Foreign Nationals/Non-Resident Aliens


The reporting and withholding rules for payments to Non Resident Aliens (NRAs) differ significantly from those payments made to US Citizens or Resident Aliens.


What are the withholding requirements that apply to nonresidents?

A nonresident cannot claim “EXEMPT” on their W-4. They must claim “single” regardless of actual marital status. Only one (1) exemption allowance is permitted.


Are some NRAs exempt from federal withholding tax?

Some F-1 and J-1 visa holders are eligible for exemptions from federal withholding tax because of a tax treaty between the U.S. and their country of residence. They must complete IRS form 8233 accompanied by a written statement.

IRS Instructions for Form 8233 | IRS Form 8233

Copies of the Social Security card, passport, I-20 and/or IAP66 must also be attached. Once the form has been completed and supporting documentation attached, it must be submitted to the payroll department for processing.


Are all visa holders exempt from Social Security and Medicare Tax?

With certain exceptions, international students who are temporarily present in the U.S. on F-1, J-1, M-1 and Q-1 visas are usually exempt from withholding of Social Security and Medicare taxes. This exemption does not apply to spouses and children on F-2, J-2, M-2 and Q-2 visas, nor does this exemption apply to nonresidents who have changed to any immigration status other than F-1,J-1, M-1 or Q-1.


How will the withholding tax be reported?

Edison State College will report wages paid to a nonresident which are exempt under a tax treaty on IRS Form 1042-S. Any additional wages over and above the exempt amount are reported on Form W-2. These forms will be sent to the employee’s home address we have on file. If the employee has elected to receive their W-2 electronically, they will only receive Form 1042-S in the mail. The W-2 can be printed by the employee on the Edison Portal.