Different kinds of income are subject to different withholding requirements.taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224898
Generally, when a foreign person engages in a trade or business in the United States, all income from sources in the United States connected with the conduct of that trade or business is considered effectively connected with a U.S. business. FDAP income may or may not be effectively connected with a U.S. business. For example, effectively connected income includes rents from real property if the alien chooses to treat that income as effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business.
The factors to be considered in establishing whether FDAP income and similar amounts are effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business include:
- Whether the income is from assets used in, or held for use in, the conduct of that trade or business, or
- Whether the activities of that trade or business were a material factor in the realization of the income.
There is a special rule determining whether income from securities is effectively connected with the active conduct of a U.S. banking, financing, or similar business.
If the foreign person's U.S. office actively and materially participates in soliciting, negotiating, or performing other activities required to arrange the acquisition of securities, the U.S. source interest or dividend income from the securities, gain or loss from their sale or exchange, or income or gain economically equivalent to such amounts, is attributable to the U.S. office and is effectively connected income. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224900
Generally, you do not need to withhold tax on income if you receive a Form W-8ECI on which a foreign payee represents that:
- The foreign payee is the beneficial owner of the income,
- The income is effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business in the United States, and
- The income is includible in the payee's gross income.
This withholding exemption applies to income for services performed by a foreign partnership or foreign corporation (unless item (4) below applies to the corporation). The exemption does not apply, however, to:
- Pay for personal services performed by an individual,
- Effectively connected taxable income of a partnership that is allocable to its foreign partners (see Partnership Withholding on Effectively Connected Income, later),
- Income from the disposition of a U.S. real property interest (see U.S. Real Property Interest, later), or
- Payments to a foreign corporation for personal services if all of the following apply:
- The foreign corporation otherwise qualifies as a personal holding company for income tax purposes,
- The foreign corporation receives amounts under a contract for personal services of an individual whom the corporation has no right to designate, and
- 25% or more in value of the outstanding stock of the foreign corporation at some time during the tax year is owned, directly or indirectly, by or for an individual who has performed, is to perform, or may be designated as the one to perform, the services called for under the contract.
Payment of an amount attributable to a notional principal contract is not subject to NRA withholding regardless of whether a Form W-8ECI is provided. However, income from a notional principal contract is subject to reporting on Form 1042-S if it is effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business in the United States. You must treat the income as effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business if you pay the income to, or to the account of, a qualified business unit (a branch) of a foreign person located in the United States or a qualified business unit located outside the United States and you know, or have reason to know, the income is effectively connected with the conduct of a U.S. trade or business. You do not need to treat notional principal contract income as effectively connected if you receive a Form W-8BEN that represents that the income is not effectively connected with the conduct of a U.S. trade or business or if the payee provides a representation in a master agreement or in the confirmation on the particular notional principal contract transaction that the payee is a U.S. person or a non-U.S. branch of a foreign person. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224902
A payment to a U.S. branch of a foreign bank or a foreign insurance company that is subject to U.S. regulation by the Federal Reserve or state insurance authorities is presumed to be effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business in the United States unless the branch provides a Form W-8BEN or Form W-8IMY for the income. If a U.S. branch of a foreign bank or insurance company receives income that the payer did not withhold upon because of the presumption that the income was effectively connected with the U.S. branch's trade or business, the U.S. branch is required to withhold on the income if it is in fact not effectively connected with the conduct of its trade or business in the United States. Withholding is required whether the payment was collected on behalf of other persons or on behalf of another branch of the same entity. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224903
This section discusses the specific types of income that are subject to NRA withholding. The income codes contained in this section correspond to the income codes used on Form 1042-S (discussed later), and in most cases, on Tables 1 and 2 found at the end of this publication.
You must withhold tax at the statutory rates shown in Chart C unless a reduced rate or exemption under a tax treaty applies. For U.S. source gross income that is not effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business, the rate is usually 30%. Generally, you must withhold the tax at the time you pay the income to the foreign person. See When to withhold, earlier. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224904
Interest from U.S. sources paid to foreign payees is subject to NRA withholding. When making a payment on an interest bearing obligation, you must withhold on the gross amount of stated interest payable on the interest payment date, even if the payment or a portion of the payment may be a return of capital rather than interest.
A substitute interest payment made to the transferor of a security in a securities lending transaction or a sale-repurchase transaction is treated the same as the interest on the transferred security. Use Income Code 33 to report these substitute payments.taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224905
With specific exceptions, such as portfolio interest, you must withhold on interest paid or credited on bonds, debentures, notes, open account indebtedness, governmental obligations, certain deferred payment arrangements (as provided in section 483 of the Internal Revenue Code) or other evidences of indebtedness of U.S. obligors. U.S. obligors include the U.S. Government or its agencies or instrumentalities, any U.S. citizen or resident, any U.S. corporation, and any U.S. partnership.
If, in a sale of a corporation's property, payment of the bonds or other obligations of the corporation is assumed by the buyer, that buyer, whether an individual, partnership, or corporation, must deduct and withhold the taxes that would be required to be withheld by the selling corporation as if there had been no sale or transfer. Also, if interest coupons are in default, the tax must be withheld on the gross amount of interest whether or not the payment is a return of capital or the payment of income.
A resident alien paying interest on a margin account maintained with a foreign brokerage firm must withhold from the interest whether the interest is paid directly or constructively.
Interest on bonds of a U.S. corporation paid to a foreign corporation not engaged in a trade or business in the United States is subject to NRA withholding even if the interest is guaranteed by a foreign corporation that made payment outside the United States.
Domestic corporations must withhold on interest credited to foreign subsidiaries or foreign parents.taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224906
Original issue discount paid on the redemption of an obligation is subject to NRA withholding. Original issue discount paid as part of the purchase price of an obligation sold or exchanged, other than in a redemption, is not subject to NRA withholding unless the purchase is part of a plan the principal purpose of which is to avoid tax and the withholding agent has actual knowledge or reason to know of the plan. Withholding is required by a person other than the issuer of an obligation (or the issuer's agent) only if the obligation is issued after December 31, 2000.
The original issue discount subject to NRA withholding is the taxable amount of original issue discount. The taxable amount is the original issue discount that accrued while the obligation was held by the foreign beneficial owner up to the time the obligation was sold or exchanged or a payment was made, reduced by any original issue discount that was previously taxed. If a payment was made, the tax due on the original issue discount may not exceed the payment reduced by the tax imposed on the portion of the payment that is qualified stated interest.
If you cannot determine the taxable amount, you must withhold on the entire amount of original issue discount accrued from the date of issue until the date of redemption (or sale or exchange, if subject to NRA withholding) determined on the basis of the most recently published Publication 1212, Guide to Original Issue Discount (OID) Instruments.
For more information on original issue discount, see Publication 550, Investment Income and Expenses.
Chart C. Withholding Tax Rates
(Note. You must withhold tax at the following rates on payments of income unless a reduced rate or exemption is authorized under a tax treaty. The President may apply higher tax rates on income paid to residents or corporations of foreign countries that impose burdensome or discriminatory taxes on U.S. persons.)
| IF you paid the following type of income: || THEN you generally must withhold at the following rate: |
|Taxable part of U.S. scholarship or fellowship grant paid to holder of "F" "J" "M" or "Q" visa (see Scholarship and Fellowship Grants, later)||14%|
|Gross investment income from interest, dividends, rents, and royalties paid to a foreign private foundation||4%|
|Pensions—part paid for personal services (see Pensions, Annuities, and Alimony, later)||Graduated rates in |
Circular A or Circular E
|Wages paid to a nonresident alien employee (see Pay for Personal Services Performed, later)||Graduated rates in |
Circular A or Circular E
|Each foreign partner's share of effectively connected income of the partnership (see Partnership Withholding on Effectively Connected Income, later)|| 35%|
|Distributions of effectively connected income to foreign partners by publicly traded partnerships (see Publicly Traded Partnerships, later)||35%|
|Dispositions of U.S. real property interests (see U.S. Real Property Interest, later)||10% *|
|Dividends paid to Puerto Rico corporation||10%|
|All other income subject to withholding||30%|
|*35% in the case of certain distributions by corporations, partnerships, trusts, or estates.|
Certain interest is subject to a reduced rate of, or exemption from, withholding.taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224910
Interest and original issue discount that qualifies as portfolio interest is not subject to NRA withholding. To qualify as portfolio interest, the interest must be otherwise subject to NRA withholding, must be paid on obligations issued after July 18, 1984, and must meet certain other requirements. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224911
Interest on an obligation that is not in registered form (bearer obligation) is portfolio interest if the obligation is foreign-targeted. A bearer obligation is foreign-targeted if:
- There are arrangements to ensure that the obligation will be sold, or resold in connection with the original issue, only to a person who is not a United States person,
- Interest on the obligation is payable only outside the United States and its possessions, and
- The face of the obligation contains a statement that any United States person who holds the obligation will be subject to limits under the United States income tax laws.
