International Tax Services
Social Security Number (SSN) and Individual Tax Payer Identification Number (ITIN)
Foreign national individuals, both resident aliens and non-resident aliens, may have either a Social Security Number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.
- A Social Security Number (SSN) is a nine-digit number assigned by the Social Security Administration to an individual for tax and wage reporting purposes.
- An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a nine-digit number assigned to an individual who is required to have a tax identification number, but who cannot obtain a Social Security Number. The ITIN is for tax reporting purposes only.
Social Security Number (SSN)
How do I get one?
To apply for a Social Security number (SSN) and card, you need to complete Form SS-5. The form and instructions are available on the Social Security website. You can also obtain a Form SS-5 by calling or visiting your local Social Security office. These services are free.
Social Security Local Office:
1415 Franklin Gateway
Marietta, Georgia 30067
Hours: Monday-Tuesday, Thursday-Friday 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Wednesday 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)How do I get one?
IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) application requirements have changed.
To apply for an ITIN, you must now have a filing requirement and file a valid tax return.
An ITIN is for tax purposes only; it is not valid for personal identification. If you are legally employed in the U.S., you must have an SSN and should not apply for an ITIN.
To apply for an ITIN:
- Complete Form W-7 (Latest revision), Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, and
- Attach your completed federal tax return (Form 1040NR or 1040NREZ, with any Forms W-2, 1099 and/or 1042-S)
- Provide original proof of identity documents or certified copies. (See Form W-7 instructions.)
- Finally, mail all of the above to:
Internal Revenue Service
Austin Service Center
P.O. Box 149342
Austin, TX 78714-9342
Contact information regarding Form W-7:
Internal Revenue Service
The ITIN does NOT:
- Entitle the recipient to social security benefits
- Indicate or validate immigration status
- Authorize employment
Tax Reporting for Non-resident Aliens
- For international employees of Kennesaw State University, IRS Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statement is mailed to individuals by January 31 of the following tax year. This includes F-1 student assistants and graduate research assistants, J-1 student assistants and scholars and H1B specialty occupation workers.
- For non-employee internationals who received payment from Kennesaw State University, income (taxable and exempt per a treaty benefit) and taxes withheld will be reported on IRS Form 1042-S Foreign Person's U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding. Income reported on a 1042-S includes payments made for scholarships, prizes, honorariums and personal services. This form is mailed by March 15th of the following tax year.
Are Non-resident Aliens required to file a U.S. income tax return?
- Nonresident aliens receiving payments classified as U.S. Source income must file a tax return with the Internal Revenue Service. See IRS Publication 519 for more information.
- Non-resident aliens receiving payments classified as U.S. Source income may also be required to file a tax return with the State of Georgia (GA Form 500).
The Georgia Form 500 Individual Tax Return form and instructions can be found on the Georgia Department of Revenue website.
An individual must fill out a Form W-8BEN and have a U.S. Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) in order to claim a tax treaty benefit.
A foreign individual may be eligible to claim exemption from or a reduced rate for withholding on certain types of income:
- Employee Compensation, Honoraria, or Independent Contractor Payments
- Scholarship, Fellowship, Grant, or Royalty Payments
A foreign individual must meet eligibility requirements based on IRS regulations and University administrative procedures to claim exemption from withholding using a tax treaty. Not all income types are exempt under treaty benefits and many have limits on the amount of time that an individual can claim the exemption. To view all countries that currently have a tax treaty with the U.S., click here. You may also access IRS Publication 901 for country specific details.
To claim exemption from withholding on Employee Compensation, Honoraria, or Independent Contractor Payments
- Complete Part I, II, and III of IRS Form 8233 Exemption from Withholding on Compensation for Independent (and Certain Dependent) Personal Services of a non-resident alien.
- Non-resident alien students, professors, teachers, and researchers must attach to Form 8233 the statement required by Rev. Proc. 87-8, 87-9 or 93-22.
- Submit IRS Form 8233, the completed FNIF, and copies of the individual's immigration documents (visa page from passport, I-94, I-20 OR DS2019) to the International Tax Specialist before a payment is requested. Note that exemption will not be made in arrears; no refunds of withholding prior to tax treaty election will be made.
- The International Tax Specialist will review the immigration documents, payment type, and specific treaty language in order to determine eligibility for the treaty exemption.
- If an individual is considered eligible, the International Tax Specialist will complete Part IV of IRS Form 8233 and apply for the exemption with the IRS.
- IRS Form 8233 is only valid for ONE calendar year. In order to renew an exemption, the individual must forward a new IRS Form 8233 to the International Tax Specialist, a new FNIF form, copies of current immigration documents and the country specific statement in December of the current tax year for the following tax year.
To claim exemption from withholding on Scholarship, Fellowship, Grant, or Royalty Payments
- Complete IRS Form W-8 BEN Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding.
- Submit Form W-8 BEN, a completed KSU Foreign National Information Form (FNIF), and copies of the individual's immigration documents to the International Tax Specialist before payment is made.
- The International Tax Specialist will review the individual's visa history, payment type, and specific treaty language to determine eligibility for the exemption.
