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Payroll Office

Student FICA Tax Exemption

Student employees may be eligible for a Social Security (OASI/MED) tax exemption.  Students are considered qualified Social Security tax exempt based upon the combination of their enrollment and employment status.

Qualification:For a student employee to qualify for the tax exemption, the student must meet all three of the following criteria.

Enrollment: Student must be enrolled at a minimum of Half-time.
Employment Status: Student must be employed in a Student job position which is a non-career position and not eligible for retirement benefits.
Scheduled Hours: Student must work less than 20 hours per week or not more than 4 1/2 months per year (except 50% Graduate Student titles).

Student Status Fall, Spring or Summer Long Semester Hrs  Summer I or II Semester Hrs
Undergraduate 6 3
Graduate 4 3
Ph.D (Dissertation) minimum 1 minimum 1


Determination of student's enrollment status is confirmed twice each semester. First status date is the 12th class day of the school semester and again on the last day of finals. Wages paid for employment services to the student-employee are eligible for FICA Exemption for all payroll periods of a month or less that fall wholly or partially within the academic term. If a student qualifies on the 12th day of class, Social Security tax exemption will remain in place until the end of the semester. For a student to qualify during a school break of five (5) weeks or less, the student must still be enrolled at least Half-time on the last day of Finals. For school breaks more than five (5) weeks, Social Security Exemption is not available for wages earned during that period.

A Social Security tax exempt student employee will not have Social Security taxes withheld from their paycheck. An exception will occur if there is a payroll period ending prior to the 12th day of class which follows a break of five weeks or more.  If the student is qualified by 12th day of class, the tax withheld will be refunded on a following payday.

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