A nonresident alien (and certain resident aliens) from a country with which the United States has an income tax treaty may qualify for certain benefits. Most treaties require that the nonresident alien be a resident of the treaty country to qualify. However, some treaties require that the nonresident alien be a national or a citizen of the treaty country.
See Table 9-1 for a list of tax treaty countries.
You can generally arrange to have withholding tax reduced or eliminated on wages and other income that are eligible for tax treaty benefits. See Income Entitled to Tax Treaty Benefits
in chapter 8.
You may want to see:
Publication 901 U.S. Tax Treaties Form (and Instructions) 1040NR: U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return 1040NR-EZ: U.S. Income Tax Return for Certain Nonresident Aliens With No Dependents 8833: Treaty-Based Return Position Disclosure Under Section 6114 or 7701(b) taxmap/pubs/p519-045.htm#en_us_publink100039421
See chapter 12
for information about getting these publications and forms.
A nonresident alien's treaty income is the gross income on which the tax is limited by a tax treaty. Treaty income includes, for example, dividends from sources in the United States that are subject to tax at a tax treaty rate not to exceed 15%. Nontreaty income is the gross income of a nonresident alien on which the tax is not limited by a tax treaty.
Figure the tax on treaty income on each separate item of income at the reduced rate that applies to that item under the treaty.
To determine tax on nontreaty income, figure the tax at either the flat 30% rate or the graduated rate, depending upon whether or not the income is effectively connected with your trade or business in the United States.
Your tax liability is the sum of the tax on treaty income plus the tax on nontreaty income, but cannot be more than the tax liability figured as if the tax treaty had not come into effect. taxmap/pubs/p519-045.htm#en_us_publink100039422
Arthur Banks is a nonresident alien who is single and a resident of a foreign country that has a tax treaty with the United States. He received gross income of $25,500 during the tax year from sources within the United States, consisting of the following items:
|Dividends on which the tax is limited to a 15% rate by the tax treaty|| $1,400|
|Compensation for personal services on which the tax is not limited by the tax treaty|| 24,100|
|Total gross income||$25,500|
Arthur was engaged in business in the United States during the tax year. His dividends are not effectively connected with that business. He has no deductions other than his own personal exemption.
His tax liability, figured as though the tax treaty had not come into effect, is $3,113 determined as follows:
|Less: Personal exemption|| 3,500|
|Taxable income ||$20,600|
|Tax determined by graduated rate (Tax Table column for single taxpayers)||$2,693|
|Plus: Tax on gross dividends ($1,400 × 30%)||420|
|Tax determined as though treaty had not come into effect ||$3,113|
Arthur's tax liability, figured by taking into account the reduced rate on dividend income as provided by the tax treaty, is $2,903 determined as follows:
|Tax determined by graduated rate (same as figured above)||$2,693|
|Plus: Tax on gross dividends ($1,400 × 15%)||210|
|Tax on compensation and dividends ||$2,903|
His tax liability, therefore, is limited to $2,903, the tax liability figured using the tax treaty rate on the dividends.