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FICA Tax Guidelines

What is FICA?

Employers and employees both pay taxes required by the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) to fund two federal government benefit programs: Social Security and Medicare. Social Security is comprised of Old Age and Survivor's Insurance (OASI) and Disability Insurance (DI), and Medicare benefits are provided by the Health Insurance (HI) program. The employee share of Social Security and Medicare taxes is withheld from wages and matched by the employer, which then pays both shares to the federal government.

Do all Boston College employees pay FICA tax?

No. Certain employee groups are exempt from paying FICA. The tables below distinguish between those who are exempt and those who are not exempt from paying FICA tax.

Undergraduate and Graduate Students

Type of Student Employee Earnings Code(s) Academic Year Summer
Working for an off-campus agency and paid through BC STO Not Exempt Not Exempt
Working on campus STU
GBC
GRA
GRN
Exempt Not Exempt
Foreign nationals Determined by Foreign Nat'l Tax Spec. Exempt Determined by Foreign Nat'l Tax Spec.
Members of recognized religious oders STO
STU
GBC
GRA
GRN
Exempt Exempt

Non-Student Employees

Type of Non-Student Employee Earnings Code(s) Academic Year Summer
Regular employees All non-student earn codes Not Exempt Not Exempt
Foreign nationals Determined by Foreign Nat'l Tax Spec. Determined by Foreign Nat'l Tax Spec. Determined by Foreign Nat'l Tax Spec.
Members of recognized religious orders All non-student earn codes Exempt Exempt

How much do Not Exempt employees contribute to FICA?

Not Exempt employees contribute 6.2% of their taxable gross income towards OASDI and 1.45% towards Medicare. OASDI is taken on income up to a maximum of $113,700 for the 2013 calendar year. Medicare has no income maximum.

How are FICA contributions shown on the paycheck?

OASDI and Medicare contributions are represented on the paycheck with pay period and year-to-date balances.

  • Contributions made for a particular pay period are shown on the top-center portion of the paycheck, located in the "Taxes" section. The dollar amounts represent the contributions made for that particular pay period only.
  • Year-to-date contribution totals are shown on the bottom-left portion of the paycheck, located in the "Year to Date Balance" section. The dollar amounts for FICA/OASDI and FICA/MEDICARE represent the total contributions made for the current calendar year.