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How to Determine if You Paid Too Much Social Security Tax

1.

Add up the Social Security tax withholding figures (box 4) on all your W-2 forms. If the total for tax year 2000 is greater than $4,724.40, you have paid too much Social Security tax.

2.

Determine whether all of your Social Security withholding came from one employer. If so, you must ask the employer to reimburse you directly for excess Social Security tax paid. Your employer is required to do so.

3.

Determine whether your Social Security tax withholding came from more than one employer. If so, the federal government will repay you through your 2000 income tax return.

4.

Write the amount of excess Social Security paid on the line that says "Excess Social Security and RRTA tax withheld" in the Payments section of form 1040, or on the line that says "These are your total payments" in the Tax, Credits and Payments section.

5.

Add the amount to your total payments and write "Excess SST" to the left of the number.

Tips and Warnings

  • Self-employed taxpayers need to use Schedule SE to determine their Social Security and Medicare taxes, known as self-employment taxes.
  • The maximum Social Security tax of $4,724.40 applies to one employee. Do not add together your Social Security tax withholding and your spouse's Social Security tax withholding if you are married and are filing jointly.
  • You cannot use form 1040EZ to recover your excess Social Security tax.
  • The amount of income subject to Social Security tax - and the maximum Social Security tax to be withheld - rises each year. In 2001, the figure will be greater than in 2000.


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