Time LimitIRS Form W-8BEN is valid for THREE (3) calendar years as long as the individual's immigration status remains unchanged.
The IRS defines a Non-resident alien for tax purposes as:
- Someone who does not have a green card (permanent resident), or
- An individual who does not satisfy the substantial presence test
- For more information, see IRS Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens
Unlike U.S. citizens, non-resident aliens are ONLY taxed on U.S. Source income.
The IRS defines a Resident alien for tax purposes as:
- A person who possesses a green card, or
- Someone who has satisfied the substantial presence test
A resident alien is subject to the same tax withholding and reporting requirements as a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident, including taxation on worldwide income.
Standard Withholding Rates for Non-resident Aliens
Wages/Employment CompensationEmployment compensation is taxed at graduated rates; employees of Kennesaw State University must complete a W-4 and a G-4 at the time of hire.
- F, J, M, and Q visas – taxed at 14%
- All other Visas – taxed at 30%
Honoraria, Independent Services Payments, Royalties, Awards, Prizes and other paymentsAll Visas – taxed at 30%
See IRS Publication 519 U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens for additional information.
NOTE: Tax treaties may reduce or eliminate tax withholding. See the Tax Treaties information section to see if you qualify for this type of benefit. International visitors MUST have a Social Security Number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number in order to take advantage of a tax treaty.
Kennesaw State University will make payments to foreign individuals providing services in the U.S. with B-1, B-2, WB or WT visas. The visa holder must complete the following documents BEFORE payment can be made:
- International Foreign National Information Form (FNIF)
- International Honoraria Certificate Form
- IRS W8BEN Form
Per USCIS Guidelines, H1-B, TN and O-1 visa holders who are NOT sponsored by Kennesaw State University CANNOT receive payments from Kennesaw State University.
J-1 visa holders who fall under the category of Professor, Specialist, Trainee, Researcher or Physician and are NOT sponsored by Kennesaw State University must provide a written statement from their sponsoring institution granting them permission to receive payment from Kennesaw State University.
F-1 visa holders (students) are NOT eligible to work for anyone other than the sponsoring university unless they are on OPT, CPT (employment must still be related to course of study) or have an EAD from the USCIS authorizing employment for other purposes (asylum, economic hardship).
Note: Be aware that visa holders are NOT eligible to receive payment for certain activities. Paying them for those activities violates their immigration status and could result in future immigration problems or their deportation. Please protect Kennesaw State University and our international visitors by verifying this information with the International Tax Specialist PRIOR to the activity taking place.
U.S./Non U.S. Source IncomeNon-resident aliens, for tax purposes, are only subject to tax on income that is considered U.S. Source Income by the IRS. Foreign Source Income received by non-resident aliens is NOT subject to U.S. taxation. (Source, IRS Publication 515)
- U.S. Source Income – Income from services performed in the U.S.
- Foreign Source Income - Income from services performed outside the U.S.
Per IRS website, see abbreviated list of source rules for income of non-resident aliens below:
Type of IncomeSource Determined By
Personal ServicesWhere services are performed
DividendsType of corporation (U.S. or Foreign)
InterestsResidence of payer
RentsWhere property is located
Royalties – Patents, Copyrights, etc.Where property is used
Royalties – Natural resourcesWhere property is located
Pensions due to personal services performedWhere services were performed as a nonresident alien
Scholarships and Fellowship grantsGenerally, residence of payer
US. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regulations are very specific about types of payments, who can make payments, and employment verification documents required for a non-resident alien visa type.
An abbreviated list of common visa types, restrictions, and documentation is provided below:
- B-1, VWP, or WB (Visitor/Business) - Under limited circumstances, may receive reimbursement for travel expenses and payments for compensation and honoraria.
- B-2 or VWP or WT (Visitor for Pleasure) - Under limited circumstances, may receive payments for compensation, honoraria, and reimbursement of travel expenses.
- F-1 (Student) - May be employed up to 20 hours on campus if they are a full-time student with a valid Form I-20.
- F-2 (Dependent of F-1) - May NOT be employed.
- H-1B - May be employed by petitioner(s) only as identified on Form I-797A.
- J-1 (Exchange Visitor - Student) - May be employed on campus up to 20 hours per week with written authorization of DSO (Contact - International Student Services) and a Form DS2019.
- J-1 (Exchange Visitor - Short term Scholar, Professor, Researcher or Specialist) - Eligible to receive compensation and reimbursement payments from the organization for the period stated on the DS2019. Visitor must have a Social Security or Tax ID Number for compensation payments.
- TN (Trade NAFTA - for citizens of Canada and Mexico) - May be employed by the sponsoring employer through whom the status was obtained. Canadians must submit only an I-94 card as employment authorization and Mexicans must submit INS Form I-797A ("Notice of Action") as employment authorization. NOT a valid visa type for payments to independent contractors.
- Canadians not issued a Form I-94 entering the United States are considered to be in B status (compensation and travel expense reimbursement) with permission to remain in the U.S. for up to six months.
- VWP is an agreement between the U.S. and certain countries in which the visitor is not required to have a visa. Participants in the program must be present in the United States fewer than 90 days with a valid passport and a nontransferable, nonrefundable round trip ticket. Click here for a list of participating VWP countries.
