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Handbook for Payments to International Visitors
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Produced by:
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Office of Accounting
Office of International Services
Contact: WebAdmin
Updated April 18, 2002

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Instructions for W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate

                 All employees, including nonresident aliens, must complete a W-4 even if they elect to use tax treaty benefits.  Generally, the nonresident alien must claim Single with 1 allowance plus the equivalent of $7.60 per week or $33.10 per month.  They cannot follow the instructions printed on the W-4, but must follow these instructions:

                1.  Only a student from India who qualifies in accordance with the U.S. - India tax treaty may claim a standard deduction.  All others, including teachers/professors from India, cannot claim any standard deduction. 

                2.  In completing the W-4 worksheet, they may claim only 1 allowance except:

                                (1)  residents of Canada, Mexico, and American Samoa are entitled to claim the same personal allowances as U.S. citizens,

                                (2)   residents of Japan and Korea are entitled to claim an allowance for themselves, their spouse and dependent children who are present with them in the U.S.,

                                (3)    students from India are entitled to claim one additional allowance for a spouse based upon benefits set forth in the U.S.-India tax treaty. 

                3.  All nonresident aliens must claim "single" regardless of actual marital status. 

                4.  Additional withholding.  IRS mandates an additional withholding amount of $7.60 per week (or $33.10 for monthly employees).  An employee may request a larger amount withheld.  This amount goes on line #6. 

                5.  Exemption.  The exemption line must be left blank.  Nonresident aliens cannot claim an exemption.  This is not the same as "exempt individual" or exemption resulting from tax treaty benefits. 

                6.  Nonresident aliens are not entitled to Earned Income Credit. 

                7.  The W-4 must be signed and dated before it is considered valid and acceptable.