IRS Issues New IPU on FICA Rules for Employees Working Abroad

By on November 15, 2016

The Internal Revenue Service has made available unofficial but detailed and instructive guidance on the application of Social Security and Medicare taxes (FICA) to wages paid to employees working abroad. The new November 14, 2016, International Practice Unit (IPU) makes clear that both US citizens and resident aliens (green card holders) remain subject to payment of FICA taxes despite the fact the services are performed outside of the United States, in those instances where the employer is an American employer, certain foreign affiliates thereof, or a foreign person treated as an American employer. The IPU notes that an important exception to the general rule of FICA application is where the IRS has entered into a Totalization Agreement, a type of FICA tax treaty, with the country where the services are performed and the requirements of the Totalization Agreement have been met.

Ruth WimerRuth Wimer
Ruth Wimer, Esq., certified public accountant (CPA), focuses her practice on matters related to executive compensation, including international, fringe benefits, personal use of employer aircraft, and qualified and nonqualified deferred compensation. Read Ruth Wimer's full bio.

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