fica tax refund opt irs

How to Get FICA Tax Refund for F1, OPT & STEM OPT

Students on CPT, OPT, STEM OPT are exempt from FICA Taxes (Social Security and Medicare Taxes). In other words, you don’t have to pay FICA taxes on your paycheck. Some employers would deduct those taxes from your paycheck. But, you can get a refund on FICA taxes from the IRS. This guide will walk you through the instructions and additional details.

FICA stands for The Federal Insurance Contributions Act. Do you want to know how to get a FICA Tax refund from IRS if you paid those taxes while on F1 Visa, CPT or OPT?

  • FICA tax = 6.2 % for Social Security + 1.45 % Medicare tax.

Students on F1 Visa who are working on OPT are Exempt from FICA Tax for a certain period.

If your salary is $50,000 per year, then $3,825 is paid as FICA tax annually as an Employee. Did you know your employer is also paying the same amount to the IRS?

Let’s look at the following question from an F1 Visa holder who wasn’t aware of this exemption and has paid FICA taxes.

I have a question regarding FICA taxes. As an OPT student, I am exempt from FICA taxes, but these taxes are still getting deducted from my salary. I know that I can file for a refund of this money to the IRS. But I was wondering if there is any way to stop these deductions from my salary itself. (So that I don’t worry about filing for a refund). I checked this with my employer. But company people were not sure. And I wanted to check with the IRS, but I could not due to the shutdown. It will be great if you could throw some light on this.

OPT and FICA Taxes

  • As per IRS you don’t have to pay FICA Taxes (Social Security and Medicare) for F1 Visa, student until 5 years in USA.
  • The employer’s payroll processing team should be aware of this
  • If not, no worries, you can educate them and ask them not to deduct FICA taxes from your paycheck.
  • Worst Case: If they continue to deduct the FICA taxes, you can claim it back while filing your taxes in April (or later).
  • You can apply for FICA Tax refund via service provider SprinTax (look under their Services).

Click here to learn about 16 FAQ About Filing Income Tax for International Students in USA.

IRS: FICA Taxes and OPT Students

The following is taken from the IRS Website

Nonresident aliens, in general, are also liable for Social Security/Medicare Taxes on wages paid to them for services performed by them in the United States, with certain exceptions based on their nonimmigrant status. The following classes of nonimmigrants and nonresident aliens are exempt from U.S. Social Security and Medicare taxes:

F-visas, J-visas, M-visas, Q-visas. Nonresident Alien students, scholars, professors, teachers, trainees, researchers, physicians, au pairs, summer camp workers, and other aliens temporarily present in the United States in F-1,J-1,M-1, or Q-1/Q-2 nonimmigrant status are exempt on wages paid to them for services performed within the United States as long as such services are allowed by USCIS for these nonimmigrant statuses, and such services are performed to carry out the purposes for which such visas were issued to them.

  • Exempt Employment includes:
    • On-campus student employment up to 20 hours a week (40 hrs during summer vacations).
    • Off-campus student employment allowed by USCIS.
    • Practical Training student employment on or off-campus.
    • Employment as professor, teacher or researcher.
    • Employment as a physician, au pair, or summer camp worker.

If You Paid FICA Taxes?

You can ask your employer to read the IRS site about FICA Taxes. If they continue to deduct taxes, then you can request a refund of FICA taxes withheld from your paycheck back from IRS.

How to Get FICA Tax Refund from OPT Period

There are two ways to apply for Social Security and Medicare Taxes paid during the OPT and STEM OPT Period and both procedures are listed below:

  • Use SprinTax to Prepare Forms
  • Self Prepare Required Forms

1. Use Sprintax for FICA Tax Refund

FICA taxes are paid by the employer to the IRS. They don’t keep it with them after deducting from your paycheck. So, Employer is going to ask you to get refund directly from the IRS. There’s an easy way to request refund using Sprintax.

SprinTax will help you prepare the required forms. Then you will, print them, add other forms provided by their checklist and mail to the IRS.

2. Self-Prepare FICA tax Refund Forms

Following is the procedure to get FICA Taxes Refund (from IRS Site)

 If Social Security or Medicare taxes were withheld in error from pay that is not subject to these taxes, contact the employer who withheld the taxes for a refund.

