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Rise Glossary

What is a Social Security Wages?

Social Security wages are the earnings that are subject to Social Security taxes under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). Social Security wages are used to calculate the amount of Social Security taxes that an employee and their employer owe, as well as to determine an individual's eligibility for Social Security benefits.

Social Security taxes are calculated as a percentage of the employee's wages, with both the employee and the employer contributing to the tax. The percentage of Social Security taxes is based on the Social Security wage base, which is subject to change each year. For tax year 2023, the Social Security wage base is $142,800.

Social Security wages include all taxable earnings, such as salary, wages, tips, bonuses, and commissions. Certain types of earnings, such as investment income and rental income, are not considered Social Security wages. Additionally, some types of compensation, such as reimbursements and benefits, may be excluded from Social Security wages under specific circumstances.

It is important for employers to correctly report Social Security wages to the Social Security Administration (SSA), as incorrect reporting can result in underpayment of taxes and potential penalties and interest. Employers should also keep accurate records of Social Security wages, in order to properly calculate Social Security taxes and to provide employees with accurate information for their Social Security earnings statement.