Nonresident aliens can exclude the following items from their gross income.taxmap/pubs/p519-010.htm#en_us_publink100039048
U.S. source interest income that is not connected with a U.S. trade or business is excluded from income if it is from:
- Deposits (including certificates of deposit) with persons in the banking business,
- Deposits or withdrawable accounts with mutual savings banks, cooperative banks, credit unions, domestic building and loan associations, and other savings institutions chartered and supervised as savings and loan or similar associations under federal or state law (if the interest paid or credited can be deducted by the association), and
- Amounts held by an insurance company under an agreement to pay interest on them.
Interest on obligations of a state or political subdivision, the District of Columbia, or a U.S. possession, generally is not included in income. However, interest on certain private activity bonds, arbitrage bonds, and certain bonds not in registered form is included in income. taxmap/pubs/p519-010.htm#en_us_publink100039050
U.S. source interest income that is not connected with a U.S. trade or business and that is portfolio interest on obligations issued after July 18, 1984, is excluded from income. Portfolio interest is interest (including original issue discount) that is paid on obligations:
- Not in registered form (bearer obligations) that are sold only to foreign investors, and the interest on which is payable only outside the United States and its possessions, and that has on its face a statement that any U.S. person holding the obligation will be subject to limitations under the U.S. income tax laws,
- In registered form that are targeted to foreign markets and the interest on which is paid through financial institutions outside the United States, or
- In registered form that are not targeted to foreign markets, if you furnished the payer of the interest (or the withholding agent) a statement that you are not a U.S. person. You should have made this statement on a Form W-8BEN or on a substitute form similar to Form W-8BEN. In either case, the statement should have been signed under penalties of perjury, should have certified that you are not a U.S. citizen or resident, and should have included your name and address.
Portfolio interest does not include the following types of interest.
- Interest you receive on an obligation issued by a corporation of which you own, directly or indirectly, 10% or more of the total voting power of all classes of voting stock.
- Interest you receive on an obligation issued by a partnership of which you own, directly or indirectly, 10% or more of the capital or profits interests.
- Contingent interest.
For the definition of 10% shareholder, see Regulations section 1.871-14(g).taxmap/pubs/p519-010.htm#en_us_publink100039051
Portfolio interest does not include contingent interest. Contingent interest is either of the following:
- Interest that is determined by reference to:
- Any receipts, sales, or other cash flow of the debtor or related person,
- Income or profits of the debtor or related person,
- Any change in value of any property of the debtor or a related person, or
- Any dividend, partnership distributions, or similar payments made by the debtor or a related person.
- Any other type of contingent interest that is identified by the Secretary of the Treasury in regulations.
For the definition of "related person" in connection with any contingent interest, and for the exceptions that apply to interest described in item (1), see subparagraphs (B) and (C) of Internal Revenue Code section 871(h)(4).
Contingent interest does not include interest paid or accrued on any debt with a fixed term that was issued:
- On or before April 7, 1993, or
- After April 7, 1993, pursuant to a written binding contract in effect on that date and at all times thereafter before that debt was issued.
The following dividend income is exempt from the 30% tax.taxmap/pubs/p519-010.htm#en_us_publink1000151643
There is no 30% tax on U.S. source dividends you receive from a foreign corporation. See Second exception
in chapter 2 for how to figure the amount of excludable dividends.
There is no 30% tax on certain interest-related dividends from sources within the United States that you receive from a mutual fund or other regulated investment company. The mutual fund will designate in writing which dividends are interest-related dividends.taxmap/pubs/p519-010.htm#en_us_publink1000151645
There may not be any 30% tax on certain short-term capital gain dividends from sources within the United States that you receive from a mutual fund or other regulated investment company. The mutual fund will designate in writing which dividends are short-term capital gain dividends. This tax relief will not apply to you if you are present in the United States for 183 days or more during your tax year.taxmap/pubs/p519-010.htm#en_us_publink100039054
If you were paid by a foreign employer, your U.S. source income may be exempt from U.S. tax, but only if you meet one of the situations discussed next.taxmap/pubs/p519-010.htm#en_us_publink100039055
Income for personal services performed in the United States as a nonresident alien is not considered to be from U.S. sources and is tax exempt if you meet all three of the following conditions.