Documentation is not required for interest on bearer obligations to qualify as portfolio interest. In some cases, however, you may need documentation for purposes of Form 1099 reporting and backup withholding. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224912
Portfolio interest includes interest paid on an obligation that is in registered form, and for which you have received documentation that the beneficial owner of the obligation is not a United States person.
If the registered obligation is not targeted to foreign markets, you must receive documentation on which you may rely to treat the payee as a foreign person that is the beneficial owner of the interest. The documentation required is a valid Form W-8BEN (a valid Form W-8EXP from an entity that completes the Form W-8EXP for other purposes is also acceptable) or, if allowable, valid documentary evidence. See Documentation, earlier.
A registered obligation is targeted to foreign markets if it is sold (or resold in connection with its original issuance) only to foreign persons or to foreign branches of U. S. financial institutions in accordance with procedures similar to those provided under section 1.163-5(c)(2)(i) of the regulations. However, the procedure that requires the obligation to be offered for sale (or resale) only outside the United States does not apply if the registered obligation is offered for sale through a public auction. Also, the procedure that requires the obligation to be delivered outside the United States does not apply if the obligation is considered registered because it may be transferred only through a book entry system and the obligation is offered for sale through a public auction. The documentation needed depends on whether the interest is paid to a financial institution, a member of a clearing organization, or to some other foreign person. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224913
Under these systems, bonds are required to be represented only by book entries, and no physical certificates are issued or transferred. The bonds are transferred only by book entries. These bonds are considered to be in registered form if the holder may only obtain a physical certificate in bearer form when the clearing organization that maintains the book-entry system goes out of business without a successor. Generally, these rules apply to bonds issued after December 31, 2006. A bond issued in bearer form before January 1, 2007, may continue to be treated as such until its maturity even if it is held under a book-entry system. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224914
Payments to certain persons and payments of contingent interest do not qualify as portfolio interest. You must withhold at the statutory rate on such payments unless some other exception, such as a treaty provision applies. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224915
Interest paid to a foreign person that owns 10% or more of the total combined voting power of all classes of stock of a corporation, or 10% or more of the capital or profits interest in a partnership, that issued the obligation on which the interest is paid is not portfolio interest. To determine 10% ownership, see Regulations section 1.871-14(g). taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224916
Except in the case of interest paid on an obligation of the United States, interest paid to a bank on an extension of credit made pursuant to a loan agreement entered into in the ordinary course of the bank's trade or business does not qualify as portfolio interest. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224917
Interest paid to a controlled foreign corporation from a person related to the controlled foreign corporation is not portfolio interest. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224918
Portfolio interest generally does not include contingent interest. Contingent interest is interest that is determined by reference to any of the following.
- 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.
- Any dividend, partnership distributions, or similar payments made by the debtor or a related person.
The term "related person" is defined in section 871(h)(4)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code.
The contingent interest rule does not apply to any interest paid or accrued on any indebtedness 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 indebtedness was issued.
Certain treaties (see Table 1) permit a reduced rate or exemption for interest paid or credited on real property mortgages. This is interest paid on any type of debt instrument that is secured by a mortgage or deed of trust on real property located in the United States, regardless of whether the mortgagor (or grantor) is a U.S. citizen or a U.S. business entity. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224920
A domestic partnership must separately state a partner's allocable share of REMIC taxable income or net loss and the excess inclusion amount on Schedule K-1 (Form 1065). If the partnership allocates all or some portion of its allocable share of REMIC taxable income to a foreign partner, the partner must include the partner's allocated amount in income as if that amount was received on the earlier of the following dates.
- The date of distribution by the partnership.
- The date the foreign partner disposed of its indirect interest in the REMIC residual interest.
- The last day of the partnership's tax year.
For purposes of item (2), the disposition may occur as a result of:
- A termination of the REMIC,
- A disposition of the partnership's residual interest in the REMIC,
- A disposition of the foreign partner's interest in the partnership, or
- Any other reduction in the foreign partner's allocable share of the partnership's portion of the REMIC net income or deduction.
The partnership must withhold tax on the portion of the REMIC amount that is an excess inclusion. Excess inclusion income is treated as income from sources in the United States and is not eligible for any reduction in withholding tax (by treaty or otherwise).
An excess inclusion allocated to the following foreign persons must be included in that person's income at the same time as other income from the entity is included in income.
- Shareholder of a real estate investment trust.
- Shareholder of a regulated investment trust.
- Participant in a common trust fund.
- Patron of a subchapter T cooperative organization.
The entity must withhold on the excess inclusion.
For information on the taxation and reporting of excess inclusion income by REITs, RICs, and other pass-through entities, see Notice 2006-97, 2006-46 I.R.B. 904, available at www.irs.gov/irb/2006-46_IRB/ar14.html
A treaty may permit a reduced rate or exemption for interest paid by a domestic corporation to a controlling foreign corporation. The interest may be on any type of debt including open or unsecured accounts payable, notes, certificates, bonds, or other evidences of indebtedness.taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224922
If a foreign corporation is engaged in a U.S. trade or business, any interest paid by the foreign corporation's trade or business in the United States (branch interest) is subject to NRA withholding as if paid by a domestic corporation (without considering the "payer having income from abroad" exception). As a result, the interest paid to foreign payees is generally subject to NRA withholding. In addition, if "allocable interest" exceeds the branch interest paid, the excess interest is also subject to tax and reported on the foreign corporation's income tax return, Form 1120-F. See Instructions for Form 1120-F for more information.
If there is no treaty provision that reduces the rate of withholding on branch interest, you must withhold tax at the statutory rate of 30% on the interest paid by a foreign corporation's U.S. trade or business.
In general, payees of interest from a U.S. trade or business of a foreign corporation are entitled to reduced rates of, or exemption from, tax under a treaty in the same manner and subject to the same conditions as if they had received the interest from a domestic corporation. However, a foreign corporation that receives interest paid by a U.S. trade or business of a foreign corporation also must be a qualified resident of its country of residence to be entitled to benefits under that country's tax treaty. If the foreign corporation is a resident of a country that has entered into an income tax treaty since 1987 that contains a limitation on benefits article, the foreign corporation need only satisfy the limitation on benefits article in that treaty to qualify for a reduced rate of tax.
Alternatively, a payee may be entitled to treaty benefits under the payer's treaty if there is a provision in that treaty that applies specifically to interest paid by the payer foreign corporation. This provision may exempt all or a part of this interest. Some treaties provide for an exemption regardless of the payee's residence or citizenship, while others provide for an exemption according to the payee's status as a resident or citizen of the payer's country.
A foreign corporation that pays interest must be a qualified resident (under section 884 of the Internal Revenue Code) of its country of residence for the payer's treaty to exempt payments from tax by the foreign corporation. However, if the foreign corporation is a resident of a country that has entered into an income tax treaty since 1987 that contains a limitation on benefits article, the foreign corporation need only satisfy the limitation on benefits article in that treaty to qualify for the exemption. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224923
Foreign persons are not subject to withholding on interest that is not connected with a U.S. trade or business if it is from:
- Deposits with persons carrying on the banking business,
- Deposits or withdrawable accounts with savings institutions chartered and supervised under federal or state law as savings and loan or similar associations, such as credit unions, if the interest is or would be deductible by the institutions, or
- Amounts left with an insurance company under an agreement to pay interest on them.
Deposits include certificates of deposit, open account time deposits, Eurodollar certificates of deposit, and other deposit arrangements.
The deposit interest exception does not require a Form W-8BEN. However, a Form W-8BEN may be required for purposes of Form 1099 reporting and backup withholding.
You may have to file Form 1042-S to report certain payments of interest on deposits. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224924
In general, interest received from a resident alien individual or a domestic corporation is not subject to NRA withholding if at least 80% of the payer's gross income from all sources has been from active foreign business for the 3 tax years of the payer before the year in which the interest is paid, or for the applicable part of those 3 years. Active foreign business income is gross income which is:
- Derived from sources outside the United States, and
- Attributable to the active conduct of a trade or business in a foreign country or possession of the United States by the individual or corporation.
However, limits apply if the recipient is considered to be a related person (see section 861(c) of the Internal Revenue Code). A foreign beneficial owner does not need to provide a Form W-8 or documentary evidence for this exception. However, documentation may be required for purposes of Form 1099 reporting and backup withholding. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224925
Amounts paid as part of the purchase price of an obligation sold or exchanged between interest payment dates is not subject to NRA withholding. This does not apply if the sale or exchange is part of a plan the principal purpose of which is to avoid tax and you have actual knowledge or reason to know of the plan. The exemption from NRA withholding applies even if you do not have any documentation from the payee. However, documentation may be required for purposes of Form 1099 reporting and backup withholding. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224926
Interest and original issue discount paid on an obligation that is payable 183 days or less from the date of its original issue (without regard to the period held by the taxpayer) is not subject to NRA withholding. This exemption applies even if you do not have any documentation from the payee. However, documentation may be required for purposes of Form 1099 reporting and backup withholding. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224927
Interest from a Series E, Series EE, Series H, or Series HH U.S. Savings Bond is not subject to NRA withholding if the nonresident alien individual acquired the bond while a resident of the Ryukyu Islands or the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224928
The following types of dividends paid to foreign payees are generally subject to NRA withholding.
