FICA Taxes To Be Withheld for Student Employees This Summer

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Published April 7, 2021

Student employees who work during the summer and are not enrolled with at least six credit hours for the summer session can expect to see Social Security and Medicare withholding in their summer paychecks.

About FICA Withholding Tax

IRS regulations require that Social Security and Medicare withholding (FICA) be deducted from all student paychecks when the student is NOT enrolled with a minimum of six (6) credit hours for the summer session.

What is FICA?

Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax is a U.S. federal payroll (or employment) tax imposed on both employees and employers to fund Social Security and Medicare — federal programs that provide benefits for retirees, the disabled and children of deceased workers.

Exemptions

  • Graduate students admitted to candidacy with one credit hour of registration are eligible for FICA exemption. Graduate students who may be eligible for exemption should contact the Office of Graduate Education at 645-2939 for details.
  • Students registered for six credit hours (or have full time certification from the Graduate School) PRIOR to Friday, April 30, 2021 will automatically be exempt from FICA withholding. However, students who register after April 30, 2021, will need to provide a copy of their class schedule to Human Resources at ub-hr@buffalo.edu. The class schedule must come from Records and Registration (include name, person number and class schedule) and may be attached to their time sheet.
    • Any students paid by The Research Foundation (RF) should contact Human Resources at 645-7777 as soon as the class schedule is received in order to claim an exemption from summer taxation.

Which Paychecks Will Be Affected?

In compliance with the regulation, Social Security and Medicare withholding will be deducted from paychecks according to the schedule:

Information for International Students

Student visa holders (F-1, J-1 and J-2 students) who arrived in the United States in 2016 or earlier are subject to Social Security withholding, unless they are registered for six credit hours (or have full time certification from the Graduate School) during the summer session. Student visa holders that arrived in 2017 or later are exempt from social security taxes. If you have any questions regarding visa status in relation to Social Security/Medicare taxes please contact Carlos Gallardo at 645-4430 or Steven Stich at 645-4423.

Contact an Expert

Contact an expert from the lists below if you are a U.S. citizen and permanent resident with questions or if you have had FICA withheld and meet registration requirements. Choose the correct payroll representative based on your last name and employer.