Some common tax treaty benefits are explained below. The credits, deductions, exemptions, reductions in rate, and other benefits provided by tax treaties are subject to conditions and various restrictions. Benefits provided by certain treaties are not provided by others.
Personal service income. If you are a U.S. resident who is in a treaty country for a limited number of days in the tax year and you meet certain other requirements, the payment you receive for personal services performed in that country may be exempt from that country's income tax.
Professors and teachers. If you are a U.S. resident, the payment you receive for the first 2 or 3 years that you are teaching or doing research in a treaty country may be exempt from that country's income tax.
Students, trainees, and apprentices. If you are a U.S. resident, amounts you receive from the United States for study, research, or business, professional and technical training may be exempt from a treaty country's income tax.
Some treaties exempt grants, allowances, and awards received from governmental and certain nonprofit organizations. Also, under certain circumstances, a limited amount of pay received by students, trainees, and apprentices may be exempt from the income tax of many treaty countries.
Pensions and annuities. If you are a U.S. resident, nongovernment pensions and annuities you receive may be exempt from the income tax of treaty countries.
Most treaties contain separate provisions for exempting government pensions and annuities from treaty country income tax, and some treaties provide exemption from the treaty country's income tax for social security payments.
Investment income. If you are a U.S. resident, investment income, such as interest and dividends, that you receive from sources in a treaty country may be exempt from that country's income tax or taxed at a reduced rate.
Several treaties provide exemption for capital gains (other than from sales of real property in most cases) if specified requirements are met.
Tax credit provisions. If you are a U.S. resident who receives income from or owns capital in a foreign country, you may be taxed on that income or capital by both the United States and the treaty country.
Most treaties allow you to take a credit against or deduction from the treaty country's taxes based on the U.S. tax on the income.
Nondiscrimination provisions. Most U.S. tax treaties provide that the treaty country cannot discriminate by imposing more burdensome taxes on U.S. citizens who are residents of the treaty country than it imposes on its own citizens in the same circumstances.
Saving clauses. U.S. treaties contain saving clauses that provide that the treaties do not affect the U.S. taxation of its own citizens and residents. As a result, U.S. citizens and residents generally cannot use the treaty to reduce their U.S. tax liability.
However, most treaties provide exceptions to saving clauses that allow certain provisions of the treaty to be claimed by U.S. citizens or residents. It is important that you examine the applicable saving clause to determine if an exception applies.taxmap/pubs/p54-023.htm#en_us_publink100047610
Publication 901 contains an explanation of treaty provisions that apply to amounts received by teachers, students, workers, and government employees and pensioners who are alien nonresidents or residents of the United States. Since treaty provisions generally are reciprocal, you can usually substitute "United States" for the name of the treaty country whenever it appears, and vice versa when "U.S." appears in the treaty exemption discussions in Publication 901.
Publication 597 contains an explanation of a number of frequently-used provisions of the United States–Canada income tax treaty.