If you run a business, you must withhold Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes from your employees’ wages. If you earn a paycheck, you’re going to see FICA listed on your pay stub. It’s the reality of payroll. But what are you really paying?
What is Medicare?
Medicare is the federal health insurance program that aids Americans who are 65 or over, or anyone – regardless of age – who has permanent kidney failure or other debilitating disabilities.
What does it entail?
The federal government imposes a Medicare tax of 2.9% to help pay for this program. It’s imposed as a flat rate on all wages, salaries, business or farming income. Unlike the Social Security tax, there is no annual wage limit. An employer pays 1.45% of the tax while the employee pays the other 1.45%. If you’re self-employed, you will pay both halves, but can deduct half as an adjustment later on.
An additional tax can be levied if an individual’s Medicare wages exceed a threshold amount based on his or her filing status listed on a W-4. For example, a person filling single that exceeds the $200,000 limit will be taxed an additional 0.9%. Employers do not match. Form 8959 is used to determine the Additional Medicare Tax.
Further questions? Check out the IRS’s FAQs.