If you are unable to get a full refund of the amount from your employer, file a claim for refund with the Internal Revenue Service on Form 843, Claim for Refund and Request for Abatement (PDF). Attach the following items to Form 843:

  • A copy of your Form W-2 to prove the amount of social security and Medicare taxes withheld,
  • A copy of the page of your passport showing the visa stamp,
  • INS Form I-94,
  • If applicable INS Form I-538, Certification by Designated School Official, and
  • A statement from your employer indicating the amount of the reimbursement your employer-provided and the amount of the credit or refund your employer claimed or that you authorized your employer to claim. If you cannot obtain this statement from your employer, you must provide this information on your own statement and explain why you are not attaching a statement from your employer.
  • If applicable, Form 8316, Information Regarding Request for Refund of Social Security Tax Erroneously Withheld on Wages Received by a Nonresident Alien on an F, J, or M Type Visa (PDF)

File Form 843 (with attachments) with the IRS office where your employer’s Forms 941 returns were filed.

You can locate the IRS office where your employer files his Form 941 by going to Where to File Tax Returns.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any questions about claiming the FICA tax refund. Also, read the comments shared here. It will be helpful.

Refer to additional articles in this Tax Filing Series.

  1. Part 1: 10 FAQ’s about International Student Taxes
  2. Part 2: Frequently Asked Questions About Filing Taxes for F1 Students  (this article)
  3. Part 3: How to get FICA Tax Refund for OPT and STEM OPT Students
  4. Part 4: Resident or Non-Resident Alien – Substantial Presence Test Calculator
  5. Part 5: SprinTax Reviews: Prepare F1 Taxes Online

Note: If you file your taxes using the SprinTax link, we get a small referral fee. We appreciate if you use the referral link. That’s one way for you to support

Similar Posts


    1. Call to (267) 941-1000 option 1 followed by 4 followed by 3 and say the taxes are related to FICA. Do not say that the taxes are personal, initially the taxes are allotted to business team.

  1. Hello,

    I am on stem-opt and I would be filing my FICA tax return, it would be helpful if some one can confirm at which address the FICA tax return should be going to ?

  2. If my employer deducted FICA tax but since I was on OPT I am not liable to pay FICA. Then I started new job. Later I asked my previous employer during tax filing regarding the refund. He gave me corrected W2 but by that time I already filed with taxes with my old W2 that had FICA deductions on it. I didn’t receive FICA refund from employer but received the W2. Now employer is not responding to my questions about how I would receive my refund. Any thoughts on what I should be doing?


    If you are on F-1 status, and you have held the status for over five calendar years, then you become a RESIDENT ALIEN.
    Resident Alien IS required to pay FICA Taxes. DO NOT mess with the IRS.

    Here’s the evidence:

    From (

    As a STEM OPT participant, am I required to pay Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes for Social Security and Medicare?

    STEM OPT participants generally are not subject to Social Security and Medicare contributions (FICA withholdings) until after the first five calendar years that they hold F-1 nonimmigrant status. As a participant in STEM OPT, you are not considered a resident for federal tax purposes as long as you comply with the requirements of your F-1 visa and have not already held F-1 status for parts of five calendar years.

    From (

    Foreign students in F-1, J-1, M-1, Q-1 or Q-2 nonimmigrant status who have been in the United States more than 5 calendar years are RESIDENT ALIENS and are liable for social security/Medicare taxes (unless they are exempt from FICA under the “student FICA exemption” discussed below).

    What is the “student FICA exemption”?

    From (

    FICA (Social Security and Medicare) taxes do not apply to service performed by students employed by a school, college or university where the student is pursuing a course of study. Whether the organization is a school, college or university depends on the organization’s primary function. In addition, whether employees are students for this purpose requires examining the individual’s employment relationship with the employer to determine if employment or education is predominant in the relationship.

    1. You are correct for F1 holders after 5 years of stay in the USA. This article is for those who completed 2 years Masters and working on OPT/STEM OPT.

