Combine the wage base and FICA tax rates applied to these wage bases into a single Excel file. In the process, compute the maximum employee (and employer) contribution to Social Security, based only on the maximum wage base. Here’s an example of a portion of the table:
FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) and SECA (Self Employment Contributions Act) represent the employer/employee contributions to OASDI and Medicare and contributions
for the self-employed or sole proprietor.
Notice that a self-employed
individual didn’t have to contribute to Social Security from 1937 through 1950.
Before the 1980s, self-employed taxpayers made a contribution to Social Security that was less than the employee’s and employer’s contributions, combined. However, one of the solutions
to the Social Security shortfall at that time was to phase in a catch-up provision, where,
starting in 1990, the employer (7.65%) and employee (7.65%) and the selfemployed (15.3%) make equivalent contributions. Effectively, the self-employed taxpayer makes both employer and
Into the Excel file you completed in Step 1, add columns for the SECA tax rates applied to these wage bases. In the process, compute the maximum self-employed taxpayer’s contribution to Social Security, based only on the maximum wage base.
Also add a column for both employer and employee FICA components, so that we can compare
the combined employer and employee contributions to FICA to the SECA contributions. Here’s an example of a portion of the table:
Notice that the employee and employer contributions to FICA became equivalent to the self-employed taxpayer’s contribution to SECA in 1990.
Prepare a simple Excel graphic to illustrate the combined dollar contributions of employee and employer to FICA compared to those for the self-employed taxpayer to SECA from 1937 through 2009.
Under current law, a taxpayer with a salary of $110,000 for 2009 would pay only 7.65% on the first $106,500. The same would be said for the employer. However, also under current law, any amount in excess of the $106,500 wage base and earned income amount for 2009 would continue to be subject to the 1.45% Medicare contribution by both employer and employee, for a total of 2.9%.
Separately compute the amounts, in addition to the $16,294.50 from the above table, that the employee and employer would have to pay for Medicare, assuming a salary level of $110,000 for the 2009 calendar and tax year. Show your calculations.
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