A substitute dividend payment made to the transferor of a security in a securities lending transaction or a sale-repurchase transaction is treated the same as a distribution on the transferred security. Use Income Code 34 to report these substitute payments.taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224929
The tax rate on dividends paid to a corporation created or organized in, or under the law of, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is 10%, rather than 30% if:
- At all times during the tax year less than 25% in value of the Puerto Rico corporation's stock is owned, directly or indirectly, by foreign persons,
- At least 65% of the Puerto Rico corporation's gross income is effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business in Puerto Rico or the United States for the 3-year period ending with the close of the tax year of that corporation (or the period the corporation or any predecessor has been in existence, if less), and
- No substantial part of the income of the Puerto Rico corporation is used, directly or indirectly, to satisfy obligations to a person who is not a bona fide resident of Puerto Rico or the United States.
This category includes all distributions of domestic corporations (other than dividends qualifying for direct dividend rate—Income Code 7).
A corporation making a distribution with respect to its stock or any intermediary making a payment of such a distribution, is required to withhold on the entire amount of the distribution. However, a distributing corporation or intermediary may elect to not withhold on the part of the distribution that:
- Represents a nontaxable distribution payable in stock or stock rights,
- Represents a distribution in part or full payment in exchange for stock,
- Is not paid out of current or accumulated earnings and profits, based on a reasonable estimate of the anticipated amount of earnings and profits for the tax year of the distribution made at a time reasonably close to the date of the distribution,
- Represents a capital gain dividend (use Income Code 36) or an exempt interest dividend by a regulated investment company, or
- Is subject to withholding under section 1445 of the Code (withholding on dispositions of U.S. real property interests) and the distributing corporation is a U.S. real property holding corporation or a qualified investment entity.
The election is made by actually reducing the amount of withholding at the time the distribution is paid.
A qualified investment entity (QIE) is:
- Any real estate investment trust (REIT), or
- Any regulated investment company (RIC) that is a U.S. real property holding corporation if the distribution by the RIC is attributable to a distribution received by the RIC from a REIT.
In determining if the RIC is a U.S. real property holding corporation, the RIC is required to include as U.S. real property interests its holdings of stock in a RIC or REIT that is a U.S. real property holding corporation, even if that stock is regularly traded and the RIC owns less than 5% of the stock.
A distribution by a QIE to a nonresident alien or a foreign corporation is treated as a dividend and is not subject to withholding under section 1445 as a gain from the sale or exchange of a U.S. real property interest if:
- The distribution is on stock regularly traded on a securities market in the United States, and
- The individual or corporation did not own more than 5% of that stock at any time during the 1-year period ending on the date of distribution.
If these requirements are not met, item (5) in the previous list applies to the distribution.
Generally, a percentage of any dividend paid by a domestic corporation that received at least 80% of its gross income from the active conduct of a foreign business for a testing period is not subject to NRA withholding. The testing period is the 3 tax years before the year in which the dividends are declared, or shorter period if the corporation was not in existence for 3 years. The percentage is found by dividing the corporation's foreign gross income for the testing period by the corporation's total gross income for that period. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224933
If you receive a Form 972, Consent of Shareholder To Include Specific Amount in Gross Income, from a nonresident alien individual or other foreign shareholder who agrees to treat the amount as a taxable dividend, you must pay and report on Form 1042 and Form 1042-S any withholding tax you would have withheld if the dividend had been actually paid. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224935
A treaty may reduce the rate of withholding on dividends from that which generally applies under the treaty if the shareholder owns a certain percentage of the voting stock of the corporation. Generally, this preferential rate applies only if the shareholder directly owns the required percentage, although some treaties permit the percentage to be met by direct or indirect ownership. The preferential rate may apply to the payment of a deemed dividend under section 304(a)(1) of the Code. Under some treaties, the preferential rate for dividends qualifying for the direct dividend rate applies only if no more than a certain percentage of the paying corporation's gross income for a certain period consists of dividends and interest other than dividends and interest from subsidiaries or from the active conduct of a banking, financing, or insurance business. A foreign person claiming the direct dividend rate should complete line 10 of Form W-8BEN regarding special rates and conditions. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224936
If you receive a Form 972 from a foreign shareholder qualifying for the direct dividend rate, you must pay and report on Form 1042 and Form 1042-S any withholding tax you would have withheld if the dividend had been actually paid. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224937
Dividends paid by a foreign corporation are generally not subject to NRA withholding. This exception does not require a Form W-8BEN. However, a Form W-8BEN may be required for purposes of Form 1099 reporting and backup withholding.
The payment to a foreign corporation by a foreign corporation of a deemed dividend under section 304(a)(1) of the Code is subject to NRA withholding except to the extent it can be clearly determined to be from foreign sources. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224938
If a foreign corporation is subject to branch profits tax for any tax year, withholding is not required on any dividends paid by the corporation out of its earnings and profits for that tax year. Dividends may be subject to NRA withholding if they are attributable to any earnings and profits when the branch profits tax is prohibited by a tax treaty.
A foreign person may claim a treaty benefit on dividends paid by a foreign corporation to the extent the dividends are paid out of earnings and profits in a year in which the foreign corporation was not subject to the branch profits tax. However, you may apply a reduced rate of withholding under an income tax treaty only under rules similar to the rules that apply to treaty benefits claimed on branch interest paid by a foreign corporation. You should check the specific treaty provision. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224939
You generally do not need to withhold on gains from the sale of real or personal property because it is not FDAP income. However, see U.S. Real Property Interest, later. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224940
You must withhold at 30%, or if applicable, a reduced treaty rate, on the gross amount of the following items:
- Gains on disposal of timber, coal, or domestic iron ore with a retained economic interest, unless an election is made to treat those gains as income effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business,
- Gains on contingent payments received from the sale or exchange after October 4, 1966, of patents, copyrights, secret processes and formulas, goodwill, trademarks, trade brands, franchises, and other like property,
- Gains on certain transfers of all substantial rights to, or an undivided interest in, patents if the transfers were made before October 5, 1966, and
- Certain gains from the sale or exchange of original issue discount obligations issued after March 31, 1972. For more on withholding on original issue discount obligations, see Interest, earlier.
If you do not know the amount of the gain, you must withhold an amount necessary to ensure that the tax withheld will not be less than 30% of the recognized gain. The amount to be withheld, however, must not be more than 30% of the amount payable because of the transaction.
Unless you have reason to believe otherwise, you may rely upon the written statement of the person entitled to the income as to the amount of gain. The Form W-8 or documentary evidence must show the beneficial owner's basis in the property giving rise to the gain. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224941
Many tax treaties exempt certain types of gains from U.S. income tax. Be sure to carefully check the provision of the treaty that applies before allowing an exemption from withholding.taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224942
In general, you must withhold tax on the payment of royalties from sources in the United States. However, certain types of royalties are given reduced rates or exemptions under some tax treaties. Accordingly, these different types of royalties are treated as separate categories for withholding purposes. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224943
This category of income includes royalties for the use of, or the right to use, patents, trademarks, secret processes and formulas, goodwill, franchises, "know-how," and similar rights. It also may include rents for the use or lease of personal property. Under certain tax treaties, different rates may apply to royalties for information concerning industrial, commercial, and scientific know-how. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224944
This category refers to royalties paid for the use of motion picture and television copyrights.taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224945
This category refers to the royalties paid for the use of copyrights on books, periodicals, articles, etc., except motion picture and television copyrights.taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224946
You must withhold tax on income (such as rents and royalties) from real property located in the United States and held for the production of income, unless the foreign payee elects to treat this income as effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business. If the foreign payee chooses to treat this income as effectively connected, the payee must give you Form W-8ECI (discussed earlier). This real property income includes royalties from mines, wells, or other natural deposits, as well as ordinary rents for the use of real property. For withholding that applies to the disposition of U.S. real property interests, see U.S. Real Property Interest, later. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224947
The following rules apply to withholding on pensions, annuities, and alimony of foreign payees.taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224948
Generally, you must withhold tax on the gross amount of pensions and annuities that you pay that are from sources within the United States. This includes amounts paid under an annuity contract issued by a foreign branch of a U.S. life insurance company. However, most tax treaties provide that private pensions and annuities are exempt from withholding.
