Income Tax Deductions—Nonresident Aliens

Federal tax law contains many special income tax withholding and reporting rules that are unique to payments to nonresident aliens. It is critical for the University of Minnesota and the nonresident aliens to comply with these unique reporting and withholding requirements and to avoid the penalties related to noncompliance in this area.

Nonresident aliens should complete the W-4 form using the following Internal Revenue Service (IRS) instructions instead of the instructions on the W-4 form. IRS indicates this because of the nonresident alien's restricted filing status, the limited number of personal allowances allowed, and because a nonresident alien cannot claim the standard deduction. For 2012 biweekly tax calculation purposes only, $82.69 is added to the wage calculation solely for the purpose of calculating income tax withholding on the wages. Note that nonresident alien students from India are not subject to this procedure.

See IRS Notice 1392, Supplemental Form W-4 Instructions for Nonresident Aliens (pdf) for more detailed information.

W-4 Allowances Rules

  • Check only "Single" marital status (regardless of your actual marital status).
  • Claim only one personal allowance, unless you are a resident of Canada, Mexico, South Korea, or a U.S. National.
  • Write Nonresident Alien or NRA on line six of the W-4.
  • Do not claim "Exempt" withholding status.

Exceptions to Claiming Personal Allowances

If you are a citizen of one of the following countries, see more detailed information on Exceptions to Claiming Personal Allowances:

  • American Samoa, and Northern Mariana Islands
  • Canada and Mexico
  • India
  • South Korea
  • Barbados, Hungary, or Jamaica

More Information

For more detailed information on income tax withholding for nonresident aliens, see IRS Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens.