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: 1-800-772-1213. 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.

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