Foreign Students, Diplomats and Entertainers

Nov 17 2014
Nonresident aliens must file federal income tax forms, but with their own special exemptions. Learn more about nonresident taxes at .
Green card holders are considered resident aliens and taxed the same as U.S. citizens.

United States colleges, universities and research centers are magnets for ambitious students and scholars from around the world. The federal government recognizes the advantages of having the world's best minds working on American soil. For this reason, the U.S. Department of State extends temporary visas to students and scholars, and the IRS offers certain tax breaks and exemptions to income earned during their stay.

まず、IRSは、留学生、教師、研修生、国際機関の従業員、外交官とその家族が、国内で183日以上過ごした場合でも非居住外国人としての資格を得ることができます。IRSは、これらのビザ保有者を「免税個人」と呼んでいます。これは、税金が免除されているためではなく、米国での在留日数のカウントが免除されているためです[出典:IRS ]。非居住者の外国人は米国の源泉から得た賃金に対してのみ所得税を支払う必要があるため、これは大きな税制上の利点です。

第二に、資格のあるビザを保持している学生、学者、研修生、または外交官は、給与から社会保障およびメディケアへの寄付を差し控えることが免除されます。同じビザを持つ自営業者も自営業税を免除されます[出典:IRS ]。

ただし、キャピタルゲイン税に関しては問題があります。税法では、米国に183日以上居住している非居住者の外国人は、キャピタルゲインの30%の課税の責任を負うとされています[出典:IRS ]。この場合、学生、学者、外交官には免除はありません。居住日は合計にカウントされます。

Foreign athletes temporarily in the U.S. for sporting events are among the list of "exempt individuals" for counting their days of presence, but that's where the tax breaks end. Both foreign athletes and entertainers are subject to a flat 30 percent income tax withholding on all earnings during their stay, unless they have a really good tax lawyer who can navigate the IRS rules, which even the agency admits are "complex."

For lots more information about tax exemptions and creative (but legal) tax deductions, check out the related articles below.

Author's Note: How Nonresident Taxes Work

My family and I lived abroad in Mexico for six years. Two of my children were born in Mexico, but both my wife and I are passport-carrying Americans. While in Mexico, my wife worked for an international school and the staff there handled all of the paperwork for Mexican income taxes. I worked as a freelance writer for American newspapers and magazines, so I didn't bother paying income tax in Mexico. Researching this article, though, I'm starting to wonder if I should have. Sadly, skirting income tax is a proud tradition in Mexico, so it's unlikely that anyone would ever come after me for a few spare pesos. In the meantime, I'll continue to live by my credo: Ignorance of foreign tax laws is bliss.

Related Articles

  • How Health Savings Accounts Work
  • How are foreign investments taxed?
  • How Federal Taxes Work
  • How is your military pension taxed?
  • What are dependency exemptions?


  • IRS. "Alien Liability for Social Security and Medicare Taxes of Foreign Teachers, Foreign Researchers, and Other Foreign Professionals" (Nov. 6, 2014),-Foreign-Researchers,-and-Other-Foreign-Professionals
  • IRS. "Filing Past Due Tax Returns" (Nov. 6. 2014)
  • IRS. "FIRPTA Withholding: Withholding of Tax on Dispositions of United States Real Property Interests" (Nov. 6, 2014)
  • IRS. "Fixed, Determinable, Annual, Periodical (FDAP) Income" (Nov. 6, 2014),-Determinable,-Annual,-Periodical-(FDAP)-Income
  • IRS. "Introduction to Residency Under U.S. Tax Law" (Nov. 6, 2014)
  • IRS. "Nonresident Alien — Figuring Your Tax" (Nov. 6, 2014)
  • IRS. "Publication 901" (Nov. 6, 2014)
  • IRS. "Social Security/Medicare and Self-Employment Tax Liability of Foreign Students, Scholars, Researchers, Teachers, and Trainees" (Nov. 6, 2014)
  • IRS. "Substantial Presence Test" (Nov. 6, 2014)
  • IRS. "The Taxation of Capital Gains of Nonresident Alien Students, Scholars and Employees of Foreign Governments" (Nov. 6, 2014),-Scholars-and-Employees-of-Foreign-Governments
  • IRS. "Withholding Exemption on Effectively Connected Income" (Nov. 6, 2014)

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