Nontaxable Types of Interest Income for Nonresident Aliens


Nonresident aliens (NRAs) are not taxed on certain kinds of interest income, including but not limited to certain portfolio interest and deposit interest, that is not effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business per Internal Revenue Code subsections 871 (h) and (i), respectively, provided that such interest income arises from one of the following sources:

  1. A U.S. bank
  2. A U.S. savings and loan association
  3. A U.S. credit union
  4. A U.S. insurance company
  5. Portfolio Interest (Described in “3. Exclusions From Gross Income" – “Nonresident Aliens” - "Interest Income" and its subsection "Portfolio interest" of Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens)

Chapters 3 and 4 of the Internal Revenue Code usually require reporting of such interest paid to NRAs. If any withholding is applied to such interest, credit for the withholding and/or refunds of the withholding may be available.

If NRAs use Form 1040-NR, U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return, to report their income, then such nontaxable interest income shall not be reported anywhere on Form 1040-NR except in response to question L on page 5 of Form 1040-NR.

The erroneous reporting of such interest income on Form 1099 by one of the institutions listed above shall not cause such interest income to be included in the gross income of NRA recipients if such recipients have filed the proper income tax return.

NRAs should not deliver Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification, to a U.S. bank, U.S. savings and loan association, U.S. credit union, or U.S. insurance company. Instead, NRAs should deliver Form W-8BEN, Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding, to such institutions in order to put them on notice that they are NRAs and that the interest income accruing to their accounts at such institutions is not taxable.

References/Related Topics

Note: This page contains one or more references to the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), Treasury Regulations, court cases, or other official tax guidance. References to these legal authorities are included for the convenience of those who would like to read the technical reference material. To access the applicable IRC sections, Treasury Regulations, or other official tax guidance, visit the Tax Code, Regulations, and Official Guidance page. To access any Tax Court case opinions issued after September 24, 1995, visit the Opinions Search page of the United States Tax Court.