Most years, the government bumps up the maximum Social Security taxes that you can pay. For 2022, the maximum wage base jumps to $147,000, an increase of $4,200, or 2.9%, over the max of $142,800 that was in place for 2021.
At a rate of 6.2%, the maximum Social Security taxes that your employer will withhold from your salary is $9,114. This is $260 higher than the 2021 max of $8,854. Employers then match any Social Security taxes withheld from their staff’s salaries.
Higher Medicare Taxes Due To The Affordable Care Act Passed In 2012:
Starting back in 2013, the employee portion of the Medicare tax jumps from the current rate of 1.45% to 2.35% on earned income in excess of $200k for single individuals and $250k for married couples filing a joint tax return. As of now, the employer will continue to match their employees’ Medicare taxes at a rate of 1.45%, which means the total marginal Medicare tax will be 3.8% for high-income taxpayers. This tax is reported on the Form 8959.
For example, if you’re single, and earn wages of $500k from your job, expect to pay $2,700 in additional Medicare taxes (($500k – $200k) * .9%) for 2013 and beyond.
To increase taxes for high-income individuals even more, the Medicare tax continues to apply to unearned income. Anyone with income over the $200k or $250k threshold should expect to pay Medicare taxes at a rate of 3.8% on interest, dividends, capital gains, and net rental income (except for when you rent office space you own to your practice) in addition to any federal and state income taxes due on this income. This tax is reported on the Form 8960.
Calculating the Self-employment Tax:
If you’re self-employed and earn more than $400 in net profit from your business, you’re subject to Social Security and Medicare taxes as well. Known as the “self-employment tax”, you’ll need to complete a Schedule SE to calculate this tax, and then report the amount due on your Form 1040.
The self-employment tax is based on a Social Security tax rate of 12.4% and a Medicare tax rate of 2.9%. These rates are double those paid by employees, since a self-employed person must pay both the employee’s portion and the employer’s portion of both taxes. Remember, when you work as an employee, your employer matches the Social Security and Medicare taxes withheld from your pay.
Unlike most other taxes, when dealing with self-employment taxes, the more you earn, the less you pay in taxes. If you earn income as an employee and as an independent contractor, and your combined “earned” income exceeds $142,800 in 2021, make sure to complete all the lines of the Schedule SE. Otherwise, your tax calculation will not be correct and you’ll end up overpaying your self-employment taxes.