FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) requires federal agencies to withhold Social Security and Medicare taxes from employees’ compensation and to pay matching FICA taxes to the Social Security Administration.
Under the law, the Department of Defense must withhold FICA taxes from all military service members, including those serving in:
- Military service academies (excluding foreign nationals)
- Aviation cadet status
- Combat zones.
Wages subject to FICA withholding include:
- Base pay (excluding reduction for educational benefits under Montgomery G.I. Bill)
- Inactive duty compensation
- Taxable compensation earned but unpaid at the time of a service member’s death, which was then paid to the service member’s beneficiary during the same calendar year as his or her death. (The compensation is subject to the maximum earnings tax.)
- Basic pay or compensation earned during an absence due to injury, sickness or hospitalization
- Taxable amounts received before the government voided a former service member’s enlistment contract
FICA deductions continue until a service member’s total compensation for active-duty and inactive duty exceeds the maximum taxable earnings limit for FICA withholding, and the maximum FICA tax amount has been deducted.
Medicare taxes do not stop at a certain wage limit, according to the IRS. All taxable earnings are subject to Medicare tax.
What is the Maximum FICA Tax for 2022?
The maximum FICA tax rate for 2022 remains 6.2% for both employees and employers, according to the Internal Revenue Code. The rate for self-employment income is 12.4% in 2022.
The maximum FICA taxable wage cap in 2022 increased to $147,000 from $142,800 in 2021.
FICA Percentages - Maximum Taxable Wages - Maximum Tax
|Year||Social Security (OASDI) Tax||Max FICA Wages||Max Tax||Medicare (Hospital Insurance) Tax||Max Medicare Tax|
NOTE: If the current year is not listed, Refer to the Social Security Administration’s “Contribution and Benefit Base.”
If a service member is confined due to UCMJ action (Uniformed Code of Military Justice), DOD waives the service member’s compensation but may pay it directly to the service member’s dependents for a transitional period of up to six months. These payments are still subject to FICA tax (DoD 7000.14-R, Vol. 7A, chapter 48, subparagraph 480307-c).
Additional Leave and Earning Statement (LES) Deductions
Additional deductions from the LES statement may include:
- Federal and state income tax withholdings
- Debt collections (e.g. garnishments, out of service debt, bankruptcy, delinquent government travel card debt)
- Discretionary allotments (e.g. savings accounts, voluntary dependant support, insurance premiums, mortgages, rent or fund investments).
- Non-Discretionary allotments (e.g. U.S. Savings Bonds, privatized housing payments, court-ordered child support, Veterans Educational Assistance Program).
- Servicemember’s Group Life Insurance (SGLI)
- Family Servicemember’s Group Life Insurance (FSGLI)
|Armed Forces Comparative Pay Grades and Ranks||Military Allowance, Incentive, Bonus & Special Pay|
|Military Pay Dates||Military Reserve Pay Dates|
|Military Pay Allowances List||How to Request Form 702 (LES)|