Why Your Tax Withholding Went Up

There have been a lot of commenters wondering why their tax withholding went up this year after hearing about the stimulative 2% payroll tax holiday passed last year. The 2% payroll tax holiday reduced the normally 6.2% Social Security withholding to only 4.2% but some people have seen their withholding go up. What gives?

Last year, the Making Work Pay credit reduced everyone’s income tax by 6.2% up to $400. Anyone who earned over $6451 received a maximum $400. That credit expired this year and was effectively replaced by a 2% reduct that had a much higher ceiling, $2,136.

How the difference affects you:

  • If you earn more than $20,000, then you should see a reduction in your withholding because a 2% of $20,000 is $400.
  • If you earned less than $20,000 then you’ll see an increase in your withholding because the 6.2%, even with a $400 cap, is higher than the reduction of 2% in Social Security.

Finally, your employer may not have implemented the payroll tax holiday yet, the IRS gave them a January 31st to fix it with any differences reconciled by March 31st. While your Making Work Pay credit has definitely been removed, the payroll tax holiday may not be implemented yet.

Who said taxes weren’t fun? 🙂


9 Year End Tax Moves to Make by Dec. 31st

1040 Bobblehead DudeAfter last week’s Thursday post on adjusting your tax withholding, I thought that we needed a full blown post on the best year end tax moves. So who better to turn to than prolific tax expert Kay Bell, author of The Truth About Paying Fewer Taxes? She was kind enough to list not one, not two, but nine tax moves you can make before the ball drops.

It’s time to make your year-end tax list and check it twice to ensure that you give yourself the gift of tax-savings. Here are 9 ways this month to help make your 2009 tax bill as small as possible.

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