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Home / Tips and Tricks / Trump’s payroll tax weekend is really a postponement that you have to pay back in January

Trump’s payroll tax weekend is really a postponement that you have to pay back in January



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A tax deferral may not be as good as it sounds.

Sarah Tew / CNET

A payroll tax weekend officially began on September 1. The tax deferral that President Donald Trump has since pushed the former part of coronavirus pandemic could give Americans similar financial relief stimulus control, improved unemployment benefits and one removal moratorium. There are some drawbacks to the “holiday” and Democrats in the Senate are moving to try to turn it around.

Trump’s executive memo to create the tax record was signed on August 8 along with three others executive measures. His move came as Democrats and Republicans continue to negotiate over another stimulus package, which may include a second stimulus control.

On August 28, the IRS sent guidance for the upcoming payroll tax weekend, which takes effect on September 1. The agency’s guidelines state that employers can either defer taxes for the rest of 2020 or choose not to continue deducting taxes from paychecks as usual. If tax is deferred, employers will need to deduct additional funds from employees’ paychecks to repay the amount due from January 1, 2021 to April 30, 2021.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, and Senator Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on Wednesday asking if the guidance was a “rule” for Congressional Review Play theater. If it is a rule under the GAO, Congress can disapprove of it and essentially end the tax weekend.

Here is the information you need to know about the payroll tax cut, including how long it will last.

What is the payroll tax and how is it used?

A payroll tax is a tax on both an employer and an employee who contributes to federal programs such as Medicare or Social Security. As for Trump’s executive action, it refers to the social security tax that is taken from an employee’s paycheck and also paid by the employer.

The way the social insurance tax works is that 6.2% is deducted from an employee’s paycheck. The same amount must also be paid by the employer, which means that a total of 12.4% is sent to the IRS. A reduction in payroll tax would mean that employees and employers would be exempt from paying this tax during the specified “vacation” period, which would potentially make your payroll check larger (even if there is a catch – more below).






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How much money can I get from a payroll tax cut?

Salary checks usually show the amount retained for social security, which corresponds to 6.2%. For example, a skilled worker who earns $ 938 every other week takes home a paycheck worth $ 1,000, or $ 62 more than usual.

Who is entitled to the payroll tax weekend?

The only requirement stated in the management note is that you do not earn more than $ 4,000 every two weeks according to the latest IRS guidelines. People who earn more than that will not be able to participate in payroll tax. It is unclear how Trump’s deferral of payroll tax would affect self-employed and entrepreneurs who typically pay their social security contributions with their income tax.

As far as employees are concerned, millions of unemployed Americans will not be eligible for the payroll tax cut.

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Is the payroll tax weekend too good to be true? It’s not as simple as it seems.

Sarah Tew / CNET

When does the deferred tax period begin and end?

According to the executive memo, the payroll tax weekend begins on September 1 and lasts until December 31 – it is a four-month period.

Why do you have to pay back the payroll taxes you receive?

Salary “vacation” is a break as it is written, not a forgiveness of tax deductions. The executive note says that Finance Minister Steven Mnuchin may decide to forgive the postponement, and the president recently told the press that he can forgive the debt if he is re-elected.

In the latest guidelines, employers can either choose to defer taxes for their employees or not. If they choose not to do so, payroll tax will be taken out of control as usual.

How do you repay deferred payroll tax?

The IRS said in a memo dated August 28 that employers participating in the payroll tax region must then repay the taxes from 2021. This is done by deducting an additional payroll tax deduction on top of the standard deduction. To put it simply, more money will be taken out of paychecks from January 1 to April 30, 2021 to repay the taxes owed.

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Do not count on forgiveness on payroll tax.

Sarah Tew / CNET

How will the payroll tax affect employers and employees?

The ideal situation for employees is a larger salary during a four-month holiday without having to repay the money in 2021. However, a more likely scenario is that employers refuse to participate in the tax deferral.

Garrett Watson, a senior policy analyst for the Tax Foundation, says the payroll tax weekend may give some employees more money in the short term, but they will get less money in 2021.

“Overall, it is likely that many employers will judge that this postponement is either too complicated or imposes too much potential liability in the end to be worth taking advantage of, which greatly mitigates the limited benefit of the postponement,” Watson said.

On August 18, more than a dozen national business organizations – including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Retail Federation and the National Restaurant Association – sent a letter to Mnuchin saying the postponement could cause “serious difficulties for employees” who would receive a large tax in 2021. They said that they prefer to continue to withhold payroll taxes by law.

Pete Isberg, vice president of government relations for the wage processing company ADP, said the federal government has not yet issued any guidelines, casting doubt on the start of the tax weekend in September.

“It is unlikely that many employers will be able to make the programming changes on September 1,” he told Fox Business on August 26. “We have advised Congress and the Treasury Department that something like this normally requires at least six months for an orderly programming transition.”

Is a payroll tax weekend definitely happening?

Although the President’s other executive actions are legally questionable as to whether they are unconstitutional, the payroll tax weekend is within Trump’s executive powers, according to Jacoby.

Senate Democrats seem to have found a way to possibly cancel Trump’s tax vacation. A letter sent to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Ron Wyden urges the office to decide whether the guidelines for the payroll tax weekend can be considered a “rule”. Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress can disapprove of a rule that is already in effect, and if it succeeds in this case, it could end the payroll tax weekend.

“The implementation of this Treasury and IRS guidance will lead to significant, material consequences for workers starting early next year – especially lower and middle-income earners – whose employers choose to temporarily defer the employee’s share of these payroll taxes,” the senators said. in the letter.

Schumer and Wyden asked GAO to respond to their letter by September 22.

How can the holiday affect social insurance financing?

The president said in a press conference on August 12 that social insurance will be funded by the General Fund, which is the country’s account to pay for the government’s day-to-day operations. What happens after the holidays apparently depends on who wins upcoming elections. Trump said he would consider removing the payroll tax in January next year.

Senators from the Democratic Party asked the Social Security Administration on August 19 to analyze the consequences of this permanent payroll tax weekend after January 1, 2021, as proposed by the President. The head of the administration, Stephen C. Goss, says in a letter on 24 August that if there is no compensation for this tax, the social insurance reserves would be emptied by mid-2023.

Have there been other payroll tax cuts?

In 2011 and 2012, Congress approved a 2% tax holiday for social security. This was intended to maintain the tax cuts from the George HW Bush era while giving more money to taxpayers in hopes of stimulating the economy. The result was a loss of $ 10 billion a month in social security.

There are more resources here executive measures on student loans, stop deportations and unemployment benefits. We also have information on the status of second round of stimulus checks, what i the next help package looks like like and how Negotiations are underway between Democrats and Republicans.


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