Most employers must withhold social security tax from your wages. Certain government employers (some federal, state and local governments) do not have to withhold social security tax.
If you work for a railroad employer, your employer must withhold Tier 1 Railroad Retirement Tax Act (RRTA) tax and Tier 2 RRTA tax. Tier 1 RRTA provides equivalent social security and Medicare benefits, and Tier 2 RRTA provides a private pension benefit.
Two or more employers - If you had more than one employer and your total wages and compensation were over the wage base limit for the year, the total social security tax or social security equivalent Tier 1 RRTA tax withheld may have exceeded the maximum amount due for the tax year. If you had more than one railroad employer, and your total compensation was over the maximum amount of wages subject to Tier 2 RRTA, the total Tier 2 RRTA tax withheld may have exceeded the maximum due for the tax year. You can find the wage base limits for the year in Chapter 38, Other Taxes, of Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax For Individuals.
- If you had too much social security tax or Tier 1 RRTA withheld, you may be able to claim the excess as a credit against your income tax on your income tax return. Use either Worksheet 3-1 or 3-2 in Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax, to help you figure the excess amount.
- To claim a refund of excess Tier 2 RRTA, use Form 843 (PDF), Claim for Refund and Request for Abatement. Attach copies of your Forms W-2 (PDF), Wage and Tax Statement, for the year to Form 843. Use Worksheet 3-3 in Publication 505, to help you figure the excess amount.
Joint returns - If you are filing a joint return, you and your spouse must figure any excess social security tax or Tier 1 RRTA tax separately.
Employer's error - If any one employer withheld too much social security or Tier 1 RRTA tax, you cannot claim the excess as a credit against your income tax. Your employer should adjust the excess for you. If the employer does not adjust the overcollection, you can use Form 843 (PDF) to claim a refund.
Page Last Reviewed or Updated: February 05, 2016