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FICA Tax Refunds for Former Trainees


UPDATE (March, 2013): The claim made to the IRS by the University of California Office of the President on behalf of the UC campuses was recently approved.  Once UCSF has received all of the refund money, it will be distributed to those eligible former residents and fellows by check to the addresses on file (collected by Equifax in 2011). It is expected to take four to eight weeks for checks to be mailed. If you did not respond to the Equifax letter sent to you in 2011, you are not eligible for a refund.  If you have a change to your address or would like to see if you will be receiving a check, please email

On March 2, 2010, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that it will refund the employer and employee portion of FICA taxes paid for medical residents prior to April 1, 2005, so long as the employer previously filed a timely refund claim with the IRS. The University of California has already made the requisite filings on behalf of its medical schools, medical centers, and residents for tax periods dating back to January 1, 1995.

FICA is a two-part tax consisting of Social Security (6.2%) and Medicare (1.45%). Please note that the University of California medical residents, and other non-career employees, pay only the 1.45% Medicare portion of the tax and do not pay the 6.2% Social Security portion of the tax. Consequently, any refunds received by the University and its medical residents will be limited to the 1.45% Medicare portion of the tax paid by the University and the 1.45% portion paid by the resident (i.e., the total amount eligible for refund is 2.90%). The IRS will also pay the statutory rate of interest on the total amount refunded.