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Can I get a refund for excess Social Security tax withheld?

SOLVEDby TurboTax3354Updated December 20, 2021

Yes, you can get excess Social Security tax refunded.

The procedure depends on whether the excess withholdings were caused by multiple employers exceeding the maximum or too much being withheld by a single employer.

Select your situation for more info.

For tax year 2021, you'll have excess Social Security withholdings if the sum of multiple employers' withholdings exceeds $8,853.60 per taxpayer.

You don't need to take any action. We'll automatically add the excess to your federal refund or subtract it from federal taxes you owe, whichever applies.

The excess will appear as a tax credit on Line 11 of your Form 1040, Schedule 3.

Your employer is supposed to withhold 6.2% of your Social Security Wages (the Box 3 amount on your W-2), up to a maximum of $8,853.60 per taxpayer for tax year 2021.

If one employer withheld too much Social Security tax, you won't be able to take a credit for the excess on your tax return.

(TurboTax determines this by looking at your employer's EIN. In unusual cases where the employer changed their EIN during the tax year, an excess withholding credit can be taken as explained in "Multiple employers," above.)

So, if your employer withheld too much, contact them and ask for:

  1. A refund for the excess amount, and
  2. A corrected W-2 (also called a W-2c) which shows the correct Box 3 and Box 4 amounts.

Do not file with excess withholdings on your return, as you may be subjected to penalties and interest.

What if my employer can't—or won't—cooperate?

You can correct the Box 4 amount yourself before filing. Simply multiply the amount in Box 3 by a factor of 0.062 and enter that amount or 8,853.60 (whichever is less) in Box 4.

To get a refund for the excess withholding, fill out IRS Form 843: Claim for Refund and Request for Abatement according to the Form 843 Instructions and mail it in separately. Make a copy to keep with your tax return paperwork.

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