Getting a Refund of Medicare and Social Security Taxes

This information is only for individuals in F-1 and J-1 status who are considered nonresident aliens for tax purposes. J-2 visa holders with work authorization are subject to Social Security and Medicare withholding.

You are NOT subject to Social Security and Medicare tax withholding on your wages if:

  • you have on campus employment, or
  • you are authorized for Curricular Practical Training, Optional Practical Training, Academic Training, or Economic Hardship

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

  1. Request a Refund

    You must first request a refund of these taxes from your employer. If your employer is able to refund the Social Security and Medicare taxes, then no further action is necessary.

  2. File Form 843 and Form 8316 If Refund is Denied

    If your employer is unable to refund these taxes, request a statement outlining their denial of your refund, you may then file Form 843 and Form 8316 to request a refund from IRS.

To file for a refund through the IRS, compile the following documents:

  • Copy (front and back) of your Form I-20 or DS-2019 with any additional documentation that authorized your employment.
  • Written statement that you unsuccessfully requested a refund of these taxes from your employer. (This can be the statement you obtained from your employer, or your own statement that you were denied a refund of these taxes by your employer and were unable to obtain a statement from them.)
  • Completed Form 843
  • Completed Form 8316
  • Copy of your Form W-2
  • Copy of the visa page of your passport
  • Copy of Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ
  • Copy of Form I-94
  • Copy of your work authorization (A copy of your EAD authorizing OPT or Economic Hardship)

Mailing Instructions

Be sure to sign and date the forms and keep copies for your records.

Mail the completed packet to:

Department of the Treasury

Internal Revenue Service
Austin, TX 73301-0002