Publication 515 - Introductory Material


Future Developments

For the latest information about developments related to Publication 515, such as legislation enacted after it was published, go to www.irs.gov/pub515.

What's New

Deposit interest paid to certain nonresident alien individuals. New rules apply to reporting of deposit interest paid to certain nonresident alien individuals on or after January 1, 2013. Deposit interest of $10 or more paid to certain nonresident alien individuals must be reported on Form 1042–S. See Deposit interest paid to certain nonresident alien individuals in 2013.

Portfolio interest. . The rules determining whether interest is considered portfolio interest changed for obligations issued after March 18, 2012. Generally, interest paid on nonregistered (bearer) bonds will not be treated as portfolio interest. See Portfolio interest.

U.S. real property interest. Generally, the treatment of a regulated investment company (RIC) as a qualified investment entity (QIE) was scheduled to expire at the end of 2011. The provision has been extended through 2013. The special rules that apply to distributions from a QIE attributable to the gain from the sale or exchange of a U.S. real property interest will continue to apply to any distribution from a RIC. See Qualified investment entities under U.S. Real Property Interest.

Interest-related dividends and short-term capital gain dividends received from mutual funds. The exemption from withholding on certain interest-related dividends and short-term capital gain dividends paid by a mutual fund or other regulated investment company was scheduled to expire at the end of 2011. These provisions have been extended through 2013.

Partnership withholding rate on effectively connected income. For 2013, the rate for withholding on noncorporate partners has increased to 39.6%. The rate for corporate partners remains 35%.

Reminders

Exemption from requirement to withhold for certain payments to qualified securities lenders. If you made U.S.-source substitute dividend payments to qualified securities lenders, and these payments are part of a chain of substitute dividend payments, you may be exempt from withholding tax on the payments. See Amounts paid to qualified securities lenders .

Electronic deposits. You must make all deposits of taxes electronically.

Substitute forms. Any substitute forms you use must comply with the requirements in Publication 1179, General Rules and Specifications for Substitute Forms 1096, 1098, 1099, 5498, and Certain Other Information Returns. If they do not, the forms may be rejected as incorrect and the IRS may impose penalties. See Penalties.

Filing electronically. If you file Form 1042-S electronically, you will use the Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE) system. You get to the system through the Internet at fire.irs.gov. For files submitted on the FIRE system, it is the responsibility of the filer to verify the results of the transmission within 5 business days. The IRS will not mail error reports for files that are bad.

Qualified intermediaries. A branch of a financial institution may not act as a qualified intermediary in a country that does not have approved know-your-customer rules. See Qualified intermediary under Foreign Intermediaries.

Requests for extensions on Form 8809 must be filed electronically. Requests on Form 8809 for an extension of time to file Form 1042–S must be made electronically if the request is for more than one payer. See Extension to file Form 1042-S with the IRS.

Photographs of missing children. The Internal Revenue Service is a proud partner with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Photographs of missing children selected by the Center may appear in this publication on pages that would otherwise be blank. You can help bring these children home by looking at the photographs and calling 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) if you recognize a child.

Introduction

This publication is for withholding agents who pay income to foreign persons, including nonresident aliens, foreign corporations, foreign partnerships, foreign trusts, foreign estates, foreign governments, and international organizations. Specifically, it describes the persons responsible for withholding (withholding agents), the types of income subject to withholding, and the information return and tax return filing obligations of withholding agents. In addition to discussing the rules that apply generally to payments of U.S. source income to foreign persons, it also contains sections on the withholding that applies to the disposition of U.S. real property interests and the withholding by partnerships on income effectively connected with the active conduct of a U.S. trade or business.

Beginning in 2014, additional withholding rules become effective under Chapter 4 of the Internal Revenue Code as added by the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). U.S. withholding agents will be required to withhold on certain types of payments made to foreign financial institutions that do not enter into an agreement with the IRS. For information on these provisions, go to www.irs.gov/fatca.

Comments and suggestions.   We welcome your comments about this publication and your suggestions for future editions.

  You can write to us at the following address:

Internal Revenue Service 
Business Forms and Publications Branch 
SE:W:CAR:MP:T:B 
1111 Constitution Ave. NW, IR-6526 
Washington, DC 20224

  We respond to many letters by telephone. Therefore, it would be helpful if you would include your daytime phone number, including the area code, in your correspondence.

  You can email us at taxforms@irs.gov. Please put “Publications Comment” on the subject line. You can also send us comments from www.irs.gov/formspubs/. Select “Comment on Tax Forms and Publications” under “Information About.

  Although we cannot respond individually to each comment received, we do appreciate your feedback and will consider your comments as we revise our tax products.

Ordering forms and publications.   Visit www.irs.gov/formspubs/ to download forms and publications, call 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676), or write to the address below and receive a response within 10 days after your request is received.

Internal Revenue Service 
1201 N. Mitsubishi Motorway 
Bloomington, IL 61705-6613

Tax questions.   If you have a tax question, check the information available on IRS.gov or call 1-800-829-1040. We cannot answer tax questions sent to either of the above addresses.

Useful Items - You may want to see:

Publication

  • 15 (Circular E), Employer's Tax Guide

  • 15-A Employer's Supplemental Tax Guide

  • 15-B Employer's Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits

  • 51 (Circular A), Agricultural Employer's Tax Guide

  • 519 U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens

  • 901 U.S. Tax Treaties

Form (and Instructions)

  • SS-4 Application for Employer Identification Number

  • W-2 Wage and Tax Statement

  • W-4 Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate

  • W-4P Withholding Certificate for Pension or Annuity Payments

  • W-7 Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number

  • W-8BEN Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding

  • W-8ECI Certificate of Foreign Person's Claim That Income Is Effectively Connected With the Conduct of a Trade or Business in the United States

  • W-8EXP Certificate of Foreign Government or Other Foreign Organization for United States Tax Withholding

  • W-8IMY Certificate of Foreign Intermediary, Foreign Flow-Through Entity, or Certain U.S. Branches for United States Tax Withholding

  • 941 Employer's QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return

  • 1042 Annual Withholding Tax Return for U.S. Source Income of Foreign Persons

  • 1042-S Foreign Person's U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding

  • 1042-T Annual Summary and Transmittal of Forms 1042-S

See How To Get Tax Help at the end of this publication, for information about getting publications and forms.


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