FICA Tax Calculator

Created by Tibor Pál, PhD candidate
Reviewed by Wei Bin Loo and Steven Wooding
Based on research by
irs.gov;
Last updated: Jan 18, 2024


Use our FICA tax calculator to estimate how much tax you need to pay for Social Security and Medicare tax in line with the Federal Insurance Contributions Act.

Read further, and you can learn about the following points:

  • FICA tax definition;
  • How much is the FICA tax;
  • Who pays FICA taxes;
  • How to calculate FICA tax in 2022;
  • What are the FICA tax rates in 2021, 2022 and 2023;
  • What are the 2022 FICA tax rates and limits; and
  • What are the FICA tax limits?

For a more comprehensive tax calculation, check our tax bracket calculator or state tax calculator.

What are the FICA taxes?

FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) taxes are payroll taxes imposed in the United States to fund two major social insurance programs: Social Security and Medicare.

FICA taxes are typically paid by employees and employers, with each party contributing a portion of the tax. However, if you are self-employed, you must cover all related expenses. Here's an overview of the components of FICA taxes:

1. Social Security Tax

  • The Social Security tax is used to finance the Social Security program, which provides benefits for retirees, people with disabilities, and survivors.

  • The current Social Security tax rate is 6.2% for both employees and employers.

  • The tax is applied to an employee's wages or self-employment income up to the thresholds referred to as the Social Security wage base limit (shown in the table below per tax year):

Year

Social Security wage base limit

2021

$142,800

2022

$147,000

2023

$160,200

2. Medicare Tax

  • The Medicare tax funds the Medicare program, which provides healthcare benefits to individuals aged 65 and older and certain groups of younger individuals with disabilities.

  • The current Medicare tax rate is 1.45% for both employees and employers (2.9% if you are self-employed).

  • Unlike the Social Security tax, Medicare tax has no income threshold or wage base limit.

  • However, high-income earners are subject to an Additional Medicare Tax of 0.9% on wages above thresholds in the table below (paid only by the employee or self-employed person).

Filing status

Threshold for Additional Medicare Tax

Head of household

$200,000

Married filing jointly

$250,000

Married filing separate

$125,000

Single

$200,000

3. Total FICA Tax

  • The total FICA tax is the sum of the Social Security and Medicare taxes.

  • Employees' portion of the tax is typically withheld from their paychecks by their employer.

  • For self-employed individuals, the total FICA tax is calculated and reported on their individual annual income tax return.

The funds collected through FICA taxes are used to support Social Security and Medicare programs, which provide vital benefits and services to eligible individuals and retirees.

It's important to note that FICA tax rates and income thresholds can change annually, so it's advisable to refer to the latest IRS guidelines or consult a tax professional for accurate and up-to-date information based on the specific tax year.

How to calculate FICA tax

To calculate FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) taxes in the United States, which include Social Security and Medicare taxes, follow these steps:

  1. Determine the Social Security tax:

    • For tax years 2021/22/23, the Social Security tax rate is 6.2% for both the employer and the employee.

    • The tax is applied to the employee's wages up to a certain income threshold, known as the Social Security wage base.

  2. Calculate the FICA Medicare tax:

    • The Medicare tax rate in 2021 and 2022 is 1.45% for both the employer and the employee.

    • Unlike Social Security, Medicare tax has no income threshold or wage base limit.

    • However, if your income exceeds a certain threshold, an additional Medicare tax is applicable.

  3. Calculate the total FICA tax:

    • Sum the Social Security and Medicare taxes to determine the total FICA tax.

    • If you're subject to the additional Medicare tax, also include that.

Here's an example calculation:

Let's say an employee with a single filing status has a gross income of $220,000 in 2022.

Social Security tax calculation:

  • Social Security tax rate is 6.2%
  • Social Security tax limit in 2022 is $147,000
  • Tax base: Gross income up to the Social Security tax limit
  • Social Security tax = Tax base × Social Security tax rate
  • Social Security tax = $147,000 × 6.2% = $9,114

Medicare tax calculation:

  • Medicare tax rate in 2022 is 1.45%
  • Medicare tax = Gross income × Medicare tax rate
  • Medicare tax = $220,000 × 1.45% = $3,190

Additional Medicare tax calculation:

  • The Additional Medicare tax rate in 2022 is 0.9%
  • Tax base: Gross income above threshold ($200,000 for a single filer)
  • Medicare tax = (Gross income − Threshold) × Additional Medicare tax rate
  • Medicare tax = ($220,000 − $200,000) × 0.9% = $180

Total FICA tax:

  • Total FICA tax = Social Security tax + Medicare tax + Additional Medicare
  • Total FICA tax = $9,114 + $3,190 + $180 = $12,484

FAQ

What is FICA self employment tax?

The FICA self-employment tax includes Social Security of 12.4% and Medicare of 2.9% taxes on the gross income of individuals who work for themselves. The total self-employment FICA tax rate is 15.3%.

What are the FICA tax limits?

The FICA tax limits refer to the Social Security wage base limit, which is $147,000 for 2022 and $160,200 for 2023. The Social Security tax rate is applicable on income up to these wage base limits.

How can I calculate Social Security tax?

To calculate your Social Security tax:

  1. Determine your gross annual income.
  2. Check the applicable Social Security wage base limit (for example, it is $160,200 for tax year 2023).
  3. Apply the Social Security tax rate of 12.4% on your gross income up the wage limit.

What is the Medicare tax in 2022 on a $150,000 gross income?

The Medicare tax in 2022 on a $150,000 gross income is $2,175, which is calculated as 1.45 percent of the gross income.

Tibor Pál, PhD candidate
Employment type
Employee/Employer
Tax year
2023
Filing status
Single
Income
$
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