  4. Hi everyone.
    I was an F1 student and worked in OPT last few months. I am an exception from FICA but my owner still deducted from FICA. I submitted my Federal tax (1040NR-EZ and EZ and 8843)) with FICA tax (8316,843) (1040NR-EZ and 8843) since March 29, 2019.
    I used Sprintax to do my tax and I owed some Federal money so I paid online. Then around July I got an email that I owed and got a penalty so I called IRS to check and they said sorry to me. I forgot to ask when my tax refund will come until now. The wait was too long so I did not call anymore So I wait until now I did not get any FICA tax refund back.
    Does anyone think I should send all the documents again? I did send my tax to Department of the Treasury,
    Internal Revenue Service Center, FICA
    Ogden, UT 84201-0038

    Department of the Treasury Federal
    Internal Revenue Service
    P.O. Box 1303
    Charlotte, NC 28201-1303, USA
    Thanks 🙂

    1. Correction: I submitted my Federal tax (1040NR-EZ and EZ and 8843) with FICA tax (8316,843).

      I did send my FICA tax to

      Department of the Treasury Federal
      Internal Revenue Service
      P.O. Box 1303
      Charlotte, NC 28201-1303, USAtax to Department of the Treasury,
      Internal Revenue Service Center,
      Ogden, UT 84201-0038

      and FEDERAL Tax to
      Department of the Treasury Federal
      Internal Revenue Service
      P.O. Box 1303
      Charlotte, NC 28201-1303, USA
      I do not know why I have to send each of them separate?

  5. Received FICA refund in 6 months:
    I had my FICA taxes withheld being on F1 for about an year. My employer was able to return the deducted money for the current tax year but for previous, I had to contact IRS directly.

    Here is my timeline that may help someone here (I am based in Austin, TX):

    1. February 2019: I found out about OASDI taxes deduction from my paycheck and contacted employer.
    2. March 2019: Employer refunded 2019 part of the refund and gave me an employer letter for 2018 part of the FICA to submit to IRS. This letter is required to be submitted which explains that my employer didn’t refund me the amount I am requesting IRS.
    3. March 2019: I sent out documents to IRS Austin address (where employer submits their taxes).
    4. July 2019: Didn’t receive my refund, so I scheduled an appointment with IRS help center, Austin to find out if something else needed to be done.
    5. July 2019: Per IRS Austin, sent another set of same documents to:
    Internal Revenue Service
    1973 N Rulon White Blvd
    M/S 6552
    Ogden, Utah 84404
    6. October 2019: Received check in the mail with some interest.
    Since I received some interest I am assuming IRS is required to comply by a timeline. I am not sure what set of my documents (Austin or Ogden) helped.

    Hope this helps!

    1. 4. July 2019: Didn’t receive my refund, so I scheduled an appointment with IRS help center, Austin to find out if something else needed to be done. ->What is the phone number you used to contact IRS? Thanks!

  6. Hi all,

    For the below requirement

    “A statement from your employer indicating the amount of the reimbursement your employer provided and the amount of the credit or refund your employer claimed or that you authorized your employer to claim”

    Is there any standard format for the above statement I can get from?

    Appreciate any help

    1. I haven’t seen one yet. I just explained to my employer what I need and why I need it and they sent it to me.

    2. There is no standard format. My letter was on company’s letter head, had payroll department contact information, my contact information, had a table of each paycheck’s taxes withheld (columns- pay period, pay date, SSI wages, OASDI tax, Medicare tax) and then a row of total amount that my employer didn’t refund me. Then employer saying that we didn’t refund these, please contact appropriate taxing agency directly. I also submitted Contact card for the payroll deptt.

  7. Hi,

    Is there any standard format for statement from employer for below requirement? Or just use my own wordings?

    A statement from your employer indicating the amount of the reimbursement your
    employer provided and the amount of the credit or refund your employer claimed or
    you authorized your employer to claim.

  8. Hello everyone, I didn’t receive my fica refund for 2017, I’m filling the one for 2018 through sprintax, they are indicating this mailling address Ogden, UT 84201-0005. I’m confused as some people mentions another address (Austin, Texas, USA Zip code 73301-0215)

    What’s the right one ?

  9. Hi, this page and the comments had helped me a lot in understanding about the taxes and the refund procedures. Thanks to everyone who took time to share their experience!

    I’ve been employed from July 2017 to till date. My employer has been deducted the SS and Medicare taxes from my paycheck for the past 10 months. I gathered all the documents necessary for claiming the refund, when I realized that I’ve used Turbotax to claim my taxes for tax year 2017 (filed in April 2018).
    Now, that means I haven’t submitted either 1040X or 1040NR to IRS. I understood from the comments that I need to send form 1040X and 1040NR even before I can claim the refund.
    Since I have all the documents ready, I was wondering if I could send the 1040X and 1040NR together with all the documents necessary for claiming FICA tax refund? Or do you suggest that I send the forms first and when that is settled claim for the refund?

    Also, will I be able to get the refund of FICA from Aug 2017 through May 2018 if I file them now? Or Should I wait until next year to file the FICA taxes for the year 2018?

    I live in Massachusetts. Do I need to send my documents to the IRS office in Texas?

    I would really appreciate if anyone could help me figure this out. Thank you!

  10. I have not filed FICA taxes this year, will i be able to do it Next year,
    Please help me out with it.

  11. Hello! I have filed my FICA tax & already mailed it to the IRS Utah office as per the instruction. However, my doubt is I might have mistakenly didn’t send the papers correct way.

    I have worked 2 different employer last year so I got two 837 & 8316 after filing through Sprintax. I am suspecting that I just mailed one 834 & 8316 & other related papers like W2, Visa copy, I-20copy.

    Could you please tell me what should I do now? is it okay that if I mailed my 2nd employer’s FICA refund copy seperately with supporting documents?

  12. If I live in California, should I send the forms/documents to Ogden, UT 84201-0005 or Austin, Texas, USA Zip code 73301-0215?


    1. do you know the answer ? I’m salso confused about the address. Is it Ogden, UT 84201-0005 or Austin, Texas, USA Zip code 73301-0215 ?

  13. I’m on my OPT and I have been working on and off during my 3 yrs in school and haven’t gotten any tax returns how do I backdate my filings

  14. Hello

    Can you guys please verify the address, the document should be sent to? I have sent my documents for the third time, and they say that they haven’t received anything.


  15. Hi, ALL
    I filed my FICA return through sprintax on 3/28/2016, and IRS said they’ve sent my docs to another department which processes my case and I needed to resent documents.
    So I resent all files to IRS in June 2016, and I’ve been trying to call the number on the IRS letter to check status, not a single person knew anything about it! Pls help, which number should I call? And how long does it takes to get FICA back? LOTS OF THANKS!

    1. Same problem. I sent all forms in June. IRS says they didn’t receive it. Sent again in September. i called IRS today and they say they didn’t receive. Not sure what is going on. I think I should now make an appointment with them in person. No way to track this. Highly inefficient procedure.

      1. How do you check the status for the documents that you sent ? Can you share me the phone number that you contacted ? Thanks in Advance.

      1. I sent in my request for FICA tax return in April 2017 for year 2015 and 2016. These were sent in separate envelopes clearly stating the years and then packed in a larger envelope. I received a letter regarding the 2015 tax return saying that I have to fill in a new form to correct my 2015 taxes (I used 1040 and not 1040NR). Since I had not heard about the 2016 request I called IRS last week and they said that they have received the documents for 2015 but not 2016. Not sure how they can loose one envelope that was clearly delivered but somehow they did. I now have to resend everything (and adjust the 2015 tax form) and then hope for the best. The guy I spoke to at IRS was very rude and unhelpful and Im starting to think there is no point 🙁

  16. I finally received all of my FICA tax returns (year 2013 & year 2014), so I wanna share my experience with you guys.

    1. I sent my first documents on 2015/07/07, and received denial notice on 2015/11/17, because my accountant used wrong form of 1040 to do tax report on 2013 and 2014. I called IRS to fix this problem, and they said I need to file 1040X with 1040NR for both years.
    **If you used 1040NR when you filed the tax report on the first place, you don’t need this process. It has to be 1040NR to process FICA tax return. I had to go through this process because my accountant used 1040EZ and 1040.. 🙁

    2. So I prepared 1040X with 1040NR for year 2013 and year 2014 separately. Filed those documents on 2015/11/26. Received a note (called CP22A) on 2016/6/10 for year 2013, and received another note on 2016/7/12 for year 2014.
    **Basically this CP22A says, I owed them money and I have to pay it for further process.

    3. I paid that owed money, and sent my documents again on 2016/07/26. I didn’t receive any note or check from IRS until December. So I called IRS again to check my process, but some reason they didn’t receive my documents.
    *I even had the tracking number that shows my documents arrived to IRS P.O box, but there was nothing I can do about it. They couldn’t process mine, because they don’t have it 🙁

    4. Sent another set of documents on 2016/12/16.

    5. Received 2013 FICA tax return on 2017/03/20.
    Received 2014 FICA tax return on 2017/05/01.

    Overall, this process took almost 2 years for me. It is a time consuming process, so.. you have to be patient about it.

