United States Code/Title 26/Chapter 24/Section 3401

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United States Code
the United States Government
Title 26, Subtitle C, Chapter 24, Section 3401. Definitions
See Cornell Law School

Title 26—Internal Revenue Code
Subtitle C—Employment Taxes
Chapter 24—Collection of Income Tax At Source on Wages
Section 3401—Definitions

(a)Wages

For purposes of this chapter, the term “wages” means all remuneration (other than fees paid to a public official) for services performed by an employee for his employer, including the cash value of all remuneration (including benefits) paid in any medium other than cash; except that such term shall not include remuneration paid—

(1) for active service performed in a month for which such employee is entitled to the benefits of section 112 (relating to certain combat zone compensation of members of the Armed Forces of the United States) to the extent remuneration for such service is excludable from gross income under such section; or

(2) for agricultural labor (as defined in section 3121 (g)) unless the remuneration paid for such labor is wages (as defined in section 3121 (a)); or

(3) for domestic service in a private home, local college club, or local chapter of a college fraternity or sorority; or

(4) for service not in the course of the employer’s trade or business performed in any calendar quarter by an employee, unless the cash remuneration paid for such service is $50 or more and such service is performed by an individual who is regularly employed by such employer to perform such service. For purposes of this paragraph, an individual shall be deemed to be regularly employed by an employer during a calendar quarter only if—

(A) on each of some 24 days during such quarter such individual performs for such employer for some portion of the day service not in the course of the employer’s trade or business; or

(B) such individual was regularly employed (as determined under subparagraph (A)) by such employer in the performance of such service during the preceding calendar quarter; or

(5) for services by a citizen or resident of the United States for a foreign government or an international organization; or

(6) for such services, performed by a nonresident alien individual, as may be designated by regulations prescribed by the Secretary; or

[(7) Repealed. Pub. L. 89–809, title I, § 103(k), Nov. 13, 1966, 80 Stat. 1554]

(8)

(A) for services for an employer (other than the United States or any agency thereof)—

(i) performed by a citizen of the United States if, at the time of the payment of such remuneration, it is reasonable to believe that such remuneration will be excluded from gross income under section 911; or

(ii) performed in a foreign country or in a possession of the United States by such a citizen if, at the time of the payment of such remuneration, the employer is required by the law of any foreign country or possession of the United States to withhold income tax upon such remuneration; or

(B) for services for an employer (other than the United States or any agency thereof) performed by a citizen of the United States within a possession of the United States (other than Puerto Rico), if it is reasonable to believe that at least 80 percent of the remuneration to be paid to the employee by such employer during the calendar year will be for such services; or

(C) for services for an employer (other than the United States or any agency thereof) performed by a citizen of the United States within Puerto Rico, if it is reasonable to believe that during the entire calendar year the employee will be a bona fide resident of Puerto Rico; or

(D) for services for the United States (or any agency thereof) performed by a citizen of the United States within a possession of the United States to the extent the United States (or such agency) withholds taxes on such remuneration pursuant to an agreement with such possession; or

(9) for services performed by a duly ordained, commissioned, or licensed minister of a church in the exercise of his ministry or by a member of a religious order in the exercise of duties required by such order; or

(10)

(A) for services performed by an individual under the age of 18 in the delivery or distribution of newspapers or shopping news, not including delivery or distribution to any point for subsequent delivery or distribution; or

(B) for services performed by an individual in, and at the time of, the sale of newspapers or magazines to ultimate consumers, under an arrangement under which the newspapers or magazines are to be sold by him at a fixed price, his compensation being based on the retention of the excess of such price over the amount at which the newspapers or magazines are charged to him, whether or not he is guaranteed a minimum amount of compensation for such services, or is entitled to be credited with the unsold newspapers or magazines turned back; or

(11) for services not in the course of the employer’s trade or business, to the extent paid in any medium other than cash; or

(12) to, or on behalf of, an employee or his beneficiary—

(A) from or to a trust described in section 401 (a) which is exempt from tax under section 501 (a) at the time of such payment unless such payment is made to an employee of the trust as remuneration for services rendered as such employee and not as a beneficiary of the trust; or

