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2019 Earnings Threshold for Social Security and Medicare

The IRS has released the 2019 earnings threshold for household employers withholding Social Security and Medicare taxes (often jointly referred to as FICA).  For 2019, if a household employee earns $2100 or more in cash wages, Social Security and Medicare taxes must be withheld .  This amount is unchanged from 2018.  

Employees pay 7.65% for their portion of FICA, and employers match the 7.65% contribution.

Although the threshold represents the minimum that an employee must earn for FICA withholdings, it is important to note that once the threshold is met, taxes are owed on all wages (back to dollar 1) so please plan accordingly.  Employees pay the Social Security tax on the first $132,900 in earnings (all wages are subject to the Medicare tax).

FICA taxes are never withheld for household employers who employ their spouse, their child who is under 21 years old, their parent (unless an exception is met), or an employee who is under 18 years old at any time during the year unless performing household work is the individuals principal occupation.

The Social Security tax pays for old-age, survivors, and disability benefits for workers and their families.  The Medicare tax pays for hospital insurance.

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