Nonresident Alien (NRA) Payroll Tax Forms

Note that tax status is different from immigration status.

NRA employees complete Form W-4 and W-8BEN. In addition, treaty exempt NRAs sign form 8233 prepared by foreign national tax staff.

Treaty exempt NRAs receive form 1042-S prepared by foreign national tax staff, summarizing the treaty exempt portion of wages for the tax year. For any portion of wages that are not exempt by treaty, a W-2 form will be prepared in addition to form 1042-S.

Form W-4 "Employee’s Withholding Certificate” has separate instructions for employees in NRA tax status. Form W-4 determines the amount of federal and state income taxes withheld from your pay. This form is prepared by foreign national tax staff for NRA employees and need to be signed by the employee, you will not have access to alter your Tax Withholding in Employee Self Service. Following are the general rules for the W-4 form for employees in NRA status:

  • In general, NRA status employees have just one option to complete the form, which is “single” regardless of marital status with “Nonresident Alien” or “NRA” on line 6 of the form.
  • The nonresident alien “Single" corresponds to a payroll tax withholding table issued by the Internal Revenue Service, IRS. IRS regulations requires an additional amount per pay period be added to wages of an NRA solely for calculating the federal tax withholding each payroll period. OUHSC is required to add this amount to calculate the federal tax withheld from each bi-weekly payroll.
  • Exception to the rule is students from India in F-1 or J-1 student status who are excluded from having the additional  amount added to the payroll federal tax calculations.
  • Until the proper NRA form W-4 is received, we are required to use the tax withholding rate of “single”.
  • Complete the Foreign National Information Form to determine tax status.

Form W-8BEN “Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding” used for NRA employees to indicate NRA status. This form is prepared by foreign national tax staff for NRA employees and need to be signed by the employee.

Form 8233 “Exemption from Withholding on Compensation for Independent (and Certain Dependent) Personal Services of a Nonresident Alien Individual.” This form is prepared by foreign national tax staff for NRAs qualifying for income tax treaty exemption for all or part of wages for the year as dictated by the relevant treaty. It will be implemented when signed by the employee and the OUHSC withholding agent.

Form 1042-S “Foreign Person’s U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding." For employees, this form is used to record treaty exempt income for the tax (calendar) year. The form is mailed to recipients no later than March 15 of the following year. Payroll Services prepares 1042-S forms for employees. We strive to mail the forms by January 31 in conjunction with the Form W-2 the employee may receive in addition to the 1042-S form.