Economic Definition of Social Security tax. Defined.
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Term Social Security tax Definition: A tax on wage earnings that's used to fund the Social Security system. In principle, the Social Security tax is divided equally between employer and employee--your share is listed under the FICA heading of your paycheck. In practice, however, employees really end up paying both employee and employer contributes. The reason is that employers need to consider the entire cost of hiring an employee, including wages, fringe benefits, and assorted taxes. The more they pay in these nonwage items, like Social Security taxes, the less they pay in wages. In that the Social security tax is only on earnings, and excludes profit, interest, and rent, it tends to be a regressive tax.