Who are Subject Specialists

Subject Specialists may be defined as individuals who are invited to speak to a group of University staff/students on a complex/specialist topic that would be viewed as new or ground-breaking and may be, tangentially or otherwise, related to a subject that is taught on an existing academic or research programme. They are generally (though not exclusively) non-Irish-resident/domiciled and are not regarded as employees.

Fee payments for subject specialists’ engagement are taxed under the PAYE Modernisation system to the extent of the work performed in Ireland. For example, if 40% of an engagement entailed the individual preparing material for their visit to Ireland in their home country, 60% of the fee would be subject to Irish taxation.

Individuals may be able to offset the taxation deducted from these fee payments against their overall tax liability in their country of tax residence.

Revenue accepts that related Travel & Subsistence payments to subject specialists are exempt from tax under the provision of Section 195A TCA 1997 provided such expenses are in accordance with Civil Service rates and all required documentation is maintained by the University.

Reimbursement of travel and subsistence expenses incurred for subject specialists travelling to NUI Galway must be in line with the University’s travel policy. The Subject Specialist must have no other duties in the University other than that of a Subject Specialist to allow section 195A to apply and the payment of Travel and Subsistence to be exempt from tax.


How can Subject Specialists be differentiated from Guest Lecturers/Speakers?

In practice, this can occasionally be quite difficult to do as there can often be significant common features to both types of engagement. More complex engagements may need to be reviewed by Revenue in advance of an engagement.  

As a general rule, Guest Lecturers/Speakers are individuals who are invited to/engaged by the University to deliver a lecture/workshop/tutorial on an exceptional basis on a University academic or research programme.  As such, they are generally (though not exclusively) Irish resident/domiciled. Revenue’s requirement is that any and all payments related to their lecturing/teaching/workshop engagement are taxed under the PAYE Modernisation system.

Payment form for Subject Specialists

Amended Form V6 - 27/09/2023    Guest Lecturer / Speaker / Subject Specialist Form


Please review information here on what is required for payroll to process payments for tax resident and non-tax resident campus visitors.

Reimbursement of travel and subsistence expenses incurred for travelling to the University of Galway must be in line with the University’s travel policy (QA302 Travel & Subsistence - General) and is allowable tax-free for campus visitors.  Subject Specialists must return receipts to the hiring school/unit at the University of Galway and must be retained by the approver for auditing purposes. Please enter the total value of your expenses on this form. You will see the drop-down option as you complete the form.

Please contact the payroll office/ timesheets bureau for assistance with this process, email timesheets.bureau@universityofgalway.ie