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My country, Brazil, does not have a tax treaty with the United States. I understand from research on this website, and please correct me if I'm wrong, that I will not have to pay any U.S taxes while working for an U.S company because I'm not a U.S citizen or resident, in any sense of the terms.

I will pay local income tax when transferring the money. Does receiving money through an American bank account make me liable to pay U.S taxes? If not, what about keeping the money indefinitely in an American savings account?

In my view it's a matter of determining whether getting the money in a U.S bank account establishes enough ties for the income to be considered taxable, and I can't find literature on that. Please provide sources if possible.

  • where are you physically present? Where are you performing the work? – littleadv Jul 10 '15 at 22:29
  • @littleadv Brazil, Brazil – Henrique P. Jul 12 '15 at 21:31
  • So why do you think the US has any right to tax you? – littleadv Jul 13 '15 at 8:10
  • @littleadv Because I don't know if getting it on a US bank account establishes ties. – Henrique P. Jul 14 '15 at 8:42
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    31 days don't make you a resident. There's some math involved, but generally its half a year, unless you've been in the US for prolonged periods of time in the last 2 years. – littleadv Jul 14 '15 at 17:19
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The United States taxes nonresident aliens on two types of income: First, a nonresident alien who is engaged in a trade or business in the United States is taxed on income that is effectively connected with that trade or business. Second, certain types of U.S.-source payments are subject to income tax withholding.

The determination of when a nonresident alien is engaged in a U.S. trade or business is highly fact-specific and complex. However, keeping assets in a U.S. bank account should not be treated as a U.S. trade or business.

A nonresident alien's interest income is generally subject to U.S. federal income tax withholding at a rate of 30 percent under Section 1441 of the tax code. Interest on bank deposits, however, benefit from an exception under Section 1441(c)(10), so long as that interest is not effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business.

Even though no tax needs to be withheld on interest on a bank deposit, the bank should still report that interest each year to the IRS on Form 1042-S. The IRS can then send that information to the tax authority in Brazil.

Please keep in mind that state and local tax rules are all different, and whether interest on the bank deposits is subject to state or local tax will depend on which state the bank is in.

Also, the United States does tax nonresident aliens on wages paid from a U.S. company, if those wages are treated as U.S.-source income. Generally, wages are U.S.-source income if the employee provides services while physically present in the United States. There are a few exceptions to this rule, but they depend on the amount of wages and other factors that are specific to the employee's situation.

This is an area where you should really consult with a U.S. tax advisor before the employment starts. Maybe your company will pay for it?

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