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IRS.gov Website
Instructions for Form 1042-S
taxmap/instr2/i1042s-003.htm#en_us_publink64278ad0e124

taxmap/instr2/i1042s-003.htm#TXMP5e478155
Who Must File(p2)

rule
Every withholding agent (defined in Definitions, later) must file an information return on Form 1042-S to report amounts paid during the preceding calendar year that are described under Amounts Subject to Reporting on Form 1042-S, later. However, withholding agents who are individuals are not required to report a payment on Form 1042-S if they are not making the payment as part of their trade or business and no withholding is required to be made on the payment. For example, an individual making a payment of interest that qualifies for the portfolio interest exception from withholding is not required to report the payment if the portfolio interest is paid on a loan that is not connected to the individual's trade or business. However, an individual who is a withholding agent paying an amount that actually has been subject to withholding is required to report the payment. Also, an individual paying an amount on which withholding is required must report the payment, whether or not the individual actually withholds. See Multiple Withholding Agent Rule, later, for exceptions to reporting when another person has reported the same payment to the recipient. Also see Publicly Traded Partnerships (Section 1446 Withholding Tax), later.
Every payer of a specified Federal procurement payment must file a Form 1042-S for payments withheld upon under section 5000C.
You must otherwise file a Form 1042-S even if you did not withhold tax under chapter 3 because the income was exempt from tax under a U.S. tax treaty or the Code, including the exemption for income that is effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business in the United States, or you released the tax withheld to the recipient. For exceptions, see Amounts That Are Not Subject to Reporting on Form 1042-S, later.
Amounts paid to an individual that is a bona fide resident of a U.S. possession or territory are not subject to reporting on Form 1042-S if the beneficial owner of the income is a U.S. citizen, national, or resident alien (such amounts may be subject to Form 1099 reporting).
caution
If you file Form 1042-S, you also must file Form 1042, Annual Withholding Tax Return for U.S. Source Income of Foreign Persons. See Form 1042, and the instructions to the form, for more information.