Payroll Tax, Federal

Research Report

Payroll Tax, Federal

From The Encyclopedia of Taxation and Tax Policy
October 1, 1999


Payroll taxes are a group of taxes based on the earnings of employees and self-employed persons. As a revenue source, federal payroll tax revenues have grown substantially in the past 60 years. Federal payroll taxes, or social insurance contributions, consist of tax revenues from Social Security, Medicare hospital insurance, unemployment insurance, railroad retirement, and other retirements. This article explains each component of payroll taxes and their incidence in total.

Research Area: 
To reuse content from Urban Institute, visit, search for the publications, choose from a list of licenses, and complete the transaction.