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Payroll Tax for Non-Resident F-1 & J-1 VISA Holders


Learn how to manage payroll taxes for employees that hold F-1 and J-1 VISA.

Payroll taxes for non-resident aliens are different than taxes for U.S. citizens. Many countries have tax treaties with the U.S. which allow non-resident aliens an exemption from all or part of federal tax withholdings. Different types of visa holders get certain exemptions from federal tax and FICA/Medicare tax.
An F-1 visa is specifically for full-time students who come to the U.S. to study at an accredited college or university. These students can also apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) in their major field of study which allows them to remain in the U.S. for an extended period of time after they have completed their studies. A J-1 visa is similar to an F-1 visa but is for teachers and researchers in a specific field of study for a specific amount of time.
The F-1 and J-1 visa holders are both exempt from FICA/Medicare tax if they become employed for personal services while in the U.S. They may also be exempt from federal tax withholding if their country has a tax treaty with the U.S. Some treaties exempt all wages from tax and others have specific dollar limits that can be earned before they are subject to taxes.
This course will review what employers need to know about managing payroll taxes for these employees, what forms they need to complete to receive a tax treaty exemption, the specific forms that must be filed at the end of the year, and what to do if there is not a tax treaty in their country.



Debbie Cash, CPP

Debbie Cash, CPP

G&A Partners

  • Business Analyst-Implementation at G&A Partners
  • Formerly a Payroll Tax/Time and Attendance Specialist at Employer Advantage LLC
  • G&A Partners is a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) that offers payroll, human resources, benefits management, risk management, and accounting services for businesses and they recently acquired Employer Advantage LLC a former PEO
  • Has been with the organization since 2006
  • Certified Payroll Professional Certification in October 2006
  • 30+ years of experience processing payroll and payroll taxes for various different companies and professions
  • Worked as a Payroll Specialist at Missouri Southern State University from 1993 to March 2006
  • Attended the International Tax Conference in Wisconsin in 2005 and specialized in International Tax for Student Visa’s
  • Worked for Joplin R-8 School District from 1990 to 1993
  • Bachelor’s degree in general business, MSSU; associate’s degree in Accounting, MSSU
  • Can be contacted at [email protected] or 417-782-3909 ext 148

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