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Publication 519

Chapter 10
Employees of Foreign Governments and International Organizations(p50)


Employees of foreign governments (including foreign municipalities) have two ways to get exemption of their governmental wages from U.S. income tax:
  1. By a provision in a tax treaty or consular convention between the United States and their country, or
  2. By meeting the requirements of U.S. tax law.
Employees of international organizations can exempt their wages either by a provision, if one exists, in the international agreement creating the international organization, or by meeting the requirements of U.S. tax law.
The exemption discussed in this chapter applies only to pay received for services performed for a foreign government or international organization. Other U.S. income received by persons who qualify for this exemption may be fully taxable or given favorable treatment under an applicable tax treaty provision. The proper treatment of this kind of income (interest, dividends, etc.) is discussed earlier in this publication.

Exemption Under Tax Treaty(p50)

If you are from a country that has a tax treaty with the United States, you should first look at the treaty to see if there is a provision that exempts your income. The income of U.S. citizens and resident aliens working for foreign governments usually is not exempt. However, in a few instances, the income of a U.S. citizen with dual citizenship may qualify. Often the exemption is limited to the income of persons who also are nationals of the foreign country involved.