    Thank you for reading this. Hope this info can give you a guide line to you guys. :))

    1. Hey Harry,

      Thank you for sharing your experience with us.

      I received the same note as you as my accountant made the same mistake. My question is: After you fixed the forms, did you have the send all your documents again? W4, proof that your employer won’t pay you back and all that or just 1040x and 1040NR? And what documents did you have to send on 2016/12/16?

      Thank you!

    2. Harry, Thanks for sharing your story. I am in the same situation (I filed 1040EZ for year 2015 and 1040 for year 2016). I need to claim about $3500 FICA tax. Can I file 1040NR for both years 2015 and 2016. How much I would owe to IRS if I file 1040NR ? (In 2016 I earned 60K and got 2K back on 1040).
      Thank you much.

    3. Hey man,

      Thanks for sharing the info. So did you file form 843 and 8316 along with 1040nrez to get your FICA returns ?

    4. Hi Harry,
      I sent my papers in for the tax year 2015 and 2016 in April but havn’t got a notification from the IRS yet (Im guessing it can take a very long time) but I’m worried in case the documents have gotten lost like in your case. I can’t seem to find any contact number for these matters, any chance you could share the contact number you have?

    5. Hi Harry,

      For step 2, can you use sprintax system for 1040NR ? Did you get help for filling out 1040X , your accountant possibly? Also, in which form have you received CP22A document, by regular mail I assume? I don’t live in USA anymore, can you leave an international address for it ?


    6. Hi Harry,

      I made the same mistake. Is it worth the wait? My Claim shows $3334 refund. what is the average amount we need to pay? Thanks in advance

  17. Thank you for all the detailed explanation above.

    I had followed the same procedure for claim towards FICA during my CPT period and submitted all the above stated documents to IRS. but its been 6 months I still did not receive any reply or mail from IRS stating the refund. Is there any tracking system or any website shows the update of that applications or status of the refund ?
    Please Help!!

    1. There’s no known way to check the status and FICA can take 4 to 6 months. Perhaps others in here can comment, how long it took to get refund.

  18. HI,

    I started working form 1st march on F-1 OPT and was working for the same employer till 31st december.
    then My h1b got picked and it started from 1st october .

    So for this year i worked 7 month son opt and 3 months on h1. But my employer deducted social security and medicre for whole 10 months. ( i mean each month he deducted and i did not know, thinking it will come back in tax return). but now i have left my employer in this new year.

    So i need a letter from my employer but i cant ask him as we are not in ver y good terms. Can some one please help. how to get the return?

  19. How to get back FICA and the return from Medicare? I worked in NDSU when I paid for FICA and paid for Medicare when I worked in UCDAVIS.

  20. Hi Raghuram,

    I am on OPT Status. When I was with my previous employer, I paid SSN Tax for couple of months, in the last year, and now I am with another employer. I just have a letter from my previous employer stating that there was SSN tax which needs to be refunded to me, being on OPT. Do I also need to have my previous employer to submit a Form 941 for this? Or shall I go ahead and submit the forms 843 and 8316 to IRS with required supportive documents as mentioned in the article? Can you please suggest?


  21. Hi Raghuram,

    I am currently on my OPT and have just started working in the United States. I have a question regarding the W-8BEN form. What information needs to filled in Part II of the form? I have been unable to find the Article name or the % rate I can claim as an F-1 visa holder. I tried the online resources of the IRS, but couldn’t figure it out. My employers are also unfamiliar with the process, so any help you could provide would be most appreciated.

    I have also attached the link to the W-8BEN below:


    Jahan Nargolwala

  22. Thank you for the information you’ve provided.
    I do have a question for you – I am a PhD student and have been on an F1 VISA for the past eight years or so. So, for tax purposes I am resident alien. While I am funded through a graduate assistantship in the Fall and Spring semesters, in the summer my department hires me part-time (so it is an on-campus job). Since, they must not be hiring me as “a student”, FICA is deducted from my summer payroll. So, my job function is still the same as the other 9 months but I end up having to pay FICA for the other three months.
    Do you think the FICA-exemption applies to my case? And if so, the same form you mentioned above should work for me?

      1. I’ve been doing some reading on this, and I don’t think you’re 100% correct about the 5 year thing:

        I had a question about the form 843, but got sidetracked because I’ve definitely been here for over 5 years, but was an exempt individual for most of that time, as an F-1 student, meeting all visa reqs.

