U.S. real property interest.(p2)
Generally, the treatment of a regulated investment company (RIC) as a qualified investment entity (QIE) changes in 2010. The special rules that apply to distributions from a QIE attributable to the gain from the sale or exchange of a U.S. real property interest will continue to apply to any distribution from a RIC. See Qualified investment entities under U.S. Real Property Interest.taxmap/pubs/p515-000.htm#en_us_publink1000224753
Interest-related dividends and short-term capital gain dividends received from mutual funds.(p2)
Beginning January 1, 2010, the exemption from withholding on certain interest-related dividends and short-term capital gain dividends paid by a mutual fund or other regulated investment company expires.taxmap/pubs/p515-000.htm#en_us_publink1000240677
New tax treaty and protocol.(p2)
The United States has exchanged instruments of ratification for a new income tax treaty with Italy and a new protocol amending the income tax treaty with France. The effective dates are as follows.
Italy. The provisions for withholding tax at source are effective for amounts paid or credited on or after February 1, 2010. For other taxes, the treaty is generally effective for tax periods beginning on or after January 1, 2010. A person entitled to benefits under the former treaty can elect to have that treaty apply in its entirety for a twelve-month period following the date the new treaty would otherwise apply.
France. The provisions for withholding tax at source generally are effective for amounts paid or credited on or after January 1, 2009. For other taxes, the protocol is generally effective for tax periods beginning on or after January 1, 2010.taxmap/pubs/p515-000.htm#en_us_publink1000224755
This publication serves as the Small Entity Compliance Guide required by section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, P.L. 104-121.taxmap/pubs/p515-000.htm#en_us_publink1000224757
Electronic deposit rules.(p2)
You must use the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) to make electronic deposits of all depository tax liabilities you incur after 2009 if you meet either of the following conditions.
- You had to make electronic deposits in 2009.
- You deposited more than $200,000 in federal depository taxes in 2008.
If you do not meet these conditions, electronic deposits are voluntary.
For more information about depositing electronically, see Publication 966, The Secure Way to Pay Your Federal Taxes.taxmap/pubs/p515-000.htm#en_us_publink1000224758
If you file Form 1042-S electronically, you will use the Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE) system. You get to the system through the Internet at fire.irs.gov
For files submitted on the FIRE system, it is the responsibility of the filer to verify the results of the transmission within 5 business days. The IRS will not mail error reports for files that are bad. taxmap/pubs/p515-000.htm#en_us_publink1000224759
IRS taxpayer identification numbers for aliens.(p2)
The IRS will issue an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) to an alien who does not have and is not eligible to get a social security number (SSN).
An ITIN is for tax use only. It does not entitle an alien to social security benefits or change his or her employment or immigration status under U.S. law.
For more information on ITINs, see U.S. Taxpayer Identification Numbers, later. taxmap/pubs/p515-000.htm#en_us_publink1000224760
Real estate mortgage investment conduits (REMIC).(p2)
Excess inclusion income is treated as income from sources in the United States. The date an excess inclusion allocated to a foreign person by certain pass-through entities is subject to withholding is, generally, the close of the entity's tax year. An excess inclusion is not eligible for any reduction in withholding tax (by treaty or otherwise). See REMIC excess inclusions. taxmap/pubs/p515-000.htm#en_us_publink1000224761
Partnership withholding on effectively connected income (ECI).(p2)
A partnership must withhold tax on ECI allocated to a foreign partner. However, a publicly traded partnership (PTP) cannot elect to withhold tax based on ECI allocable to its foreign partners. The PTP must withhold on the distribution of that income to its foreign partners.
For more information, see Publicly Traded Partnerships under Partnership Withholding on Effectively Connected Income.taxmap/pubs/p515-000.htm#en_us_publink1000224762
A branch of a financial institution may not act as a qualified intermediary in a country that does not have approved know-your-customer rules. See Qualified Intermediary under Foreign Intermediaries beginning on page 5.taxmap/pubs/p515-000.htm#en_us_publink1000224763
Photographs of missing children.(p2)
The Internal Revenue Service is a proud partner with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Photographs of missing children selected by the Center may appear in this publication on pages that would otherwise be blank. You can help bring these children home by looking at the photographs and calling 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) if you recognize a child.
This publication is for withholding agents who pay income to foreign persons, including nonresident aliens, foreign corporations, foreign partnerships, foreign trusts, foreign estates, foreign governments, and international organizations. Specifically, it describes the persons responsible for withholding (withholding agents), the types of income subject to withholding, and the information return and tax return filing obligations of withholding agents. In addition to discussing the rules that apply generally to payments of U.S. source income to foreign persons, it also contains sections on the withholding that applies to the disposition of U.S. real property interests and the withholding by partnerships on income effectively connected with the active conduct of a U.S. trade or business.taxmap/pubs/p515-000.htm#en_us_publink1000224764
We welcome your comments about this publication and your suggestions for future editions.
