Student Tax Guidelines

Several components determine an individual’s particular taxation such as the way the W-4 form is completed, citizenship status, student enrollment status and multiple employment that results in a dual compensation situation.

In the State of Florida, there are three taxes that must be addressed during employment:

  1. Social Security (6.2 % of gross taxable wages up to $118,500 in 2015)
  2. Medicare (1.45% of gross taxable wages)
  3. Federal Withholding Tax (see IRS Publication 15, Employer’s Tax Guide

Social Security and Medicare Tax
Student Employees (Undergraduate, Graduate, and Doctoral students)

Criteria for Exemption Eligibility:

In order to be exempt from FICA tax, students must meet the following criteria:

  1. Enrolled in at least ½ time status at FAU
  2. Regularly attending classes during the semester at FAU
  3. Students must be scheduled to work 32 hours or less in order to have FICA exemption
    1. Student schedule is determined by the employing department and submitted to Student Employment via a Student Appointment Form (SAP)

The student must not be a "professional employee". A professional employee:

  1. Requires knowledge of an advanced type in a field of science or learning
  2. Requires the consistent exercise of discretion and judgment
  3. Predominantly intellectual and varied in character

If a license is required under state or local law for the position, the employee is most likely a professional employee.

Post-doctoral students and fellows are considered professional employees. If the relevant circumstances change significantly during an academic term (i.e., changes in enrollment status, employment hours or job duties), the FICA exemption shall be re-evaluated.

Failure to meet the above criteria will result in the student paying Social Security (7.65%) and Medicare (1.45%) tax on the gross taxable wages paid for the pay period. Each department is responsible for the employer-matching portion of the tax and it will come out of the same funding department being charged for the student’s salary.