The Social Security Administration (SSA) announced that the maximum earnings subject to the Social Security component of the FICA tax will increase from $128,400 to $132,900 for 2019. This means that for 2019, the maximum Social Security tax that employers and employees will each pay is $8,239.80 ($132,900 x 6.2%). A self-employed person with at least $132,900 in net self-employment earnings will pay $16,479.6 ($132,900 x 12.40%) for the Social Security part of the self-employment tax. The Medicare component remains 1.45% of all earnings, and individuals with earned income of more than $200,000 ($250,000 for married couples filing jointly, $125,000 for married filing separately) will pay an additional 0.9% in Medicare taxes.
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According to Adam Smith’s Canons of Taxation, the tax compliance function in any society needs to be convenient. This has not always been the case for many seniors in the United States. Form 1040EZ, Income Tax Return for Single and Joint Filers With No Dependents, currently used by eligible taxpayers under age 65, is not available to older taxpayers. Seniors age 65 and older may also not find relief in filing Form 1040A, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, because of its $100,000 cap on taxable income and its prohibition on itemized deductions.