An honorarium is an '' ex gratia'' payment, i.e., a
payment A payment is the voluntary tender of money or its equivalent or of things of value by one party (such as a person or company) to another in exchange for goods, or services provided by them, or to fulfill a legal obligation. The party making the ...
made, without the giver recognizing themselves as having any liability or
legal obligation The law of obligations is one branch of private law under the civil law legal system and so-called "mixed" legal systems. It is the body of rules that organizes and regulates the rights and duties arising between individuals. The specific rights a ...
, to a person for his or her services in a
volunteer Volunteering is a voluntary act of an individual or group wikt:gratis, freely giving time and labor for community service. Many volunteers are specifically trained in the areas they work, such as medicine, education, or emergency rescue. O ...
capacity or for services for which fees are not traditionally required. It is a common remuneration practice in schools or sports clubs, for teachers and coaches. Another example includes the payment to guest speakers at a conference
meeting A meeting is when two or more people come together to discuss one or more topics, often in a formal or business setting, but meetings also occur in a variety of other environments. Meetings can be used as form of group decision making. Defin ...
to cover their travel, accommodation, or preparation time. Services for Christian Church
funeral A funeral is a ceremony connected with the final disposition of a corpse, such as a burial or cremation, with the attendant observances. Funerary customs comprise the complex of beliefs and practices used by a culture to remember and respect t ...
s and/or
memorial service A funeral is a ceremony connected with the final disposition of a corpse, such as a burial or cremation, with the attendant observances. Funerary customs comprise the complex of beliefs and practices used by a culture to remember and respect t ...
s are often paid by honorarium, as the minister,
musician A musician is a person who composes, conducts, or performs music. According to the United States Employment Service, "musician" is a general term used to designate one who follows music as a profession. Musicians include songwriters who w ...
s, organist, soloist and others, out of care, do not have a set fee for services to grieving families. Likewise,
wedding A wedding is a ceremony where two people are united in marriage. Wedding traditions and customs vary greatly between cultures, ethnic groups, religions, countries, and social classes. Most wedding ceremonies involve an exchange of marriage v ...
officiants are sometimes paid through honorarium. When required, honorariums may be termed
altarage Altarage is a term once commonly used in an ecclesiastical context to signify the revenue reserved for the chaplain (altarist or altar-thane) in contradistinction to the income of the parish priest — it came to indicate the funds received by a p ...
s, although an altarage may be paid to a church or parish rather than a person.



An example of this is the payments made by
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. With an area of , Australia is the largest country b ...
n schools to their sporting coaches. They are ostensibly receiving a reimbursement for their costs in their voluntary roles as coaches. The concept of an honorarium has a tax implication. In Australia, recipients of these funds make a tax declaration (known as the hobbyist form) to the tax office and therefore do not have to include this money in their annual
tax return A tax return is the completion of documentation that calculates an entity or individual's income earned and the amount of taxes to be paid to the government or government organizations or, potentially, back to the taxpayer. Taxation is one o ...


In Canada, honoraria are considered salary and thus, taxable income under the ''Income Tax Act''. In the case where a gift is substituted for honorarium (gift in lieu of money), it is still classified as a taxable benefit by
Canada Revenue Agency The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA; ; ) is the revenue service of the Canadian federal government, and most provincial and territorial governments. The CRA collects taxes, administers tax law and policy, and delivers benefit programs and tax cred ...
. In cases where an honorarium is paid to an individual who is not a resident of Canada, the honorarium is still subjected to income tax withholding (usually 15%) unless prior approval was obtained from Revenue Canada.

Hong Kong

Honoraria are subjected to taxation under HK Laws. Chap 112 ''Inland Revenue Ordinance'' and also subjected to the Mandatory Provident Fund, a compulsory saving scheme for retirement.


Under Indonesian National Laws, honorarium recipients are subjected to withholding tax under Income Tax Article 21.

New Zealand

When honorarium is paid to an employee, such as mayors, chairpersons, and local clubs and societies, it is not subject to withholding tax but is subject to income tax. However, if the payment was not made to the above-mentioned category of people, it is subject to withholding tax rate between 33c to 48c.

Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, remuneration received by Government Ministers and
Members of Parliament A member of parliament (MP) is the representative in parliament of the people who live in their electoral district. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, this term refers only to members of the lower house since upper house members often ...
(MPs) are considered by the
President President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) *President (education), a leader of a college or university *President (government title) President may also refer to: Automobiles * Nissan President, a 1966–2010 Japanese fu ...
as Honoraria. As such deemed by him to be not subject to PAYE as MPs have
honorific An honorific is a title that conveys esteem, courtesy, or respect for position or rank when used in addressing or referring to a person. Sometimes, the term "honorific" is used in a more specific sense to refer to an honorary academic title. It ...
before their names as such receive honorariums and not salaries from the State.

United Kingdom

Honoraria to employees are subject to Income Tax and
National Insurance National Insurance (NI) is a fundamental component of the welfare state in the United Kingdom. It acts as a form of social security, since payment of NI contributions establishes entitlement to certain state benefits for workers and their famil ...
contributions under PAYE. However payments are made based on services required and not bound by any contractual arrangements. The British spy agencies euphemistically call a bribe an "Honorarium" or " King George's cavalry".

United States

An honorarium paid to a U.S. resident for services performed within or outside the U.S. is subject to federal (and in some cases state) income tax.UCAR, Honorarium Payment Guidelines
/ref> Members of the United States Congress are prohibited by law from accepting honoraria for things such as speeches or articles.

See also

Gift A gift or a present is an item given to someone without the expectation of payment or anything in return. An item is not a gift if that item is already owned by the one to whom it is given. Although gift-giving might involve an expectation ...
* Tip (gratuity) *
Stipend A stipend is a regular fixed sum of money paid for services or to defray expenses, such as for scholarship, internship, or apprenticeship. It is often distinct from an income or a salary because it does not necessarily represent payment for work pe ...


{{Authority control Business terms Income taxation Household income