CONSULTANTS are individuals who primarily provide PROFESSIONAL ADVICE. They usually have a separate skill or knowledge not available within the organization. For sponsored funds, consultants are usually the individuals named in the "consultant" section of the budget proposal of the grant or contract application. A sponsored consultant agreement from University Research Administration (URA) is needed for each payment request. For more information on sponsored consultant agreements contact URA.
Payments to Employees
Consulting payments to a University employee must be processed through Workday as a One-Time Payment or Period Activity Pay and will be included in the employee's IRS Form W-2 at calendar year end.
Contact the Shared Services Help Desk by calling 773-702-5800, or submit an Ask a Payroll Question form via the Shared Services ServiceNow Portal for additional information.
Required Documentation for Payments to US Citizens
- IRS Form W-9 Request for Taxpayer Identification Number
- Independent Contractor Questionnaire
Required Documentation for Payments to Permanent Residents
- IRS Form W-9, Request For Taxpayer Identification Number
- Independent Contractor Questionnaire
- Copy of Permanent Resident or Resident Alien card; or a copy of the I-551 Stamp that is printed on the applicant's passport
Required Documentation for Payments to Foreign Nationals
- IRS Form W-8BEN, Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding (for individuals), or Form W-8BEN-E, Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding (for entities).
- Form UPP 192, Alien Determination of Residency Form (individuals)
- IRS Form 8233, Exemption From Withholding on Compensation for Independent Personal Services of a Nonresident Alien Individual if the individual is entitled to claim a tax treaty exemption
- Dependent upon VISA type, foreign individuals are also required to provide copies of various USCIS and other documents per UPP-192
- If services are provided by a foreign national while overseas, only a W-8BEN form is required.
List of Individuals who cannot be paid as Consultants
Employees and recent former employees - If the service provider you wish to hire is a current or recent former employee (current calendar year), he or she will usually be paid as an employee and not as an independent contractor, especially under the following situations:
- When the service provider will be working exclusively for the university
- When the service provider will be routinely performing a service similar to one presently being performed by another university employee
- When an employee of the university is seeking to provide similar services elsewhere in the university.
Exception to Rule: Special Interest "Hobby Payments" - Payment to an employee for an activity, which could be considered a hobby or recreational vocation. Cannot be related to the regular duties performed by the employee at the university. Whenever in doubt, contact the Shared Services Help Desk by calling 773-702-5800, or submit an Ask a Payroll Question form via the Shared Services ServiceNow Portal prior to discussing and/or negotiating payment terms with the service provider.
- Registered University of Chicago Students
- When the individual (service provider) will be working exclusively for The University
- Individuals or entities that have been "debarred or excluded" from doing business with the federal government - As a recipient of federal funds The University of Chicago may not contract, purchase, or make payments to a vendor or party (person or independent contractor) that has been identified as debarred, suspended, or excluded from doing business with the Federal Government. For additional information please refer to the following Central Procurement Services web page on Debarred or Excluded Vendors.
- Individuals who are providing instruction or teaching services - Since education is one of the University's primary missions, the IRS would always view these types of payments as employment for additional information please refer to policy guidelines for paying individuals who are performing teaching or instructional services.
- Citizens of other countries who work in the U.S. - Individuals who are not US Citizens or Permanent Residents cannot work as Consultants. Exceptions to this rule are: (1) TN VISA holders, (2) professional entertainers, and (3) performers. If you are requesting consulting services from an individual who is not a US Citizen or Permanent Resident, contact the Office of International Affairs.