WASHINGTON -- At the end of this month, the 2020 Social Security tax deferral will end.
Beginning in January, the 6.2% Social Security tax withholdings will again be deducted, and there will be an additional deduction for the deferred 2020 Social Security tax collection that has been in effect since September.
Most service members and Defense Department civilians have had their Social Security taxes deferred. That money will now be automatically deducted from paychecks beginning in January until the amount that has been deferred is collected by April 30.
Social Security taxes were withheld for service members whose monthly rate of basic pay was less than $8,666.66 and for civilians whose wage per pay period was less than $4,000.
Those who are unsure whether or not their Social Security was deferred should check their past and current Leave and Earnings Statements on the MyPay website. On the Leave and Earnings Statement, there is a deduction labeled OASDI — which stands for Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance — or FICA-Social Security, which stands for Federal Insurance Contributions Act. OASDI and FICA-Social Security are other names for Social Security. If no money was deducted for OASDI or FICA-Social Security, then that tax was deferred.
To determine how much you owe, look at the August LES to see what amount of Social Security was deducted and then multiply that by the four months of the deferrals to get an approximate amount.
Another method for determining how much is owed is to multiply 6.2% times the amount of basic pay received from September through December 2020. Divide that amount by four to determine how much per month will be collected in addition to the normal Social Security deductions per month.
The 2020 Social Security taxes deferred will be collected from the Jan. 1 to April 30 pay periods.
For those in the Reserve or National Guard who perform only intermittent duty from January to April 2021, the collections may not be split evenly across pay periods. The Defense Finance and Accounting Service will collect 6% of net available pay each pay period. Collections may be extended past April 30, 2021, if the member does not earn enough pay to collect the 2020 deferred taxes before that date.
Those who are preparing to separate or retire before the deferred Social Security tax is collected are still responsible for repaying the taxes. The unpaid balance will be collected from your final paycheck or a letter will be mailed with instructions for repayment.
The 2020 Internal Revenue Service W-2 Wage and Tax Statements will be issued in January. A W-2c Corrected Wages and Tax Statement that includes the collection of deferred Social Security taxes in 2021 will be issued for those whose Social Security taxes have been deferred.
However, receiving a W-2c does not change the deadlines established by the IRS for filing 2020 income tax returns.
Need help figuring out what to do?
Service members and retirees should contact their nearest installation Military and Family Support Center for more information.
Service members and their families may also contact Military OneSource, https://miltaryonesource.mil for financial counseling and tax consultation support up to 365 days post-separation and retirement.
Other information for service members, DOD civilians and retirees is available at: https://www.dfas.mil/taxes/Social-Security-Deferral/.
The IRS is also a good source of information:
For more information, see Order Gives Employees Social Security Withholding Tax Deferral, Not Forgiveness.