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Medicare Tax Questions

Medicare tax is the amount withheld by an employer from a paycheck that helps cover the cost of the Medicare program. The total Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) is 7.65% of that 1.45% represents the contribution to Medicare in addition an employer pays a like amount for Social Security and Medicare. When a person is employed, there are a few taxes that are withheld out of a person’s pay. Not knowing where ones money is sent can cause questions to rise. Medicare tax is an important part of a person’s future as they age and many times can make a person have questions that need answers. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions answered by the Experts regarding Medicare Tax.

Are pretax health care deductions exempt from federal, state, social security, and Medicare taxes?

In most cases Health Insurance premium payments are exempt from Income tax, Social Security, and Medicare tax; a person can compare amounts in boxes 1, 3, and 5 on the w2 tax form.

What should an employer and employee do, if the employee didn’t have enough Medicare tax withheld?

In most cases the employer us the one who owes the underpayment. Reimbursement is a matter of settlement between the employer and the employee. Assuming the employee agrees, the employer can make it up from future pay to that employee as an accounts receivable item. The following IRS publications discuss how to handle underpayments and overpayment of payroll taxes.

What is the maximum Medicare tax that an individual is required to pay?

Typically there is no limit to the amount of Medicare tax since it is based on a percentage of a person’s wages.

What is the tax base for Medicare?

In most cases Medicate tax is 1.45% of a person’s total wages. In the United States there typically is no ceiling on this wage limit. However there is a limit on Social Security taxes.

If an employee is exempt from Medicare and Social Security taxes is it the employees responsibility to inform the employer, and can the employee get a refund from the government if both taxes were deducted by the employer?

As a general rule employers responsibilities include determining if a particular employee is exempt from Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes or any other specific payments are exempt from FICA, however if an employee qualifies for the exemption- that employee should inform the employer and provide supporting documentation if necessary. If FICA taxes were withheld incorrectly then that is the employer’s responsibility to correct and issue the corrected forms to its employees. It is possible for an employee to get a refund from the government, but only if a person works for two employers and total Social Security taxes were applied to wages above the limit ( in 2011 $106,800). Otherwise all refunds should be made by the employer.

Without Medicare coverage many seniors in the United States would have to do without medical attention because of the high cost of medical insurance premiums. Instead, they have been paying a small amount throughout their lives which makes it possible for a premium of $100.00 monthly to cover most individuals. The questions answered above are just a few of the many questions about Medicare taxes that are available to be answered by the Experts.

Ask a Tax Professional

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Tax Professionals are online & ready to help you now

Wallstreet Esq.
Tax Attorney
Satisfied Customers: 570
10 years experience
Wendy Reed
Enrolled Agent
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15+ years tax preparation and tax advice.
Mark D
Enrolled Agent
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MBA, EA, Specializing in Business and Individual Tax Returns and Issues

Recent Medicare Questions

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    My ex-fiance and I bought a house last year and I put down a $150k down payment. The house was $450k and we have a $250k mortgage. Anyway, the house is in her name because I had a business that was not doing very well and she had a stable and sizable income ($120k/year). We are now separated and she is about to marry another man...I am in the house and paying all of the bills. She offered to sell me the house for what we owe ($250k to pay off mortgage) only if I give her $30k in cash. $280k for this house is a steal. The problem is that I had a bankruptcy last year and can't qualify for a mortgage. Now my parents are willing to give me the $250k to pay off the mortgage as a pre-inheritence, but that will be all they could do. I do have a old company pension in the amount of $65k that I would like to cash in and pay her the $30k. I know I will be hit hard with taxes and penalties, but I think I will be left with the $30k to pay her after all is done. Am I missing anything? I am 50 years old if that means anything.
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