Millionaires Get Their Valentine from Social Security: Those Making $1,000,000 a Year Stopped Paying Into Social Security on February 14th

February 17, 2016

Social Security, the program that provides retirement, disability, and survivor benefits to millions of Americans just gave a valentine to those making $1,000,000 a year.

Many people do not realize that the taxes that fund Social Security only apply to the first $118,500 of wage income in 2016. Income above the cap is not subject to the tax and workers do not pay into Social Security on that income. That means that the vast majority of the population (those making under $118,500 a year) pay the 6.2 percent Social Security payroll tax for the entire year, but the wealthy don’t. It also means that the wealthy have a lower effective tax rate.

For example, someone making $1,000,000 paid into Social Security on every day in 2016, up until and including February 13th. On the 14th — Valentine’s Day — their income was no longer subject to the payroll tax, and their paychecks for the rest of the year became heftier.

The calculator below can show when various wage incomes, if spread evenly throughout the year, reach Social Security tax freedom day — the last day when it’s subject to any Social Security taxes. It’s important to note that this only applies wage income, and not other types of income (e.g. investment income).

Besides $1,000,000, here are some salaries that might be interesting to enter into the calculator:

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