Status Update – September 24, 2013

All Forms W-2c, Corrected Wage and Tax Statement, were mailed on September 20, 2013 for each tax year in which you received a refund of FICA taxes from Duke University. The same will be filed with the Social Security Administration. Generally, changes to social security or Medicare wage and tax amounts do not require an amended personal income tax return; please consult your personal tax advisor to discuss further if needed.

Status Update – July 30, 2013

All checks for eligible individuals (except for a very small number previously notified of a suspension imposed by the Social Security Administration) have been issued and mailed to the applicable home addresses.

Status Update – March 12, 2013

Duke is pleased to announce that for the vast preponderance of all eligible medical residents we have mailed refund checks on March 11, 2013. Refunds for a handful of eligible medical residents with foreign addresses have not been mailed pending receipt of additional IRS forms requested of those individuals. (If you do not have a foreign mailing address your refund is not affected.) Please plan on giving the postal system adequate time to deliver your refund before inquiring about the status of your particular refund.

If your mailing address changes or if you have not contacted us about a new mailing address, please email us at DukeUniversity.FICArefunds@ey.com to ensure we have your current mailing address on file. This will be important for future mailings as is more fully described in a letter accompanying your refund check.

Should you have questions in the meantime, please check the status updates, posted as they become available, on the following website: https://survey.ey.com/FICA/DukeUniversity/

Status Update - February 14, 2013

Duke is in the end-stage of finalizing refund calculations for all eligible medical residents. Although the time line may change based upon further communication expected from the IRS, we anticipate that checks will begin to be processed so that you should receive your refund by mid-March. We will announce the mailing date on this website once the checks are in the mail.

If your mailing address has changed and you have not contacted us, please email us at DukeUniversity.FICArefunds@ey.com to ensure we have your correct mailing address on file.

Should you have questions in the meantime, please check the status updates, posted as they become available, on the following website: https://survey.ey.com/FICA/DukeUniversity/

STATUS UPDATE - October 26, 2012

We recently received written confirmation from the IRS that Duke's medical resident FICA refund claims have been resolved. The letter from the IRS provided an estimated timeline of 8 to 12 weeks before refund checks will begin to be mailed to Duke. (Duke has 44 outstanding quarters and each quarter will be handled independently by the IRS.) However, based upon our knowledge of other employer's claims, we believe that the refunds will take much longer than 8 to 12 weeks.

Upon receipt of all of the refund checks covering all years, Duke will prepare and mail checks to the eligible individuals that provided their consent to receive the refunds. An educated guess right now is that individuals should receive their refund checks before March 31, 2013.

We will provide updates as to the status of the claims on this website as we receive additional information from the IRS. Please be sure to check the website occasionally to monitor the status. Please be sure to update us if your contact information (especially your mailing address) changes.

Website Update as of October 8, 2012:

Duke has now responded to the IRS's additional inquiries and is awaiting further action or approval from the IRS.  We do not know when to expect a response from the IRS but will provide a status update once we hear from them.  Please check the website periodically for updates.

Website Update as of September 10, 2012:

On August 23rd Duke contacted the IRS to inquire as to the status of the medical resident FICA refunds. The IRS has requested additional information and is still reviewing Duke's refund claim. Duke is working on these new responses and hopes to complete them shortly. It is Duke’s sincere hope that once these new responses are submitted there will be no further roadblocks to the IRS processing the refund claims.

Website Update as of July 2, 2012:

As previously mentioned, the IRS has followed up on Duke's refund claim with additional questions. We have responded to those questions and we are again waiting for the IRS to take some action. We still do not have an estimate of when the refunds will be issued. Please check the website periodically for updates.

Website Update as of November 29, 2011:

Recently, the IRS has followed up on Duke's refund claim with several questions. We have responded to those questions and we are again waiting for the IRS to take some action. We still do not have an estimate of when the refunds will be issued. Please check the website periodically for updates.

Website Update as of September 30, 2011:

Duke University has filed the medical resident refund claims on behalf of itself and its consenting medical residents with the Internal Revenue Service for all applicable years.  The review of these claims at the Service may be lengthy and it is our understanding, based on conversations with the IRS,  that the IRS has not begun processing any medical resident claims.  We will provide updates as to the status of the Duke claims on this website as we receive information.  Please be sure to check the website occasionally to monitor the status of the Duke claim(s) being processed. Also, please be sure to update us if your contact information changes.

