What is the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax in 2021 and 2022?

2021 Annual Earnings Limit for Social Security Payroll Tax

The maximum amount of an employee's 2021 earnings (and a self-employed person's net income) that is subject to the Social Security payroll tax is $142,800. This amount is also known as the Social Security annual wage limit, wage base, contribution and benefit base, ceiling, tax cap, and maximum taxable earnings. The maximum amount is adjusted annually based on a national average wage index.

2022 Annual Earnings Limit for Social Security Payroll Tax

For the calendar year 2022 (January 1 through December 31, 2022) the maximum amount of an employee's earnings that is subject to the Social Security payroll tax is $147,000.

An Employer Must Match Its Employees' Social Security Payroll Taxes

The annual earnings limit is used when computing each employee's maximum Social Security tax as well as the employer's Social Security payroll tax amounts. (The employer must remit to the U.S. government two times the Social Security payroll tax withholdings.)

Social Security Payroll Tax is One Part of the FICA Payroll Tax

The combination of the Social Security payroll tax and the Medicare payroll tax is referred to as the FICA tax. However, there is no annual limit or cap on the earnings when computing the Medicare tax for the employee, the self-employed person, or the employer.

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