Higher Wage Base—The wage base for Social Security tax is going up again. For 2013, it has increased to $113,700, up from $110,100 in 2012. Absent a tax law change, the tax rate for employees on the OASDI portion of the tax is reverting to 6.2% in 2013 from 4.2% in 2012. The combined Social Security tax rate in 2013 (including the 1.45% HI portion of the tax on all wages) will be 7.65% on amounts up to the wage base.
Secure Per Diem Rates—The government recently released the “per diem” rates that may be used for business travel for most employees in 2013. The new rates are the same as they were last year. For instance, the rate for “high-cost areas” remains at $242 while travel to other locations stays at $163. In addition, there were no changes in the list of high-cost areas.