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APA Compliance Update: Social Security Wage Increase

10/11/18, 12:06 PM

increase in Social Security Wage threshold

The Social Security Administration (SSA) announced today that the 2019 social security wage base will be $132,900, which is an increase of $4,500 from $128,400 in 2018 (view the SSA Fact Sheet).  In prior years, there is no limit to the wages subject to the Medicare tax; therefore all covered wages are still subject to the 1.45% tax. As in 2018, wages paid in excess of $200,000 in 2019 will be subject to an extra 0.9% Medicare tax that will be withheld only from employees’ wages. Employers will not pay the extra tax.

The FICA tax rate, which is the combined social security tax rate of 6.2% and the Medicare tax rate of 1.45%, will be 7.65% for 2019 up to the social security wage base. The maximum social security tax employees and employers will each pay in 2019 is $8,239.80, an increase of $279.00 from $7,960.80 in 2018.

medicare taxThe social security wage base for self-employed individuals in 2019 will also be $132,900. There is no limit on covered self-employment income that will be subject to the Medicare tax. The self-employment tax rate will be 15.3% (combined social security tax rate of 12.4% and Medicare tax rate of 2.9%) up to the social security wage base. In 2019, the maximum social security tax for a self-employed individual will be $16,479.60.

As for FICA, the threshold for coverage under social security and Medicare for domestic employees (i.e., the “Nanny tax”) will be $2,100 in 2019, unchanged from 2018; the coverage threshold for election workers will be $1,800 in 2019, unchanged from 2018.

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