Pay Foreign Entities and Individuals


For payments to all types of entities not based in the U.S., Emory is required to have certain documentation on file regardless of whether the entity is a foreign corporation, partnership, government, or university. These rules apply no matter the purpose of the payment including the purchase of services, goods, inventory, equipment, materials, or supplies. Documentation for all payments includes a Foreign Source Statement as well as the appropriate IRS W-8 Series form. This documentation should be attached to each payment request whether created in Compass or Emory Express. Forms can be found on the Finance Forms page.

Certain of these payments are also subject to withholding of U.S. tax even though the entity is located outside the U.S. These are generally payments that relate to online subscriptions or software access or purchases of copyrights, trademarks, film viewing rights, or other items deemed to be payment of royalties. Tax determination will be made by the Emory Tax Department including the application of any treaty exemptions and must be done prior to sending payment. Emory must remit tax withholdings to the IRS on a weekly basis for payments made the prior week.


Payments to Foreign Nationals can be complex due to tax and immigration laws.

Please contact the Tax department to discuss your plans for making a payment to a Foreign National.

Additionally, it is very important that you consider the following:

  • The status of the individual as a Permanent Resident (Green Card holder), Resident Alien (International Visitor passing the Substantial Presence Test Substantial Presence Test | Internal Revenue Service ( _ or Non-Resident Alien (International Visitor not passing the Substantial Presence Test).
  • What type of Visa the visitor will obtain for the trip (or if they will be on a visa waiver)
  • What type of payment you intend to make (e.g., travel reimbursement, honorarium, other)
  • How long the visitor will be on campus
  • How you will obtain the required documentation from the visitor
  • Whether the visitor has an SSN or ITIN which is required if they will receive payment for services and whether taxes with be withheld from the payment.

Outgoing wire transfers, both foreign and domestic, are overseen by Accounts Payable. Foreign wires are dispatched by Treasury.

Treasury Management processes the EFT and Wire requests in foreign currency on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Accounts Payable records the entries.

A wire transfer starts at the department level by entering a Payment Request in Compass. The department fills out the appropriate forms and attaches supporting documentation to obtain departmental approval for the transfer.

The University is required to establish the tax status of foreign entities with which it conducts business. If a payment is made to a non-US citizen or foreign company, the Tax Department reviews the EFT and Wire request and its supporting documentation to determine the tax withholding and reporting requirements. The university is prohibited by law from making payments in non-U.S. currencies to certain foreign countries or persons in them.

Paying Foreign Individuals located outside the U.S.

Emory makes payments to individuals that travel to the U.S. as well as to those that remain outside the U.S. Different rules apply for each. Generally, if the individual has not traveled to the U.S., there is no tax withholdings except if paying for online subscriptions or software access or purchases of copyrights, trademarks, film viewing rights, or other items deemed to be payment of royalties. Similar to these types of payments to foreign entities, Emory must withhold and remit taxes to the IRS.

For all payments to foreign individuals that have not traveled to the U.S., a Foreign Source Statement and Form W-8BEN must be attached to the payment request. Forms can be found on the Finance Forms page.

See Paying foreign individuals through Compass on how to complete the payment request in Compass.

Paying Foreign Visitors to the U.S.

Foreign individuals come to Emory for a variety of activities including guest lecturing, performing, training, or study. Whether we can legally pay fees and honoraria or reimburse expenses to the individual and the tax treatment of the payment depends on many factors including (but not limited to) Visa status, length of travel to U.S., purpose of visit, country of tax residency, and prior visits to the U.S. Payment of fees, honoraria, scholarships, awards, and even some expense reimbursements are taxable income to these visitors and require tax withholding. In addition, certain documentation must be provided for every payment regardless of purpose.