In the absence of a treaty exemption, you must withhold at the statutory rate of 30% on the entire distribution that is from sources within the United States. You may, however, apply withholding at graduated rates to the portion of a distribution that arises from the performance of services in the United States after December 31, 1986.
Employer contributions to a defined benefit plan covering more than one individual are not made for the benefit of a specific participant, but are made based on the total liabilities to all participants. All funds held under the plan are available to provide benefits to any participant. If the distribution is from such a plan, you can use the method in Revenue Procedure 2004-37 to allocate the distribution to sources in the United States. Revenue Procedure 2004-37, 2004-26 I.R.B. 1099 is available at www.irs.gov/irb/2004-26_IRB/ar08.html.
The withholding rules that apply to payments to foreign persons generally take precedence over any other withholding rules that would apply to distributions from qualified plans and other qualified retirement arrangements.taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224949
Do not withhold tax on an annuity payment to a nonresident alien if at the time of the first payment from the plan, 90% or more of the employees eligible for benefits under the plan are citizens or residents of the United States and the payment is:
- For the nonresident's personal services performed outside the United States, or
- For personal services by a nonresident individual present in the United States for 90 days or less during each tax year, whose pay for those services does not exceed $3,000, and the personal services are performed for:
- A nonresident alien individual, foreign partnership, or foreign corporation not engaged in a trade or business in the United States, or
- An office or place of business of a U.S. resident or citizen which is maintained outside the United States.
If the payment otherwise qualifies under these rules, but less than 90% of the employees eligible for benefits are citizens or residents of the United States, you still need not withhold tax on the payment if:
- The recipient is a resident of a country that gives a substantially equal exclusion to U.S. citizens and residents, or
- The recipient is a resident of a beneficiary developing country under the Trade Act of 1974.
The foreign person entitled to the payments must provide you with a Form W-8BEN that contains the TIN of the foreign person. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224950
Generally, alimony payments made by U.S. resident aliens to nonresident aliens are taxable and subject to NRA withholding whether the recipients are residing abroad or are temporarily present in the United States.
Many tax treaties, however, provide for an exemption from withholding for alimony payments. These treaties are shown in Table 1 by a footnote reference under Income Code number 14.
Alimony payments made to a nonresident alien by a U.S. ancillary administrator of a nonresident alien estate are from foreign sources and are not subject to withholding. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224951
A scholarship or fellowship grant is an amount given to an individual for study, training, or research, and which does not constitute compensation for personal services. Whether a fellowship grant from U.S. sources is subject to NRA withholding depends on the nature of the payments and whether the recipient is a candidate for a degree. See Scholarships, fellowships, and grants under Source of Income, earlier.taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224952
Do not withhold on a qualified scholarship from U.S. sources granted and paid to a candidate for a degree. A qualified scholarship means any amount paid to an individual as a scholarship or fellowship grant to the extent that, in accordance with the conditions of the grant, the amount is to be used for the following expenses:
- Tuition and fees required for enrollment or attendance at an educational organization, and
- Fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for courses of instruction at the educational organization.
The payment of a qualified scholarship to a nonresident alien is not reportable and is not subject to NRA withholding. However, the portion of a scholarship or fellowship paid to a nonresident alien which does not constitute a qualified scholarship is reportable on Form 1042-S and is subject to NRA withholding. For example, those portions of a scholarship devoted to travel, room, and board are subject to NRA withholding and are reported on Form 1042-S. The withholding rate is 14% on taxable scholarship and fellowship grants paid to nonresident aliens temporarily present in the United States in "F," "J," "M," or "Q" nonimmigrant status. Payments made to nonresident alien individuals in any other immigration status are subject to 30% withholding. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224953
If the person receiving the scholarship or fellowship grant is not a candidate for a degree, and is present in the United States in "F," "J," "M," or "Q" nonimmigrant status, you must withhold tax at 14% on the total amount of the grant that is from U.S. sources if the following requirements are met.
- The grant must be for study, training, or research in the United States.
- The grant must be made by:
- A tax-exempt organization operated for charitable, religious, educational, etc. purposes,
- A foreign government,
- A federal, state, or local government agency, or
- An international organization, or a binational or multinational educational or cultural organization created or continued by the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961 (known as the Fulbright-Hays Act).
If the grant does not meet both (1) and (2) above, you must withhold at 30% on the amount of the grant that is from U.S. sources. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224954
You may choose to treat the taxable part of a U.S. source grant or scholarship as wages. The student or grantee must have been admitted into the United States on an "F," "J," "M," or "Q" visa. The student or grantee will know that you are using this alternate withholding procedure when you ask for a Form W-4.
The student or grantee must complete Form W-4 annually following the instructions given here and forward it to you, the payer of the scholarship, or your designated withholding agent. You may rely on the information on Form W-4 unless you know or have reason to know it is incorrect. You must file a Form 1042-S (discussed later) for each student or grantee who gives you, or your withholding agent, a Form W-4.
Each student or grantee who files a Form W-4 must file an annual U.S. income tax return to be allowed the exemptions and deductions claimed on that form. If the individual is in the United States during more than one tax year, he or she must attach a statement to the annual Form W-4 indicating that the individual has filed a U.S. income tax return for the previous year. If he or she has not been in the United States long enough to have to file a return, the individual must attach a statement to the Form W-4 saying that a timely U.S. income tax return will be filed.
A prorated portion of allowable personal exemptions based on the projected number of days he or she will be in this country is allowed. This is figured by multiplying the daily exemption amount ($10.00 for 2010) by the number of days the student or grantee expects to be in the United States during the year. The prorated exemption amount should be shown on line A of the Personal Allowances Worksheet that comes with Form W-4.
Generally, zero (-0-) should be shown on line B of the worksheet. But, a student or grantee who qualifies under Article 21(2) of the United States-India income tax treaty can enter the standard deduction if he or she does not claim away-from-home expenses or other itemized deductions (discussed later).
Generally, zero (-0-) should be shown on lines C and D of the worksheet. But, an additional daily exemption amount may be allowed for the spouse and each dependent if the student or grantee is:
- A resident of Canada, Mexico, or South Korea,
- A U.S. national (a citizen of American Samoa, or a Northern Mariana Islander who chose to become a U.S. national), or
- Eligible for the benefits of Article 21(2) of the United States-India income tax treaty.
These additional amounts should be entered on lines C and D, as appropriate.
As lines E, F, and G of the worksheet do not apply to nonresident aliens subject to this procedure, there should be no entries on those lines.
The nonresident alien student or grantee may deduct away-from-home expenses (meals, lodging, and transportation) on Form W-4 if he or she expects to be away from his or her tax home for 1 year or less. The amount of the claimed expenses should be the anticipated actual amount, if known.
The actual expenses or the per diem allowance should be shown on line A of the worksheet in addition to the personal exemption amount.
The student or grantee can claim other expenses that will be deductible on Form 1040NR, U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return. These include student loan interest, certain state and local income taxes, charitable contributions, casualty losses, and moving expenses. He or she should include these anticipated amounts on line A of the worksheet.
The student or grantee can also enter on line A of the worksheet, the part of the grant or scholarship that is tax exempt under the statute or a tax treaty.
Lines A through D of the Personal Allowances Worksheet are added and the total should be shown on line H.
The payer of the grant or scholarship must review the Form W-4 to make sure all the necessary and required information is provided. If the withholding agent knows or has reason to know that the amounts shown on the Form W-4 may be false, the withholding agent must reject the Form W-4 and withhold at the appropriate statutory rate (14% or 30%). However, if the only incorrect information is that the student or grantee's stay in the United States has extended beyond 12 months, the withholding agent may withhold under these rules, but without a deduction for away-from-home expenses.
After receipt and acceptance of the Form W-4, the payer must withhold at the graduated rates in Publication 15 (Circular E) as if the grant or scholarship income were wages. The gross amount of the income is reduced by the total amount of exemptions and deductions on the Form W-4 and the withholding tax is figured on the rest.
When completing Form 1042-S for the student or grantee, enter the taxable part (gross amount less qualified scholarship) of the scholarship or fellowship grant in box 2, enter the withholding allowance amount from line H of the Personal Allowances Worksheet of Form W-4 in box 3, and show the net of these two amounts in box 4. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224955
Pay for services rendered as an employee by an alien who also is the recipient of a scholarship or fellowship grant usually is subject to graduated withholding according to the rules discussed later in Wages Paid to Employees — Graduated Withholding. This includes taxable amounts an individual who is a candidate for a degree receives for teaching, doing research, and carrying out other part-time employment required as a condition for receiving the scholarship or fellowship grant.
Grants given to students, trainees, or researchers which require the performance of personal services as a necessary condition for disbursing the grant do not qualify as scholarship or fellowship grants. Instead, they are compensation for personal services considered to be wages. It does not matter what term is used to describe the grant (for example, stipend, scholarship, fellowship, etc.).
