Nonresident Alien Tax Office Towson University
U.S. Taxes - Other Federal Payroll Taxes
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FICA/Medicare Exemptions

Salary or wage payments made to nonresident aliens are subject to FICA/Medicare tax unless one of the following exemptions applies.

Nonresident Alien Exemption [Treasury Regulation § 1.3121(b)(19)]

The nonresident alien exemption applies to a foreign national who is:

    • A nonresident alien for tax purposes.
    • Present in the U. S. under an F, J. M, or Q visa.
    • Performing services in accordance with the primary purpose of the visa’s issuance (the primary holder of the visa, -1).

For students who are NRAs for tax purposes, credit load is not a factor.

The spouse and dependent children of the primary visa holder are not eligible for this exemption.

Student Exemption [Treasury Regulation § 1.3121(b)(10)]

The student exemption applies to those who work for the institution at which he/she is enrolled and regularly attends classes.

This rule applies only during times when a student is taking a minimum of 6 credit hours.

Towson University applies the NRA exemption first. In the year in which an individual becomes a resident alien for tax purposes, the University begins withholding FICA and Medicare on January 1st unless the student exemption applies. If you believe FICA/Medicare has been withheld in error, you should contact your employer to request a refund.


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