- You perform personal services as an employee of or under a contract with a nonresident alien individual, foreign partnership, or foreign corporation, not engaged in a trade or business in the United States; or you work for an office or place of business maintained in a foreign country or possession of the United States by a U.S. corporation, a U.S. partnership, or a U.S. citizen or resident.
- You perform these services while you are a nonresident alien temporarily present in the United States for a period or periods of not more than a total of 90 days during the tax year.
- Your pay for these services is not more than $3,000.
If you do not meet all three conditions, your income from personal services performed in the United States is U.S. source income and is taxed according to the rules in chapter 4.
If your pay for these services is more than $3,000, the entire amount is income from a trade or business within the United States. To find if your pay is more than $3,000, do not include any amounts you get from your employer for advances or reimbursements of business travel expenses, if you were required to and did account to your employer for those expenses. If the advances or reimbursements are more than your expenses, include the excess in your pay for these services.
A day means a calendar day during any part of which you are physically present in the United States. taxmap/pubs/p519-010.htm#en_us_publink100039056
During 2008, Henry Smythe, a nonresident alien from a nontreaty country, worked for an overseas office of a U.S. partnership. Henry, who uses the calendar year as his tax year, was temporarily present in the United States for 60 days during 2008 performing personal services for the overseas office of the partnership. That office paid him a total gross salary of $2,800 for those services. During 2008, he was not engaged in a trade or business in the United States. The salary is not considered U.S. source income and is exempt from U.S. tax.taxmap/pubs/p519-010.htm#en_us_publink100039057
The facts are the same as in Example 1, except that Henry's total gross salary for the services performed in the United States during 2008 was $4,500. He received $2,875 in 2008, and $1,625 in 2009. During 2008, he was engaged in a trade or business in the United States because the compensation for his personal services in the United States was more than $3,000. Henry's salary is U.S. source income and is taxed under the rules in chapter 4. taxmap/pubs/p519-010.htm#en_us_publink100039058
Compensation for services performed by a nonresident alien in connection with the individual's temporary presence in the United States as a regular crew member of a foreign vessel engaged in transportation between the United States and a foreign country or U.S. possession is not U.S. source income and is exempt from U.S. tax. taxmap/pubs/p519-010.htm#en_us_publink100039059
Nonresident alien students and exchange visitors present in the United States under "F," "J," or "Q" visas can exclude from gross income pay received from a foreign employer.
This group includes bona fide students, scholars, trainees, teachers, professors, research assistants, specialists, or leaders in a field of specialized knowledge or skill, or persons of similar description. It also includes the alien's spouse and minor children if they come with the alien or come later to join the alien.
A nonresident alien temporarily present in the United States under a "J" visa includes an alien individual entering the United States as an exchange visitor under the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961. taxmap/pubs/p519-010.htm#en_us_publink100039060
A foreign employer is:
- A nonresident alien individual, foreign partnership, or foreign corporation, or
- An office or place of business maintained in a foreign country or in a U.S. possession by a U.S. corporation, a U.S. partnership, or an individual who is a U.S. citizen or resident.
The term "foreign employer" does not include a foreign government. Pay from a foreign government that is exempt from U.S. income tax is discussed in chapter 10.
Do not include in income any annuity received under a qualified annuity plan or from a qualified trust exempt from U.S. income tax if you meet both of the following conditions.
- You receive the annuity only because:
- You performed personal services outside the United States while you were a nonresident alien, or
- You performed personal services inside the United States while you were a nonresident alien and you met the three conditions, described earlier, under Employees of foreign persons, organizations, or offices.
- At the time the first amount is paid as an annuity under the plan (or by the trust), 90% or more of the employees for whom contributions or benefits are provided under the annuity plan (or under the plan of which the trust is a part) are U.S. citizens or residents.
If the annuity qualifies under condition (1) but not condition (2) above, you do not have to include the amount in income if:
- You are a resident of a country that gives a substantially equal exclusion to U.S. citizens and residents, or
- You are a resident of a beneficiary developing country under Title V of the Trade Act of 1974.
If you are not sure whether the annuity is from a qualified annuity plan or qualified trust, ask the person who made the payment.taxmap/pubs/p519-010.htm#en_us_publink100039062
Income of any kind that is exempt from U.S. tax under a treaty to which the United States is a party is excluded from your gross income. Income on which the tax is only limited by treaty, however, is included in gross income. See chapter 9
You can exclude from your gross income winnings from legal wagers initiated outside the United States in a parimutuel pool with respect to a live horse or dog race in the United States.