Withholding agents who pay grants that are in fact wages must report such grants on Forms 941 and W-2 and withhold income tax on them at the graduated rates. Withholding agents may not allow tax treaty exemptions that apply to scholarships and fellowships to be applied to grants that are really wages. It is the responsibility of the withholding agent to determine whether a grant is "wages" or a "scholarship or fellowship," and to report and withhold on the grant accordingly. An alien student, trainee, or researcher may not claim a scholarship or fellowship treaty exemption against income which has been reported to him on Form W-2 as wages.
Per diem for subsistence paid by the U.S. Government (directly or by contract) to a nonresident alien engaged in a training program in the United States funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development are not subject to 14% or 30% withholding. This is true even if the alien is subject to income tax on those amounts. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224958
Many treaties contain exemptions from U.S. taxation for scholarships and fellowships. Although usually found in the student articles of the tax treaties, many of these exemptions also apply to research grants received by researchers who are not students. Table 2 of this publication shows a line entry entitled "Scholarship or fellowship grant" for those treaties which have such an exemption. The treaty provision usually exempts the entire scholarship or fellowship amount, regardless of whether the grant is a "qualified scholarship" under U.S. law.
An alien student, trainee, or researcher may claim a treaty exemption for a scholarship or fellowship by submitting Form W-8BEN to the payer of the grant. However, a scholarship or fellowship recipient who receives both wages and a scholarship or fellowship from the same institution can claim treaty exemptions on both kinds of income on Form 8233.
The scholarship or fellowship recipient who is claiming a treaty exemption must provide you with his or her TIN on Form W-8BEN or on Form 8233 or you cannot allow the treaty exemption. A copy of a completed Form W-7, showing that a TIN has been applied for, can be given to you with a Form 8233. See Form 8233, later under Pay for Personal Services Performed.taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224959
Generally, only a nonresident alien individual may use the terms of a tax treaty to reduce or eliminate U.S. tax on income from a scholarship or fellowship grant. A student (including a trainee or business apprentice) or researcher who has become a resident alien for U.S. tax purposes may not use the terms of a tax treaty due to a provision known as a "saving clause." However, an exception to the saving clause may permit an exemption from tax to continue for scholarship or fellowship grant income even after the recipient has otherwise become a U.S. resident alien for tax purposes. In this situation, the individual must give you a Form W-9 and an attachment that includes all the following information.
- The treaty country.
- The treaty article addressing the income.
- The article number (or location) in the tax treaty that contains the saving clause and its exceptions.
- The type and amount of income that qualifies for the exemption from tax.
- Sufficient facts to justify the exemption from tax under the terms of the treaty article.
Article 20 of the U.S.-China income tax treaty allows an exemption from tax for scholarship income received by a Chinese student temporarily present in the United States. Under the Internal Revenue Code, a student may become a resident alien for tax purposes if his or her stay in the United States exceeds 5 calendar years. However, the treaty allows the provisions of Article 20 to continue to apply even after the Chinese student becomes a resident alien of the United States. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224961
Other grants, prizes, and awards made by grantors that reside in the United States are treated as income from sources within the United States. Those made for activities conducted outside the United States by a foreign person or by grantors that reside outside the United States are treated as income from foreign sources. These provisions do not apply to salaries or other pay for services. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224962
The purpose of a grant must be to achieve a specific objective, produce a report or other similar product, or improve or enhance a literary, artistic, musical, scientific, teaching, or other similar capacity, skill, or talent of the grantee. A grant must also be an amount which does not qualify as a scholarship or fellowship. The grantor must not intend the amount to be given to the grantee for the purpose of aiding the grantee to perform study, training, or research. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224963
Prizes and awards are amounts received primarily in recognition of religious, charitable, scientific, educational, artistic, literary, or civic achievement, or are received as the result of entering a contest. A prize or award is taxable to the recipient unless all of the following conditions are met:
- The recipient was selected without any action on his or her part to enter the contest or proceeding,
- The recipient is not required to render substantial future services as a condition to receive the prize or award, and
- The prize or award is transferred by the payer to a governmental unit or tax-exempt charitable organization as designated by the recipient.
Targeted grants and achievement awards received by nonresident aliens for activities conducted outside the United States are treated as income from foreign sources. Targeted grants and achievement awards are issued by exempt organizations or by the United States (or one of its instruments or agencies), a state (or a political subdivision of a state), or the District of Columbia for an activity (or past activity in the case of an achievement award) undertaken in the public interest. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224965
This section explains the rules for withholding tax from pay for personal services. You generally must withhold tax at the 30% rate on compensation you pay to a nonresident alien individual for labor or personal services performed in the United States, unless that pay is specifically exempted from withholding or subject to graduated withholding. This rule applies regardless of your place of residence, the place where the contract for service was made, or the place of payment. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224966
Foreign workers who are illegal aliens are subject to U.S. taxes in spite of their illegal status. U.S. employers or payers who hire illegal aliens may be subject to various fines, penalties, and sanctions imposed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. If such employers or payers choose to hire illegal aliens, the payments made to those aliens are subject to the same tax withholding and reporting obligations that apply to other classes of aliens. Illegal aliens who are nonresident aliens and who receive income from performing independent personal services are subject to 30% withholding unless exempt under some provision of law or a tax treaty. Illegal aliens who are resident aliens and who receive income from performing dependent personal services are subject to the same reporting and withholding obligations which apply to U.S. citizens who receive the same kind of income. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224967
This form is used by a nonresident alien individual to claim a tax treaty exemption from withholding on some or all compensation paid for:
- Independent personal services (self-employment),
- Dependent personal services, or
- Personal services income and noncompensatory scholarship or fellowship income from the same withholding agent.
Persons providing independent personal services can use Form 8233 to claim the personal exemption amount.taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224968
This form is used by a person providing dependent personal services to claim the personal exemption amount, but not a tax treaty exemption. Nonresident alien individuals are subject to special instructions for completing the Form W-4. See the discussion under Wages Paid to Employees—Graduated Withholding, later. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224969
Independent personal services (a term commonly used in tax treaties) are personal services performed by an independent nonresident alien contractor as contrasted with those performed by an employee. This category of pay includes payments for professional services, such as fees of an attorney, physician, or accountant made directly to the person performing the services. It also includes honoraria paid by colleges and universities to visiting teachers, lecturers, and researchers.
Pay for independent personal services is subject to NRA withholding and reporting as follows.taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224970
You must withhold at the statutory rate of 30% on all payments unless the alien enters into a withholding agreement or receives a final payment exemption (discussed later).
The amount of pay subject to 30% withholding may be reduced by the personal exemption amount ($3,650 for 2010) if the alien gives you a properly completed Form 8233. A nonresident alien is allowed only one personal exemption. However, individuals who are residents of Canada, Mexico, or South Korea, or are U.S. nationals generally are entitled to the same exemptions as U.S. citizens.
Students and business apprentices covered by Article 21(2) of the United States-India income tax treaty may claim an additional exemption for their spouse if a joint return is not filed, and if the spouse has no gross income for the year and is not the dependent of another taxpayer. They also may claim additional exemptions for children who reside with them in the United States at any time during the year, but only if the dependents are U.S. citizens or nationals or residents of the United States, Canada, or Mexico. They may not claim exemptions for dependents who are admitted to the United States on "F-2," "J-2," or "M-2" visas unless such dependents have become resident aliens.
Each allowable exemption must be prorated according to the number of days during the tax year during which the alien performs services in the United States. Multiply the number of these days by $10.00 (the daily exemption amount for 2010) to figure the prorated amount. Residents of South Korea must make a further proration of their additional exemptions based on their gross income effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business. The rules for this proration are discussed in detail in Publication 519.
A U.S. national is an individual who owes his sole allegiance to the United States, but who is not a U.S. citizen. Such an individual is usually a citizen of American Samoa or a Northern Mariana Islander who chose to become a U.S. national. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224971
Hans Schmidt, who is a resident of Country X, worked (not as an employee) for a U.S. company in the United States for 100 days during 2010 before returning to his country. He earned $6,000 for the services performed (not considered wages) in the United States. Hans is married and has three dependent children. His wife did not work and had no income subject to U.S. tax. Hans is allowed $1,000 as a deduction against the payments for his personal services performed in the United States (100 days × $10.00). Tax must be withheld at 30% on the rest of his earnings, $5,000 ($6,000 − $1,000).taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224972
If, in Example 1, Hans were a resident of Mexico, working under contract with a domestic corporation, $5,000 (100 days × $10.00 per day for each of five exemptions) would be allowed against the payments for personal services performed in the United States. Tax must be withheld at 30% on the rest of his earnings, $1,000 ($6,000 − $5,000).taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224973
Pay for personal services of a nonresident alien who is engaged during the tax year in the conduct of a U.S. trade or business may be wholly or partially exempted from withholding at the statutory rate if an agreement has been reached between the Commissioner or his delegate and the alien as to the amount of withholding required. This agreement will be effective for payments covered by the agreement that are made after the agreement is executed by all parties. The alien must agree to timely file an income tax return for the current tax year. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224974
The final payment of compensation for independent personal services may be wholly or partially exempt from withholding at the statutory rate. This exemption applies to the last payment of compensation, other than wages, for personal services rendered in the United States that the alien expects to receive from any withholding agent during the tax year.
