Tax Treaty

General Information 

An individual must have a taxpayer identification number in order to apply for a tax treaty benefit.

A foreign individual may be eligible to claim exemption from or a reduced rate for withholding on certain types of income:

  • Employee Compensation, Honoraria, or Independent Contractor Payments
  • Scholarship, Fellowship, Grant, or Royalty Payments

A foreign individual must meet eligibility requirements based on IRS regulations and University administrative procedures to claim exemption from withholding using a tax treaty. There are currently 54 countries that have a tax treaty with the United States ( click here for complete list). Not all income types are exempt under treaty benefits and many have limits on the amount of time that an individual can claim the exemption. You may also access IRS Publication 901 for country specific details.

To claim exemption from withholding on Employee Compensation, Honoraria, or Independent Contractor Payments:

  1. Complete Part I, II, and III of IRS Form 8233 Exemption from Withholding on Compensation for Independent (and Certain Dependent) Personal Services of a Nonresident Alien.
  2. Nonresident alien students, professors, teachers, and researchers must attach to Form 8233 the statement required by Rev. Proc. 87-8, 87-9 or 93-22.
  3. Submit IRS Form 8233, the completed FNIF, and copies of the individual's immigration documents(visa page from passport, I-94, I-20 OR DS2019) to the Office of International Tax and Residency before a payment is requested. Note that exemption will not be made in arrears, no refunds of withholding prior to tax treaty election will be made.
  4. The Office of International Tax and Residency will review the immigration documents, payment type, and specific treaty language in order to determine eligibility for the treaty exemption.
  5. If an individual is considered eligible, the Office of International Tax and Residency will complete Part IV of IRS Form 8233 and apply for the exemption with the IRS.
  6. IRS Form 8233 is only valid for ONE calendar year. In order to renew an exemption, an individual must forward to the Office of International Tax and Residency a new IRS Form 8233; a new FNIF form; copies of current immigration documents; and the country specific statement in December of the current tax year for the following tax year.

To claim exemption from withholding on Scholarship, Fellowship, Grant, or Royalty Payments:

  1. Complete IRS Form W-8 BEN Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding.
  2. Submit Form W-8 BEN, a completed KSU Foreign National Information Form (FNIF), and copies of the individual's immigration documents to Tax Services before payment is made.
  3. Tax Services will review the individual's visa history, payment type, and specific treaty language to determine eligibility for the exemption.

Time Limit

IRS Form W-8BEN is valid for three (3) calendar years as long as the individual's immigration status remains unchanged.

Contact International Services

If you have questions or require additional information, email: internationaltax@kennesaw.edu.

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