2021 Social Security wage base announced

By Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) announced that the maximum amount of wages subject to the old age, survivors, and disability insurance (OASDI) tax will increase to $142,800 in 2021 from $137,700 in 2020. The OASDI tax rate is 6.2%, so an employee with wages up to or above the maximum in 2021 will pay $8,853.60 in tax, with the employer paying an equal amount. Self-employed individuals pay tax at a 12.4% rate up to the limit, for a $17,707.20 maximum amount of OASDI tax.

The Medicare hospital insurance tax of 1.45% each for employees and employers, or 2.9% for the self-employed, has no wage limit.

The SSA also announced that recipients of Social Security benefits will receive a 1.3% cost-of-living adjustment and that the earnings test for the amount of income that benefit recipients can receive without having their benefits reduced each year is $18,960 before full retirement age, and the limit taxpayers can earn in the year they reach full retirement age is $50,520, both increased from 2020.

Sally P. Schreiber, J.D., (Sally.Schreiber@aicpa-cima.com) is a Tax Adviser senior editor.

Newsletter Articles

50th ANNIVERSARY

50 years of The Tax Adviser

The January 2020 issue marks the 50th anniversary of The Tax Adviser, which was first published in January 1970. Over the coming year, we will be looking back at early issues of the magazine, highlighting interesting tidbits.

TAX RELIEF

Quirks spurred by COVID-19 tax relief

This article discusses some procedural and administrative quirks that have emerged with the new tax legislative, regulatory, and procedural guidance related to COVID-19.