What Are The 2013 Social Security Taxable Earnings? How Much Total FICA Tax Have I Paid?

Q: What are the maximum Social Security taxable earnings for 2013? How much total FICA tax have I paid?

A: In 2013, the taxable maximum amount of wages or self-employment earnings subject to Social Security (FICA) tax is $113,700. 

When you have wages or self-employment income covered by Social Security, you pay Social Security payroll taxes each year up to a maximum amount set by law. For 2013, you pay Social Security taxes on earnings to $113,700. Medicare taxes are paid on all income. There is no Medicare taxable maximum amount.

When you have more than one job in a year, each of your employers must withhold Social Security taxes on your wages without regard to what the other employers may have withheld, so you may potentially have Social Security taxes withheld that exceed the maximum. You can claim a refund of the overpaid taxes when you file your personal income tax return with the Internal Revenue Service.

The combined tax rate for Social Security and Medicare is 7.65 percent. Of this, the Social Security portion is 6.20 percent on earnings up to the applicable taxable maximum amount. The Medicare portion (HI) is 1.45 percent on all earnings. 

For 2013, covered wage or self-employment tax rates are:

  • Employees — the Social Security tax rate is 6.2 percent on income under $113,700 through the end of 2013. The Medicare tax rate is 1.45 percent of all income;
  • Employers — the Social Security tax rate is 6.2 percent. The Medicate tax rate is 1.45 percent; and
  • Self-employed —the Social Security tax rate is 12.4 percent on income under $113,700 through the end of 2013. The Medicare tax rate is 2.9 percent.

The taxable base amount has changed frequently over the years. Yearly maximum taxable earnings from 1937 to 2013 are at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/planners/maxtax.htm#maxEarnings.

The three components of Social Security are known as OASDI for old-age (retirement), survivors and disability insurance. The Social Security payroll tax paid by employers, employees and the self-employed is divided between the old-age (retirement) / survivors fund and the separate disability fund. Most goes to the retirement / survivors fund.

How much total FICA tax have you paid? This depends on your total earnings and if you have wages or self-employment. You can use the following link, then go to table #2.A4, to estimate how much Social Security payroll tax you have paid since starting to work. 

The Social Security Annual Statistical Supplement, 2012, contains detailed FICA payroll tax information.

  • Table 2.A3 contains the annual maximum taxable earnings and percentages to the different SSA programs and Medicare.
  • Table 2.A4 contains the maximum annual amount of contributions, 1937–2012. Use this to estimate your Social Security payroll tax paid since starting to work.The table shows yearly tax maximums payable for an employee or self-employed person since 1937. Employer amounts are not shown, but equal employee amounts. Medicare taxes are not included past 1994 since there has not been a maximum Medicare amount since then. Note footnotes concerning 2011-2012 tax amounts.