Number IPP 24
Dated: 8/5/14
Replaces: 3/8/2011

Internal Policy and Procedures

Entertainers/Speakers/Public Speaking Services


When contracting with entertainers and for public speakers for an event open to the public, the PO will inform the contractor of their tax withholding obligations. The University of Wisconsin-Madison Entertainment Contract, Pubic Speaking Services Contract or the University of Wisconsin-Madison Standard Rider details the insurance and withholding requirements.

The Speaker Contract is used when the event is closed to the public; or for something like a one or two-day professional education seminar where continuing education credits are earned. The Speaker Contract is used where the speaker is addressing students and/or faculty only in an educational setting.

Whenever a Speaker, Entertainer, or Public Speaker presents their contract to the University, the Standard Rider must be used with the contract.


I. Withholding Obligations (tax liability)

1. Upon receipt of a requisition for contracting with an entertainer or public speaker, agent determines purchasing process and proceeds accordingly. Either the UW System Entertainment Contract or the UW System Standard Rider will be required prior to issuance of PO.

1.1 If the entertainer/public speaker has provided a contract document, agent will add appropriate signature upon receipt of signed rider from the entertainer/public speaker.

1.2 If no contract is submitted, the UW contract document will be produced and provided to contractor for appropriate signatures before PO is issued.

2. The agent issues the PO (or the PO-ready requisition) to include the order message WDR for all nonresident entertainer or public speaking services contracts of $7,000 or more. NOTE: The WDR message alerts Accounting Services as to how to process the payment.

WDR Nonresident entertainers and public speakers are required to file a bond or place a security deposit with the Wisconsin Department of Revenue at least two days prior to the date of performance to assure payment of state income taxes if income earned from performances in Wisconsin will exceed $7,000.

If the nonresident entertainer or public speaker does not show proof to the University on each invoice submitted that such bond or security deposit was filed with the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, state law provides that the University shall deduct 6% of the total performance contract price and remit said amount as withheld for state income tax purposes.

Examples: Speaker vs. Public Speaking Services

A nationally renowned person is invited to speak at the Union Theater.  The event is free or admission is charged. The event is open to the public – Public Speaking Services Contract.

The president of another university system is to speak to any faculty, staff, students, invited guests about the challenges of education today. – Public Speaking Services Contract.

A well-known author is speaking at an Earth Day conference open to the public. – Public Speaking Services Contract.

A speaker is presenting to a group of faculty and students in association with a UW course.  – Speaker Contract if one or two day event; ASSA if longer.

A speaker is giving a two-hour talk to radiology staff on new techniques in their field.  – Speaker Contract.

A professor from another university is speaking to faculty, students, and the public on a topic in the speaker’s field of interest. – Public Speaking Services Contract.

A professor from another university is speaking to only faculty and students on a topic of in the speaker’s field of interest. – Speaker Contract.

Follow this link to find out if an entertainer tax applies.


UW System Administrative Policy 235 (formerly F31)
Chapter 36, Wis. Stats.
PPP 33 – Academic Support Services Orders and Agreements
PPP 14 – Signatory Authority (agreements and contracts)
IPP 31 – Academic Support Services Orders and Agreements
Contracting with Speakers, Entertainers, Consultants and Instructors Grid
Entertainer and Speaker Tax Reporting Grid