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How are Social Security and Medicare taxes calculated?



Question: I recently received my annual Social Security Statement in the mail, and I noticed my taxes are only “estimated”. How did you calculate the amount?

Answer: The Internal Revenue Service collects your Social Security and Medicare taxes. At Social Security, we do not keep a record of those taxes; we record only your earnings because your earnings are what we use to calculate your benefits. To estimate the total tax amounts we show on your Statement, we multiplied your reported earnings for each year that you worked by the tax rate for that year. We then added all the years together. If you had both wages and self-employment earnings in the same year, we estimated the taxes for that year as if the total amount was wages. If you had both Social Security earnings and government earnings that qualified for Medicare in the same year, we estimated the combined Medicare taxes you paid. To learn more, visit the Statement page at www.socialsecurity.gov/ mystatement.


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