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The Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax includes two separate taxes. One is social security tax and the other is Medicare tax. Different rates apply for each of these.
The current tax rate for social security is 6.2% for the employer and 6.2% for the employee, or 12.4% total. The current rate for Medicare is 1.45% for the employer and 1.45% for the employee, or 2.9% total.
Beginning January 1, 2013, Additional Medicare Tax applies to an individual’s Medicare wages that exceed a threshold amount based on the taxpayer’s filing status. Employers are responsible for withholding the 0.9% Additional Medicare Tax on an individual’s wages paid in excess of $200,000 in a calendar year. An employer is required to begin withholding Additional Medicare Tax in the pay period in which it pays wages in excess of $200,000 to an employee. There is no employer match for Additional Medicare Tax.
If your annual salary is not enough to make you fall under the additional Medicare then you should take a moment to ask your payroll department to explain the withholling percentages they are using.
So just to clarify, those percentages you give (and I do make less than 200K) are the max. I think I just want to be sure there is not a valid reason for there to be a higher percentage (other than a mistake or cheating of course). Our payroll people have a tendency to be snooty so I just want to make sure I am questioning them from a solid basis.
You have a valid question. The employer and the employee share in the FICA taxes, each pay half. You have every right to know about any changes on your pay.