Provided that you elected to participate, and have remitted a timely signed consent form to Ernst & Young to receive a refund of FICA (Social Security and Medicare) taxes that were withheld from you while a medical resident at Duke University, a confirmation letter or email will be sent to you shortly. In the event you believe to have consented and you do not receive a confirmation letter or email please contact Ernst & Young using the email address or phone number provided below immediately.


Medical Resident FICA Refund Process

Background
On March 2, 2010, the IRS announced it would honor medical resident FICA refund claims (“MR Claims”) filed for tax periods ending prior to April 1, 2005. Duke took the initiative to file protective refund claims for calendar years ranging from 1991 through 2002 on behalf of itself and its medical residents, however did not file protective claims for years subsequent to 2002. Therefore, applicable FICA taxes paid during calendar years 1991 through 2002 are eligible for refunds. You should contact the IRS to pursue your refund claim if you filed a refund claim with the IRS for a year in which Duke did not file a protective claim (prior to 1991 or after 2002).

Please note, FICA taxes paid prior to calendar year 1994 were not previously included in Duke’s initial consent process because the IRS had not provided confirmation that Duke was eligible to pursue claims for 1991, 1992, and 1993. Recently, the IRS provided Duke with verbal confirmation for these years.

Period(calendar years) Duke University filed a protective claim with the IRS? The IRS has acknowledged Duke University's claim on FICA remittances? Is Duke University eligible to pursue refund?
1991-1993 Yes Yes, verbally Yes
1994-2002 Yes Yes Yes
2003-2005 No N/A No

The process described on this website does not apply to tax periods beginning on or after April 1, 2005 because those periods are still being litigated.

Ernst & Young’s Role
Now that the IRS has conceded that such claims are valid, Duke has engaged Ernst & Young LLP (“EY”) to assist Duke in pursuing the refunds for both itself and its residents who consent to be part of the refund process.

FICA Refund Amount
Resident refunds should be equal to the amount of eligible FICA taxes paid during the applicable calendar quarters (generally 7.65% of applicable wages) plus statutory interest. (To estimate your potential refund for a calendar year, please see calculator link provided below.) The amount of the refund may be reduced if a resident received annual wages above the Social Security wage base limit and/or a portion of the wages received were for non-medical resident services during the same calendar year. Please refer to http://www.socialsecurity.gov/OACT/COLA/cbb.html for a chart listing the "Contribution and Benefit Base" (a.k.a., "wage base limit").

FICA Refund Process
After we file the documentation to support Duke’s MR Claims, the IRS will verify the amount of the MR Claims and issue refund checks to Duke, including statutory interest. Duke cannot obtain a refund on your behalf unless we have your written consent. By not consenting to have Duke obtain your refund, you most likely will be precluded from receiving any refund of the FICA taxes withheld and paid on your behalf because the time period for filing an individual claim for refund with the IRS for the Eligible Refund period has expired.

Impact of your FICA Refund on your Federal Taxes
With your consent, Duke will send you your FICA tax refund, plus statutory interest, after Duke receives the refund from the IRS. The tax portion of the refund is not taxable. However, the interest on the refund is taxable income to you whether or not you receive a Form 1099-INT, Interest Income. Duke is required to file Form 1099-INT with the IRS and furnish a copy to you if they pay you interest of $600 or more in a calendar year. Duke will not file Form 1099-INT with the IRS or furnish a copy to you if the interest portion is less than $600. This interest should be reported on your individual income tax return for the year in which you receive the interest.

If you are not a US citizen, US permanent resident or US resident alien, Duke may be required to withhold US income tax on the amount of the interest payment made to you at a rate of up to 30%. In many instances, a trety between the US and your country may reduce or eliminate this withholding. For this reason, it is important that you correctly state your citizenship and residency status in the enclosed consent. If Duke is required to withhold on your interest payment, you may be entitled to a refund of some or all of the tax withheld. Duke cannot give you income tax advice. You should consult with your own tax advisor to determine if you are eligible for a refund of some or all of the withheld amount.

