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Subject: Totalization

The United States has entered into agreements with several nations called Totalization Agreements for the purpose of avoiding double SOCIAL taxation. These agreements must be taken into account when determining whether any alien is subject to the United States Social Security/Medicare tax, or whether any U.S. citizen or resident alien is subject to the social security taxes of a foreign country.

As of this time, the following nations have entered into Totalization Agreements with the United States:

Country Entry into Force
Australia 1-Oct-02
Austria 1-Nov-91
Belgium 1-Jul-84
Canada 1-Aug-84
Chile 1-Dec-01
Czech Republic 1-Jan-09
Denmark 1-Oct-08
Finland 1-Nov-92
France 1-Jul-88
Germany 1-Dec-79
Greece 1-Sep-94
Ireland 1-Sep-93
Italy 1-Nov-78
Japan 1-Oct-05
Luxembourg 1-Nov-93
Netherlands 1-Nov-90
Norway 1-Jul-84
Poland 1-Mar-09
Portugal 1-Aug-89
South Korea 1-Apr-01
Spain 1-Apr-88
Sweden 1-Jan-87
Switzerland 1-Nov-80
United Kingdom 1-Jan-85


Copies of the Totalization Agreements may be obtained from the Social Security Administration at the following address:


Social Security Administration

Office of International Policy

P.O. Box 17741

Baltimore, Maryland 21235


The Social Security Administration also publishes small brochures which concisely describe the terms of each totalization agreement. These brochures are available from many local Social Security Offices, or may be ordered from the following toll-free number: 1-800-772-1213. In addition, the complete text of these brochures and of the totalization agreements themselves are available on the Social Security Administration’s Website.

Any alien who wishes to claim an exemption from U.S. Social Security taxes and Medicare taxes because of a totalization agreement must secure a Certificate of Coverage from the social security agency of his home country and present such Certificate of Coverage to his employer in the United States, according to the procedures set forth in Revenue Procedures 80-56, 84-54, and Revenue Ruling 92-9. An alternate procedure is provided in these revenue procedures for an alien who is unable to secure a Certificate of Coverage from his home country.

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