Electing a Tax Treaty

(For: International employees receiving state salary or honararium)

Please be advised that as per United States IRS guidelines, any income paid to you as an international employee, whether received as New York State salary or an honorarium stipend, is taxable at 30%. If you do not wish to be pay U.S. taxes, you have the option of electing a tax treaty. Please see below for instructions on completing a tax treaty application.

  1. Verify that your country is eligible for tax treaty benefits with the U.S. Here you will find a complete list of all countries with which the U.S. holds a tax treaty, as well as specifications and exceptions (i.e payment limits, time restraints).
  2. If you are eligible for tax treaty benefits, you must complete Form 8233 – Exemption From Withholding on Compensation for Independent (and Certain Dependent) Personal Services of a Non-Resident Alien Individual.

* Please Note: You MUST have either a U.S. Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) in order to complete Form 8233. Tax treaty benefits will NOT be processed without a ITIN number.
** If you do not have either an SSN or ITIN, please allow yourself 4-8 weeks for processing to obtain one. This can, and should, be done in your home country, prior to your departure to the U.S., in order to allow enough time to obtain a taxpayer number and elect for treaty benefits BEFORE your first payment.

For instructions on how to obtain a U.S. Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, please click below:

FOR SSN: http://www.ssa.gov/ssnumber/
FOR ITIN: http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/international/article/0,,id=96696,00.html

Lastly, once you have filled form 8233 (complete with a SSN, or ITIN), you must include form W-8BEN (Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for the United States Tax Withholding).  This form is used in conjunction with Form 8233 for entities claiming tax treaty benefits, only to claim that you are a foreign person exempt from backup withholding.