The IRS has released the 2012 Pub 15 (Circular E), Employer's Tax Guide.
Future developments. The IRS has created a page on IRS.gov for information about Publication 15 (Circular E) at www.irs.gov/pub15. Information about any future developments affecting Publication 15 (Circular E) (such as legislation enacted after it is released) will be posted on that page.
Social security and Medicare tax for 2012. The employee tax rate for social security is 4.2% on wages paid and tips received before March 1, 2012. The employee tax rate for social security increases to 6.2% on wages paid and tips received after February 29, 2012. The employer tax rate for social security remains unchanged at 6.2%. The social security wage base limit is $110,100. The Medicare tax rate is 1.45% each for the employee and employer, unchanged from 2011. There is no wage base limit for Medicare tax. Employers should implement the 4.2% employee social security tax rate as soon as possible, but not later than January 10.
January 31, 2012. After implementing the 4.2% rate, employers should make an offsetting adjustment in a subsequent pay period to correct any overwithholding of social security tax as soon as possible, but not later than March 31, 2012. Social security and Medicare taxes apply to the wages of household workers you pay $1,800 or more in cash or an equivalent form of compensation. Medicare taxes apply to election workers who are paid $1,500 or more in cash or an equivalent form of compensation.
At the time this publication was prepared for release, the rate for the employee's share of social security tax was 4.2% and scheduled to increase to 6.2% for wages paid after February 29, 2012. However, Congress is discussing an extension of the 4.2% employee tax rate for social security beyond February 29, 2012.
VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011. On November 21, 2011, the President signed into law the Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) to Hire Heroes Act of 2011. This new law provides an expanded work opportunity tax credit to businesses that hire eligible unemployed veterans and, for the first time, also makes part of the credit available to tax-exempt organizations. Businesses claim the credit as part of the general business credit and tax-exempt organizations claim it against their payroll tax liability. The credit is available for eligible unemployed veterans who begin work on or after November 22, 2011, and before January 1, 2013. More information about the credit against a tax-exempt organization's payroll tax liability will be available early in 2012 at www.irs.gov/form5884c.
FUTA tax rate. The FUTA tax rate is 6.0% for 2012.
Expiration of Attributed Tip Income Program (ATIP). The Attributed Tip Income Program (ATIP) expired on December 31, 2011.
Change of address. Beginning in 2012, employers must use new Form 8822-B, Change of Address—Business, for any address change.