WSU will not defer employees’ social security tax

Instead of paying social security tax from September through December, employers could let employees pay tax from January through April



To qualify for deferral, employees must make less than $4,000 every two weeks.


WSU is not participating in President Donald Trump’s executive order to defer social security tax for employees. 

At the beginning of the month, employers across the country were given the option to defer employees’ social security tax until Dec. 31, said Kimberly Lawton, WSU director of Payroll Services.

Every paycheck an employee receives is taxed 6.2 percent for social security. The deferral would leave that money in the paycheck, giving the employee more money now, she said.

The deferral would give American workers more money in their paycheck until Dec. 31, she said. Then the money has to be repaid to the IRS, although there will be no interest. Employees would pay back that money from January to April. It would be taken out of their paychecks.

Washington State Human Resources conducted an analysis of the executive order and decided that Washington state employees would not receive the social security tax deferral, said Mikhail Carpenter, Washington State Department of Revenue communications manager.

There are federal and state taxes. In this case, the tax is collected by the IRS, not the Washington State Department of Revenue, he said.

“We don’t really have any participation in it,” Carpenter said. “We only have our decision as an employer.”

Lawton said WSU followed the state of Washington’s example to opt-out because the university’s faculty are state employees.

“The university is not participating, so this won’t affect WSU at all,” she said.

In order to qualify for deferral, an employee must make less than $4,000 every two weeks, Lawton said.

Employers will be in charge of collecting the deferred tax, meaning if an employee left the company before the repayment is completed in April, the company would essentially be in charge of the tax bill, according to an article from The New York Times.

Many businesses do not like the idea of deferring the tax because of “technical and logistical challenges,” according to an article from The Washington Post.

The only large employer to implement the deferral is the federal government, according to the article from The New York Times. Those employed by the federal government have expressed anger over the plan, saying enlisted young men and women who are not financially savvy could get hurt.