Employees get paychecks each pay period. Every one of them has money put aside for FICA, but do most of us fully realize what it is? Called the toughest tax that many small business owners encounter, many of us know virtually nothing about it except that it as an acronym on our paycheck stub.
Back in the mid-1930s, when the Depression was underway, things got so bad that the president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, proposed a tax on earnings for something termed "social security". A lot of people felt that those individuals who were working should make an effort to assist those who weren't.
Old-age, survivors, and disability insurance was it's purpose in the beginning, but it was also fairly modest. The average lifetime was actually less than the age retirement benefits began, so most people never actually collected any retirement benefits. It was for the extremely old. Through the years, however, it has significantly grown. The largest change was due to LBJ and his Great Society Program in the mid 1960s. The Social Security Act created both Medicaid, which supplies health insurance coverage for low-income families, and Medicare, which supplies health insurance coverage for citizens over 65. In the late 90s, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, which provides monetary assistance to indigent families with children, was founded and also added on to it.
Because of this, FICA, which stands for Federal Insurance Contributions Act, is the tax on wages that affects the largest number of American citizens. It stands for the most significant promise of social services to Americans. It also has major funding problems because the promises of payments to help people are growing much faster than the money is coming in.
FICA or one of its alternatives is impossible to escape. Despite the fact that you're able to get money without somebody removing it, for example if you are a roofing contractor or sell apples, you will always have to pay for some form of FICA or the self-employment version of it to the IRS on the cash you bring in. If you are an employer or an employee, the actual computation is handled by your payroll software or accountant. The current tax rate is a little less than 16 percent. The deductions happen magically, which is the entire idea. But if you're an employer you also need to write a separate check (and essentially pay a part of the employee's taxes for them).
Should you be self-employed, there is a similar tax program which handles FICA. Those forms and payments are managed as part of the SE Tax Act. When you hire regular employees, they have to pay one half of the FICA tax themselves. Self-employed individuals have to pay the total amount themselves, although the quantity they owe is determined a bit differently.
There's an exception for persons in the clergy for certain religions that believe that their flock should take care of them as they age, but bear in mind that the Internal Revenue Service looks very carefully at folks that want out of FICA. Annually some people try to slip through the cracks with the government. Although it is possible to get away for a while, it never works out in the long run. If you genuinely want to stay clear of FICA, your best shot is to become a citizen of another nation. Other nations around the world, while having their own taxation techniques, don't collect them in the same way compared to the United States.
FICA has changed and broadened over a dozen times during the last 80 years. The odds of possible future modifications are relatively high. Since the growth of the promise has grown more quickly than the cash expected to come in, some significant alteration in the way in which this tax operates is undoubtedly going to take place soon. The real question is when. Because it amounts to twenty percent or so of the cost of employing folks, it has been and still is an important aspect of employing folks. You'd be wise to take into account how FICA works now and how it might work in the future when making hiring decisions.