Social Security and Medicare Taxes
In general, United States Social Security and Medicare taxes apply to payments of wages for services performed as an employee in the United States, regardless of the citizenship or residence of either the employee or the employer.
Exemptions to Social Security and Medicare Taxes (FICA):
The exemption determination is based on the calendar year (January-December) the foreign student/scholar enters the United States. The calendar year may only be a partial year. For example, a foreign student/scholar who enters the United States on December 31, 2010 counts 2010 as his/her first calendar year.
- F-1/J-1 students are exempt from Social Security and Medicare taxes for the first 5 calendar years
- J-1 scholars (non-students) are exempt from Social Security and Medicare taxes for the first 2 calendar years
J-2, H-1, E3, and TN are required to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes.
Social Security Number and Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
IRS regulations mandate that nonresident alien visitors (foreign nationals) must have either a Social Security number (SSN) or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) in order to receive any tax treaty benefits
- If a foreign national is receiving wages they must apply for a Social Security card with the Social Security Administration.
- If a foreign national is only receiving scholarship fellowship payments they may apply for an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number).
Updating Social Security Number:
- Foreign national presents their Social Security card to the department.
- Payroll Coordinator forwards copy of the Social Security card to Payroll Office for updating the Payroll system, Box 359555
- Foreign national students also required to present their Social Security card to the Registration Office, 225 Schmitz Hall, for updating the Student database.
Failure to notify Payroll and Registration Office may result in incorrect taxation