Social security tax while working multiple W2 jobs

The bad news is that people with multiple W2 jobs in a given year will overpay in social security taxes. They would “lend” money to the government until the tax day April 15 of the following year. In the US, everyone must pay social security tax which is withheld from paychecks automatically. There’s an annual limit of social security tax in the USA. Each year it can vary. In 2022, the Social Security tax limit is $147,000 (up from $142,800 in 2022). Ergo, the maximum amount of Social Security tax an employee will have withheld from their paycheck in 2022 will be $9,114 ($147,000 x 6.2%).

When working multiple W2 jobs at the same time, employers have no way to know how much social security tax has already been withheld. This will result in paying more in social security tax, that is your paycheck will be reduced until you pay out ~9,114 for each job. This applies even for situations when you had the jobs sequentially.

The good thing is that the overpaid money will come back. A good CPA or tax software will calculate the amount you overpaid and give back the difference. You might even get a refund on the tax return. For example, if someone had 4 jobs in 2021, then this person would be credited (given) by the IRS $27,342 (3 by $9,114) towards other taxes or as a refund if other taxes are paid.

So it sucks that your cashflow would be reduced and you would have to “lend” the money for a year to the IRS, but there’s not much we can do about it. Companies are required by law to withheld the social security amount. Luckily, with multiple W2 jobs, extra withholdings would be a drop in the bucket that you won’t notice!