A Central Withholding Agreement (CWA) is a tool that can help entertainers and athletes who don’t live in the United States (U.S.) but who do plan to work here. A CWA is an agreement to have U.S. income tax withheld based on the non-resident’s income.

If you are a Nonresident Alien and/or a Foreign Athlete and Entertainer (NRAAE) who performs work in the form of independent personal services in the U.S., the Central Withholding Agreement program will:

  • Help you understand and meet your U.S. tax obligations
  • Make sure you are treated fairly and consistently
  • Apply tax laws correctly
  • Use alternative treatments (non-audit) efficiently

Application for a Social Security Number

Individual nonresident alien athletes and entertainers performing U.S. personal services should apply for a Social Security number (SSN) upon entering the U.S. to meet U.S. Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) requirements. For more information about SSN application requirements visit the Social Security Administration.

What are the Central Withholding Agreement requirements?

A CWA is an agreement that you, as a non-resident alien, enter into with a designated withholding agent and an authorized representative of the IRS. A CWA is not effective unless all three parties have signed it.

The agreement covers a specific tour, or series of events.  If these events take place over more than one calendar year, you may need to have more than one CWA.

Prior to applying for a CWA, you will have to ensure that:

  • Events for the CWA year that aren’t covered by the CWA are withheld on.
  • Pay any other U.S. income tax duly assessed.
  • All required tax returns have been submitted to the IRS.

As part of the agreement, you will have to:

How Much Tax Will Be Withheld?

Generally, if you are a nonresident alien entertainer or athlete performing independent personal services or participating in athletic events in the United States, your U.S. income tax will be withheld at a rate of 30 percent of your gross income. You may be able to enter into an agreement with the IRS to reduce your withholding if you meet certain requirements.

Get Help with the CWA Program

Please see FAQs About Central Withholding Agreements  for additional information about the program. If you do not see an answer to your question, you can email us at CWA Program. Do not include any personal information in the email. Personal information includes your Taxpayer Identification or Social Security Number, or your mailing address. For security reasons we cannot answer questions about your account by email.

Form 13930 - CWA

Form 13930 PDF lets individual non-resident aliens with calendar year-to-date U.S. gross income of at least $10,000 apply for a withholding agreement for withholding on estimated net income. To determine whether the gross income threshold is met, the IRS will aggregate gross income from prior CWAs in the same calendar year, the estimated gross income on the CWA application, and gross income from prior non-CWA events in the same calendar year documented with the CWA application.

All Form 13930 CWA applications must be faxed to 866-715-1507 or mailed to the following address:

Central Withholding Agreement Program
Internal Revenue Service
24000 Avila Road, MS 6040
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677

CWA requests must be received by the IRS at least 45 days prior to the first event. Requests received with less than 45 days will not be processed and those event(s) will be subject to withholding at 30% of the gross income as is required under the IRC 1441 provisions.

As part of the application process, NRAAEs requesting a CWA must have filed and paid or made arrangements to pay all previous U.S. taxes as appropriate. 

The NRAAE must submit the information contained in Form 13930, Instructions on How to Apply for a Central Withholding Agreement PDF.

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