Social Security Refund

Tax Withheld in Error (FICA, Medicare)

All residents and “resident aliens for tax purposes” are required to pay a Social Security tax (FICA and Medicare), which totals nearly 8% of their earned income. “Nonresident aliens for tax purposes” are exempt from this tax.

Note: The tax resources offered by the OISS are provided so that international members of the Yale  community can make informed personal decisions concerning their taxes. By choosing to use the on-line tax assistance program Yale OISS provides, you acknowledge that Yale University is not liable for any errors and incidental or consequential damages in connection with the program. OISS staff are not trained tax specialists and cannot provide individual advice on taxes. If you need further assistance, you should seek professional tax advice from a qualified accountant or attorney.

iconThis information is only for individuals in F‐1 or J‐1 status who are considered nonresident aliens for federal tax purposes.


Who Can File For A Social Security Refund?

You are not subject to Social Security tax withholding on your wages if:

  • you have on‐campus employment, or
  • you are authorized for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or Optional Practical Training (OPT), or
  • you are authorized for employment due to Economic Hardship



How Do I Get My Social Security Refund?

If your employer has withheld these taxes in error, follow these steps:

  • you must first request a refund of these taxes from your employer (if your employer is able to refund these taxes, no further action is necessary) ‐ for Yale‐earned income, contact the International Tax Office
  • if your employer is unable to refund these taxes, request a statement outlining their denial of your refund and file forms 843 and 8316 Instructions for Filing Form 843 and 8316
  • If you are unable to receive a refund of these taxes from your employer, you may then file Form 843 and 8316 to request a refund from the IRS.

Make sure to include the following:

  • a completed 843 form (see IRS instructions)
  • a completed 8316 form
  • a copy of your W‐2(s) that indicates the Social Security tax that was withheld in error
  • a copy of the current visa page of your passport
  • a copy of your I‐94 card
  • if applicable, a copy of your I‐20 form that indicates CPT or OPT authorization
  • if applicable, a copy of your EAD card authorizing OPT or Economic Hardship
  • a written statement that you unsuccessfully requested a refund of these taxes from your employer (this can be the statement that you obtained from your employer, or your own statement that you were denied refund of these taxes and were unable to obtain a statement from them)



Print, Sign, and Mail

Remember to sign and date your forms.

Do not include these documents with your federal income tax return! These should be mailed separately to:

Internal Revenue Service
Austin, TX 73301‐0215



Keep Copies!

Remember to keep copies of what you file each year (in case your return gets reviewed and there is a problem or if the IRS audits you in the future).