Taxes

Your Contributions Make Our Nation Stronger

March 27, 2017 • By

Last Updated: March 27, 2017

man & woman reading on the couchAt first, seeing taxes taken out of your paycheck can be a little disappointing. However, you can take pride in knowing you’re making an important impact each week when you contribute to Social Security. Understanding how important your contribution is takes some of the sting away because your taxes are helping millions of Americans — and protecting you and your family for life — as well as wounded warriors, the chronically ill, and disabled.

By law, employers must withhold Social Security taxes from a worker’s paycheck. While usually referred to as “Social Security taxes” on an employee’s pay statement, sometimes the deduction is labeled as “FICA” which stands for Federal Insurance Contributions Act, a reference to the original Social Security Act. In some cases, you will see “OASDI” which stands for Old Age Survivors Disability Insurance.

The taxes you pay now translate to a lifetime of protection — for retirement in old age or in the event of disability. And when you die, your family (or future family) may be able to receive survivors benefits based on your work as well.

Because you may be a long way from retirement, you might have a tough time seeing the value of benefit payments that could be many decades in the future. But keep in mind that the Social Security taxes you’re paying can provide valuable disability or survivors benefits now in the event the unexpected happens. Studies show that of today’s 20-year-olds, about one in four will become disabled, and about one in eight will die, before reaching retirement.

Be warned: if an employer offers to pay you “under the table,” you should refuse. It’s against the law. They may try to sell it as a benefit to you since you get a few extra dollars in your pay. But you’re really only allowing the employer to cheat you out of your Social Security credits.

If you’d like to learn a little more about Social Security and exactly what you’re building up for yourself by paying Social Security taxes, take a look at our online booklet, How You Earn Credits, at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10072.html.

If you have a friend who lost a parent when they were a child, they probably got Social Security survivors benefits. Social Security helps by providing income for the families of workers who die. In fact, 98 of every 100 children could get benefits if a working parent dies. And Social Security pays more benefits to children than any other federal program. You can learn more at www.socialsecurity.gov/survivors.

Do you prefer videos to reading? Check out webinar, “Social Security 101: What’s in it for me?” The webinar explains what you need to know about Social Security. You can find it at www.socialsecurity.gov/multimedia/webinars/social_security_101.html as well as on YouTube at  www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hkLaBiavqQ.

You can also learn more at www.socialsecurity.gov.

 


Tags: , , ,

See Comments

About the Author

Avatar

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Comments

  1. Debra Banks

    Need to print W4 form -can’t locate

    • Vonda VanTil, Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi Debra, thanks for using our blog. You can download the form or call the IRS toll-free at 1-800-829-3676 and ask for Form W-4V. When you complete the form, you can choose to have 7, 10, 12, or 22 percent of your monthly benefit withheld for taxes. See our Benefits Planner: Withholding Income Tax From Your Social Security Benefits for more information.

      • judith laubert

        Thank you so much. Got it.

    • Will Taylor

      My wife is now approved to receive SS benefits starting the first of the year. Can you please email me form W4-V for tax withholdings? Thank you.

      • Vonda

        Thank you for your question, Will. You can download the form or call the IRS toll-free at 1-800-829-3676 and ask for Form W-4V. When you complete the form, you can choose to have 7, 10, 12, or 22 percent of your monthly benefit withheld for taxes. Mail the completed, signed form to your local Social Security office. Use our Social Security Office Locator to obtain their mailing address.

        Check out our Withholding Income Tax From Your Social Security Benefits web page for more information. We hope this is helpful!

    • David Dizon

      I had not received my 2020 w2 form

    • David Dizon

      How will I print my w2 form for year 2020?

    • Robert HALL

      yes I need the form w4 this site is so busy why can’t I just search for the form and get only the form I have no Idea where to look I thought this was the place

      • Sue

        Hi, Robert. Thanks for reading our blog. To start voluntary tax withholding, you’ll need to complete IRS Form W-4V. You can download the form W-4V or call the IRS at 1-800-829-3676 and ask for it. Complete, sign and mail the form to your local Social Security office. Use our Office Locator to find the mailing address. Check out our Withholding Income Tax From Your Social Security Benefits webpage for more information. We hope this helps.

  2. Terry Malander

    I need to change my federal tax withholding, where do I go to do this.

    • Vonda

      Thank you for your question, Terry. To change your withholding, you need to download the form or call the IRS toll-free at 1-800-829-3676 and ask for Form W-4V. When you complete the form, you can choose to have 7, 10, 12, or 22 percent of your monthly benefit withheld for taxes. Mail the completed, signed form to your local Social Security office. Use our Social Security Office Locator to obtain their mailing address.

  3. Angela Averitt

    Sister died before being able to collect benefits, what happens with her contributions?

    • Sue

      We are very sorry for your loss, Angela. If your sister worked long enough into Social Security, there may be certain family members eligible for survivor benefits on her record such as a spouse, divorced spouse, child and parents. If there are no eligible survivors, any unused money goes to the Social Security trust funds. For an overview of Social Security and Medicare, please read our Understanding the Benefits publication. We hope this is helpful.

Comments are closed.