My son is working in a foreign country for a non American company. He
is paid in local currency. He is about 6 quarter shy of "vesting"
with social security. Is it possible for him to pay into social
security himself? He is an employee, not a contractor.
He is not required to pay into SS but he may choose to do so. Use
Schedule SE with the US tax return to report the SS wages and pay the
tax. He will have to pay both the employee and employer portions (i.e.
the 15.3%.) Once he makes this choice, he must continue to make the
annual payment for as long as he is employed by this company.
Lanny K. Williams, C.P.A.
Nawarat, Williams & Co., Ltd.
Income Tax Services for Expatriate Americans
Some countries' tax treaties with the U.S. provide for credit with the U.S.
system if he's paying into a foreign equivalent system. You need to check
the treaty of the country he's in (if there is one).
The Totalization Agreements (tax treaties) with other countries
allow for receiving credit for work performed in a foreign
country where you had to pay into that country's equivalent
social security system. One can use those work credits to qualify
for US benefits if one does not have enough work credits in the
US. However, one does not receive any contribution credits for
the time worked in a foreign country. In other words, you get the
quarters worked but your foreign earnings stay with the foreign
country. Your US benefit is based on contributions to the SSA
system and quarters of work including foreign service. Obviously,
a reduced benefit... but at least some benefit.
As the earnings stay in the foreign country, it is also possible
to qualify for a social security benefit from the foreign country
using the same period of time worked in that country.
Information on Totalization Agreements is at: