Foreign National Employee Information

Tax Treaty Benefits-General Information for Foreign National Employees

Income tax treaties may allow residents of foreign countries to be exempt from U.S. Income taxes (Federal and State Withholding) on employment income they receive from sources within the United States.  In addition, some foreign national employees may be entitled to a FICA tax exemption (Social Security and Medicare).  Both types of exemptions, whether Income or FICA, are determined through a foreign national tax analysis performed by Payroll Services.

Required Documents for Treaty Analysis

In order for Payroll Services to complete a foreign tax analysis, applicable documents from the below listing will need to be provided to the Aggie Service Center in Milton Hall Room 14.  A complete history of all of your time in the United States is necessary for the tax analysis:

  • Social Security Card – If you need to apply, additional information available.
  • Passport – must provide current and all previous.
  • Visa types F, H1-B, J, M, Q, TN – must provide current and all previous visas including all pages with information.
  • I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status; or DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J1) Status Nonimmigrant.
  • I-94 – Most Recent Entry to US printed from US Customs and Border Protection official website.
  • Permanent Resident Card.
  • Employee Authorization Card (OPT – Optional Practical Training status).
  • Foreign Address Request – Foreign Address Update Request Form

Income Tax Exemption

If it is determined that you are eligible for an income tax exemption, one or more of the following forms will be prepared and provided for your review and signature:

Forms for Non-resident alien

  • 8233 Exemption From Withholding on Compensation for Independent (and Certain Dependent) Personal Services of a Nonresident Alien Individual.  Produced for countries with employment tax treaties with the United States.
  • W-8Ben Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding and Reporting (Individuals). Verifies that you are the beneficial owner of an amount subject to federal withholding.
  • W-4 Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate. Guides employers as to the correct federal and state income tax withholding from your paycheck.

Forms for Resident alien

  • W-9 Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification.
    • Without Treaty – verifies your social security number and that you are not subject to back up withholding.  Back up withholding would be required if you have a letter from the Internal Revenue Service indicating that.
    • With Treaty – In addition, demonstrates tax treaty claim by a U.S. Person.
  • W-4 Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate.  Guides employers as to the correct federal and state income tax withholding from your paycheck.

Any treaty benefit will not start until the documents are signed and returned to the Aggie Service Center for processing.  8233 and W-9 Treaty forms must have an original signature and expire on December 31st of any given tax year.  For each calendar year of your employment with NMSU, you must complete these forms to maintain your income tax exemptions.

Additional Information

For further information, refer to Internal Revenue Service publications 519 (U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens), 901 (U.S. Tax Treaties), and 515 (Withholding of Tax on Nonresident Aliens and Foreign Entities).