Controller's Office
Paying Vendors and Contractors

Payments to Non Resident Aliens

  • Independent personal services are personal services performed by an independent nonresident alien (NRA) contractor. This also includes honorarium paid by colleges and universities to visiting teachers, lecturers, and researchers. In general the 30% tax will be withheld from the payment, unless it is exempted by a tax treaty. Refer to Tax Treaties Table provided to view a list of countries with which the United States has a tax treaty in which NRA independent contractors may be able to exclude some or all of their income under the terms of a tax treaty entered into between the United States and their home country.

    Reimbursements for Travel and Living Expenses

    The IRS routinely applies the accountable plan rules to U.S. citizen and U.S. resident independent alien independent contractors as well as payments made to or on behalf of NRA independent contractors. Seattle University will not include all travel and living expense reimbursement amounts in the NRA's gross income. These payments are not reportable to the IRS and are not subject to NRA withholding if the payments are made under an accountable plan as described in section 1.62-2 of the regulations.

    Documentation Requirements

    Send the following documents along with either
    Honorarium, to Payroll Office, OBRN 200 (1218 East Cherry Building),
         or
    Letter of Agreement for Temporary Faculty Teaching Assignment, to Provost Office, ADM 225.

    1.  Copy of Passport

    2.  Copy of I-94 Record Card (An Arrival/Departure Record Card): Attached to the Passport. The card is issued by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) upon arrival in the United States.

    3.  Copy of Visa: Located inside the Passport

    4.  Supplementary Statements (J-1 Visa or B-1/B-2 Visas):

    For those persons on J-1 visas sponsored directly by Seattle University, the International Student Center handles authorization for honoraria paid directly by other institutions.

    If a visitor to Seattle University is on a J-1 visa, the visitor should attach a supplementary statement from his/her sponsoring university or institution granting authorization to accept payments from Seattle University for honoraria / independent personal services.

    For non-resident aliens admitted into the U.S. on a B-1/B-2 visa (visitor for business / visitor for pleasure) or through WB / WT visa waiver program (visa waiver for business / pleasure), he/she should attach a signed, supplementary statement to indicate compliance with the 9/5/6 B honorarium rule, which specifies that he/she is receiving payment for a legitimate university purpose, that the activity engaged in is not more than 9 days, and that the non-resident alien has not received payments from more than five other such institutions in the past six months.

    5.  Form W-8BEN (Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding): Form W-8BEN replaces Form W-8 and 1001 and can be obtained from the Internal Revenue Service.

    6.  Form 8233 (Exemption from Withholding on Compensation for Independent Personal Services of a Nonresident Alien): Obtain from the Internal Revenue Service.

    The Payroll Office will send the completed Form 8233 to Office of the Assistant Commissioner (International), Office of the International District Operations. Attn: CP:IN:D:C:SS, 950 L'Enfant Plaza South, S.W.Washington, DC 20024.

    Year-End Reporting

    The Payroll Office will issue Form 1042 and 1042S to report all non-employee payments made to NRAs and compensation payments made to employees which are exempt from tax withholding due to an income tax treaty.

    Other Question

    Contact the Payroll Manager, rlin@seattleu.edu, ext 5887, 1218 East Cherry Building if you have further question or concern regarding the payment to NRA independent contractors.