Social Security payroll tax rate rises, reduces paychecks

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52967 full

The fiscal cliff legislation that lawmakers in Washington passed on New Year's Day may head off income tax increases for most people, but it didn't affect one tax that will go up for everyone who earns a paycheck: the Social Security payroll tax.

For two years, workers' share of the Social Security payroll tax has remained at 4.2 percent. Now it’s jumping back up to 6.2 percent. Lawmakers designed the original two-point reduction to stimulate the economy, and President Barack Obama made that a priority two years ago.

But neither he nor congressional Republicans tried to extend it as part of the fiscal cliff deal.

What does that mean? If, for example, you earn $50,000 a year, your Social Security tax will increase by about $1,000 over a year. So even if your income tax isn’t rising, you can expect to see a little less in your next paycheck. 

With contributions by AP

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