Although the agreements with Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and Japan do not use the rule of residence as the main determinant of self-employment coverage, each of them contains a provision guaranteeing that workers are insured and taxed in a single country. For more information on these agreements, click here on our website or in writing to the Social Security Administration (SSA) under the Conclusion section, below. 2 An exception to this rule is the agreement with Italy, which allows some transferred workers to choose the social security system to which they are subject. No other U.S. totalization agreement contains a similar rule. Such agreements create a legal framework for the coordination of social security systems between countries. They provide the legal framework to protect the rights of migrant workers and fill gaps in social security. The agreements ensure that periods of employment in other signatory countries are taken into account in the granting of the right to social benefits for migrant workers who depend on the completion of a qualification period. In addition to improving the social security of working workers, international social security agreements help ensure continuity of benefit protection for people who have received social security credits under the U.S.
system and another country. To find a table showing the date of the signing, the date of validity and the legal citation for all existing agreements and the status of the current agreements. This problem is particularly acute for U.S. workers, as the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) and the Self-employed Contributions Act (SECA) impose broader coverage for foreign workers than comparable social security programs in most other countries (McKinnon 2012). Although most countries tax their own nationals only for work on their own territory, the United States imposes taxes on a wide range of economic activities carried out by U.S. citizens and permanent residents outside the United States. Countries where most American workers are transferred tend to impose high payroll taxes to fund relatively generous social security programs. In some countries, the combined share of employees and employers in these taxes can reach or exceed 50% of the payroll (IBIS Advisors 2017).