I am on an F1-OPT and asked my employer not to withhold my FICA taxes(social security and medicare) and they have not. My husband is on an H1B and we were thinking if we can file our return together making me a resident alien using the Substantial presence test. How to we pay the FICA taxes not deducted before and is it advisable to do so? Do i need to inform my payroll team to deduct my FICA taxes for the previous year?

  • Also can i actually use the Substantial Presence Test as i am on an F1-OPT which classifies me as an exempt individual.
    – Divya
    Jan 31, 2018 at 16:36

1 Answer 1


Based on my understanding, if you are exempt from FICA taxes due to being a nonresident alien and in one of the statuses where nonresidents are exempt from FICA, you are still exempt from FICA taxes even if you use Nonresident Spouse Treated as Resident, based on a sentence on this page:

However, for Social Security and Medicare tax withholding purposes, the nonresident alien may still be treated as a nonresident alien.

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