Request for Question Clarification by
08 Dec 2005 02:31 PST
You or your friend may be confusing this with the China Treaty that
makes one exempt from INCOME tax, not Social Security Tax.
You've asked for a lot of information, and since I didn't find ALL you
asked for, I'm giving you what I did find, for free. If this qualifies
as an answer, please update and I'll be happy to post in the answer
In short, I could not find an exemption for you, unless you have been
paying into your country's Social Security:
Tax Topic: Earnings
(Note, I could not find this at the SS site, so this might not be
accurate) ..."I'm working on H1B (work permit) Visa and paying Social
Security tax along with other taxes. Since my status is not permanent
in the United States, I might go back to my country at any time. When
I do, is my Social Security tax refundable? If yes, then how? If not,
then what benefit do I get from paying this tax?
Your wages are subject to Social Security tax unless you are paying
into the Social Security system of your home country, with which the
United States has a tax treaty. The payment is simply according to
U.S. tax law..."
Foreign National Tax Guide - Must You Pay Social Security and Medicare Tax?
Foreign National Tax Guide - Your Residency Status
Interesting FAQ's, some are relevant to you.
Payments to Foreign Nationals: Answers to Frequently Asked Social
..."1. Do I have to withhold social security on compensation paid to a
foreign national who will not be working in the United States long
enough to vest for benefits?
Yes. Foreign nationals employed in the United States are subject to
social security taxes unless an exemption applies..."
Aliens Employed in the U.S. ? Social Security Taxes
..."H-visas. Certain nonimmigrants in H-2 and H-2A status are exempt
from Social Security/Medicare taxes as follows:
* An H-2 nonimmigrant who is a resident of the Philippines and who
performs services in Guam;
* An H-2A nonimmigrant admitted into the United States temporarily
to perform agricultural labor.
The U.S. has signed Totalization Agreements with certain countries,
which may affect an alien?s liability for Social Security or Medicare
taxes. The complete texts of the Totalization Agreements may be found
on the Social Security Administration's website..."
107. Totalization Agreements
..."What are "totalization agreements"?
The Social Security Act allows the President to enter into
international agreements to coordinate the U.S. social security
programs with the social security programs of other countries. These
agreements are known as "totalization agreements."
With what countries does the U.S. have totalization agreements?
The United States currently has Social Security agreements in effect
with 21 countries - Australia (2002), Austria (1991), Belgium (1984),
Canada (1984), Chile (2001), Germany (1979), Finland (1992), France
(1988), Greece (1994), Ireland (1993), Italy (1978), Japan (2005),
Luxembourg (1993), the Netherlands (1990), Norway (1984), Portugal
(1989), South Korea (2001), Spain (1988), Sweden (1987), Switzerland
(1980), and the United Kingdom (1985).
What are the purposes of totalization agreements?
Totalization agreements have three main purposes:
1. To eliminate dual social security coverage and taxation. This
situation occurs when a person from one country works in the other
country and is required to pay social security taxes to both countries
for the same work;
2. To avoid situations in which workers lose benefit rights because
they have divided their careers between two countries. Under an
agreement, such workers may qualify for partial U.S. or foreign
benefits based on combined work credits from both countries.
3. To increase benefit portability by guaranteeing that neither
country will impose restrictions on benefit payments based solely on
residence or presence in the other country.
U.S. International Social Security Agreements
Country Entry into Force
Italy November 1, 1978
Germany December 1, 1979
Switzerland November 1, 1980
Belgium July 1, 1984
Norway July 1, 1984
Canada August 1, 1984
United Kingdom January 1, 1985
Sweden January 1, 1987
Spain April 1, 1988
France July 1, 1988
Portugal August 1, 1989
Netherlands November 1, 1990
Austria November 1, 1991
Finland November 1, 1992
Ireland September 1, 1993
Luxembourg November 1, 1993
Greece September 1, 1994
South Korea April 1, 2001
Chile December 1, 2001
Australia October 1, 2002
Japan October 1, 2005
H1-B and refund of Social Security tax
And, since I found it:
H-1b visa "social security tax" refund