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Tax Information & Reporting Income

All Instructors

If you are teaching in the State of California (meetings including Photonics West, Optics + Photonics (Annual Meeting), Medical Imaging, DCS, and Smart Structures), please be aware that non-California residents who receive fees for services conducted in California are subject to a 7% California state withholding tax on any and all payments where it is anticipated payments will exceed $1,500 in a calendar year. (This information is also stated on your Instructor Agreement.) This applies only to the course honorarium; reimbursable expenses are not subject to this tax.

Overseas (non-U.S.-based) Instructors

Please be aware that the necessary tax forms - which you need in order to receive payment from our accounting department - are now accessible through our Reporting Income page. It is crucial for you to submit these government forms in order for us to pay you, and please be advised that this process usually takes a good deal of time so you will want to start as soon as possible.

If you have taught for us previously and have already completed this process, no further action should be necessary.

Expense Reimbursement

If you selected the honorarium + reimbursement model for your instructor agreement, you will need to submit copies of your receipts for travel, lodging, and per diem for reimbursement following the event. Please send copies of receipts (electronic copies preferred) to Jane DeNeui, janed@spie.org.
If desired, you can use the Reimbursement Form cover sheet to total your expenses, though it is not strictly necessary.

Reporting U.S. Source Income

SPIE must report to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) certain income paid to nonemployees, whether they are a U.S. or non-U.S. resident person or entity. The types of income which must be reported and the income tax withholding requirements are outlined below.

Type of IncomeBasis of PaymentReportableWithholding Required
Royalties sales of books, online courses, and DVD/CD/Video products Yes Yes, depending on the tax treaty with the person's country
Personal Services editor honoraria, course instructor honoraria, and consulting fees for services performed in the U.S. Yes Yes, depending on the tax treaty with the person's country
Expense Reimbursement Receipts must be submitted to SPIE prior to payment No No
Scholarship used for tuition, fees, books or equipment required for courses at a qualified educational institution No No
Award or Prize based on work performed outside the U.S. No No

SPIE must report income by March 15th of the following year, and a copy of Form 1042-S or Form 1099-Misc must also be furnished to the recipient of the income by the same date.

Appropriate tax forms (depending upon tax status and citizenship) must be received by SPIE before any payment can be made to the recipient. A U.S. taxpayer identification number or Social Security number must be obtained for reporting purposes. At the end of the year, Form 1040NR must be filed with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service by the nonresident person to report the income and pay tax on it. If SPIE was required by a tax treaty to withhold income tax, Form 1040NR can be used to recoup excess tax withheld.

Please read this PDF flowchart to determine which forms you must fill out and send to SPIE and file with the IRS. All of the tax forms are included as PDF files, for your convenience. Please download and print the applicable forms. Questions may be addressed to Jane DeNeui, janed@spie.org.

Downloadable Forms

Learn more about Digital Certificates

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