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 taken into account when determining whether any alien is subject to the U.S. Social Security/Medicare tax, or whether any U.S. citizen or resident alien is subject to the social security taxes of a foreign country. As of this time, the following nations have entered into Totalization Agreements with the United States:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Slovak Republic
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom

Copies of the Totalization Agreements may be obtained from the Social Security Administration at the following address:

U.S. Social Security Administration
Office of International Programs
P.O. Box 17741
Baltimore, MD 21235-7775

Telephone inquiries should be directed to the numbers shown on the following page: 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 international Social Security agreements, call the Social Security Administration's Office of International Programs at 410-965-3322 or 410-965-7306. However, please do not call these numbers if you wish to inquire about an individual benefit claim.

The Social Security Administration also publishes small brochures 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, the complete text of these brochures and of the Totalization Agreements themselves are available on the Social Security Administration's International Agreements website.

Any alien who wishes to claim an exemption from U.S. Social Security taxes and Medicare taxes because of a Totalization Agreement must secure a Certificate of Coverage from the social security agency of his home country and present such Certificate of Coverage to his employer in the United States, according to the procedures set forth in Revenue Procedures 80-56, 84-54, and Revenue Ruling 92-9.  An alternate procedure is provided in these revenue procedures for an alien who is unable to secure a Certificate of Coverage from his 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.  This means that amended returns may be filed, using Form 1040-X to include accompanying Form 1116, going back to tax year 2009.

Individual taxpayers should write “French CSG/CRDS Taxes” in red at the top of Forms 1040-X, file them with accompanying Forms 1116 in accordance with the instructions for these forms. U.S. employers may not file for refunds claiming a foreign tax credit for CSG/CRDS withheld or otherwise paid on behalf of their employees.

References/Related Topics