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Once-Off Lecture Payments

Payment of Once-off Lecture Fees

University College Dublin is required to follow Revenue’s direction on the tax treatment applying to the payment of once off lecture fees. Revenue's position has largely moved to one which considers such payments to be taxable under PAYE.

Non once-off lecturing fees for residents and non-residents have always been taxable on a PAYE basis and this text deals only with once-off non recurring lecture fees.

Previously, a Revenue concession, which allowed UCD pay such fees outside the PAYE system, was widely used by the University sector. On 1 September 2019, Revenue, through eBrief 161/19, discontinued this concession. This meant that all once-off lecture fees, payable to residents and non-residents alike, became taxable through payroll under PAYE. All such visitors had to be set up on the UCD payroll before their payment could be processed. Revenue's new position also meant that if you paid travel expenses to someone to visit UCD to deliver a once-off lecture, the expenses were taxable under PAYE as well as the fee.

Following clarification, Revenue has accepted that once off lecture fees payable for lectures which are clearly not part of the core curriculum of a module can be paid outside the payroll system. Such lectures are often delivered to a broad university and public audience rather than linked to a specific academic module and for the purpose of determining the tax treatment are referred to here as once-off guest lecture fees.

Fees for other lectures (referred to here as once-off non-guest lecture fees), which form part of the core curriculum of a course/module and are delivered more on an occasional lecture basis and any related expenses will be taxable under PAYE.

Request to pay once-off guest lecture fees

In such cases, a Non Staff payment Form should be submitted with the following information:

  • A payment request setting out details of the fee involved and details of any travel expenses
  • Date of lecture, subject of lecture and audience
  • Supporting documentation which would confirm the once-off nature of the lecture (invitation/publicity re lecture).
  • The account codes for Guest Lecture Fees are 82329 & 92329
  • The account codes for Guest Lecture Expenses are 82151 & 92151.

In such cases, the fee and any related travel expenses can be paid without deduction of PAYE and without having to set the individual up as an employee.

There can be a slim distinction between the two types of lecture but it is one the universities will have to manage and make decisions on a case by case basis.

Payment of once-off non-guest lecture fees

Revenue's position is that non-guest lecture fees payable to residents and non-residents should continue to be paid through payroll under deduction of PAYE. Any related travel expenses will also be taxable under PAYE. In order to request payment of such fees and expenses, the lecturer will need to on-board with UCD HR through the Hourly Paid process (via the UCD HR website) with the payment request then approved and authorised by the relevant School.

We understand Revenue has taken eBrief 161/19 down from their web-site but it hasn't yet been replaced by any new publication which would set out any new Revenue position on such payments. This means that there will be some lack of clarity until a new position is published.

Remote delivery of once off lectures

There is a further complication in respect of the remote delivery, from outside the country, of such lectures. Our understanding of the current position is as follows:

  1. Where a lecture qualifies as a once-off guest lecture, the fee can be paid without deduction of PAYE, whether it is given remotely or not, and can be paid through Non Staff Payments.
  2. Where a once-off non-guest lecture is delivered on site, the fee is taxable through payroll for both residents and non residents. Any expenses payable are also taxable through PAYE.
  3. Where such a once-off non-guest lecture is delivered remotely from outside Ireland the fee can be paid through payments rather than payroll without deduction of PAYE.

The payment route which will apply to any planned once-off lecture will need to be considered in advance of the engagement and the lecturer advised on the payment policy which will apply to any agreed fee and expenses. If any advice is required on the payment process which should apply, the Finance Office should be contacted in advance of the engagement.

UCD Finance Office

1st Floor Tierney Building University College Dublin Belfield Dublin 4 Ireland
T: +353 1 716 7777