        My question was this: I’ve had multiple employers in the calendar year, and two of my W-2s show both soc. sec tax and medicare tax withheld. when I file my form 843, do I combine all of these together and add up the amounts, or do I file separately by type of tax withheld and for each employer? Thanks

  23. Hi, Thanks for this!

    I have a question – I was on OPT from July 2014 – July 2015 and paid the extra FICA taxes for the paid.

    I did not however take care of this for July 2014 – Dec 2014 when I paid my 2014 taxes in April 2015. Can I still get my return while filing this year’s taxes? If so, how exactly should I go about it? Your help will be much appreciated.


    1. Hi Raghuram,

      Thanks for this information. Fica has been withheld by my employer and I would like to request a refund. My OPT expired July 2015 and my H1B started October 2015. Should I request a refund for my OPT duration or from the beginning of my OPT until the start date of the H1B?

      1. Please follow the Sprintax questions. If you qualify, you should be able to get all the FICA taxes withheld.

        1. Hi Raghuram,

          Can we file the taxes even with Turbotax ? I heard that it doesn’t include the non -resident 1040NR form completely. Is it true?. Please guide me to the right service.

          1. If you want to file the 1040NR, you can’t use Turbotax. In addition to Sprintax, you can try the H&R Block or the TaxAct online software. The H&R Block online will let you fill in the information and then direct you to a CPA to review your information. This seems to be good because a CPA will help review your form before you file it. The TaxAct is like Sprintax you fill in the information and then print out the 1040NR (or 1040NR-EZ). I feel like TaxAct is more comprehensive than Sprintax because it allows you to deduct more items, such as job related expenses (license fee, professional association fee, legal fee, etc.) I actually tried three of them and then compare their results. As long as you don’t hit the final you don’t have to pay the service fee for using them. If the numbers came out differently, I looked at the instructions for the 1040NR to see which one is correct. It really took me a lot of time to research the instructions. If you don’t have time to do so, you might want to hire a CPA who really knows how to file 1040NR. I ended up using the TaxAct to file the 1040NR. But note that the TaxAct does not prepare the 843 and 8316 if you are going to get FICA back. Also note that if your visa had changed from F-1 visa to H1B last year sometime and when you fill in this information in Sprintax, it ended up not getting you any FICA tax back. But if you just put F1 visa in the program (even if you really had visa changed), it will get you all year’s FICA back which seems to be not correct. So this is also a reason why I don’t use Sprintax. I will do the 843 and 8316 manually.

            The above is just based on my experience filing the 1040NR for 2015 and I am not a CPA. If something is not right, please correct it. Thank you.

          2. Thanks for the write up. If you don’t need all the fuss, then use Sprintax or other services you prefer. As a nonresident thre snot going to much difference in refund.

          3. Thanks for the write up. If you don’t need all the fuss, then use Sprintax or other services you prefer. As a nonresident thre snot going to much difference in refund.

          4. Thanks for the write up. If you don’t need all the fuss, then use Sprintax or other services you prefer. As a nonresident thre snot going to much difference in refund.

  24. One of the documents for FICA tax return is submitting a statement from employer on how much amount they reimbursed or credited to me. In my case I did not get any refund from my employer so what document should I submit?

  25. Hi, my OPT is expired Aug 2015 and I just received the W-2 form from my previous employer. Can I still apply for tax return even I am not in US and my OPT is already expired? My current visa will be B-2 (I applied for travel visa right after i went back to my country in Aug.)
    Big Thanks!

  26. So if I have been in the US for a little over 5 years (5 and 3 months as of today), I am not expempt of FICA am I??? and should I then use the regular 1040EZ form??

    Thanks for your help

  27. How long will it take to receive SSN and Medicare taxes refund check? I filed last April and unfortunately neither received the check nor any communication from the IRS. Will it help if I check at my local SSN office? I gave my friend’s address and was constantly checking with them.

    1. OMG, this is crazy. It seems to be taking forever to get FICA back. I am planning back to my country this year. I don’t really know if I will have a chance to get my FICA back.

      Also, just wanted to updated my current status. I sent my amended form 1040X, 1040NR and related documentations to the IRS on 10/6/15 because I filed the wrong form (1040) for the year of 2014. Now they just updated online that they sill NOT processed my documentations at this time (It has been 13 weeks since they received them.) I called them and they said I still need to wait for another 4 weeks to see if they will handle my forms. Hopefully they can do it asap so I can start to send them the forms for FICA refunds.