(B) under or to an annuity plan which, at the time of such payment, is a plan described in section 403 (a); or

(C) for a payment described in section 402 (h)(1) and (2) if, at the time of such payment, it is reasonable to believe that the employee will be entitled to an exclusion under such section for payment; or

(D) under an arrangement to which section 408 (p) applies; or

(E) under or to an eligible deferred compensation plan which, at the time of such payment, is a plan described in section 457 (b) which is maintained by an eligible employer described in section 457 (e)(1)(A),[1] or

(13) pursuant to any provision of law other than section 5(c) or 6 (1) of the Peace Corps Act, for service performed as a volunteer or volunteer leader within the meaning of such Act; or

(14) in the form of group-term life insurance on the life of an employee; or

(15) to or on behalf of an employee if (and to the extent that) at the time of the payment of such remuneration it is reasonable to believe that a corresponding deduction is allowable under section 217 (determined without regard to section 274 (n)); or

(16)

(A) as tips in any medium other than cash;

(B) as cash tips to an employee in any calendar month in the course of his employment by an employer unless the amount of such cash tips is $20 or more; [2]

(17) for service described in section 3121 (b)(20); [2]

(18) for any payment made, or benefit furnished, to or for the benefit of an employee if at the time of such payment or such furnishing it is reasonable to believe that the employee will be able to exclude such payment or benefit from income under section 127, 129, or 134 (b)(4); [2]

(19) for any benefit provided to or on behalf of an employee if at the time such benefit is provided it is reasonable to believe that the employee will be able to exclude such benefit from income under section 74 (c), 117, or 132; [2]

(20) for any medical care reimbursement made to or for the benefit of an employee under a self-insured medical reimbursement plan (within the meaning of section 105 (h)(6)); [2]

(21) for any payment made to or for the benefit of an employee if at the time of such payment it is reasonable to believe that the employee will be able to exclude such payment from income under section 106 (b); or

(22) any payment made to or for the benefit of an employee if at the time of such payment it is reasonable to believe that the employee will be able to exclude such payment from income under section 106 (d).

(b) Payroll period

For purposes of this chapter, the term “payroll period” means a period for which a payment of wages is ordinarily made to the employee by his employer, and the term “miscellaneous payroll period” means a payroll period other than a daily, weekly, biweekly, semimonthly, monthly, quarterly, semiannual or annual payroll period.

(c) Employee

For purposes of this chapter, the term “employee” includes an officer, employee, or elected official of the United States, a State, or any political subdivision thereof, or the District of Columbia, or any agency or instrumentality of any one or more of the foregoing. The term “employee” also includes an officer of a corporation.

(d) Employer

For purposes of this chapter, the term “employer” means the person for whom an individual performs or performed any service, of whatever nature, as the employee of such person, except that—

(1) if the person for whom the individual performs or performed the services does not have control of the payment of the wages for such services, the term “employer” (except for purposes of subsection (a)) means the person having control of the payment of such wages, and

(2) in the case of a person paying wages on behalf of a nonresident alien individual, foreign partnership, or foreign corporation, not engaged in trade or business within the United States, the term “employer” (except for purposes of subsection (a)) means such person.

(e) Number of withholding exemptions claimed

For purposes of this chapter, the term “number of withholding exemptions claimed” means the number of withholding exemptions claimed in a withholding exemption certificate in effect under section 3402 (f), or in effect under the corresponding section of prior law, except that if no such certificate is in effect, the number of withholding exemptions claimed shall be considered to be zero.

(f) Tips

For purposes of subsection (a), the term “wages” includes tips received by an employee in the course of his employment. Such wages shall be deemed to be paid at the time a written statement including such tips is furnished to the employer pursuant to section 6053 (a) or (if no statement including such tips is so furnished) at the time received.

[(g) Repealed. Pub. L. 101–140, title II, § 203(a)(2), Nov. 8, 1989, 103 Stat. 830]

(h) Crew leader rules to apply

Rules similar to the rules of section 3121 (o) shall apply for purposes of this chapter.

References