被扣了 FICA (Social Security and Medicare Tax) 怎麼辦?Caiwade 教你退!

大家好,我是Caiwade,去年我寫了一篇《留學生報稅基礎指南》,旨在給大家一個基礎的留學生稅務普及,反響不錯。今年本想深入全面的進一步講解,無奈公事私事喜事太多,實在無暇分身,只能抽空寫一些大家常問的、簡單的話題,希望明年可以有時間寫一份完整的指南出來。

簡單的自我介紹,我是一個註冊會計CPA,曾在事務所任職多年,現在公司里做財務和稅務工作。作為一個留過學的過來人,從F1到OPT到H1B,深深體會到留學生和移民對美國報稅體系的不了解和忽視,而且留學生報稅是很多會計師沒有涉略的地方,網上權威的解釋也很少,所以做了不少研究,致力於中國留學生和移民的稅務普及和答疑解惑。

 

言歸正傳,

何為FICA?

Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax是美國聯邦薪資稅的重要組成部分,用於給Social Security and Medicare兩大項目提供經費,也就是常說的Social Security and Medicare Tax。大家也可以簡單的把它理解為社保和醫保。目前的稅率是social security僱主和員工各交6.2% ,Medicare僱主和員工各交1.45%,也就是7.65%一邊,一共15.3%。如果你是自僱人士(1099-MISC的),則僱主和員工的部分都要自己承擔,這就是常說的self-employment。

請注意,這個稅是額外於所得稅income tax的。常常有人抱怨W2扣稅多,那是因為除了聯邦和州的所得稅要交,還有額外的7%多已經被預扣了。還有些公司給員工出1099-MISC,其實是不合規的,員工感覺很開心,一分錢都沒有扣,但其實呢?年底報稅,除了所得稅要補,還有額外的15%多,當然拿1099-MISC可以減掉一些合理的生意費用,這個不在此贅述。

 

那麼我們的問題是,

留學生/訪問學者要不要交FICA/Social Security and Medicare Tax?

可以簡單的統一回答到:合法工作的 Nonresident Alien (NRA) 留學生/訪問學者不要。

具體說明見此:https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/foreign-student-liability-for-social-security-and-medicare-taxes

工作的類型包括:

  1. 在校工作前20小時一周(暑假可到40小時)
  2. Practical Training,即CPT, OPT
  3. 作為教授,老師或學者

注意限制:

  1. 只涵蓋F-1,J-1,M-1, or Q-1/Q-2對於家屬F-2, J-2, M-2, or Q-3這類簽證是不可以的。
  2. 必須是合法工作!
  3. 轉換身份比如H1B就要交了。
  4. 成為 Resident Alien (RA) 就要交了。

綜上,最主要的是首先確定自己還是 Nonresident Alien (NRA),這個判斷一般是依據 substantial presence test,大家可以看這篇《報稅身份辨析》。如果你是留學生且未滿五年,那麼一般來說你的工資都不應該交FICA tax的。

 

問題來了,因為公司不了解這方面稅務,不小心扣了FICA tax,怎麼辦呢?如何退?

這個現象其實很常見,畢竟公司財務也不都是稅務專家,尤其是這麼偏門的稅務問題,所以不用太怪公司。但是呢,並不是說公司沒有責任,因為錯誤確實是公司造成的。所以遇到這種情況,首先就是聯繫公司退稅。這個不是我說的,是IRS說的,請參考Publication 519。

Refund of Taxes Withheld in Error

If social security or Medicare taxes were withheld in error from pay that is not subject to these taxes, contact the employer who withheld the taxes for a refund. If you are unable to get a full refund of the amount from your employer, file a claim for refund with the IRS on Form 843. Attach the following items to Form 843.

  • A copy of your Form W-2 to prove the amount of social security and Medicare taxes withheld.
  • A copy of your visa.
  • Form I-94 (or other documentation showing your dates of arrival or departure).
  • If you have an F-1 visa, documentation showing permission to work in the U.S.
  • If you have a J-1 visa, documentation showing permission to work in the U.S.
  • If you are engaged in optional practical training or employment due to severe economic necessity, documentation showing permission to work in the U.S.
  • A statement from your employer indicating the amount of the reimbursement your employer provided and the amount of the credit or refund your employer claimed or you authorized your employer to claim. If you cannot obtain this statement from your employer, you must provide this information on your own statement and explain why you are not attaching a statement from your employer or on Form 8316 claiming your employer will not issue the refund.
  • If you were exempt from social security and Medicare tax for only part of the year, pay statements showing the tax paid during the period you were exempt.

File Form 843 (with attachments) with the Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service Center, Ogden, UT 84201-0038.

簡單翻譯補充一下:

第一步,聯繫僱主退稅,可以給HR看我上面提到的鏈接和這個指南。出於好心,你也可以告訴他去Publication 15 Employer’s Tax Guide看僱主要怎麼改payroll tax的稅單,這個和僱員就沒什麼關係了。
第二步,如果僱主不同意,去www.irs.gov下載並填好: Form 843, Claim for Refund and Request for Abatement和 Form 8316, Information Regarding Request for Refund of Social Security Tax Erroneously Withheld on Wages Received by a Nonresident Alien on an F, J, or M Type Visa。填表並不難,如果哪一行不清楚,查一下843 instruction就好。

第三步,將所有材料附件準備好一起寄去 Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue
Service Center, Ogden, UT 84201-0038。

 

最後,

這個等的時間要多長呢?數月甚至更久,稅局在處理nonresident稅務的問題上一直效率不高,感覺很缺人,應該去應聘。

跑偏了……所以一般來說我強烈推薦和公司溝通拿回退稅,把和稅局打交道的事丟給公司,畢竟犯錯的不是你,是公司哦。

 

參考鏈接:

https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/foreign-student-liability-for-social-security-and-medicare-taxes

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p15.pdf

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p519.pdf

http://weibo.com/caiwade


免責聲明:本文及其中任何文字均僅為一般性的介紹,絕不構成任何法律意見或建議,不得作為法律意見或建議以任何形式被依賴,我們對其不負擔任何形式的責任。我們強烈建議您,若有稅務問題,請立即諮詢專業的稅務律師或稅務顧問。
Disclaimer: This article and any content herein are general introduction for readers only, and shall not constitute nor be relied on as legal opinion or legal advice in any form. We assume no liability for anything herein. If you need help about tax, please talk to a tax, legal or accounting advisor immediately.

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