The information on the Form W-4 is used to calculate and withhold the proper amount of tax from your wages, scholarship, assistantship or grant. The Form W-4 is available on the IRS website.
Completing Form W-4 as a Non-Resident Tax Payer
Instructions on the Form W-4 are intended only for U.S. citizens, "Green Card" holders, and permanent residents for tax purposes. Therefore, with a few exceptions, the instructions printed on the worksheet of Form W-4 should not be followed by individuals who are not considered to be residents for U.S. income tax purposes.
- Name: enter your first, middle and last (family) name as shown on your passport.
Home Address: enter your local U.S. address (street number and name, apartment number if any, city, state and zip code).
- Social Security Number: enter your U.S. Social Security Number. (If you have not yet received one, write "applied for.") IMPORTANT: do not use your UNH ID number or Canadian social security number.
- Marital Status: all non-residents for tax purposes must check SINGLE in this block (even if they are married) unless they are married to a U.S citizen or permanent resident and will file a joint income tax return with their spouse at the end of the tax year.
- Allowances: Non-residents may claim only 1 allowance on the Form W-4 unless they are residents of Canada, Mexico, Japan, or the Republic of Korea. If you are a resident of one of these countries, you may claim additional allowances as authorized in Section 8 of IRS Publication 519, Tax Guide for Aliens. Students who are residents of India may claim allowances as authorized in IRS Revenue-Procedure 93-20. (See Exceptions to Withholding Policy for more information.)
- Additional Amount: write “Non-Resident Alien” or “NRA” above the dotted line.
- Exemption: Leave this blank. You may not claim exempt status on this form. To claim any exemption from U.S. tax obligations you must complete Form 8233.
Please note: Students who have been in the US in F-1 or J-1 visa status for 5 or more years, and visiting professors or researchers who have been in J-1 status for 2 years or more are likely to be considered a resident for tax purposes and the following instructions may not apply. Click here to be directed to the IRS website to determine your alien tax status.