No payroll taxes on J-1 visa workers

To the editor:

The availability of a J-1 visa, as mentioned in a letter recently, piqued my curiosity, and upon further research it appears that employees and employers are exempt from payroll taxes on said employees. An employer pays 6.2% of an employees’ earnings to Social security up to a maximum and 1.45% of earnings to Medicare. Having a large number of these employees would save the employer a considerable amount of money. I’m further curious how many other businesses in the Tri-Lakes are using this practice to avoid their payroll taxes. With Social Security and Medicare in their current state, every contribution, however small, helps.

Perhaps a good investigative reporter could shed some light for us.

Source: https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/alien-liability-for-social-security-and-medicare-taxes-of-foreign-teachers-foreign-researchers-and-other-foreign-professionals

John A. Helmke

Saranac Lake


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