You can write to us at the following address:
Internal Revenue Service
Individual Forms and Publications Branch
1111 Constitution Ave. NW, IR-6526
Washington, DC 20224
We respond to many letters by telephone. Therefore, it would be helpful if you would include your daytime phone number, including the area code, in your correspondence.
You can email us at *firstname.lastname@example.org
. (The asterisk must be included in the address.) Please put "Publications Comment" on the subject line. Although we cannot respond individually to each email, we do appreciate your feedback and will consider your comments as we revise our tax products.
to download forms and publications, call 1-800-829-3676, or write to the address below and receive a response within 10 days after your request is received.
Internal Revenue Service
1201 N. Mitsubishi Motorway
Bloomington, IL 61705-6613
If you have a tax question, check the information available on IRS.gov
or call 1-800-829-1040. We cannot answer tax questions sent to either of the above addresses.
You may want to see:
Publication 15 (Circular E), Employer's Tax Guide 15-A Employer's Supplemental Tax Guide 15-B Employer's Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits 51 (Circular A), Agricultural Employer's Tax Guide 519 U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens 901 U.S. Tax Treaties Form (and Instructions) SS-4: Application for Employer Identification Number W-2: Wage and Tax Statement W-4: Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate W-4P: Withholding Certificate for Pension or Annuity Payments W-7: Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number W-8BEN: Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding W-8ECI: Certificate of Foreign Person's Claim That Income Is Effectively Connected With the Conduct of a Trade or Business in the United States W-8EXP: Certificate of Foreign Government or Other Foreign Organization for United States Tax Withholding W-8IMY: Certificate of Foreign Intermediary, Foreign Flow-Through Entity, or Certain U.S. Branches for United States Tax Withholding 941: Employer's Quarterly Federal Tax Return 1042: Annual Withholding Tax Return for U.S. Source Income of Foreign Persons 1042-S: Foreign Person's U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding 1042-T: Annual Summary and Transmittal of Forms 1042-S
See How To Get Tax Help, at the end of this publication, for information about getting publications and forms.taxmap/pubs/p515-000.htm#en_us_publink1000224767
Generally, a foreign person is subject to U.S. tax on its U.S. source income. Most types of U.S. source income received by a foreign person are subject to U.S. tax of 30%. A reduced rate, including exemption, may apply if there is a tax treaty between the foreign person's country of residence and the United States. The tax is generally withheld (NRA withholding) from the payment made to the foreign person.
The term "NRA withholding" is used in this publication descriptively to refer to withholding required under sections 1441, 1442, and 1443 of the Internal Revenue Code. Generally, NRA withholding describes the withholding regime that requires withholding on a payment of U.S. source income. Payments to foreign persons, including nonresident alien individuals, foreign entities and governments, may be subject to NRA withholding.
NRA withholding does not include withholding under section 1445 of the Code (see U.S. Real Property Interest, later) or under section 1446 of the Code (see Partnership Withholding on Effectively Connected Income, later).
A withholding agent (defined next) is the person responsible for withholding on payments made to a foreign person. However, a withholding agent that can reliably associate the payment with documentation (discussed later) from a U.S. person is not required to withhold. In addition, a withholding agent may apply a reduced rate of withholding (including an exemption from withholding) if it can reliably associate the payment with documentation from a beneficial owner that is a foreign person entitled to a reduced rate of withholding. taxmap/pubs/p515-000.htm#en_us_publink1000224769
You are a withholding agent if you are a U.S. or foreign person that has control, receipt, custody, disposal, or payment of any item of income of a foreign person that is subject to withholding. A withholding agent may be an individual, corporation, partnership, trust, association, nominee (under section 1446 of the Code), or any other entity, including any foreign intermediary, foreign partnership, or U.S. branch of certain foreign banks and insurance companies. You may be a withholding agent even if there is no requirement to withhold from a payment or even if another person has withheld the required amount from the payment.
Although several persons may be withholding agents for a single payment, the full tax is required to be withheld only once. Generally, the U.S. person who pays an amount subject to NRA withholding is the person responsible for withholding. However, other persons may be required to withhold. For example, a payment made by a flow-through entity or nonqualified intermediary that knows, or has reason to know, that the full amount of NRA withholding was not done by the person from which it receives a payment is required to do the appropriate withholding since it also falls within the definition of a withholding agent. In addition, withholding must be done by any qualified intermediary, withholding foreign partnership, or withholding foreign trust in accordance with the terms of its withholding agreement, discussed later. taxmap/pubs/p515-000.htm#en_us_publink1000224770
As a withholding agent, you are personally liable for any tax required to be withheld. This liability is independent of the tax liability of the foreign person to whom the payment is made. If you fail to withhold and the foreign payee fails to satisfy its U.S. tax liability, then both you and the foreign person are liable for tax, as well as interest and any applicable penalties.
The applicable tax will be collected only once. If the foreign person satisfies its U.S. tax liability, you are not liable for the tax but remain liable for any interest and penalties for failure to withhold.taxmap/pubs/p515-000.htm#en_us_publink1000224771
You must withhold on the gross amount subject to NRA withholding. You cannot reduce the gross amount by any deductions. However, see Scholarships and Fellowship Grants, and Pay for Personal Services Performed, later, for when a deduction for a personal exemption may be allowed.
If the determination of the source of the income or the amount subject to tax depends on facts that are not known at the time of payment, you must withhold an amount sufficient to ensure that at least 30% of the amount subsequently determined to be subject to withholding is withheld. In no case, however, should you withhold more than 30% of the total amount paid. Or, you may make a reasonable estimate of the amount from U.S. sources and put a corresponding portion of the amount due in escrow until the amount from U.S. sources can be determined, at which time withholding becomes due. taxmap/pubs/p515-000.htm#en_us_publink1000224772
Withholding is required at the time you make a payment of an amount subject to withholding. A payment is made to a person if that person realizes income, whether or not there is an actual transfer of cash or other property. A payment is considered made to a person if it is paid for that person's benefit. For example, a payment made to a creditor of a person in satisfaction of that person's debt to the creditor is considered made to the person. A payment is also considered made to a person if it is made to that person's agent.
A U.S. partnership should withhold when any distributions that include amounts subject to withholding are made. However, if a foreign partner's distributive share of income subject to withholding is not actually distributed, the U.S. partnership must withhold on the foreign partner's distributive share of the income on the earlier of the date that a Schedule K-1 (Form 1065) is provided or mailed to the partner or the due date for furnishing that schedule. If the distributable amount consists of effectively connected income, see Partnership Withholding on Effectively Connected Income, later.
A U.S. trust is required to withhold on the amount includible in the gross income of a foreign beneficiary to the extent the trust's distributable net income consists of an amount subject to withholding. To the extent a U.S. trust is required to distribute an amount subject to withholding but does not actually distribute the amount, it must withhold on the foreign beneficiary's allocable share at the time the income is required to be reported on Form 1042-S. taxmap/pubs/p515-000.htm#en_us_publink1000224773
You are required to report payments subject to NRA withholding on Form 1042-S and to file a tax return on Form 1042. (See Returns Required, later.) An exception from reporting may apply to individuals who are not required to withhold from a payment and who do not make the payment in the course of their trade or business. taxmap/pubs/p515-000.htm#en_us_publink1000224774
You also may be responsible as a payer for reporting on Form 1099 payments made to a U.S. person. You must withhold 28% (backup withholding rate) from a reportable payment made to a U.S. person that is subject to Form 1099 reporting if (1) the U.S. person has not provided its taxpayer identification number (TIN) in the manner required, (2) the IRS notifies you that the TIN furnished by the payee is incorrect, (3) there has been a notified payee underreporting, or (4) there has been a payee certification failure. Generally, a TIN must be provided by a U.S. non-exempt recipient on Form W-9. A payer files a tax return on Form 945 for backup withholding.
You may be required to file Form 1099, and, if appropriate, backup withhold, even if you do not make the payments directly to that U.S. person. For example, you are required to report income paid to a foreign intermediary or flow-through entity that collects for a U.S. person subject to Form 1099 reporting. See Identifying the Payee, later, for more information. Also see Section S. Special Rules for Reporting Payments Made Through Foreign Intermediaries and Foreign Flow-Through Entities on Form 1099 in the General Instructions for Certain Information Returns (Forms 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, and W-2G).
Foreign persons who provide Form W-8BEN, Form W-8ECI, or Form W-8EXP (or applicable documentary evidence) are exempt from backup withholding and Form 1099 reporting.
If you are the employer of a nonresident alien, you generally must withhold taxes at graduated rates. See Pay for Personal Services Performed, later. taxmap/pubs/p515-000.htm#en_us_publink1000224777
A withholding agent that is a partnership (whether U.S. or foreign) is also responsible for withholding on its income effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business that is allocable to foreign partners. See Partnership Withholding on Effectively Connected Income, later, for more information. taxmap/pubs/p515-000.htm#en_us_publink1000224778
A withholding agent also may be responsible for withholding if a foreign person transfers a U.S. real property interest to the agent, or if it is a corporation, partnership, trust, or estate that distributes a U.S. real property interest to a shareholder, partner, or beneficiary that is a foreign person. See U.S. Real Property Interest, later.