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FAQ about taxes for O-1 Visa holders

Depending on your O-1 Visa sponsor, various US tax issues will apply based on the services you provide in the US. As an O-1 visa holder, you may be considered an employee or self employed in the US.

US Tax Applicable To O-1 Visa Holders

As a general rule, anyone performing services in the U.S. – including performing artists – must pay U.S. taxes on their U.S. income.  The US-Canada Tax Treaty, however, has special provisions dealing with artists. In particular, Article XVI provides artists with exemptions from taxation under certain circumstances. For US Income Tax Treaties other than Canada please click here for the US Tax Treaty list by country.

In addition, to ensure that foreign artists pay their U.S. taxes, the IRS requires anyone in the U.S. who is paying for services performed by a foreign artist to withhold 30% taxes on all U.S. income of that foreign artist.

How We Help O-1 Visa Holders

As an O-1 visa holder, we understand the US and Canadian tax implications you face and regularly assist O-1 visa holders with the following tax issues:

a)     Assessing your US and Canada tax residency situation

b)     Claiming an exemption from US tax under the Canada-US tax treaty

c)     Cross border tax and transition planning

d)     Filing the correct tax returns in both countries based on your particular cross borer tax situation

e)     Determining your US Social Security tax and Canadian CPP obligations

f)      Claiming an exemption from the 30% US withholding tax

g)     Obtaining US tax ID numbers for O-3 visa holders that can be claimed as dependents on a US tax return

You may qualify to file a US income tax return that may reduce the amount of US tax owed by way of the tax treaty or your physical presence in the US.

As cross border tax experts, we will assist you to determine if you qualify for a tax set-off under the provisions of the Canada-US Tax Treaty and to file all required IRS and individual state forms and tax returns to ensure that you pay the lowest tax possible.


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