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Payroll taxes
The 2% payroll tax cut from 2011 and 2012, which lowered employees’ Social Security payroll taxes, will expire, effective Jan. 1. Although the increase is on employee contributions, the increase also affects an employer’s withholding obligations, Morgenthaler and Wimer note. At the same time, they write, a new 0.9% Medicare payroll tax increase applies (from 1.45% to 2.35%) under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on wages over $250,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly and $200,000 for single taxpayers. Again, though this increase is not an employer liability, employers must be prepared to withhold the additional 0.9% from wages for any employee with wages over $200,000.