1,072: Payments to Non-Resident Alien Independent Contractors

Last Revised: May 2005

Payments to nonresident individuals require more scrutiny and documentation due to federal reporting and withholding requirements. Whether or not an international visitor (alien) may receive compensation for services, consulting, speaking, honoraria or reimbursement for travel is governed by the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and regulations put forth by the federal government's Department of Homeland Security. The tax status of payments to aliens is governed by the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) and regulations put forth by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

It is essential that the university review the immigration and tax status of any nonresident individual prior to issuing payment to ensure that the rules and regulations of the INS and IRS are met. Some classes of aliens are limited in the types of payments that may be paid; still others are prohibited from receiving any type of payment. It is recommended that departments plan well in advance by contracting both the campus Office of International Students and Scholars for advice regarding obtaining the proper immigration status of a visitor, and the Nonresident Alien Tax Specialist in Business and Finance for tax reporting and withholding requirements prior to arranging a visit for an alien.