On August 8, 2020, President Trump issued an executive order which allowed for the deferral of the withholding and employer remittance of the employee share of Social Security taxes. The deferral period is effective September 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020 and is only available to those employees earning less than $4,000 each biweekly payroll period, or $104,000 per year.  The executive order leaves several unanswered questions and concerns, including:

  • Is participation in the deferral voluntary and are employees responsible for making an election if they want to defer the payroll taxes?
  • How will employees be required to pay the deferred taxes and when will the payment be due?
  • Will there be any changes to Forms 941, W-2, W-4, and related forms, to accommodate the reporting of the deferred amount? If so, when will the updated forms be available?

It may be advisable for employers to wait to implement this deferral option until additional guidance is provided by the IRS. Please check our dedicated COVID-19 page for updated information and articles, and as always, please reach out to the ML&R team with any questions.