Guidance issued to implement Presidential Memorandum deferring certain employee Social Security tax withholding

IR-2020-195, August 28, 2020

WASHINGTON — The Department of Treasury and Internal Revenue Service today issued guidance  PDF implementing the Presidential Memorandum issued on August 8, 2020, allowing employers to defer withholding and payment of the employee's portion of the Social Security tax if the employee's wages are below a certain amount.

Notice 2020-65, posted today on IRS.gov, makes relief available for employers and generally applies to wages paid starting September 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020.

The employee Social Security tax deferral may apply to payments of taxable wages to an employee that are less than $4,000 during a bi-weekly pay period, with each pay period considered separately. No deferral is available for any payment to an employee of taxable wages of $4,000 or above for a bi-weekly pay period.

Today's notice postpones the time for employers to withhold and pay employee Social Security taxes.

Additional tax relief related to the COVID-19 pandemic can be found on IRS.gov.