FICA & Medicare Payroll Tax Rates for 2013

2013 FICA and Medicare Tax Rates

The rate is 7.65% in total: 6.2% for the Social Security portion and 1.45% for Medicare.

FYI, this had been reduced by 2% to 4.2% over the past few years as part of  payroll tax holiday to help with the economic recovery. All of the fiscal cliff discussions did not address this and the rate has reverted back to what it was 2 years ago

Social Security

The first $113,700 of wages is taxed at 6.2% for Social Security. Anything above this amount is not taxed.

Medicare Tax

This is taxed at 1.45% of wages and there is no wage base limit.

New in 2013

Employers must withhold a 0.9% additional Medicare from wages paid to an employee in excess of $200,000 in a calendar year. Employers are required to begin withholding additional Medicare Tax in the pay period in which wages in excess of $200,000 are paid to an employee and continue to withhold it each pay period until the end of the calendar year.
This is not well known, but will be soon to wage earners hitting this threshold.
More to come on this topic if Congress changes their mind.
Posted by Ed Becker on Tuesday, January 8, 2013

21 Responses to “FICA & Medicare Payroll Tax Rates for 2013”

  1. February 15, 2013 at 5:20 pm, Rong said:

    If I maximize FICA in payroll deduction, will it affect my fed and state tax withholding for 2013? Thanks very much in advance!!


    • February 15, 2013 at 5:30 pm, Ed Becker said:

      These are not related. FICA is a flat rate so you have no say in the rate for this.


  2. March 08, 2013 at 10:12 pm, Vicki Jean Byrd said:

    My husband worked 30 years then died before he could collect his Social Security or Medicare contributions. I feel cheated by the Federal Government because as his legal spouse for more than 20 years I depended on that help after 65. When I turned 62 and filed I was told I could either get mine or his…his was higher so I elected his. But the Medicare was from mine (plus manadatory fees of $104.00 per month), so where does those other contributions end up? And why are they not mine under Survivorship Laws (AZ)? They already cheated me on my (AZ)Pension and on my husbands (WFB) Pension, so I am doom to live out my final years at the Poverty levels under 20K, why?


  3. March 23, 2013 at 8:48 pm, over here said:

    Pretty great post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished to mention that I’ve truly loved surfing around your weblog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing in your feed and I hope you write again very soon!


    • March 24, 2013 at 4:39 pm, Ed Becker said:

      thanks, more to come


  4. April 04, 2013 at 4:34 pm, Robert Empie said:

    Is there an income amount after which AMT kicks in?


  5. April 11, 2013 at 1:50 am, Michelle Reed said:

    Will be receiving a lump sum payment soon, due to retirement. My mutual fund guy said that by investing it with him I could save the 7.8 percent, and not have to pay FICA. Is he just blowing smoke?


    • April 11, 2013 at 12:28 pm, Ed Becker said:

      Not sure why it would be subject to FICA, if this is 401K money you already paid the FICA when you earned it. Not enough facts to comment further


      • June 28, 2013 at 3:38 pm, Mike Blaser said:

        401k deposited money is pre tax so how would taxes have been paid on it?


  6. April 12, 2013 at 7:03 pm, Dennis said:

    So if I make $113,700 per year… I pay 6.2% and if I make $227,400 I only pay 3.1%!! That is awesome!!! The more money I make the less tax I pay!!! Gotta love the USA tax code!!! Thanks Republicans for saving me money!!!


    • October 06, 2013 at 1:49 am, Doug L said:

      You must not understand the U.S. tax code, because you are referring to the FICA taxes, not Federal, state and local income taxes. Add all of the other taxes and see if you make the same comment.>


  7. April 21, 2013 at 6:29 pm, paula katz said:

    i just received my first retirement check and they withheld fica and social security taxes. This was not a payroll check. Can they tax my retirement check as though I worked. Very confused


  8. April 24, 2013 at 5:50 pm, Gina Littlefield said:

    On the 2013 941, it refers to taxable SS wages as .124%. Understanding that translates to 6.2% paid by both employee & employer to total 12.4%, Why on the 2012 does it refer to .104 (10.4%) if the reduction was 4.2%?
    Should that be a total of 8.2%? Or was it just the employer’s side that was reduced?


    • April 24, 2013 at 5:59 pm, Ed Becker said:

      Just the employee side was reduced, not the employer.


  9. June 29, 2013 at 5:18 am, Dan said:

    My employer takes out more than 6.2% for SS and more than 1.45% for medicare. Do I get this refunded to me in my tax return?


    • October 06, 2013 at 1:54 am, Doug said:

      If your Social Security and/or Medicare was over withheld and the information is properly reported on your Form W-2 and your tax returns, then the excess withholding will reduce tax liability/increase refund on your personal income tax return. (Form 1040, Line 69)


    • January 09, 2014 at 5:52 pm, Christina B said:

      > Dan, to answer your question
      unfortunately no, the only money refunded to you its the federal withholding. SS and Medicare you will never see it back at the end of a tax return.


  10. August 01, 2013 at 10:05 pm, Gail said:

    I read the threshold for the additional .09% Medicare payroll tax kicked in for married filing joint returns at $250.000, and single filers at $200,000. Is this correct?


  11. September 03, 2013 at 4:24 pm, Jonathan said:

    I have a payroll sheet that asks for FICA and WITH-HOLDING TAX. What is the difference and what are each of its tax rates?


  12. February 28, 2014 at 1:55 am, Ron said:

    In 2012 tax year, we have an excess FICA of $2958. For 2013, we didn’t have any excess. Our taxable income is pretty much the same. How do you calculate for excess FICA payment? Can you show me for both 2012 and 2013.



  13. June 25, 2014 at 2:26 pm, Zak Wilson said:

    On my paycheck it says medicare with the tax number, then FICA withe the tax and of course federal withholding.

    I don’t understand why i have a medicare tax. Isn’t that supposed to be included in FICA? I thought FICA was SS and medicare payments in one tax?

    Am i being double taxed? Or is there two medicare taxes that im not aware of?


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