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Social Security and Medicare Tax for Persons Employed by a Foreign Employer

U.S. Citizens, Resident Aliens, and Nonresident Aliens employed outside the United States by a foreign employer are not generally subject to Social Security and Medicare tax withholding. However, an American employer with a foreign affiliate may request that Social Security and Medicare taxes be withheld from the U.S. citizen and resident alien employees of the foreign affiliate by filing Form 2032, Contract Coverage Under Title II of the Social Security Act (PDF).

U.S. citizens, resident aliens, and nonresident aliens employed within the United States by a foreign employer are generally subject to Social Security and Medicare tax withholding by the foreign employer. Revenue Ruling 92-106, 1992-2 C.B. 258 provides detailed information on this subject. Certain exceptions to mandatory Social Security and Medicare tax coverage are listed in IRS Publication 15, Circular E, Employer's Tax Guide. However, individuals employed in the United States by a foreign employer may be exempt from U.S. Social Security and Medicare taxes under the terms of a Totalization Agreement.

Special rules apply to Persons Employed by a Foreign Government or International Organization - FICA.

References/Related Topics

Note: This page contains one or more references to the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), Treasury Regulations, court cases, or other official tax guidance. References to these legal authorities are included for the convenience of those who would like to read the technical reference material. To access the applicable IRC sections, Treasury Regulations, or other official tax guidance, visit the Tax Code, Regulations, and Official Guidance page. To access any Tax Court case opinions issued after September 24, 1995, visit the Opinions Search page of the United States Tax Court.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 28-Jun-2014