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Accounting Services

Non Resident Alien Requirements

U.S Tax Information for Nonresident Alien Consultants and Guest Speakers

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the U.S. governmental tax authority, has issued strict regulations regarding the taxation and reporting of payments made to non-United States citizens. As a result, California State University, Fresno (the University) may be required to withhold U.S. income tax and file reports with the IRS in connection with payments made by the University to guest speakers who are not U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens (green card holders) and who receive compensation from services performed and/or reimbursement for travel.

To make the necessary tax decisions, the University will collect appropriate information from you via the GLACIER Online Tax Compliance System. All consultants and guest speakers will receive an email containing a password and instructions on how to access GLACIER. GLACIER is accessible via the Internet from any web-accessible computer from anywhere in the world. When you receive your password and instructions, you must enter the appropriate information into GLACIER. Once GLACIER has determined your U.S. tax status, if you are a nonresident alien, a tax equal to 30 percent is generally required to be withheld.

See FTB Pub. 1017 (Rev 04-2011)
Current withholding rate is 7%.

Individuals and entities can request a waiver on withholding payments by filing a form 588 (non-resident withholding waiver request) with the Franchise Tax Board.

Income subject to withholding Include:

  • Payments made for personal services performed in California.  The location where the personal services are performed determines the source of income
  • Payments made to nonresident entertainers for services rendered in California
  • Distributions of California source income
  • Rents and royalties from assets located in California.
  • Nonresident entities subject to withholding include:

Individuals who are nonresidents of California

  • Corporations that do not have a permanent place of business in California and are not qualified through the office of the Secretary of State (SOS) to do business in California
  • Partnerships and LLCs that do not have a permanent place of business in California and are not registered through SOS.
  • Nonresident estates and trusts
  • Partnerships that do not have a permanent place of business in California.
  • The following individuals and entities are exempt from withholding:  Exemptions apply to the actual payee and not to their agent or representative.

California residents

  • Corporations with a permanent place of business in California
  • Corporations qualified through SOS to do business in California
  • Partnerships and LLCs with a permanent place of business in California
  • Tax exempt organizations, under either California or federal law.
  • Backup withholding replaces all other types of withholding and there are no waivers for backup withholding. Certain payees are exempt, such as government entities and tax exempt organizations.

Backup withholding applies when:

  • The payee does not provide a taxpayer identification number (TIN) or provides and invalid TIN
  • Fails to certify exemption from backup withholding.

A 30 percent withholding tax will be deducted from compensation payments made to guest speakers (i) who are from countries that do not maintain an income tax treaty with the U.S., (ii) whose payments do not qualify for exemption under a tax treaty, or (iii) who do not complete GLACIER in a timely manner.

Guest speakers who do not have a social security number or taxpayer identification number will automatically have 30 percent withholding tax deducted.

If your data and tax treaty exemption forms are submitted after the University has deducted tax from a payment to you, the University cannot refund the tax to you; you must file a U.S. income tax return at year-end to apply for a refund of tax withheld from the IRS. Please note that the University is also required by law to report to the IRS all payments made to a nonresident alien.

All consultants and/or guest speakers who are not citizens or permanent resident aliens of the U.S. are required to complete tax information forms prior to receiving any payments. If you have additional questions about how to complete the required forms or need information concerning tax withholding obligations, please contact the Nonresident Alien Tax Specialist below:

Vicky Vongdara

(559) 278-7985

Under U.S. tax laws, all non-U.S. citizens and non-permanent resident aliens are considered to be either "resident aliens" or "nonresident aliens" for tax purposes. The University must determine whether you will be treated as a "resident alien" or a "nonresident alien" for U.S. TAX purposes. This is NOT related to your immigration status.

The U.S maintains income tax treaties with over 63 countries, and certain taxable payments made by the University to you may be exempt from U.S. tax based on an income tax treaty entered into between the U.S. and your home country. The existence of a tax treaty does not automatically ensure an exemption from taxation; rather, you must satisfy the requirements for the exemption set forth in the tax treaty. To be considered for a tax treaty exemption, you must complete the required information in GLACIER; any applicable tax treaty exemption forms can be completed and you may print the forms directly from GLACIER.