Taxable Wage Base

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Definition of 'Taxable Wage Base'

The taxable wage base is the maximum amount of earnings that can be taxed by Social Security. The amount of the taxable wage base is set by the Social Security Administration and is adjusted annually for inflation. For 2023, the taxable wage base is $147,000.

The taxable wage base is important because it determines how much Social Security tax you will pay. Social Security taxes are levied on both employees and employers, and the amount of tax you pay is based on your total earnings, up to the taxable wage base. For example, if you earn $150,000 in 2023, you will pay Social Security taxes on the first $147,000 of your earnings. The amount of Social Security tax you pay is 6.2% of your earnings, so you will pay $892.40 in Social Security taxes in 2023.

The taxable wage base also affects your Medicare taxes. Medicare taxes are levied on all earnings, regardless of the amount. For 2023, the Medicare tax rate is 1.45%.

It is important to note that the taxable wage base is not the same as the maximum amount of Social Security benefits you can receive. The maximum Social Security benefit is based on your average indexed monthly earnings (AIME). AIME is a calculation that takes into account your earnings over your entire working career. The maximum Social Security benefit for 2023 is $3,345 per month.

The taxable wage base is an important concept to understand if you are working and paying Social Security taxes. By understanding how the taxable wage base works, you can make informed decisions about your finances and plan for your retirement.

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