What Is OASDI Withholding on an Oregon Paycheck?

By: LD Withaar | Reviewed by: Ashley Donohoe, MBA | Updated March 21, 2019

OASDI stands for Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance Program, better known as Social Security. It’s the official name for the federal government’s program that provides financial benefits to retirees, disabled people and their surviving dependents. Since OASDI is a federal program, the federal government sets withholding rates, and they’re the same in every state, including Oregon.

Tip

OASDI withholding, FICA and Social Security are all federal Social Security tax.

History of OASDI

The program was started by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935 during the Great Depression. It was designed to partially replace income lost due to old age, disability or the death of a spouse or parent. If you check your pay stub, you may see an OASDI deduction, but more likely you’ll the deduction labeled as FICA tax, which stands for Federal Insurance Contributions Act.

Exceptions to Paying OASDI Tax

Most exceptions to having OASDI taken out of your paycheck apply to groups of taxpayers, but a couple are for individuals. Religious groups that are opposed to accepting Social Security benefits might qualify for an exemption. If you’re a nonresident alien, you may not have to pay Social Security. Nonresident aliens are foreign students or educational professionals studying or working temporarily in the U.S. This exemption might also include the family and domestic workers employed by the nonresident alien.

As an individual, if you have a job at the same school that you’re attending as a student, you’re probably eligible for an exemption. If you work for a foreign government, you may also qualify.

None of these exemptions are automatic. You have to apply for them. If you’re asking for an exemption for religious reasons, use Form 4361. For all other reasons, use Form 4029. If you were ever previously eligible for Social Security benefits, even if you didn’t receive them, you won’t be able to qualify for an exemption.

OASDI Tax in 2019

The present Social Security tax rate is 6.2 percent of your gross income up to $132,900 for 2019. Anything you earn above the $132,900 cap is not subject to Social Security tax.

In 2019, those collecting Social Security benefits got a 2 percent raise. That’s about a $25 increase for the average beneficiary. If Social Security is your only income it’s tax-free, but it changes if you retire before your full retirement age and continue to work. For 2019, you can only earn up to $17,640 in addition to your early Social Security before it affects your benefits. After that you’ll have to repay $1 for every $2 you earned.

State Tax on OASDI

Most states don’t tax Social Security benefits, but some do. Those that do include Colorado, Connecticut, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont and West Virginia. Also, the District of Columbia doesn’t tax Social Security benefits.

Some of these states tax Social Security the same way the federal government does. Others have their own thresholds for when your combined income (Social Security plus earnings) becomes taxable. For example, Connecticut starts taxing you when your total income goes over $50,000 for a single taxpayer. Starting in 2019, it will be $75,000.

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About the Author

LeDona Withaar has over 20 years’ experience as a securities industry professional and finance manager. She was an auditor for the National Association of Securities Dealers, a compliance manager for UNX, Inc. and a securities compliance specialist at Capital Group. She has an MBA from Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts and a BA from Mills College in Oakland, California. She has done volunteer work in corporate development for nonprofit organizations such as the Boston Symphony Orchestra. She currently owns and operates her own small business in addition to writing for business and financial publications such as Budgeting the Nest, PocketSense and Zacks.

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