To obtain the final payment exemption, the alien, or the alien's agent, must file the forms and provide the information required by the Commissioner or his delegate. This information includes, but is not limited to, the following items.
- A statement by each withholding agent from whom amounts of gross income effectively connected with the conduct of a U.S. trade or business have been received by the alien during the tax year. It must show the amount of income paid and the amount of tax withheld. The withholding agent must sign the statement and include a declaration that it is made under penalties of perjury.
- A statement by the withholding agent from whom the final payment of compensation for personal services will be received showing the amount of final payment and the amount that would be withheld if a final payment exemption is not granted. The withholding agent must sign the statement and include a declaration that it is made under penalties of perjury.
- A statement by the alien that he or she does not intend to receive any other amounts of gross income effectively connected with the conduct of a U.S. trade or business during the current tax year.
- The amount of tax that has been withheld (or paid) under any other provision of the Code or regulations for any income effectively connected with the conduct of a U.S. trade or business during the current tax year.
- The amount of any outstanding tax liabilities, including any interest and penalties, from the current tax year or prior tax periods.
- The provision of any income tax treaty under which a partial or complete exemption from withholding may be claimed, the country of the alien's residence, and a statement of sufficient facts to justify an exemption under that treaty.
The alien must give a statement, signed and verified by a declaration that it is made under the penalties of perjury, that all the information provided is true, and that to his or her knowledge no relevant information has been omitted.
If satisfied with the information provided, the Commissioner or his delegate will determine the amount of the alien's tentative income tax for the tax year on gross income effectively connected with the conduct of a U.S. trade or business. Ordinary and necessary business expenses may be taken into account if proved to the satisfaction of the Commissioner or his delegate.
The Commissioner or his delegate will provide the alien with a letter to you, the withholding agent, stating the amount of the final payment of compensation for personal services that is exempt from withholding, and the amount that would otherwise be withheld that may be paid to the alien due to the exemption. The amount of pay exempt from withholding cannot be more than $5,000. The alien must give two copies of the letter to you and must also attach a copy of the letter to his or her income tax return for the tax year for which the exemption is effective. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224975
If you pay or reimburse the travel expenses of a nonresident alien, the payments are not reportable to the IRS and are not subject to NRA withholding if the payments are made under an accountable plan as described in section 1.62-2 of the regulations. This treatment applies only to that portion of a payment that represents the payment of travel and lodging expenses and not to that portion that represents compensation for independent personal services. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224976
Under some tax treaties, pay for independent personal services performed in the United States is treated as business income and taxed according to the treaty provisions for business profits.
Under other tax treaties, pay for independent personal services performed in the United States is exempt from U.S. income tax only if the independent nonresident alien contractor performs the services during a period of temporary presence in the United States (usually not more than 183 days) and is a resident of the treaty country.
Independent nonresident alien contractors use Form 8233 to claim an exemption from withholding under a tax treaty. For more information, see Form 8233, earlier.
Form 8233 should be used to claim a treaty benefit based on a business profits provision or an independent personal services provision.
Often, you must withhold under the statutory rules on payments made to a treaty country resident contractor for services performed in the United States. This is because the factors on which the treaty exemption is based may not be determinable until after the close of the tax year. The contractor must then file a U.S. income tax return (Form 1040NR) to recover any overwithheld tax by providing the IRS with proof that he or she is entitled to a treaty exemption.taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224978
Salaries, wages, bonuses, or any other pay for personal services (referred to collectively as wages) paid to nonresident alien employees are subject to graduated withholding in the same way as for U.S. citizens and residents if the wages are effectively connected with the conduct of a U.S. trade or business. Any wages paid to a nonresident alien for personal services performed as an employee for an employer are generally not subject to the 30% withholding if the wages are subject to graduated withholding.
Also, the 30% withholding does not apply to pay for personal services performed as an employee for an employer if it is effectively connected with the conduct of a U.S. trade or business and is specifically exempted from the definition of wages. See Pay that is not wages, later. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224979
For pay for personal services to qualify as wages, there must be an employer-employee relationship.
Under the common law rules, every individual who performs services subject to the will and control of an employer, both as to what shall be done and how it shall be done, is an employee. It does not matter that the employer allows the employee considerable discretion and freedom of action, as long as the employer has the legal right to control both the method and the result of the services.
If an employer-employee relationship exists, it does not matter what the parties call the relationship. It does not matter if the employee is called a partner, coadventurer, agent, or independent contractor. It does not matter how the pay is measured, how the individual is paid, or what the payments are called. Nor does it matter whether the individual works full-time or part-time.
The existence of the employer-employee relationship under the usual common law rules will be determined, in doubtful cases, by an examination of the facts of each case. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224980
An employee generally includes any individual who performs services if the relationship between the individual and the person for whom the services are performed is the legal relationship of employer and employee. This includes an individual who receives a supplemental unemployment pay benefit that is treated as wages. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224981
Superintendents, managers, and other supervisory personnel are employees. Generally, an officer of a corporation is an employee, but a director acting in this capacity is not. An officer who does not perform any services, or only minor services, and neither receives nor is entitled to receive any pay is not considered an employee. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224982
An employer is any person or organization for whom an individual performs or has performed any service, of whatever nature, as an employee. The term "employer" includes not only individuals and organizations in a trade or business, but organizations exempt from income tax, such as religious and charitable organizations, educational institutions, clubs, social organizations, and societies. It also includes the governments of the United States, the states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia, as well as their agencies, instrumentalities, and political subdivisions.
Two special definitions of employer that may have considerable application to nonresident aliens are:
- An employer includes any person paying wages for a nonresident alien individual, foreign partnership, or foreign corporation not engaged in trade or business in the United States (including Puerto Rico as if a part of the United States), and
- An employer includes any person who has control of the payment of wages for services that are performed for another person who does not have that control.
For example, if a trust pays wages, such as certain types of pensions, supplemental unemployment pay, or retired pay, and the person for whom the services were performed has no legal control over the payment of the wages, the trust is the employer.
These special definitions have no effect upon the relationship between an alien employee and the actual employer when determining whether the pay received is considered to be wages.
If an employer-employee relationship exists, the employer ordinarily must withhold the income tax from wage payments by using the percentage method or wage bracket tables as shown in Publication 15 (Circular E). taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224983
Employment for which the pay is not considered wages (for graduated income tax withholding) includes, but is not limited to, the following items.
- Agricultural labor if the total cash wages paid to an individual worker during the year is less than $150 and the total paid to all workers during the year is less than $2,500. But even if the total amount paid to all workers is $2,500 or more, wages of less than $150 per year paid to a worker are not subject to income tax withholding if certain conditions are met. For these conditions, see Publication 51 (Circular A).
- Services of a household nature performed in or about the private home of an employer, or in or about the clubrooms or house of a local college club, fraternity, or sorority. A local college club, fraternity, or sorority does not include an alumni club or chapter and may not be operated primarily as a business enterprise. Examples of these services include those performed as a cook, janitor, housekeeper, governess, gardener, or houseparent.
- Certain services performed outside the course of the employer's trade or business for which cash payment is less than $50 for the calendar quarter.
- Services performed as an employee of a foreign government, without regard to citizenship, residence, or where services are performed. These include services performed by ambassadors, other diplomatic and consular officers and employees, and nondiplomatic representatives. They do not include services for a U.S. or Puerto Rican corporation owned by a foreign government.
- Services performed within or outside the United States by an employee or officer (regardless of citizenship or residence) of an international organization designated under the International Organizations Immunities Act.
- Services performed by a duly ordained, commissioned, or licensed minister of a church, but only if performed in the exercise of the ministry and not as an employee of the United States, a U.S. possession, or a foreign government, or any of their political subdivisions. These also include services performed by a member of a religious order in carrying out duties required by that order.
- Tips paid to an employee if they are paid in any medium other than cash or, if in cash, they amount to less than $20 in any calendar month in the course of employment.
Compensation paid to a nonresident alien (other than a resident of Puerto Rico, discussed later) for services performed outside the United States is not considered wages and is not subject to withholding. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224985
The amount of wages subject to graduated withholding may be reduced by the personal exemption amount ($3,650 for 2010). The personal exemptions allowed in figuring wages subject to graduated withholding are the same as those discussed earlier under Pay for independent personal services, except that an employee must claim them on Form W-4.taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224986
A nonresident alien subject to wage withholding must give the employer a completed Form W-4 to enable the employer to figure how much income tax to withhold.
