FICA Taxes

Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA) Taxes are United States federal payroll taxes levied to fund the Social Security and Medicare system. FICA Taxes burdens are divided between employers and employees and... more +
Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA) Taxes are United States federal payroll taxes levied to fund the Social Security and Medicare system. FICA Taxes burdens are divided between employers and employees and are currently set at 12.4% for Social Security and 2.9% for Medicare. less -
News & Analysis as of

Employers Must Withhold FICA Taxes for Students who Change Status to H-1B Starting October 1

As students and scholars’ status change from F-1, J-1 or other FICA exempt statuses to H-1B starting October 1, these employees will become subject to FICA taxes upon the effective date of their H-1B status....more

Third Time’s a Charm: Governor Bentley and Legislature Reach Budget/Tax Compromise

Summary - Governor Robert Bentley called a second special session of the Alabama Legislature on Tuesday, September 9 at 5 p.m. to address the FY 2016 General Fund budget and associated revenue measures. After meeting for...more

U.S. Department of Labor's New Guidance on Independent Contractors Highlights a Key Risk Area for Employers

Businesses should carefully assess any independent contractor arrangements in light of an “Administrator’s Interpretation” issued on July 15, 2015 by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (DOL). While the...more

IRS Updates Guide to Auditing Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plans

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently updated its “Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Audit Techniques Guide.” The Guide provides a framework for the IRS to audit nonqualified deferred compensation (NQDC) plans. Since...more

California Appellate Court Holds Employer Must Withhold Taxes on Back Pay

On June 26, 2015, a California appellate court rendered a precedential opinion that should hopefully put to rest the issue of whether an employer must withhold taxes on settlements or judgments made to former employees in...more

Medical Residents Held Subject to FICA

In the case of University of Texas System v. U.S., 759 F.3d 437, (2014) the U.S. Supreme Court on April 27, 2015 declined to review a decision of the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals which, affirming the district court,...more

Davidson v. Henkel — What’s Going On With Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plans and FICA

In This Presentation: - Davidson v. Henkel Corp. - The Parties - NQ Plan - The Plan’s Tax Clauses - Davidson’s Pre-Retirement Counseling - 2011 Compliance Review and Letter - Henkel’s Tax...more

New Independent Contractor Misclassification Study Is Belied By Government Report and Disregards the Legitimate Use of Independent...

The Economic Policy Institute, a respected nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank, has just released a working paper authored by a respected professor who co-authored a number of early academic studies detailing independent...more

FICA Tax Student Exemption Resolution: Fifth Circuit Decision About Refunds of FICA Taxes Paid by Medical Residents Stands

FICA taxes, which fund the Social Security program, are not levied on state employees unless a state voluntarily opts in to the program. A state opts in by executing an agreement, commonly referred to as a “section 218...more

Employee Benefits Developments - March 2015

The Internal Revenue Service recently issued Notice 2015-16, intending to initiate and inform the process of developing regulatory guidance regarding the excise tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health coverage. The...more

IRS Announces That It Will No Longer Refund FICA Taxes on Severance Payments

The IRS recently announced that severance payments are taxable wages under FICA, and thus employers who seek tax refunds on those payments will be denied. The IRS’s position reflects the United States Supreme Court’s ruling...more

Employers: Properly Administer Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plans, or You May Be Held Liable to Participants for Adverse Tax...

An employer’s liability to retirees for “improper” FICA tax withholding illustrates the importance of diligent administration of nonqualified deferred compensation plans. In the recent case of Davidson v. Henkel Corp.,...more

Not Paying Your Employment Taxes? Prison Time Could Be In Your Future

It is a very common story for small businesses to get behind on paying employment taxes. Federal employment taxes are largely made up of FICA and withholding taxes. The IRS is especially keen on businesses who fail to pay...more

Employer Liable For Reduced Value of Deferred Compensation Benefits Due to Failure to Properly Withhold FICA Taxes

A federal district court recently ruled that an employer who failed to timely withhold Social Security and Medicare taxes (FICA taxes) on nonqualified deferred compensation (NQDC) in accordance with the special timing rule...more

Employee Benefits Developments - January 2015

IRS Publishes FAQs Regarding Rollovers of After-Tax Contributions. In the December 2014 issue of Employee Benefits Developments, we reported on IRS Notice 2014-54, which allows participants to direct and allocate after-tax...more

Feb. 2 Deadline Looming to Implement Retroactive Increase in 2014 Mass Transit Benefit Limits

Affected employers must move quickly to take advantage of a special administrative procedure regarding a retroactive increase in excludable transit benefits enacted on December 19, 2014, under the Tax Increase Prevention Act...more

Employers Can Be Responsible for FICA Withholding Errors

Back in 2013 I blogged about a class action lawsuit brought against Henkel Corporation for improper Social Security (FICA) tax withholding from nonqualified deferred compensation benefits. I am blogging now on an update to...more

Year-End Employment Tax Update– Complying With the Special Timing Rule for Nonqualified Deferred Compensation

Under a special timing rule contained in the federal tax regulations, benefits earned under many nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements are subject to Social Security and Medicare employment taxes (FICA taxes) as of...more

Employer Reimbursement of Employee’s Individual Medical Insurance May Subject Employer to Penalty

IRS Notice 2013-54 provides that an employer’s reimbursement of healthcare insurance premiums paid by an employee on an individual health insurance contract of the employee on a pre-tax basis (an “employer payment plan”) may...more

FICA Payroll Taxes Must Be Withheld From Employees Switching From F-1 To H-1B Status*

As a reminder, employers need to be mindful when foreign national employees change from a nonimmigrant status exempt from Social Security and Medicare withholding under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) to a...more

Perspectives - Fall 2012 Volume 3, Edition 2: An Executive Compensation, Benefits & Human Resources Law Update

In this Issue: - Don’t “Moench”ion It: Supreme Court Rejects Presumption of Prudence for ESOP Fiduciaries - Avoiding Claims of Excessive Fund Fees - Risk of ERISA Class Actions Can Be Reduced by Use of...more

Employee Benefits Developments - June 2014

In This Issue: - Rulings, Opinions, Etc. ..Validating Rollover Contributions: New Guidance - Case ..Stock Drop Case Development: The Supreme Court Rejects The Presumption Of Prudence ..Dividend...more

Employment Flash (June 2014)

In This Issue: - NLRB Recess Appointments Unconstitutional - SEC Brings First-Ever Employment Retaliation Claim - EEOC Challenges Employer Severance Agreements - New York State Transportation Industry...more

FICA Special Timing Rule for Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Applies Even When Employees Never Receive Deferred Amounts

The Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax is comprised of a Social Security tax, currently at a 6.2 percent rate for each of the employer and employee on wages up to $117,000 (the Social Security "wage base") and a...more

FICA Tax Imposed on Compensation That Will Never Be Received

FICA tax is normally collected through withholding at the time the underlying compensation (“wages”) is received. Under a special rule in the Internal Revenue Code, however (the “special timing rule”), FICA with respect to...more

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