TN 32 (09-05)

RS 01901.450 Coverage under International Totalization Agreements


Sections 210(a) and 233 of the Social Security Act;
Regulation No. 4, Sec. 404.1901 and 404.1914

A. Background

Section 233 of the Social Security Act authorizes the President of the United States to enter into agreements with other countries to provide for a limited coordination of the Social Security system of the U.S. and that of the other country. One of the purposes of these agreements is to eliminate coverage and taxation of the same earnings by both countries. The agreements establish rules for determining which country will cover the earnings. The earnings are then exempt from coverage in the other country.

B. Policy

1. Totalization v. Coverage Rules

The rules of a totalization agreement supersede the rules of coverage in RS 01800.000 and RS 01901.000 where there is a conflict.

2. Certificate of Coverage

The country whose laws govern the earnings that are covered and taxed in accordance with the provisions of the agreement issues a Certificate of Coverage. The certificate serves as proof of coverage under one system so that the earnings are exempt under the other system. Requests for certificates of coverage under the U.S. system may be submitted by the employer, employee or self-employed individual to SSA.

3. Totalization Agreements

The United States currently has international agreements with the following countries:

  • Australia

  • Austria

  • Belgium

  • Canada

  • Chile

  • Czech Republic

  • Denmark

  • Finland

  • France

  • Germany

  • Greece

  • Ireland

  • Italy

  • Japan

  • Luxembourg

  • Netherlands

  • Norway

  • Poland

  • Portugal

  • South Korea

  • Spain

  • Sweden

  • Switzerland

  • United Kingdom

C. References

RS 02001.001, for coverage rules for employment or self-employment under totalization agreements.

For additional information on totalization agreements see:

  • How International Agreements Can Help You at SSA’s Publication No. 05-10180 .

  • SSA’s webpage at SSA's International Agreements Overview .

  • The Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad in IRS Publication 54 .

To Link to this section - Use this URL:
RS 01901.450 - Coverage under International Totalization Agreements - 03/18/2009
Batch run: 04/25/2019