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2016 Federal Payroll Tax Rate Changes

December 21, 2015 | posted by Abacus Payroll
Abacus Payroll 2016 Payroll Tax Update

Here is a summary of the 2016 Federal payroll tax changes including Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment Tax, Minimum Wage, 401(k) limits and more.

 

Print 2016 Payroll Tax Alert

 

Social Security / Medicare

The wage base remains at $118,500 for Social Security and remains UNLIMITED for Medicare. For Social Security, the tax rate is 6.20% for both employers and employees. (Maximum Social Security tax withheld from wages is $7,347.00 in 2016). For Medicare, the rate remains unchanged at 1.45% for both employers and employees.

 

Additional Medicare Tax

A 0.9% additional Medicare tax must be withheld from an individual’s wages paid in excess of $200,000 in a calendar year. There is no employer match for the additional Medicare tax.

 

Federal Unemployment Tax

The wage base remains at $7,000.

The effective tax rate for 2016 is 0.6%.

 

New From Abacus Payroll: An HR Help Center

 

Earnings Under Social Security

A social security beneficiary under full retirement age can earn $15,720 before benefits are reduced. For every $2 a person under full retirement age earns over $15,720, $1 is withheld from benefits. In the year an employee reaches full retirement age, $1 in benefits will be withheld for each $3 they earn above $41,880 until the month the employee reaches full retirement age. Once an employee reaches full retirement age or older, their benefits are not reduced regardless of how much they earn.

 

Minimum Wage

The federal minimum wage rate per hour for 2016 is $7.25, effective 7/24/09.

 

401(K) Plan Limits

The maximum employee pretax contribution remains unchanged at $18,000 in 2016. The “catch-up” contribution limit remains at $6,000 in 2016 for individuals who are age 50 or older.

 

SIMPLE  Plan Limits

The maximum salary deferral contribution remains unchanged at $12,500 in 2016. The “catch-up” contribution remains at $3,000 in 2016 for individuals who are age 50 or older.

 

Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS)

Employers must pay their Federal Tax Liabilities through the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System unless they pay less than $2,500 in quarterly payroll tax liabilities and pay their liability when filing their employment tax returns (Forms 941 and 944).

 

Forms W-4, I-9 and W-9

All new employees are required to file Forms W-4 and I-9 which are to be kept on file by the employer. A new Form W-4 should be obtained when an employee’s filing status or exemption changes.

Be sure to request and keep on file a completed form W-9 from all non-corporate taxpayers to whom your company pays commissions, interests, rents etc. totaling $600 or more and also payments made to incorporated entities such as attorneys for legal services and providers of medical and health care services.

 

Filing of Form W-2 and 1099

Social Security has eliminated the use of magnetic tapes, cartridges and diskettes as a means of filing W-2 reports to SSA. Reports containing 250 or more W-2’s must be filed electronically via the Social Security Business Services Online (BSO).

 

Employers filing 250 or more Form 1099s with the IRS also must file electronically. Form 1099 must provide payer telephone number or will be subject to penalties.

 

Health Benefits W-2 Reporting

Employers are required to include the aggregate cost of employer sponsored health benefits on the 2014 W-2’s in Box 12 with code DD. It is for informational purposes only and will not be included in taxable income. Please contact us regarding the specific types of health benefits to be recorded.

 

Small employers who file fewer than 250 Forms W-2 are exempt.

 

Household Employment – Domestic Workers

Household employers are required to withhold and pay FICA for domestic workers (age 18 and older) if paid cash wages of $2,000 or more in 2016. The $1,000 per calendar quarter threshold continues to apply for FUTA. These taxes are reported on Schedule H of the employer’s personal tax return (Form 1040), but must be remitted through withholding or estimated payments during the year.

 

For Pennsylvania and New Jersey, unemployment coverage applies for domestic service in an employer’s private home for cash wages of $1,000 or more in a calendar quarter in the current or preceding calendar year.

 

New Hire Reporting Requirements

All employers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania are required to report basic information about employees who are newly hired, re-hired, who return to work after separation of employment, or who are returning from a required leave of absence without pay greater than 30 days. Employers can report this information via the internet at www.nj-newhire.com and at www.cwds.pa.gov. Failure to report a new employee could result in a fine up to $25 per violation. New employers should receive instruction booklets upon registration with the state. Basic employee information which must be provided:

 

(1)   Employee’s name

(2)   Employee’s address

(3)   Employee’s social security number

(4)   Employee’s date of hire and birth

(5)   Employer’s name and address

(6)   Employer’s federal identification number

 

For further information contact us or call the State of New Jersey at 1-877-654-4737 or Pennsylvania at 1-888-724-4737

 

 

2016 Federal Wage Tax Rate Summary

 

  2016 Current Year 2015 Prior Year
FICA / OASDI

Employee rate

Maximum liability – employee

Employer rate

Maximum liability – employer

Wage limit

 

 

6.2%

$7,347

6.2%

$7,347

$118,500

 

6.2%

$7,347

6.2%

$7,347

$118,500

Medicare

Employee and Employer rate

Maximum deduction / liability (each)

Wage limit

Additional employee rate on wages exceeding $200,000

 

1.45%

No limit

No limit

0.9%

 

 

1.45%

No limit

No limit

0.9%

FUTA

Employer rate

Wage limit

 

 

0.6%

$7,000

 

0.6%

$7,000

Social Security Benefits

Earned income may be received without forfeiting benefits:

 

Under full retirement age

After full retirement age

 

 

 

$15,720

No limit

 

 

 

 

$15,720

No limit

 


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