Medical Students are Obligated to Pay Taxes


The US Supreme Court has fnally settled a long-standing dispute in tax law – are medical students who are being trained and receive allowances while pursuing their studies in university hospitals students who work or workers who study? The answer to that question would determine whether it is mandatory by law for them to pay FICA taxes.

The verdict of the court is that medical students are workers who study and therefore are obligated to pay FICA payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare. This judgment was made in a case that involved doctors in training at Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota Medical Center. The court ruled a unanimous 8-0 decision stating that medical residents are not entitled to the student exemption from paying FICA taxes because they work more than 40 hours a week. Chief Justice John Roberts stated that the IRS ruling on this is a “reasonable construction” of what Congress intends for tax exemptions for students.

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