Vision Payroll

December 24, 2010

Question of the Week: What is the Maximum Amount of Social Security Withholding Tax for 2011?

What is the Maximum Amount of Social Security Withholding Tax for 2011?
What is the Maximum Amount of Social Security Withholding Tax for 2011?
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.

November 28, 2008

Question of the Week: Why Didn’t My FICA Tax Deduction Stop?

This week’s question comes from Becca, a sales rep: I read before that the wage base for 2008 was $102,000. I made over $90,000 at my first job and have earned more than $30,000 at my new job. Why didn’t my FICA tax deduction stop? Answer: The wage base generally must be applied on an employer-by employer basis. Regardless of how much you’ve earned at previous jobs, most employers must withhold the maximum tax again. There are some exceptions, including successor employers and common paymasters, but the general rule is you must reach the maximum again at your second job to stop the 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 2008, enter any excess FICA tax withheld by two or more employers on line 65 of Form 1040 and reduce your balance due or increase your overpayment by the amount of the excess. Contact Vision Payroll if you have any questions on the Social Security wage base.

August 9, 2008

Law Firm Ruled Liable for Predecessor’s Unpaid Payroll Taxes

A successor law firm is liable for unpaid payroll taxes of its predecessor and could not prevent the IRS from levying and placing liens on its accounts. In Hwang Law Firm, LLC v. United States, DC PA, C 07-2973 LFS, July 9, 2008, the court looked at continuity of ownership, continuation of enterprise, cessation of business, and assumption of obligations. In the predecessor, Hwang and Associates (H&A), and the successor, Hwang Law Firm, LLC, (HLF) Samuel Y. Hwang, a Pennsylvania attorney, was the “sole owner, officer, director, and stockholder.” The firms used some of the same office space and office equipment, had the same telephone and fax numbers, and passed client contracts and files from H&A to HLF. “Considered cumulatively, the balance of evidence on each factor” persuaded the court to grant summary judgment to the US on its claim that HLF was a successor to H&A under Pennsylvania law and therefore liable for payment of the unpaid employment taxes.

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