- Questionnaire Text
- UnHarmonized Variables
99999 = N.I.U. (Not in Universe).
See User Note for an explanation of these codes.
FICA reports the total Social Security retirement payroll deductions for an individual or for a couple filing a joint tax return. Social Security payroll taxes are collected under authority of the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). Under this law, employers are required to withhold a share of employee wages and pay them to the government trust fund which provides benefits via Social Security. FICA payroll taxes are thus both taxes and contributions to the social insurance system of Social Security, which funds retirement benefits, disability insurance, and survivor benefits.
FICA, like other tax-related variables included in the ASEC CPS (ADJGINC, CAPGAIN, CAPLOSS, EITCRED, FEDRETIR, FEDTAX, FILESTAT, MARGTAX, STATETAX, and TAXINC) was not determined by direct questioning of respondents. Rather, values for these variables come from the Census Bureau's tax model, which simulates individual tax returns to produce estimates of federal, state, and payroll taxes. The model incorporates information from non-CPS sources, such as the Internal Revenue Service's Statistics of Income series, the American Housing Survey, and the State Tax Handbook. For more information about the model, see Current Population Reports, Series P60-18RD. The IPUMS-CPS staff welcomes further information from users about the interpretation of this variable or other tax-related variables in the ASEC CPS.
Amounts for FICA are expressed in dollars of the given year, rather than in constant dollars adjusted for inflation. Users can adjust for inflation using Consumer Price Index adjustment factors.
Apart from the effects of inflation, FICA is largely comparable over time. Comparability may, however, be limited by changes in the Census Bureau's tax model. The Bureau implemented a new model to produce tax estimates in 2004, and the previous tax model was updated annually to account for changes in marginal tax rates.
- Persons age 15+.
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