2016 Social Security wage base is released

By Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.

The Social Security Administration announced that there would be no increase in the amount of wages subject to Social Security taxes (old age, survivor, and disability insurance) for 2016. (There is no limit on the amount of wages subject to the Medicare tax.)

Because the consumer price index did not increase from the third quarter of 2014 to the third quarter of 2015, there will be no cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in the amount of Social Security benefits paid next year. When there is no COLA in Social Security benefits, an increase in the amount of wages subject to Social Security taxes is prohibited by law. So the current $118,500 maximum amount of earnings subject to Social Security taxes will also apply in 2016.

Among the other unchanged limits is the amount a worker under full retirement age can earn before he or she has Social Security benefits reduced. The limit remains at $15,720 a year, after which $1 in benefits is withheld for every $2 earned above the limit.

Sally P. Schreiber (sschreiber@aicpa.org) is a JofA senior editor.


Year-end tax planning and what’s new for 2016

Practitioners need to consider several tax planning opportunities to review with their clients before the end of the year. This report offers strategies for individuals and businesses, as well as recent federal tax law changes affecting this year’s tax returns.


News quiz: Retirement planning, tax practice, and fraud risk

Recent reports focused on a survey that gauges the worries about retirement among CPA financial planners’ clients, a suit that affects tax practitioners, and a guide that offers advice on fraud risk. See how much you know with this short quiz.


Bolster your data defenses

As you weather the dog days of summer, it’s a good time to make sure your cybersecurity structure can stand up to the heat of external and internal threats. Here are six steps to help shore up your systems.