Totalization Agreements


The United States has entered into agreements, called “totalization agreements,” with several nations for the purpose of avoiding double taxation of income with respect to social security taxes. These agreements must be considered when determining whether an individual is subject to U.S. Social Security/Medicare tax, or whether a U.S. citizen or resident is subject to the social security taxes of a foreign country.

A list of countries with whom the United States currently has totalization agreements and copies of those agreements may be obtained at U.S. International Social Security Agreements.

Telephone inquiries should be directed to the numbers included in Office of Earnings and international Operations - Contact Us by Phone.

If you live outside the United States, you may obtain more information on the Social Security Administration's Office of International Operations website.

If you have questions about totalization agreements, call the Social Security Administration's Office of International Programs at 410-965-7306. However, please do not call this number if you wish to inquire about an individual benefit claim.

The Social Security Administration also publishes small brochures, Agreement Descriptions, which concisely describe the terms of each totalization agreement. These brochures are available from many local Social Security offices or may be ordered from the following toll-free number: 800-772-1213. In addition, these brochures and the totalization agreements are available on the Social Security Administration's International Agreements website.

An individual who wishes to claim an exemption from U.S. Social Security and Medicare taxes because of a totalization agreement must secure a Certificate of Coverage from the social security agency of their home country and present it to  their U.S. employer, according to the procedures set forth in Revenue Procedures 80-56 and 84-54, and Revenue Ruling 92-9, which provide an alternate procedure for an individual who is unable to secure a Certificate of Coverage from their home country.

French Contribution Sociale Generalisee (CSG) and Contribution au Remboursement de la Dette Sociate (CRDS)

In 2019, the United States and the French Republic memorialized through diplomatic communications an understanding that the French Contribution Sociale Generalisee (CSG) and Contribution au Remboursement de la Dette Sociate (CRDS) taxes are not social taxes covered by the Agreement on Social Security between the two countries. Accordingly, the IRS will not challenge foreign tax credits for CSG and CRDS payments on the basis that the Agreement on Social Security applies to those taxes.

The IRS’s change in policy means individual taxpayers, who paid or accrued these taxes but did not claim them, can file amended returns to claim a foreign tax credit.

Generally individual taxpayers have ten (10) years to file a claim for refund of U.S. income taxes paid if they find they paid or accrued more creditable foreign taxes than what they previously claimed. The 10-year period begins the day after the regular due date for filing the return (without extensions) for the year in which the foreign taxes were paid or accrued. 

Individuals should write “French CSG/CRDS Taxes” in red at the top of Forms 1040-X and file them with accompanying Forms 1116 in accordance with the instructions for these forms.

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