How to FICA Tax and Tax Withholding Work in 2021-2022

This article will explain what the FICA tax is and how tax withholding might function in 2021–2022. We would also explain how taxes would be deducted from your salary as well as how you might better manage or keep an eye on them. The term “payroll tax” refers to taxes like the FICA tax and withholding tax. The amount that an employer withholds from an employee’s due pay and reports to the IRS and any other state tax authorities on the employee’s behalf is known as the withholding amount. We’ll go through the important elements in this regard and why it’s important that you keep accurate records of them.

What is Incorporated into the FICA Tax?

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Incorporated into the FICA Tax

The Social Security tax is 6.2% on earnings, and Medicare is taxed at 1.45%. These taxes are included in the FICA tax. The Social Security tax was only made applicable to the first $142,800 in earnings for the 2021 tax year. $147,000 was added to this sum in 2022. If you are a single filer, a 0.9% Medicare tax may be applied to earnings over $200,000. This cap is fixed at $250,000 for joint filers.

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Are the FICA Tax and Payroll Tax the Same thing?

The FICA tax is another name for payroll tax. This is because companies often deduct the FICA tax from an employee’s paycheck and send the money to the IRS on the employee’s behalf. The Federal Insurance Contributions Act is the official name of the law.

FICA Tax Rates and Limits for 2021-2022

 Employee PaysEmployee Pays
Social Security Tax (known as OASDI)6.2% ( in 2021,only on the first

$142,800. $147,000 in 2022)

6.2% (in 2021,only the first

$142,800 in . $147,000 in 2022)

Medicare Tax1.45%1.45%
Additional Medicare Tax0.9% (For single filers­on

earnings over $200, 000.

$250,000 for joint filers)


What Does Tax Withholding Work Mean? How Does it Function?

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Basically, a withholding tax is income tax that is paid by a payer (often an employer) on behalf of a payee (usually an employee). The taxable amount is either withheld by the payer or subtracted from the payee’s owed income. Here, we’ll go over how these taxes might be taken out of your paycheck.

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  1. Sate tax: This is the income tax that your company deducts from your paycheck. It must be delivered on your behalf to the state tax authority. Where you reside, where you work, and other elements like your W­4 inputs have a major impact on the amount. Please be aware that not all states impose this tax.
  2. Medicare tax: 1.45%: It is referred to as the “hospital insurance tax” and is assessed at a rate of 1.4 percent. People who are 65 years of age or older pay this fee to cover their health insurance. Younger persons with impairments and other people with certain conditions are also eligible for these benefits. When an employee’s pay exceeds $200,000, their employer typically withholds an additional 0.9%.
  3. Federal income tax: This is the income tax that your company deducts from your paycheck. It must be delivered on your behalf to the IRS. The sum mostly depends on the information you submitted on your W­4 form.
  4. Social security tax: often referred to as OASDI (Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance) because it is assessed at a rate of 6.2%. The first $142,800 of your income is subject to this tax under the 2021 tax regulations. In 2022, this sum rises to $147,000. Your ability to eventually get Social Security benefit credits depends on how promptly you pay this tax.
  5. Wage tax or local income tax: There can be an additional income tax levied by your city or county. Its proceeds might be used to pay for the costs of some emergency services.
 TaxEmployee PaysEmployee Pays
Together known as the FICA taxSocial Security Tax


6.2% ( in 2021, on the first $142,800 of earnings only; $147,000 in 2022)6.2% (in 2021,on the first $142,800 of earnings only ; $147,000 in 2022)
 Medicare Tax1.45%1.45%
 Additional Medicare Tax0.9% (for single filers, on earnings over $200,000;

$250,000 for joint filers)

Other Payroll Taxes:Federal Income TaxPaid by an employee 
 State Tax, Local Income or Wage Tax


Based on LocationBased on Location



 Federal Unemployment

Tax (FUTA)

 Paid by an Employer
 State Unemployment

Tax (SUTA)

 Paid by an Employer

How Do We Calculate FICA Tax or Withholding?

The information you enter on Form W­4 is used to determine how much tax your employer withholds. When you started your job, you might have completed this form.

Calculate FICA Tax

Please keep in mind the following pointers:

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  • To assist you decide how much money to withhold, Form W­4 includes information about your dependents, marital status, and other factors. Your paycheck will have less tax withheld from it if less is withheld.
  • Withholding tables are updated with the data from your W­4 form. These tables are used by your employer’s payroll department to determine how much income tax has to be withheld precisely. You are always free to modify your W­4 information if you feel it is required.
  • You are always free to modify your W­4 information if you feel it is required. You only need to download a blank W4 form from the IRS website, fill it out with the necessary information, and submit it to your payroll or HR team.

Additional Forms of Payroll Tax

  • Self-Employment Tax: This tax is applicable to you if you work for yourself. Essentially, Medicare and Social Security were covered by this levy. The IRS charges Medicare tax at a rate of 2.9% and Social Security tax at a rate of 12.4% on net income. The typical split is 50% each for the employers and the employees. If you work for yourself, you will have to cover the entire cost. You will need to file estimated quarterly taxes in lieu of withholdings because you might not get a traditional paycheck.
  • FUTA Tax: Federal Unemployment Tax Act is known as FUTA. The levy is intended to pay for a federal program that provides unemployment insurance to people who have lost their jobs. The employee’s paychecks are not withheld or reduced to cover this tax. Employers must cover it.
  • SUTA Tax: The tax has the same goal as FUTA, but the money it raises is used to pay for a state program. This tax must be paid by employers.

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Hopefully, this article will provide you with a deep understanding of how FICA Tax and Tax Withholding Work in 2021-2022. After reading this article, you will develop a clear picture of the FICA Tax and Tax Withholding. However, you face any difficulties, you can reach out the Team of Experts using our Sage Helpdesk Team.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What Do you Understand with FICA Tax?

Ans. Federal legislation known as the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) mandates that employers deduct and return a specific percentage of employee wages to support Social Security and Medicare. Each side pays half of the entire bill, which is divided equally between the employer and the employee.

Q. How Does FICA Taxes Work?

Ans. FICA taxes, which account for 15.3% of your income, are made up of Social Security and Medicare taxes. 7.65% of the entire cost, which includes a 6.2% Social Security tax and a 1.45% Medicare tax on your salary, is your responsibility. Your paycheck will reflect these deductions since FICA taxes are a sort of payroll tax that your employer is required to deduct from your income. Old-age, survivors, and disability insurance tax, or OSADI, is the abbreviation used for the Social Security portion of FICA. It’s common to refer to the hospital insurance portion as a Medicare tax.

Q. What is the Purpose of the FICA Tax?

Ans. Because taxes are a pay-as-you-go system in the United States, employers are required to deduct taxes from employee paychecks, including FICA taxes. The IRS wants its share as soon as you start making money.

Some individuals choose not to have federal income tax deducted from their paychecks, making them “exempt workers”. Taxes for Social Security and Medicare will still be deducted from their paychecks, though. Normally, you are only excused from withholding if two conditions hold true:

  • Because you had no tax liability last year, you received a refund for all the federal income tax that was withheld.
  • You anticipate that this year’s events will be the same.
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