A nonresident alien cannot claim exemption from withholding on Form W-4. Use Form 8233 to claim a tax treaty exemption from withholding. See Form 8233, earlier.
In completing Form W-4, nonresident aliens should use the following instructions instead of the instructions on Form W-4.
- Check "Single" on line 3 (regardless of actual marital status).
- Claim only one withholding allowance on line 5, unless a resident of Canada, Mexico, or South Korea, or a U.S. national.
- Write "Nonresident Alien" or "NRA" above the dotted line on line 6.
Nonresident alien employees are not required to request an additional withholding amount, but they can choose to have an additional amount withheld on line 6.
Students and business apprentices who are eligible for the benefits of Article 21(2) of the United States-India income tax treaty can claim additional withholding allowances on line 5 for their spouses. In addition, they can claim an additional withholding allowance for each dependent who has become a resident alien. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224990
Employers are required to add an amount to the wages of a nonresident alien employee solely for the purpose of calculating income tax withholding. The specific amounts depend on the payroll period. These amounts can be found in Withholding Adjustment for Nonresident Aliens in chapter 9 of Publication 15 (Circular E). This adjustment does not apply to students and business apprentices from India.
Do not include the additional amount on the employee's Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement.
The employer must report the amount of wages and deposits of withheld income and social security and Medicare taxes by filing Form 941. Household employers should see Publication 926, Household Employer's Tax Guide, for information on reporting and paying employment taxes on wages paid to household employees.taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224994
The employer also must report on Form W-2 the wages subject to NRA withholding and the withheld taxes. You must give copies of this form to the employee. Wages exempt from tax under a tax treaty are reported on Form 1042-S and not in block 1 of Form W-2. Wages exempt under a tax treaty may still be reported in the state and local wages blocks of Form W-2 if such wages are subject to state and local taxation. For more information, see the instructions for these forms. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224995
If you are a person responsible for withholding, accounting for, or depositing or paying employment taxes, and willfully fail to do so, you can be held liable for a penalty equal to the full amount of the unpaid trust fund tax, plus interest. A responsible person for this purpose can be an officer of a corporation, a partner, a sole proprietor, or an employee of any form of business. A trustee or agent with authority over the funds of the business can also be held responsible for the penalty.
"Willfully" in this case means voluntarily, consciously, and intentionally. You are acting willfully if you pay other expenses of the business instead of the withholding taxes. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224996
The employer must pay FUTA and file Form 940 or 940-EZ, Employer's Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return. Only the employer pays this tax; it is not deducted from the employee's wages. In certain cases, wages paid to students and railroad and agricultural workers are exempt from FUTA tax. For more information, see the instructions for these forms.
Wages paid to nonresident alien students, teachers, researchers, trainees, and other nonresident aliens in "F-1," "J-1," "M-1," or "Q" nonimmigrant status are not subject to FUTA tax. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224997
Dependent personal services are personal services performed in the United States by a nonresident alien individual as an employee rather than as an independent contractor.
Pay for dependent personal services is subject to NRA withholding and reporting as follows.taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224998
Ordinarily, you must withhold on pay (wages) for dependent personal services using graduated rates. The nonresident alien must complete Form W-4 as discussed earlier under Special instructions for Form W-4, and you must report wages and income tax withheld on Form W-2. However, you do not have to withhold if any of the following four exceptions applies. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000224999
Compensation paid for labor or personal services performed in the United States is deemed not to be income from sources within the United States and is exempt from U.S. income tax if:
- The labor or services are performed by a nonresident alien temporarily present in the United States for a period or periods not exceeding a total of 90 days during the tax year,
- The total pay does not exceed $3,000, and
- The pay is for labor or services performed as an employee of, or under a contract with:
- A nonresident alien individual, foreign partnership, or foreign corporation that is not engaged in a trade or business in the United States, or
- A U.S. citizen or resident alien individual, a domestic partnership, or a domestic corporation, if the labor or services are performed for an office or place of business maintained in a foreign country or in a possession of the United States by this individual, partnership, or corporation.
If the total pay is more than $3,000, the entire amount is income from sources in the United States and is subject to U.S. tax.
Also, compensation paid for labor or services performed in the United States by a nonresident alien in connection with the individual's temporary presence in the United States as a regular member of the crew of a foreign vessel engaged in transportation between the United States and a foreign country or a U.S. possession is not income from sources within the United States. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000225000
Compensation paid by a foreign employer to a nonresident alien for the period the alien is temporarily present in the United States on an "F," "J," or "Q" visa is exempt from U.S. income tax. For this purpose, a foreign employer means:
- 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 domestic corporation, a domestic partnership, or an individual U.S. citizen or resident.
You can exempt the payment from withholding if you can reliably associate the payment with a Form W-8BEN containing the taxpayer identification number of the payee. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000225001
Compensation paid to certain residents of Canada or Mexico who enter or leave the United States at frequent intervals is not subject to withholding. These aliens must either:
- Perform duties in transportation services (such as a railroad, bus, truck, ferry, steamboat, aircraft, or other type) between the United States and Canada or Mexico, or
- Perform duties connected with an international project, relating to the construction, maintenance, or operation of a waterway, viaduct, dam, or bridge crossed by, or crossing, the boundary between the United States and Canada or the boundary between the United States and Mexico.
To qualify for the exemption from withholding during a tax year, a Canadian or Mexican resident must give the employer a statement with name, address, and identification number, and certifying that the resident:
- Is not a U.S. citizen or resident,
- Is a resident of Canada or Mexico, whichever applies, and
- Expects to perform the described duties during the tax year in question.
The statement can be in any form, but it must be dated and signed by the employee, and must include a written declaration that it is made under penalties of perjury. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000225002
Neither the transportation service exception nor the international projects exception applies to the pay of a resident of Canada or Mexico who is employed entirely within the United States and who commutes from a home in Canada or Mexico to work in the United States. If an individual works at a fixed point or points in the United States (such as a factory, store, office, or designated area or areas), the wages for services performed as an employee for an employer are subject to graduated withholding. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000225003
Compensation paid for services performed in Puerto Rico by a nonresident alien who is a resident of Puerto Rico for an employer (other than the United States or one of its agencies) is not subject to withholding.
Compensation paid for either of the following types of services is not subject to withholding if the alien does not expect to be a resident of Puerto Rico during the entire tax year.
- Services performed outside the United States but not in Puerto Rico by a nonresident alien who is a resident of Puerto Rico for an employer other than the United States or one of its agencies, or
- Services performed outside the United States by a nonresident alien who is a resident of Puerto Rico, as an employee of the United States or any of its agencies.
To qualify for the exemption from withholding for any tax year, the employee must give the employer a statement showing the employee's name and address and certifying that the employee:
- Is not a citizen or resident of the United States, and
- Is a resident of Puerto Rico who does not expect to be a resident for that entire tax year.
The statement must be signed and dated by the employee and contain a written declaration that it is made under penalties of perjury.
Pay for dependent personal services under some tax treaties is exempt from U.S. income tax only if both the employer and the employee are treaty country residents and the nonresident alien employee performs the services while temporarily living in the United States (usually for not more than 183 days). Other treaties provide for exemption from U.S. tax on pay for dependent personal services if the employer is any foreign resident and the employee is a treaty country resident and the nonresident alien employee performs the services while temporarily in the United States.taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000225005
This category is given a separate income code number because some tax treaties provide at least partial exemption from withholding and from U.S. tax. Pay for teaching means payments to a nonresident alien professor, teacher, or researcher by a U.S. university or other accredited educational institution for teaching or research work at the institution.taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000225006
Graduated withholding of income tax usually applies to all wages, salaries, and other pay for teaching and research paid by a U.S. educational institution during the period the nonresident alien is teaching or performing research at the institution. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000225007
A nonresident alien temporarily in the United States on an "F-1," "J-1," "M-1," or "Q-1" visa is not subject to social security and Medicare taxes on pay for services performed to carry out the purpose for which the alien was admitted to the United States. Social security and Medicare taxes should not be withheld or paid on this amount. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000225008
A nonresident alien is issued a visa to teach for a university. While in the United States, he takes a part-time job working for a chemical company. The wages earned while teaching at the university are exempt from social security and Medicare taxes. The wages earned at the chemical company are subject to social security and Medicare taxes.
If an alien is considered a resident alien, as discussed earlier, that pay is subject to social security and Medicare taxes even though the alien is still in one of the nonimmigrant statuses mentioned above. This rule also applies to FUTA (unemployment) taxes paid by the employer. Teachers, researchers, and other employees temporarily present in the United States on other nonimmigrant visas or in refugee, or asylee immigration status are fully liable for social security and Medicare taxes unless an exemption applies from one of the totalization agreements in force between the United States and several other nations.
