Info on Social Security Payroll Tax Deferral for Active Duty

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BLUF – If your monthly basic pay is less than $8,666.66 per month you are going to get extra money deposited in your accounts for the rest of the year, but they will take it back in early 2021.

Here’s the military relevant text from the DFAS page discussing this COVID related Presidential initiative:

In order to provide relief during the COVID-19 pandemic, a Presidential Memorandum was issued on August 8, 2020 and guidance followed by Internal Revenue Service on August 28, 2020, to temporarily defer Social Security (Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) tax withholdings. This change is effective through the end of the 2020 calendar year.

Military Members – Effective for the September mid-month pay, DFAS will temporarily defer the withholding of your 6.2% Social Security tax if your monthly rate of basic pay is less than $8,666.66. If your monthly rate of basic pay is at or above this threshold, your social security tax withholding will not be affected by the temporary deferral. Military members can use their August or prior LES as a good reference for their typical Social Security tax amount. The Social Security tax is labeled as “FICA-SOC SECURITY” on the LES and is calculated as 6.2% of basic pay.

Military members are not eligible to opt-out of the deferral if their Social Security wages fall within the stated limits. The deferral will happen automatically.

Per IRS guidance, collection of the deferred taxes will be taken from your wages between January 1 and April 30, 2021 for both military members and civilian employees. Additional information on the collection process will be provided in the future.

If a military member or civilian employee separates or retires in 2020 before the Social Security tax can be collected in 2021, they are still responsible for the Social Security tax repayment. Additional information on the collection process will be provided in the future.

For questions on the temporary deferral of the 6.2% OASDI withholding:

Still have questions? See the FAQs for more information.

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