What Is FICA Tax?

Q: What is FICA tax? 

A:  FICA tax is the official name for the Social Security payroll tax. Social Security payroll taxes are collected under authority of the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). Whether called FICA tax or Social Security payroll tax, it is the same thing. 

In the original 1935 Social Security Act, the benefit provisions were in Title II of the Act and the taxing provisions were in a separate title, Title VIII.

As part of the 1939 Social Security Amendments, the taxing provisions were taken out of the Social Security Act, placed in the Internal Revenue Code, and renamed the “Federal Insurance Contributions Act.”

FICA is nothing more than the tax provisions of the Social Security Act, as they appear in the Internal Revenue Code.