WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE — The U.S. Air Force is alerting its employees, both military and civilian, that they will not be able to opt-out of the deferral for the payroll tax that was established through President Donald Trump’s executive order that went into effect last week.
“Unfortunately, neither military members nor civilian employees are eligible to opt-out of the deferral,” said JoAnne Bass, Chief Master Sergeant for the U.S. Air Force. “The extra money we will get over the next few months, will be paid back next year.
Bass urged Air Force leaders to “make sure your Airmen and families are tracking to prevent financial strain in the future.”
According to tax guidance from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, which provides payment services for the U.S. Department of Defense, the 6.2 percent Social Security tax will be temporarily deferred if your monthly rate of basic pay is less than $8,666.66 for military members.
“If your monthly rate of basic pay is at or above this threshold, your social security tax withholding will not be affected by the temporary deferral,” the guidance read. “Military members can use their August or prior LES as a good reference for their typical Social Security tax amount.” The Social Security tax is labeled as “FICA-SOC SECURITY.”
Civilian employees will notice a temporary deferral of the Social Security tax if their wages subject to the tax are $4,000 or less during a pay period. “Employees can use the ’Taxable Wages’ on the LES as a good reference for whether they will have [Social Security] tax deferred,” according to Defense Finance and Accounting Service.
In accordance with the IRS’s guidance on the Executive Order, the Air Force is planning to collect the deferred taxes from wages between Jan. 1 and Apr. 30 for both military and civilian employees. More information on the collection process will be provided in the future.
“If a military member or civilian employee separates or retires in 2020 before the Social Security tax can be collected in 2021, they are still responsible for the Social Security tax repayment,” according to Defense Finance and Accounting Service.
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