Under a Totalization Agreement, dual coverage and dual
contributions (taxes) for the same work are eliminated. The agreements generally
make sure that you pay social security taxes to only one country.
Covered by U.S. only. If your pay in a foreign country is subject only
to U.S. social security tax and is exempt from foreign social security tax, your
employer should get a certificate of compliance from the Office of International
Programs of the Social Security Administration.
Covered by foreign country only. If you are permanently working in a
foreign country with which the United States has a social security agreement
and, under the agreement, your pay is exempt from U.S. social security tax, you
or your employer should get a statement from the authorized official or agency
of the foreign country verifying that your pay is subject to social security
coverage in that country.
If the authorities of the foreign country will not issue such a statement,
either you or your employer should get a statement from the U.S. Social Security
Administration, Office of International Programs, at the address below. The
statement should indicate that your wages are not covered by the U.S. social
This statement should be kept by your employer because it establishes that
your pay is exempt from U.S. social security tax.
Only wages paid on or after the effective date of the totalization agreement
can be exempt from U.S. social security tax.
Generally, under these agreements, you will only be subject to social
security taxes in the country where you are working. However, if you are
temporarily sent to work in a foreign country, and your pay would otherwise be
subject to social security taxes in both the United States and that country, you
generally can remain covered only by U.S. social security. You can get more
information on any specific agreement by contacting the United States Social
Security Administration. You can get more information from the Social Security International Program Web
Preventing Double Payment of Social Security Taxes
To establish that your pay in a foreign country is subject only to U.S.
social security tax and is exempt from foreign social security tax, your
employer in the United States should write to the:
U.S. Social Security Administration
Office of International
P.O. Box 17775
Your employer should include the following information in the letter:
- Your name
- Your U.S. social security number
- Your date and place of birth
- The country of which you are a citizen
- The country of your permanent residence
- The name and address of your employer in the
United States and in the foreign country
- The date and place you were hired
- The beginning date and the expected ending
date of your employment in the foreign country
Telephone inquiries should be directed to the numbers shown on the following
page: International Operations-Contact Us by
Your employer can request a Certificate of Coverage for his employees who
work outside of the United States online by going to online certificate of coverage service.