On August 8, 2020, the President issued a Memorandum allowing employers to defer withholding and payment of an employee’s portion of the Social Security tax (i.e., the 6.2% FICA portion of the federal payroll tax on employees). Medicare taxes, however, are not covered. The payroll tax deferral is effective starting September 1, 2020, and also applies to the employee portion of the Railroad Retirement Act Tier 1 tax. While employers are allowed to defer the withholding and payment of the payroll taxes on employees’ applicable wages, they are not required to do so.
Let’s take a look at how this affects employers and employees: