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Foreign students and scholars may be eligible to claim tax treaty benefits if certain criteria are met. Each treaty has a variety of terms and clauses that will affect eligibility to claim exemption from withholding.
First and foremost, there must be a treaty provision that exists between the United States and your country of residence. Secondly, you must meet the treaty eligibility requirements for the particular treaty article being claimed. See Tax Treaty Countries for a list of treaty countries and types of treaty exemptions available with each country. Also see IRS Publication 901- U.S. Tax Treaties for more information.
The type of form used to claim treaty benefits depends upon the type of income being paid under the treaty provision, and whether you are a nonresident alien or U.S. Resident for tax purposes.
Use forms 8233 and Tax Treaty Affidavit if you are a nonresident alien for tax purposes - Form 8233 expires at the end of each calendar year. A new one MUST be submitted each year that you are eligible to claim treaty benefits.
Use forms W-9 and Attachment to form W-9 if you are a resident for tax purposes. Once filed, these forms remain valid indefinitely until your individual circumstances change so as to cause the information reported to no longer be valid (e.g., resident becomes a "green card" holder or citizen, or treaty time limits run out).
All forms should be sent to Payroll Services at 1300 S. 2nd Street, 545 WBOB, Minneapolis, MN 55454.
For more detailed information concerning tax treaty eligibility and benefits, see Claiming Tax Treaty Benefits, or contact the HRMS/Payroll Call Center at 612-625-2016.
If your wages are exempted from income tax withholding because of a tax treaty, Payroll Services will send you IRS Form 1042-S at the end of the year to use when filing your annual tax return.