• Chris Stein, CFP®

Social Security Payroll Taxes

A reader from North Dakota asks about the percentage of Social Security tax being withheld from her paycheck.


“What percentage is currently being withheld from my paycheck as Social Security taxes?”


Social Security is funded through payroll taxes. Currently, the rates are 6.2% withheld from you as the employee and 6.2% from your employer, for a total of 12.4%. Some people might say, “Whoa, Chris. There’s more than that being withheld. I see 7.65% being withheld from my check.”


That’s because 1.45% is withheld for Medicare. But your Social Security piece is just 6.2%.


On the other hand, if you’re self-employed, you’ll have to pay both sides for Social Security, for a total of 12.4%.


So that’s what’s being withheld from your check: 6.2% up to the maximum taxable wage. You can obviously earn more than the maximum, but Social Security will only apply that 6.2% up to your first $147,000 of wages.

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