Social Security Payroll Tax deferral Q&A

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  • By 62 AW Comptroller Squadron

All civilian and military personnel will be affected by the Social Security Payroll Tax Deferral. There is no option to opt-out.

Team McChord – Many of you have heard about the Social Security Payroll Tax Deferral and might have questions regarding this policy. Below are some FAQs and associated answers.

What taxes are affected?
The Presidential Memorandum issued on August 8, 2020 temporarily deferred Social Security tax withholdings. The Social Security tax is labeled as “FICA-SOC SECURITY” on the LES.

How do I know if I will be affected?
If you are a military member or civilian employee with a monthly basic pay that is less than $8,666.66, this tax deferral will be applied to you.

When will this policy take place?
The adjustments will take place beginning in September’s mid-month LES.

How much money are we talking about?
The Social Security tax is calculated as 6.2% of basic pay. You can find this amount on previous LESs under the deductions section.


Example: E-4 with 4 years of service

Basic Pay


Amount of Social Security Tax Deferred









Amount of additional FICA-SOC SECURITY taxes to be collected between 01 JAN and 31 APR 21


Will the taxes be collected later?
Yes. This policy is effective until the end of this calendar year. Collection of the deferred taxes will be taken from wages between January 1 and April 30, 2021. Additional information is unknown and the 62nd Comptroller Squadron Financial Services Office is standing by for further guidance from DFAS.

What if I’m deployed?
This deferral still affects deployed personnel. Tax-free locations are tax-free for Federal Income Tax, NOT Social Security.

Can I opt out of the tax deferral?
Unfortunately, military members and civilian employees are not eligible to opt out of the tax deferral.

Leaders – please communicate with your Airmen and civilian employees the ramifications of this policy. To prevent financial strain in the future, please ensure your people understand how the tax deferral will affect them.

For more information about the Social Security Payroll Tax Deferral, please contact the 62nd Comptroller Squadron Financial Services Office via the Comptroller Services Portal (CAC required) or visit: