Who Is Exempt From Social Security Tax?

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The Social Security tax is a small percentage of your pay that gets put into the Social Security fund to help keep its many programs going. The Social Security tax is also supposed to be your guarantee that you will have a retirement income when you reach retirement age. Most people pay the Social Security tax, but there are some groups that do not have to pay it for some very interesting reasons.

Religious Groups

There are some religious groups in the United States that officially refuse to accept any help from the government, and that includes Social Security. Those groups are exempt from paying the Social Security tax because they do not use the services. It is a relatively lengthy process to getting each member exempt from paying the tax at their place of work, but it is perfectly legal and can be done.

Students

If you are a student who is not working for your school as a condition of your tuition payment, then you can get exempt from paying the Social Security tax. For example, if part of your tuition is paid directly from your full-time on-campus job, then you cannot claim exempt. However, if you are working off-campus or working a part-time job on campus that is not tied to your tuition, then you can claim exempt from the Social Security tax.

Employees Of Foreign Governments

Any employee of a foreign government in the United States in an official capacity on behalf of their government does not have to pay the Social Security tax. However, any child or spouse of a foreign government employee who works in the United States must pay the tax. The servants and house attendants of foreign government workers who work on properties in the United States must also pay the Social Security tax.

Educational Situations

Foreign students who are legally in the United States on a temporary basis do not have to pay the Social Security tax, even if they become employed at an American business. Educational professionals (professors, research experts, administrators) legally in the United States on a temporary basis also do not have to pay the Social Security tax.

Income Requirement

Each year, the IRS sets a minimum income requirement to use for paying the Social Security tax. If you fall below that minimum, you are exempt from paying the tax. If you started the year out strong and paid the Social Security tax but then your income fell off considerably, then you should consider asking your accountant if you can get a refund based on your full annual income.

Most Americans pay the Social Security tax to make the many programs offered by the Social Security Administration possible. But in some cases, there are moments when a taxpayer can legally be exempt from paying the Social Security tax. Before you start your new job, you should consult with a tax expert to see if you are exempt from paying the Social Security tax.