Calling All Students With Jobs: You Could Be Owed A Big Tax Refund

Time to double check your paychecks & W-2s. 💰

Even the IRS can make mistakes. Yale University recently discovered that tons of college students had taxes pulled from their paychecks that they should have been exempt from. Now, the IRS is sending out back pay in the form of some hefty checks.

If you’re a typical taxpayer, you’re paying a FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) tax, which goes to things like Social Security and Medicare. The problem is, some college students aren’t required to pay the tax.

Who’s Eligible


Yale University’s Office of International Students and Scholars noted that these individuals are eligible for a tax refund check:

  • Federal tax filers who are not U.S. residents
  • Students employed on college campuses
  • Students who are authorized for Curricular Practical Training or Optional Practical Training
  • Students authorized for employment due to economic hardship

If any of the above apply to you, the IRS owes you money.

What To Do

Tax return

For those who accidentally paid FICA taxes, you have a few options. Yale recommends requesting a refund directly from your employer, first.

If your employer cannot or is unable to refund the money, you’ll need to file IRS forms 843 and 8316. Include a copy of your W-2, a copy of the visa page of your passport, and copy of your I-94. For those with CPT or OPT authorization, include a copy of your I-20.

And those authorized to work due to economic hardship need to include their EAD card.

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