      1. Just keep you guys updated.

        I filed Form 1040NR for 2015 to the IRS on 2/15/16. Then, i called the IRS to see if it is posted. Then, I filled Forms 8316 and 843 to the IRS to claim my 2015 FICA on March 14, 2016. In May, I received the check from the IRS. I was surprised that I don’t wait too long to get the money back.

        For the year of 2014, I filed 1040 which is a wrong form, so i filed 1040X with 1040NR to the IRS in October, 2015. They sent me a notice in March, 2016 to pay the owed fee after they adjusted the form. Then, i called the IRS to see if they received my payment. The IRS posted online showing my amended return had been completed after I called them. On 04/15/16, i filed the 8316 and 843 to claim my 2014 FICA. On 08/12/16, i received the notice from the IRS saying my FICA can not be processed because on the records only showing 1040 (but not 1040NR). Today, I called the IRS to post the 1040NR on the system so my FICA can be returned. But the representatives said they can not do that. After crazing long call (over 2 hour call), she said she needs to call the Processing Center to tell them my special situation. (Processing Center is the one handles the FICA). So from this experience, it seems like even if you file the 1040X with 1040NR, they still not process your FICA because the system is not allowed to post 1040NR after it is adjusted. They still have to call the Processing Center. Hope this helps.

        1. hi alvin

          did you send your documents to IRS in Autin Tx? Please confirm. I did send them about 8 months ago but there hasn’t been a reply. I called IRS and they do not know where the forms are.
          Please help!

  28. Hi,

    I see this post is mostly talking about FICA returns, I have question regarding filling W4 and NC-4NEZ.

    My status: F-1 Visa on OPT

    What are the allowances I am allowed to claim in A-H?
    What is the number I can put on #5 of the form?(Depend on previous question)?

    What should be kept in fields 1-5?

    Some where I read that OPT people can claim only 1. I am not sure about the accuracy of this information.

    Requesting help. Thanks in advance.

  29. Hi,

    I prepared documents and sent them to

    Department of the Treasury
    Internal Revenue Service
    Odgen, UT 84201-0044

    (I am living in california)

    But I haven’t got any response from IRS, Neither email or post mail. What am I suppose to do? Its been a 4 months since I mailed the documents to IRS address. Please advise me.

    Thank you.

    1. Some folks have reported 6 months wait time. Plese come back here once the process is over to share the timeline.

  30. Hi,

    This is super helpful! I think I have all the forms but I don’t know where to send to, does anyone know? I’m in NYC and do I send to the NY state tax office or the Federal IRS office?

    If anyone is in the same situation and have an exact address, that will be great! THANKS!

  31. Hi, there.

    your web site helped me a lot with going through this FICA tax return.

    I just got the mail from IRS saying that they cannot process my claim because I didn’t use form 1040NR when I file the tax return.

    I looked up my files, and I noticed that my accountants used 1040 and 1040EZ to file 2 different tax years. Also, I made mistake with form 843 (I wrote 1040NR on “original return” for both claim instead of 1040 and 1040EZ).

    Wondering what should I do to fix this problem..
    and is it true that I cannot get FICA tax return if I didn’t use form 1040NR?

    Thanks in advance :))

    1. Oh, I didn’t know that you had to use 1040NR for getting FICA refund. ( as you ca see, I’m not a legal tx consultant).

      I know you can amend a tax return, but you have to find if you can file new form now for previous years. You would need a tax consultant (or CPA) to do that (or talk to).

      1. **Update Info about this situation.

        I finally could talk to IRS people after waited about 2 hours, and he clearly mentioned that 1040NR is “ESSENTIAL” to get FICA tax return.

        My accountant used 1040 and 1040EZ when they filed 2013 and 2014 tax return.
        That was the reason they denied to process my FICA tax return.

        If anyone has same problem just like me, this is what you should do.

        1. You have to send 1040X and 1040NR for each tax period to fix your status
        (He said this will take about 12~16 weeks to fix, but not sure they are going to send notification letter if they are done)

        2. You have to send another Form843 for each period after you waited that 12~16weeks. (That means you need to wait until they fix your status)

        3. Wait for the letter form IRS

        Personally, I sent my form843 on July 7th 2015, and I got their letter on November 23rd 2015. So, I am guessing any FICA tax return will take at least about 5 months.

