Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA)

A reference used to indicate the combination of the Social Security tax and the Medicare tax. For the year 2016, the employee's portion of the FICA tax is 7.65% (the Social Security tax of 6.2% plus the Medicare tax of 1.45%) on the first $118,500 of an employee's salary and wages. On an employee's salary and/or wages in excess of $118,500 the employee's portion of the FICA tax is 1.45% (consisting of only the Medicare tax). In addition, certain employees will be subject to a 0.9% Medicare surtax. The surtax will apply to wages, salaries, and a self-employed person's net income that are in excess of specified amounts. See IRS.gov for details on the Medicare surtax.

In the year 2016, the employer's portion of the FICA tax is 7.65% (the Social Security tax of 6.2% plus the Medicare tax of 1.45%) on each employee's first $118,500 of salary and wages. On each employee's salary and wages in excess of $118,500 the employer's portion is the Medicare tax of 1.45%. Therefore, the combined employee and employer FICA tax for 2016 is 15.3% (7.65% + 7.65%) on each employee's first $118,500 of salary and wages and then 2.9% (1.45% + 1.45%) on each employee's salary and wages in excess of $118,500.

To learn more, see Explanation of Payroll Accounting.

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