Persons Employed in a U.S. Possession / Territory – Federal Income Tax Withholding


U.S. territories, or possessions, are under the jurisdiction of the United States. U.S. territories can be divided into two groups:

  1. Those that have their own governments and their own tax systems (American Samoa, Guam, The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands), and
  2. Those that do not have their own governments and their own tax systems (Baker Island, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Johnston Island, Kingman Reef, Midway Islands, Palmyra Atoll, Wake Island, and other U.S. islands, cays, and reefs that are not part of any of the fifty states).

The governments of the first group of territories impose their own income taxes and withholding taxes on their residents. To determine the income tax withholding requirements of a territory in the first group, you should consult the local tax department of that territory. The addresses of the tax authorities of the U.S. territories listed in group one above may be found in Publication 570, Tax Guide for Individuals With Income From U.S. Possessions.

Residents of the second group of territories are subject to U.S. income taxes and the withholding of federal income taxes.

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