International Programs

Making Payments to Foreign Nationals

Entertainment Contracts

When entering into an entertainment contract for an artist or group that is not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, Towson University must withhold tax based on the artist’s status. In the case where payment is made to a U.S. agent, IRS regulations require us to “look through” to the beneficiary of the payment. Mandatory tax withholding of 30% is required for artists who are nonresident aliens for tax purposes, unless exempted by tax treaty. A U.S. taxpayer identification is required for any tax exemption claim.

Artists who enter the U.S. in O or P status must provide a copy of the itinerary that was filed with the visa petition approved by the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS). If Towson University is not listed on the itinerary, the artist should submit a revised itinerary to the USCIS for approval. This may take three weeks to obtain.

Entertainment contracts should be prepared several months in advance of the event to provide time to address any visa and tax issues. When a foreign national is involved, complete the Entertainment Contract Supplement (PDF) in addition to the standard Entertainment Contract (PDF). To determine who is authorized to sign your entertainment contract, refer to the Contract Execution Policy (PDF).

To request payment, submit the artist/agent invoice with the signed contract as supporting documentation. If no invoice is provided, use the Miscellaneous Expense Voucher. Fees that cover travel expenses may be treated as non-taxable if receipts and boarding passes are provided. In this situation, prepare two payment requests, one for the travel reimbursement portion of the fee and the other for the remaining taxable portion of the fee.




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