How to File an NR4 on a U.S. Tax Form

Written by david roberts
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The NR4 is a form issued by the Canadian Government to give an accounting to those Canadians or to U.S. residents who have been subject to the Canadian governments withholding taxes, whether or not the amounts have actually been withheld. Many NR4 forms may be filed throughout the year for the same individual. As there are rules in place for those receiving Canadian income in the United States, so too are there forms that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires be filed with a 1040.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • All NR4 slips issued for the current tax year
  • IRS Form 8891
  • IRS Form 1040

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  1. 1

    Calculate the amounts paid from Canada. If the amount is less than £32 U.S. dollars and there has been no withholding, the use of an NR 4 is not required. If there has been withholding even on £32, or if the amounts were higher, then you will be receiving the NR 4.

  2. 2

    Obtain the IRS Form 8891. It is this form that will designate the taxpayer as a beneficiary or an annuitant. If you are married filing a joint return, and each spouse is issued a NR 4, each must file a separate Form 8891. The identification number to use on this form must be a U.S.-based number, an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) or a Social Security number. Canadian identification numbers will not be accepted.

  3. 3

    Determine if you would rather defer the U.S. taxes on undistributed amounts from the Canadian retirement plans. This is an irrevocable election should you choose to do so. In other words, once you choose this election, you can't change your mind for next year.

  4. 4

    Categorise the source of the amounts paid on your NR 4 forms. They could be distributions, interest payments, ordinary dividends, capital gains or other income. The source of the amounts determines the location of the totals on your Form 1040.

  5. 5

    Transfer the totals from your Form 8891 to the Form 1040. Mailing in the NR 4 forms is not necessary; it is however, important to keep them on hand in case of an audit.

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