The Social Security Administration publishes the complete texts and explanatory pamphlets of the totalization agreements which are available by calling 1-800-772-1213 or by visiting the Social Security Administration web site at: www.socialsecurity.gov/international
Under most tax treaties, pay for teaching or research is exempt from U.S. income tax and from withholding for a specified period of time when paid to a professor, teacher, or researcher, who was a resident of the treaty country immediately prior to entry into the United States and who is not a citizen of the United States (see Table 2). The U.S. educational institution paying the compensation must report the amount of compensation paid each year which is exempt from tax under a tax treaty on Form 1042-S. The employer should also report the compensation in the state and local wages blocks of Form W-2 if the wages are subject to state and local taxes, or in the social security and Medicare wages blocks of Form W-2 if the wages are subject to social security and Medicare taxes.
Claimants must give you either Form W-8BEN or 8233, as applicable, to obtain these treaty benefits.taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000225011
This category refers to pay (as contrasted with remittances, allowances, or other forms of scholarships or fellowship grants—see Scholarships and Fellowship Grants, earlier) for personal services performed while a nonresident alien is temporarily in the United States as a student, trainee, or apprentice, or while acquiring technical, professional, or business experience.taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000225012
Wages, salaries, or other compensation paid to a nonresident alien student, trainee, or apprentice for labor or personal services performed in the United States are subject to graduated withholding. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000225013
A nonresident alien temporarily in the United States on an "F-1," "J-1," "M-1," or "Q-1" visa is not subject to social security and Medicare taxes on pay for services performed to carry out the purpose for which the alien was admitted to the United States. Social security and Medicare taxes should not be withheld or paid on this amount. This exemption from social security and Medicare taxes also applies to employment performed under Curricular Practical Training and Optional Practical Training, on or off campus, by foreign students in "F-1," "J-1," "M-1," or "Q" status as long as the employment is authorized by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000225014
A nonresident alien is admitted to the United States to study surveying. As part of her course, she apprentices to a surveyor. She also works part time at a restaurant to supplement her income. The wages she earns as an apprentice are not subject to social security and Medicare taxes. The wages and tips she earns at the restaurant are subject to social security and Medicare taxes.
If an alien is considered a resident alien, as discussed earlier, that pay is subject to social security and Medicare taxes even though the alien is still in one of the nonimmigrant statuses mentioned above. This rule also applies to FUTA (unemployment) taxes paid by the employer.
Any student who is enrolled and regularly attending classes at a school may be exempt from social security, Medicare, and FUTA taxes on pay for services performed for that school. See Publication 15 (Circular E). taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000225015
Many tax treaties provide an exemption from U.S. income tax and from withholding on compensation paid to nonresident alien students or trainees during training in the United States for a limited period. In addition, some treaties provide an exemption from tax and withholding for compensation paid by the U.S. Government or its contractor to a nonresident alien student or trainee who is temporarily present in the United States as a participant in a program sponsored by the U.S. Government (see Table 2). However, a withholding agent who is a U.S. resident, a U.S. Government agency, or its contractor must report the amount of pay on Form 1042-S.
Claimants must give you either Form W-8BEN or 8233, as applicable, to obtain these treaty benefits.taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000225016
Because many tax treaties contain a provision for pay to artists and athletes, a separate category is assigned these payments for withholding purposes. This category includes payments made for performances by public entertainers (such as theater, motion picture, radio, or television artists, or musicians) or athletes.taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000225017
You must withhold tax at a 30% rate on payments to artists and athletes for services performed as independent contractors. See Pay for independent personal services, earlier, for more information. You must withhold tax at graduated rates on payments to artists and athletes for services performed as employees. See Pay for dependent personal services, earlier, for more information. However, in any situation where the nature of the relationship between the payer of the income and the artist or athlete is not ascertainable, you should withhold at a rate of 30%. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000225018
Nonresident alien entertainers and athletes who perform or participate in events in the United States can request a CWA for a lower rate of withholding. A CWA is an agreement entered into by the athlete or entertainer, a designated withholding agent, and the IRS. Under no circumstances will a CWA reduce taxes withheld to less than the anticipated amount of income tax liability.
Nonresident alien entertainers or athletes requesting a CWA must submit a written application and appropriate attachments. Use Form 13930, Application for Central Withholding Agreement, and its instructions to apply for a CWA.
The designated withholding agent must agree to withhold income tax from payments made to the nonresident alien, to pay over the withheld tax to the IRS on the dates and in the amounts specified in the agreement, and to have the IRS apply the payments of withheld tax to the withholding agent's Form 1042 account. The designated withholding agent will be required to file Form 1042 and Form 1042-S for each tax year in which income is paid to a nonresident alien covered by the CWA. The designated withholding agent will issue Form 1042-S to each nonresident alien athlete and entertainer affected by the agreement.
A request for a CWA must be submitted to the following address at least 45 days before the agreement is to take effect. Exceptions will be considered on a case by case basis.
Central Withholding Agreement Program
Internal Revenue Service
M/S 0175 110 City Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89106
Under many tax treaties, compensation paid to public entertainers or athletes for services performed in the United States is exempt from U.S. income tax only when the alien is present for a limited period of time and the pay is within limits provided in the tax treaty (see Table 2).
Employees and independent contractors may claim an exemption from withholding under a tax treaty by filing Form 8233. Often, however, you will have to withhold at the statutory rates on the total payments to the entertainer or athlete. This is because the exemption may be based upon factors that cannot be determined until after the end of the year.taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000225021
For the discussion of Income Codes 24, 25, and 26, see U.S. Real Property Interest, later. For the discussion of Income Code 27, see Publicly Traded Partnerships, later.taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000225022
In general, nonresident aliens are subject to NRA withholding at 30% on the gross proceeds from gambling won in the United States if that income is not effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business and is not exempted by treaty. The tax withheld and winnings are reportable on Forms 1042 and 1042-S.
No tax is imposed on nonbusiness gambling income a nonresident alien wins playing blackjack, baccarat, craps, roulette, or big-6 wheel in the United States. A Form W-8BEN is not required to obtain the exemption from withholding, but a Form W-8BEN may be required for purposes of Form 1099 reporting and backup withholding. Gambling income that is not subject to NRA withholding is not subject to reporting on Form 1042-S.
Nonresident aliens are taxed at graduated rates on net gambling income won in the U.S. that is effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000225023
Gambling income of residents (as defined by treaty) of the following foreign countries is not taxable by the United States: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Russia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.
Claimants must give you a Form W-8BEN (with a TIN) to claim treaty benefits on gambling income that is not effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business. See U.S. Taxpayer Identification Numbers, later, for when you can accept a Form W-8BEN without a TIN.taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000225024
U.S. source gross transportation income is generally not subject to NRA withholding.
Transportation income is income from the use of a vessel or aircraft, whether owned, hired, or leased, or from the performance of services directly related to the use of a vessel or aircraft. U.S. source gross transportation income includes 50% of all transportation income from transportation that either begins or ends in the United States. For personal service income other than income derived from, or in connection with, a vessel, the use must be between the United States and a U.S. possession.
The recipient of U.S. source gross transportation income must pay tax at the rate of 4% unless the income is effectively connected with the conduct of a U.S. trade or business. If the income is effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business, it is taxed on a net basis at a graduated rate of tax. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000234563
Certain payments to nonresident aliens who are covered expatriates under section 877A(g)(1) are subject to NRA withholding at 30%. In general, nonresident aliens are covered expatriates if they were U.S. citizens or long-term residents who renounced their citizenship or ceased to be long-term residents for U.S. tax purposes after June 16, 2008, and satisfied other tests for average annual net income tax and net worth. For more information on the definition of covered expatriates, see the Instructions for Form 8854. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000234564
In general, you must withhold tax at a 30% rate on any payment of an eligible deferred compensation item. The amount subject to tax is the amount of the payment that would have been included in the nonresident alien's U.S. gross income if he had continued to be taxed as a U.S. citizen or resident.taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000234565
In general, you must withhold tax at a 30% rate on any direct or indirect distribution from a nongrantor trust. The amount subject to tax is the part of the distribution that would have been included in the nonresident alien's U.S. gross income if he had continued to be taxed as a U.S. citizen or resident. If the nonresident alien was not a beneficiary of the nongrantor trust on the day before he gave up his U.S. citizenship or long-term residence, you do not have to withhold tax. taxmap/pubs/p515-004.htm#en_us_publink1000225025
Use this category to report U.S. source FDAP income that is not reportable under any of the other income categories. Examples of income that may be reportable under this category are commissions, insurance proceeds, patronage distributions, prizes, and racing purses.
As discussed earlier under Income Subject to NRA Withholding, every kind of FDAP income from U.S. sources that is not effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business is subject to NRA withholding unless the income is specifically exempt under the Code or a tax treaty. You generally must withhold at the 30% rate on this income.