Payroll Services

How to Complete IRS Form W-4

("Employee's Witholding Allowance Certificate") for individuals who are not a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident for wages earned 12/16/05 and after

Nonresidents, who are employees and receive wages subject to graduated withholding, are required to fill out a Form W-4, "Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate". For nonresident aliens, the following instructions supersede the instructions on the form W-4.

Because of the restrictions on a nonresident alien's filing status, the limited number of personal exemptions allowed, and the fact that a nonresident cannot claim the standard deduction, the W-4 should be filled out following these instructions:

  1. Box 3 - Check "Single" marital status on line 3 (regardless of marital status)
  1. Box 5 - Enter "1" for the total number of allowances (Residents of American Samoa, Canada, Korea, Mexico, The Northern Mariana Islands and Students from India may claim more allowances. See special section below)
  1. Box 6 - Enter the phrase Non Resident Alien or "NRA" above the dotted line on line 6
  1. Box 7 - Do not complete as "Exempt." Employees who wish to be exempt from federal income taxes due to a tax treaty, see this link for procedures to complete the tax determination questionnaire for a tax analysis: http://www.wsu.edu/payroll/pdf/TaxDeterminationQuestionnaire.pdf.

Special Rules for Residents of: American Samoa, Canada, Korea, Mexico, The Northern Mariana Islands and Students from India

Residents of:
American Samoa
Canada
Mexico
Northern Mariana Islands
Box 3 - Must check "Single" (regardless of marital status)
Box 5 - May claim same personal allowances as U.S. Citizens
Box 6 - Enter the phrase Non Resident Alien or "NRA" above the dotted line on line 6
   

Residents of:
South Korea

Box 3 - Must check "Single" (regardless of marital status)
Box 5 - May claim "1" plus additional allowances for spouse and any dependents present in the U.S.
Box 6 - Enter the phrase Non Resident Alien or "NRA" above the dotted line on line 6
   
Residents of:
India (Students Only)
Box 3 - Must check "Single" (regardless of marital status)
Box 5 - May claim "1" plus additional withholding allowance for spouse and any dependents present in the U.S.
Box 6 - No additional tax withholding amount is required

2015 IRS Form W-4 (PDF format 78KB)

Source is IRS Publication 15 and IRS Publication 519.

 
 
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