FICA Exemption for Students

What is FICA?

The Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax

  • is a U.S. payroll (or employment) tax imposed by the federal government
  • applies to both employees and employers
  • funds Social Security and Medicare

FICA Exemption Requirements for Students

Students who work for the school at which they are enrolled and regularly attend classes are generally exempt from the FICA tax. The exemption applies equally to U.S. citizens and nonresident alien students.

To be exempt from FICA withholding, you must currently be enrolled

  • as a student at UVA

  • in a degree-seeking program

  • in at least six credit hours

And you must

  • be employed as a student employee (cannot be Faculty, Temp, or University Staff)
  • have your Social Security number entered into the Student Information System (SIS)

If you believe that you qualify for the student FICA exemption but are still having both Medicare and Social Security tax withheld from your paycheck, please contact the Foreign National Tax Consultant at 434.924.1377 or