Instructions on how to apply for a
Central Withholding Agreement
What is a Central Withholding Agreement?
Steps to Apply for a CWA
Central Withholding Agreement (CWA) is a tool that can help
Who can apply?
nonresident entertainers and athletes who plan to work in the
United States. A CWA provides for withholding based upon net
Individual nonresident alien (NRA) entertainers and athletes
income at graduated rates.
who perform or participate in events in the United States can
request a CWA. They may qualify for a lower rate of withholding
than 30% of gross income.
An authorized representative may apply for the NRA. To
Generally, Section 1441(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of
prevent unauthorized disclosures, we require a Form 2848,
1986 requires all persons having the control, receipt, custody,
Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative, or Form
disposal, or payment of certain items of income from sources
8821, Tax Information Authorization, to be fully executed, giving
within the United States of any nonresident alien individual, to
us authority to discuss tax matters with the NRA’s
deduct and withhold from such income a tax equal to 30 percent
representative. The disclosure authorization (Form 2848 or
thereof. These persons are withholding agents. The income
Form 8821) must be signed by the NRA. A faxed copy of this
items subject to this withholding include, but are not limited to,
form is acceptable. If there is a need to obtain additional
interest, dividends, rent, salaries, wages, compensations,
information from other sources, we will either request
remunerations, and emoluments.
authorization for that source or will request the information
through the source that already has authorization.
Section 1.1441-4(b)(3) of the Income Tax Regulations provides
that compensation for personal services of a nonresident alien
We may accept Form 2848 from an attorney, CPA, or enrolled
(NRA) individual who is engaged during the taxable year in the
agent. Additionally, we may accept Form 2848 if the
conduct of a trade or business within the United States, may be
representative is an officer of the company, a full-time employee
wholly or partially exempted from withholding if a CWA is
or family member. The authorization should cover, at a
executed between the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the
minimum, a CWA for the current year, Income Tax Form
alien individual with respect to the amount of withholding
1040NR for the present and two prior years, as well as any
required. The regulation states that a CWA shall be available in
Form 1042-S in the taxpayer’s name for any year in question.
the circumstances and in the manner set forth by the IRS.
We would also accept Form 8821 from anyone else designated
to receive tax return information. Form 8821 authorizes any
individual, corporation, firm, organization, or partnership
The IRS will consider entering into a CWA permitting
designated to inspect and/or receive confidential information in
withholding on projected net income at a graduated rate, as
any office of the IRS for the type of tax and the years or periods
opposed to 30% of gross income, provided that all requirements
listed on Form 8821. The authorization should cover the same
of Revenue Procedure 89-47 are met. Accurately and timely
tax return information as shown above.
completing this application will fulfill the requirements for
When should I apply?
In no event will a CWA reduce the amount of withheld taxes to
You must submit an application for a CWA at least 45 days
an amount less than the anticipated income tax liability.
before the first event covered by the CWA to allow for timely
evaluation. An application received by the IRS less than 45
days before the first event covered by the application will be
denied and returned to the applicant.
Where do I apply?
Submit your application and all accompanying documents to:
Central Withholding Agreement Program
Internal Revenue Service
2001 Butterfield Road,
Downers Grove, IL. 60515-1050
Or by Fax 630-493-5906
Catalog Number 50991Q