Thursday, September 27, 2012


By Robyn Guilliams

The IRS has announced that, effective October 1, 2012 (that’s this Monday, people!), ALL requests for Central Withholding Agreements (CWAs) must be sent to the following address/fax number:

         Central Withholding Agreement Program
            Mail Stop: 1441
            2001 Butterfield Road
            Downers Grove, IL 60515-1050
            Fax:  (603) 493-5906

The full announcement can be viewed on the IRS’s website at

In addition, it’s worth noting that the announcement indicates that, effective on January 1, 2013, CWA requests received less than 45 days prior to the first event to be covered by the CWA will not be processed and such event(s) will be subject to withholding at 30% of the gross income…So – be sure to get your request submitted by the deadline!

The announcement also addresses requirements for nonresidents working in the U.S. to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN).  The IRS technically is correct that it is not “necessary” for a nonresident to wait 10 days after arriving in the U.S. to request a SSN.  However, in my experience, many workers at the Social Security Administration (SSA) apparently never received this memo.  I know of a number of nonresidents who have been turned away from SSA offices because the nonresident didn’t wait 10 days after arriving in the U.S. to request his SSN.  So, rather than make the trip into SSA (and possibly wait in long lines) only to be turned away, I strongly advise nonresidents to wait the 10 days before trekking into SSA!

Finally, the IRS has posted a Q & A from a recent “phone forum” on CWAs, which can be viewed here 

This page addresses many misconceptions about payments to – or for the services of – nonresident artists, and is recommended reading for anyone who presents OR represents foreign artists (complete with citations to the relevant IRS Treasury Regulations – woohoo!)