Tax Residency Status

Tax Residency Status

Tax Residency Status (IRS Form W-4)

There are two possibilities for foreign persons with regard to US Federal taxes.
See: IRS - Determining Alien Tax Status

Non-Resident Alien

  • Is NOT a U.S. citizen or U.S. national
  • Is NOT a Permanent Resident of the United States (Green Card holder)
  • Does NOT pass the Substantial Presence Test

NRA employees must review specific instructions related to completing Form W-4:
See: IRS - Notice 1392

  • Write "NRA" below line 4c on Form W-4
  • NRA generally can only select Single filing status.

There are no restrictions for California State PIT withholding. Please follow the instructions included with EDD Form DE4.
Other states, please review information provided by state tax agencies.

Resident Alien for U.S. Tax Purposes

  • Is a Permanent Resident of the U.S. (Green Card holder)
  • OR
  • Is classified as a resident for tax purposes by passing the Substantial Presence Test

Generally, Resident Aliens for U.S. Tax Purposes should complete Form W-4 following the normal instructions.


Saint Mary's College of California and its affiliates, including the Payroll Office, do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. The information on this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own qualified advisors when making tax, legal or accounting decisions.