Financial Services Manual (FIN)

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Effective: 5/1/1996

Revised: 9/12/2011

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FIN 425–03: Nonresident Alien Taxpayer Identification Numbers

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Purpose

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To describe the policy regarding taxpayer identification numbers for nonresident aliens who receive payment from ASU

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Sources

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Internal Revenue Service
University policy

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Background

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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires that a taxpayer identification number be provided on IRS forms and information returns filed with the IRS. Such forms and returns include:

  1. Form 8233, “Exemption from Withholding on Compensation for Independent Personal Services of a Nonresident Alien Individual”

    and

  2. Form 1042S, “Foreign Person’s U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding.”

The IRS will reject an exemption claim if the form does not show a valid taxpayer identification number.

The local social security office is generally willing to issue a social security number (SSN) to qualified nonresident alien students, visiting professors, lecturers, and researchers. Persons seeking to apply for a social security number should contact the Social Security Administration at 4041 N. Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85012, Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., (602) 636-9199.

If the Social Security Administration rejects the nonresident alien’s application for a social security number, or if the nonresident alien knows he or she is not eligible for a social security number, he or she may apply to the IRS for an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN).

An ITIN is issued by the IRS to individuals who are required to have a U.S. taxpayer identification number but who are not eligible to obtain a social security number. An ITIN is a nine-digit number, beginning with the number “9,” formatted like an SSN (###-##-###). The ITIN is for tax purposes only. It does not entitle the individual to social security benefits and creates no inference regarding the individual’s immigration status or right to work in the U.S.

For guidance on applying for the ITIN, see IRS Form W-7 in Appendix 4 of the ASU Foreign Visitor Tax Guide or contact the ASU tax compliance area at 480/965–8479 or 480/965–0108.

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Policy

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All nonresident aliens in the United States who are receiving taxable payments from ASU must have either a valid SSN or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) to claim the benefits of a tax treaty. Taxable payments made to a nonresident alien without a valid SSN or ITIN will be subject to tax withholding by the university regardless of tax treaty provisions.

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Additional Information

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For additional guidance on nonresident alien tax issues, see the ASU Foreign Visitor Tax Guide issued by Financial Services. A copy of this guide may be obtained by calling Financial Services at 480/965–8479 or 480/965–0108.

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Cross-Reference

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For more information on submitting IRS Form 8233, see FIN 425–04, “Nonresident Alien Independent Contractors.”

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