        Hope this information could help you guys. :))

        1. Thank you so much for info. This really helps a lot. But I was wondering if you found that you would owe the IRS some money (federal income tax) once you refiled 1040NR before you can get FICA back. When I used the 1040 for 2014, the IRS returned me, for example, 2045 dollars. I used the wrong form, like you. So I recently refile the 1040NR with the 1040X, and I found that I can only get, for example, 1245 dollars back for federal income tax return. So I am guessing the IRS will send me a notice, saying I owe 800 dollars (2045-1245). Is this right? Thank you.

          1. That is my guess too, but I was worrying that I end up paying money instead of getting return.

            I am still researching about this issue regarding how this 1040NR will affect to my previous return.

            If you find new info, plz share with me through this site.

            Thanks in advance!

          2. It depends on the tax agreement between USA and your country.

            For example, India and USA have $5000 deductible agreement when filing 1040NREZ, but that wouldn’t apply if you file 1040, but there’s standard deductible. So, you have to talk to a CPA.

  32. What percent of the total tax return(for both state and federal) i get back on OPT?
    For e.g i have paid 5000$ tax including state and federal for the last year,how much would i get it back?

  33. I am on my F1 OPT. Am married. I have a confusion about filling my W4. Should I still write single or can I write married filing jointly. ( we do file tax jointly only). And, should I write ” EXEMPT” in line 7. I understand they should withhold only fed tax and not FICA tax. How do I make sure my W4 is correct and shows that clearly.

  34. I was an F1 Student and was doing my OPT when I filed for my FICA refund in June 2015. How long does it take for the FICA refund to be processed? And is there a number/site to check the status? only gives information regarding tax refunds and amended tax refunds — nothing on FICA.


  35. Hi,

    Thank you for the information. it helps a lot. I still have one question. So the question 6 (Original return) on the Form 843, are we supposed to put a checkmark on 941 or 1040? Thank you.

      1. Thank you again. I still have one question. You said “which form did you submit the original return.” Do you mean original return for SSN and medicare taxes or for income tax? I am thinking it will affect which form I need to select. Thank you.

  36. Hi,
    I am OPT F1 and Exempt of FICA taxes, it is clear. Does my employer have to pay his FICA part? How much?
    Thank you for your article.

  37. Will I be able to file the form now to get previous two quarters back this year 2015? If not, when can I file this form? Cause right now it costs a lot if the employer asks this money for me. Thanks.

  38. Hi,

    I have a question about filing W-4 form.

    I am on H1B ( I-140 – approved) and my wife is on OPT EAD status .
    She got a job and her employer is asking to send the filled W-4 .


    Which option do we both choose “filing single” or “Married filing jointly” .
    Can I claim my wife as dependent while she is working on OPT EAD status.

    I am looking for what to fill in “W4 – Personal Allowances Worksheet ( A, B, C, D, E” for each of us.


    1. You can claim your wife as dependent unless someone else is not claiming.

      Mostly you should be doing married filing jointly.

  39. Hey! Thanks for the helpful article. I was wondering if it was possible to file this from abroad (as the forms do not have a “country” section to fill out). I got done with my OPT and left the USA last year. But I am eligible to get some money back from my 2013 tax deductions (and have all the necessary documents ready). Or should I just use a friends mailing address?

      1. So, I used my friends mailing address. I assumed that it would be faster that way, plus being safer. Anyway I do have another question, how long does this process take? Its been close to 5-6 months now, when should I expect to hear anything back?

  40. Hi,

    I am in the United States since last two years on F1 Visa, currently I am on my OPT. The employer who I work for pays me $ 10 per hours and charges $66 federal tax on the amount of $ 555 for per two weeks.

    Can i get exemption from Federal tax withholding

  41. Worked in the US on a J-1 visa during the summer of 2014 in New York city, was unaware i did not have to pay FICA. Do i follow the suggested steps to get a full refund and am i entitled to one?

  42. I have been in the US for more than 5 years on F1 visa and therefore I am counted as resident alien for tax purposes but I am on OPT now, my employer is withholding FICA and medicare. Can I ask them not to withhold in this case or am I eligible for a refund?thanks!

  43. Hello,

    Is a person with OPT status (valid EAD card) but expired F-1 visa still eligible for this FICA refund?

    Appreciate your response.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *