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

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

Severance Payments to Terminated Employees are Taxable Wages

Employers must treat severance payments to involuntarily terminated employees as wages. In an 8-0 opinion, the Supreme Court held that such payments are “remuneration for employment” for which taxes much be withheld and paid...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

In Quality Stores, the Supreme Court Holds that Severance Payments are Taxable FICA Wages

On March 25, 2014, the Supreme Court ruled 8-0 in favor of the government in the long-running Quality Stores litigation, holding that severance payments are taxable FICA wages, even if they fall within the category of...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

Religious Institutions Update - Lex Est Sanctio Sancta

"Church plans" are pension plans (including defined benefit or defined contribution plans) exempt (without an irrevocable election) from many of the legal requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)...more

California Employment Law Notes - May 2014

Male Employee's Sexual Harassment Claims Should Not Have Been Dismissed - Lewis v. City of Benecia, 224 Cal. App. 4th 1519 (2014). Brian Lewis, a heterosexual man, sued his former employer (the City of Benecia)...more

Court’s Ruling Holding Corporate Officer Responsible for Trust Fund Recovery Penalty Illustrates Risk of Personal Liability for...

A district court in the Northern District of California has held that the officer of a now-defunct corporation is personally responsible for the Trust Fund Recovery Penalty based upon the company’s failure to collect, account...more

Supreme Court Confirms FICA Taxes Must be Withheld from Severance Payments

Finding severance payments to be a form of “remuneration for employment,” the United States Supreme Court in United States v. Quality Stores, Inc. held that such payments are taxable wages – and thus subject to withholding –...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - April 2014

Supreme Court Confirms FICA Taxes Must be Withheld from Severance Payments - Finding severance payments to be a form of “remuneration for employment,” the United States Supreme Court in United States v. Quality Stores,...more

No Refunds: Supreme Court Settles Circuit Split over Severance Payment Taxation

In its ruling on United States v. Quality Stores, Inc., No. 12-1408 (U.S. Mar. 25, 2014), the United States Supreme Court put to rest a decade-old battle over whether severance payments made to employees are taxable as wages...more

U.S. Supreme Court’s Severance Ruling Impacts Future Unemployment Benefits

The decision in Quality Stores not only kills FICA tax refunds for millions of unemployed workers, but it also requires proactive employer actions to maximize future employer and state unemployment benefit payments to...more

US v. Quality Stores, Inc.: Supreme Courts Finds Severance Payments Taxable Wages Under FICA

In an 8-0 decision issued March 25, 2014 in United States v. Quality Stores, Inc., the Supreme Court held that severance payments made to employees who are involuntarily terminated are taxable wages for the purposes of...more

Employee Benefits: U.S. Supreme Court Upholds FICA Tax On Severance

In our February 2014 Information Memo, we suggested that an employer that had paid out severance benefits in 2010 and later years, and paid FICA taxes on such benefits, consider filing protective refund claims based upon a...more

Supreme Court Finds Severance Payments Subject to FICA Withholding

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that employer severance payments are subject to payroll withholding of FICA taxes, as well as employer contributions on the amounts paid. U.S. v. Quality Stores, Inc....more

Tax Alert: New Executive Compensation Regulations Clarify Timing of Taxation

The Internal Revenue Service recently published final regulations under Section 83 of the tax code. These regulations deal with the timing for taxation for grants of property (e.g., stock) that are subject to...more

Employment Alert

In This Issue: EEOC's Latest Target - Severance Agreements; Pennsylvania's Unemployment Compensation Law May Require Employers to Provide Response to Unemployment Information Requests; and Supreme Court Clarifies that...more

U.S. Supreme Court Rules Severance Payments Can Be Taxed

It’s a common scenario for many employers. An employee who is terminated by the employer is offered a severance package. The employee would prefer that the severance payments are made under a 1099 (and therefore not subject...more

Supreme Court Holds Severance Payments Subject to FICA Tax

Compensation for services as an employee (called “wages” in the federal tax code) are subject to FICA (social security and medicare) tax as well as income taxes. Over the past 70 years, the courts, including the U.S. Supreme...more

Monthly Benefits Update

As expected, the Department of the Treasury and the IRS (the “Agencies”) finalized the employer information reporting requirements under the Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”) earlier this month. The final rules, which are...more

Severance Payments to Terminated Employees are Taxable Wages under FICA

The Supreme Court recently held that severance payments made to involuntarily terminated employees constituted “remuneration for employment,” for which taxes must be withheld and paid under the Federal Insurance Contributions...more

Supreme Court Clarifies That Severance Payments Are Taxable

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously (Justice Kagan recused herself) in United States v. Quality Stores, Inc., Case No. 12-1408 that severance payments made to employees who were involuntarily terminated are...more

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