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Inviting a Foreign National to Wake Forest University can have unexpected challenges. The different visas that are available to Foreign Nationals often have different requirements that must be met in order for the individual to legally visit Wake Forest. Please consult with The Center for Immigration Services and Support prior to inviting any Foreign National to Wake Forest.

In order to process a payment to a Foreign National, whether it’s a scholarship or honorarium or to cover travel costs, the University requires certain information. This page will help guide you to the necessary forms, policies, and procedures that should to be followed in order to properly pay a Foreign National.

Tax Information for Scholarships, Awards and Grants for Foreign Students

United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) regulations limit the types of payments that can be made to persons who are not citizens or permanent residents of the United States. Whether such payments are allowed is based on the current immigration status of each individual, as stated on the individual’s Form I-94. Depending on the current immigration status of an individual, an individual may be permitted to receive one of the following types of payments or a combination thereof: scholarships/fellowships; wages; or prizes or awards.

Payment to or on behalf of individuals of certain immigration status may be prohibited.

Fellowship or Scholarship payments are made to assist a person in pursuing a course of study or research. There are two types of scholarships and fellowships, qualified and non-qualified. Qualified scholarships and fellowships are amounts that directly pay for tuition, fees, books, and required equipment for classes. Qualified scholarships and fellowships are exempt from taxes. Non-qualified scholarships and fellowships are amounts for room and board, sports/personal equipment, living expenses, medical expenses, travel stipends and other non-required expenses. For F-1 and J-1 students, researchers and scholars, non-qualified scholarships and fellowships are subject to 14% federal withholding tax and 6% state tax, unless exempt from tax because of an existing tax treaty. The withholding taxes are the responsibility of the student. If the department involved wants to reduce the tax burden on the student, please contact the Tax Department via email to discuss possible options..

Fellowship and Scholarship grants paid with funds that have come from the visitor’s country of residence (or another country outside the U.S.) are not subject to federal income tax or tax withholding, nor is there any U.S. reporting obligation. The exclusion applies only to individuals who are not U.S. residents or citizens. Such grants are considered to be “sourced” in the foreign country and, therefore, are not subject to U.S. tax laws.

Prizes and Awards that are provided as a result of an educational contest or competition to a Wake Forest student are usually subject to Federal 30% and State 6% withholding. These prizes and awards will be reviewed to determine whether recipients in F or J visa status are eligible for a reduced rate. Countries with a tax treaty for prize income include: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Russia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.

The Tax Department will review all payments to Foreign Nationals to determine if the payment is allowed and what withholding rate, if any, will be applied to the payment. Business Managers are responsible for insuring that the individuals complete the Foreign National Information Form (FNIF) completely (with all required attachments) prior to submitting the payment voucher to Accounts Payable.

A table that indicates the types of payments that could be made to a Foreign National and the required forms necessary to process the payment is available in Appendix 3 of the Tax Guide for Foreign Visitors (PDF).

U.S. Tax Requirements for Foreign Visitors

Foreign visitors to Wake Forest University may be subject to income tax on any payments or other benefits that they receive while at the University. A Foreign National Information Form (PDF)  is required for all Foreign Nationals who visit Wake Forest University. Payments which may be taxable include:

  • Employee wages
  • Independent contractor payments (honoraria)
  • Fellowship and scholarship payments
  • Travel reimbursements
  • Payments made on behalf of the visitor

Income tax on employee wages is generally withheld at the graduated rates mandated by law. Wages are also subject to 6.2% FICA tax. Income tax withholding rates on independent contractors (honoraria), fellowships and scholarships can range from 0% (a tax treaty applies) to 30% (no treaty available). Tax treaties exist between the United States and 66 other countries so it is possible that what might be taxable to one visitor may not be taxable to another. The Tax Department can assist in determining if a treaty is available and which withholding rate may apply.

North Carolina state income tax withholding applies to all employee wages unless the wages are exempt by treaty. Generally 6% North Carolina income tax is withheld on all independent contractor payments as well.

See Section 3.1 of the Tax Guide for Foreign Visitors (PDF) for more information on what types of income may be subject to income tax.




Foreign National Information Form

Complete this form when a Foreign National is being paid by the University while in the United States. This form covers any type of payment (e.g. honorarium, scholarship, wages or business-related reimbursement). The form must be completed in its entirety. If any additional forms are requested, those forms need to be attached to this form for review.

Foreign National Information Form (PDF)

IRS Tax Forms

The campus should use these forms to submit tax information to Accounts Payable.

Use Form W-9 (Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certifications) for US citizens and resident aliens that the University does business with. Generally, if Accounts Payable has a W-9 on file, another form is not needed. To verify if Accounts Payable has a W-9 on file, email for more information.

Use Form W-8BEN (Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding) for individuals and Form W-8BEN-E (Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding and Reporting) for business entities, for any non-US citizens and non-resident aliens. Please request the correct form when setting up vendor businesses or individuals in a foreign country. If the business or individual has an US ITIN or employer identification number, include that information on the form. If not, please enter the foreign tax ID number.

Use Form 8300 (Report of Cash Payments Over $10,000 Received in a Trade or Business) when an individual or entity makes a cash payment of over $10,000 for any University purpose, e.g. tuition payment, donation, etc.

If the University is doing business with an individual that is performing services in the United States and they are a non-resident alien, the individual must complete the Foreign National Information Form

For more information, please visit

Tax Forms


Tax Guide for Foreign Visitors

The purpose of this guide is to inform foreign students, faculty and staff of the rules that Wake Forest University operates under, based on the tax and immigration laws of the United States. In addition, this tax guide serves as a tool for University personnel who interact with foreign students, faculty and staff. Wake Forest University is a Certifying Acceptance Agent and can assist foreign students, faculty, staff and visiting speakers in obtaining the required Taxpayer Identification Number to file U.S. tax returns or make use of an income tax treaty.