In addition, Duke will file Form W-2c, Corrected Wage and Tax Statement, with the Social Security Administration (SSA), and furnish a copy to you for each tax year for which you receive a refund of FICA taxes. In most cases, Form W-2c will show a reduction in your earnings for Social Security coverage purposes in an amount equal to all the wages you were paid for services performed as a medical resident. Generally, changes to social security or Medicare wage and tax amounts do not require an amended personal income tax return; please consult your personal tax advisor to discuss further if needed.

Impact of your FICA Refund on your Social Security Benefits
Social Security benefits are based on your earnings over your working lifetime. Accordingly, based on your personal circumstances, a refund could have a detrimental effect upon disability, survivors, or retirement benefits that you, or your family, are receiving or may seek to receive in the future. If you, or a family member, are receiving or may in the future seek, disability, survivors, or retirement benefits, you should contact a financial advisor to discuss this refund’s effect on your benefits. Duke cannot give you advice on benefits issues. For general information about the effect on your Social Security benefits, you should contact SSA directly at 1-800-772-1213. Having this letter with you will help the SSA answer your questions should you call or visit a Social Security Office. You might want to review your Social Security record before and after your refund has been processed. You can use your current Social Security Statement or you can request a copy of your Social Security Statement at the following link: http://www.ssa.gov/mystatement).

Next Steps to Receive your FICA Refund
If you were a resident during the period January 1, 1994 through December 31, 2002 and consent to receive your share of the refund from Duke, you must fully complete the enclosed Employee Consent Form and return it to E&Y in the enclosed pre-paid envelope postmarked by October 29, 2010. The IRS has established a deadline for Duke to file its refund claim. Accordingly, your consent form must be postmarked no later than October 29, 2010. If for some reason you miss the deadline, please contact E&Y immediately using the contact information below to determine if you can still be included in the refund claim.

If you were a medical resident during the period of January 1, 1991 through December 31, 1993, please see the alert at the top of the homepage for details regarding this period.

We will not be able to file your MR Claim for the periods covered by your individual claims if you, on your own, have already claimed and received a refund or credit for FICA taxes that were withheld from your medical resident wages, or if you filed an individual refund claim for such FICA taxes and the claim is still pending with the IRS. This restriction does not apply if you filed a refund claim and it was rejected by the IRS. In order for Duke to file your MR Claims for some years, but not others, check “Yes” for each of the years you are eligible and “No” for each of the years you do not consent and/or are not eligible.

Should you consent to be part of Duke’s MR Claim and the IRS determines that you are not eligible for a refund, the IRS will not refund your share of FICA taxes to Duke and you will not receive a refund from Duke. Duke will notify you in writing if your refund claim is rejected.

Medical Resident FICA refund claims for any periods after April 1, 2005 - The IRS has not conceded the student FICA issue for periods after April 1, 2005 because it issued contrary final regulations that were effective on that date. However, Duke continues to file protective claims for periods after 1/1/2006. If refunds become available for such periods (the IRS has not yet approved these periods, or any period after April 1, 2005), Duke will pursue such refunds on behalf of residents, who will again be asked to consent to be a part of the refund process at that time. If you received no wages as a medical resident for a period prior to April 1, 2005, there is no need to complete a consent form at this time. However, you may provide us with your current contact information so that we have it on file.

Refund Status Updates
Please continue to refer to this website for periodic updates on the refund process.

IRS Contact Information
If you have any questions, you may contact the IRS at 800-919-1703 or visit its website which provides more information and Questions & Answers. We recommend contacting your tax advisor for specific questions regarding your personal tax situation.


Please keep us updated with your contact information. Should your mailing address, phone number or email address change, please email these changes to Ernst & Young at DukeUniversity.FICArefunds@ey.com

Please click here to calculate your potential refund.

Please click here for responses to frequently asked questions.

Please submit questions regarding the FICA refund process to Ernst & Young LLP at DukeUniversity.FICArefunds@ey.com or calling our toll free number 888-800-4189 during the hours of 9am and 6pm EST, Monday through Friday.