This week’s question comes from Adrienne, a sales manager. I normally earn in excess of the FICA limit ($106,800 in 2010 and 2011). I know the social security withholding rate has been reduced for 2011. What is the maximum amount of social security withholding tax (sometimes called FICA tax)for 2011? Answer: The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (2010 Tax Act) reduced the rate for social security withholding tax (sometimes called FICA tax) from 6.2% to 4.2%. Since the wage base remains at $106,800, the maximum social security withholding tax for 2011 by one employer from one employee will be $4,485.60 ($106,800 X 4.2%).
Employer Withholding Rate Remains at 6.2%
There was no change in the rate of social security tax paid by an employer on an employee’s wages. Since the rate remains 6.2%, the maximum employer social security tax for 2011 by one employer for one employee will be $6,621.60 ($106,800 X 6.2%).
Employees May Have More Withholding if They Have Two or More Jobs
The wage base is generally applied on an employer-by-employer basis. Employees who earn more than $106,800 combined at two or more jobs could have social security withholding in excess of $4,485.60 in 2011. Withholding will stop at a job only when the employee reaches the maximum at each individual job. There are exceptions to this rule for situations such as common paymasters and successor employers.
Employees Can Receive Credit on Form 1040 for Excess FICA Withholding
Even though the employer must pay the full tax and withhold it from the employee, amounts withheld above the maximum can be claimed as a credit on Form 1040. For tax year 2010, enter any excess FICA tax withheld by two or more employers on line 69 of Form 1040 and reduce your balance due or increase your overpayment by the amount of the excess.
Contact Vision Payroll for More Information on Social Security Withholding Tax
Contact Vision Payroll if you have any questions on social security withholding tax or visit our Important Facts and Figures page for further information.