What type of payments are subject to withholding for non-resident aliens?
- Wages: KSU withholds federal and state taxes using graduated rates.
- Qualified Scholarship (Tuition, Fees and Books): No withholding.
- Non-Qualified Scholarship (Students - Room, Board, Stipends, Living Allowances, Travel, Prizes, and Awards etc.): KSU withholds federal taxes at 14%.
- Fee/Honorarium/Royalty: KSU withholds federal income taxes at 30%. There are no Georgia withholding on non-wage payments.
- Reimbursed Business Expenses for Employees/Short-Term Visitors: No withholding.
KSU must withhold taxes on all payments to non-resident aliens unless the payment is exempt under the Internal Revenue Code, a Tax Treaty, or Foreign Source Income. The Internal Revenue Code establishes the rate of withholding.
Will KSU report the income to the IRS?
All payments to non-resident aliens and resident aliens are reported to the IRS. Payments to non-resident aliens are reported on Form 1042-S or W-2. Payments to resident aliens are reported on W-2 or 1099 Form.
I would like to pay someone an honorarium to help in our area. What should I do before engaging an individual?
IRS regulations require non-resident aliens to provide documentation of valid U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) status, for example, Passport, VISA, Form I-94, Form I-20 or Form DS-2019. The university must confirm that the international is eligible to receive a payment. Please contact our office at firstname.lastname@example.org for guidance and confirmation.
**Reminder** after obtaining confirmation from International Tax, please contact email@example.com and the Office of Procurement before proceeding with any agreement with an outside party.
Who is considered a foreign national?
A foreign national is an individual who is not a US citizen. The IRS distinguishes between two types of foreign nationals for federal income tax purposes: Resident alien and Non-Resident alien. The taxability of payments to non-resident aliens (and some resident aliens) are subject to special rules.
We are inviting an international visitor and would like to pay them an honorarium and/or reimburse their expenses. What is required for payment?The individual’s visa type actually determines the type of payment that KSU may legally make to the individual. Honoraria payments are subject to federal withholding taxes (30%) and are reportable to the IRS. A Foreign National Information Form, Form W8BEN, Honorarium certification (if applicable), Lecture-Performance Agreement (if applicable), copies of the I-94, the I-20 or DS 2019, copies of the VISA page from the passport and a copy of their passport are required documentation for honorarium payments. Please note that improper withholding can affect your international visitor's future immigration status with the United States.
Are travel reimbursements taxable?
Nonresident aliens are eligible for reimbursement under the Accountable Plan rule. Expenses qualifying under the Accountable Plan rules are not subject to federal income tax. Qualifying expenses are not required to be reported on a Form W-2 or Form 1042-S. Qualified travel expenses include expenses incurred by the nonresident alien for hotel, meals, and transportation, the payment of which can only be made in accordance with the documentation requirements of the University's travel policies.
Can KSU make a payment on behalf of the foreign national in order to avoid taxation?Payments made by the University to a third party on a non-resident alien's behalf are considered payments to the non-resident alien. Therefore, the University must withhold the appropriate federal income tax, which depends on the type of payment, and report the payment to the IRS as if it is being made directly to the non-resident alien. However, expenses that qualify under either the Accountable Plan rules may be excluded from the nonresident alien's gross income.
Who is eligible to receive a payment/which visa type can I pay?
U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regulations are very specific about what types of payments may be made to each visa type, who may make the payments, and what type(s) of employment verification documents are required for the non-resident alien to receive payments. Our office has extensive training and contracts to determine what payments can be made.
An abbreviated list of common visa types, restrictions, and documentation is provided below:
- B-1 or VWB or WB (Visitor/Business) - May receive reimbursement for reasonable travel expenses and, under limited circumstances, payments for compensation and honoraria.
- B-2 or VWT or WT (Visitor for Pleasure) - Under limited circumstances, may receive payments for compensation, honoraria, and reimbursement of reasonable travel expenses.
- F-1 (Student) may be employed up to 20 hours on campus if full-time student with valid Form I-20.
- F-2 (Dependent of F-1) may not be employed.
- H-1B may be employed by petitioner(s) only as identified on Form I-797A.
- J-1 (Exchange Visitor - Student) may be employed on campus up to 20 hours per week with written authorization of DSO (Contact - International Student Services) and a Form DS2019. · J-1 (Exchange Visitor - Short term Scholar, Professor, Researcher or Specialist) is eligible to receive compensation and reimbursement payments from the organization and for the period stated on the DS2019. Visitor must have a Social Security or Tax ID Number for compensation payments.
- N (Trade NAFTA - for citizens of Canada & Mexico) may be employed by the sponsoring
employer through whom the status was obtained. Canadians must submit only an I-94
card as employment authorization and Mexicans must submit INS Form I-797A ("Notice
of Action") as employment authorization. Not a valid visa type for payments to independent
contractors! Canadians who enter the United States and are not issued a Form I-94
are considered to be in B status (compensation and reasonable travel.
Contact International Services
If you have questions or require additional information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.