments which do require past, present, or future services to be performed by the recipient:
    • Payments to employees
    • Payments to independent contractors
      • U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents
      • Non-Resident Aliens
        • See website for more details. To be paid as an independent contractor, a non-resident alien must be present in the United States on a visa that permits the individual to receive such payments.

Processing Requirements

Payments to individuals for services as an Independent Contractor are made on a Request for Payment of Professional Services Rendered by Non-Employees form [PDF] with a completed Syracuse University Department Worksheet to Determine if an Individual should be Paid as a Non-Employee [DOC] attached.

Bonafide consulting firms should be paid against an invoice issued by the consulting firm. Questions regarding an individual’s status as an independent contractor should be directed to the Office of Human Resources at 315-443-4042 or hrservic@syr.edu. Questions regarding payments to independent contractors should be directed to Disbursements Processing at 315-443-2484 or disburse@syr.edu.

Submission will require RPPS, W9 or W8-BEN, Non-employee worksheet. If above $10,000 a non-compete form. If payments will be long-term then a contract must be approved by the Comptroller’s office.

The following steps outline the process to issue payment for non-professional services if it is determined the RPPS is appropriate:

  1. Request for Payment of Professional Services Rendered by Non-Employees form [PDF] which is a fillable pdf to be approved by Budget Manager once completed.
  2. Chartstring (if special funding, verify ahead of time)
  3. W9 or WBBEN depending on individual’s status
    1. Please make sure recipients understands that the address on the W9 is where the check will be mailed. The address on the W9 should match on all forms.
    2. The individual or company outlined is who the check will be made out to.
  4. Nature of Services Rendered is the business purpose and should be specific to the services provided.
    1. What did they provide to justify this payment, if a class include the specific details of that class or the event.
  5. Location – this must be where the services were performed (may not be Syracuse, especially if connected to a zoom event).
  6. Dates of Service – if more than one day include the total date range
  7. Chartstring can be split into two fund sources, but make sure to include the total amount on the right, this will calculate to the total of both lines on the left.
  8. If there is any supporting information, such as an email from Dean Boise authorizing the expense please convert that email to a pdf.
  9. Submit the following to lawbudget@syr.edu for processing:
    1. Completed RPPS merged with the non-employee document (this is a word doc but can be merged or converted), along with any supporting information (event announcement, emails with approvals or outlining the details).
    2. W9/W8BEN is a locked pdf, and can’t be merged with the other forms. Please send this as a separate attachment.
  10. If you are processing more than one payment, please submit each individual payment request as one email.


Once approved, Budget will send to Disbursements with you on copy. Special payments will be emailed directly to Mary Jo in Disbursements for processing.  Password for W9 sent via Teams.



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