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Can I pay an employee with a gift instead of an honorarium?

An honorarium is a monetary token of appreciation in lieu of payment for services when propriety forbids the setting of a fee. The university, and not the employee, sets the fee for services received.

State of North Carolina employees cannot receive honorariums, as all payments for services provided by a state employee should be paid as wages reportable on a W-2.

Contact the A/P Operations Manager to address university business purposes and circumstances. Please have your prepared response to the following questions:

  • If this employee is providing a service for the university, what is unique about the service provided that a fee can not be established and paid through Payroll?
  • What is unique about the service that a gift is being provided and not compensation for services? (There could be an issue with requesting services from an employee and not compensating them equitably and properly.)

Read more:

A/P Help Document – Honorarium

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Updated on July 26, 2023

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