Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax is a United States employment tax levied in an equal amount on employees and employers to fund federal programs for retirees, disabled, and children of deceased workers. The FICA taxes support Social Security and Medicare. The Federal Insurance Contributions Act is codified as Chapter 21 of Subtitle C of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 3101 through 26 U.S.C. 3128).

Social Security benefits include old-age, survivors, and disability insurance or OASDI. Medicare is the hospital insurance portion.

For 2005, the employee's share of the Social Security portion is 6.2% of wages up to $90,000; for 2006 this amount increases to $94,200. This limit, known as the "FICA-wage-base", goes up each year based on average national wages and in general at a faster rate than the Consumer Price Index (CPI-U). The employee's share of the Medicare portion is 1.45% of wages with no limit. The employer is also liable for separate 6.2% and 1.45% Social Security and Medicare taxes, respectively, making the total Social Security tax 12.4% and the total Medicare tax 2.9%, respectively, of wages.

If a worker starts a new job halfway through the year and has already earned the wage base limit for Social Security, the new employer is not allowed to stop withholding it until the wage base limit has been earned with them. There are some cases, such as a successor-predecessor transfer, in which the payments that have already been withheld can be counted toward the year-to-date total.

If a worker has overpaid toward Social Security by having more than one job or by having switched jobs during the year, that worker will get a refund when he files his Federal income tax return.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "FICA Tax"

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