Dorsey – President’s Program Permitting Deferral of Employees’ 6.2% Social Security Tax for Four Months Presents Complexity and Risk for Employers and Uncertain Benefits for Employees


On August 8, 2020, President Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum entitled “Memorandum on Deferring Payroll Tax Obligations in Light of the Ongoing COVID-19 Disaster,” effective as of September 1, 2020 (the “Memorandum”). Late on Friday, August 28, 2020, in Notice 2020-65 (the “Notice”) the Secretary of Treasury provided the guidance that was directed by the Memorandum. As described in more detail below, the Memorandum and the Notice provide that employers may suspend withholding the employee portion of Social Security payroll taxes for eligible employees with respect to wages paid to them from September 1, 2020, to December 31, 2020, but that the deferred taxes must be paid over to the United States ratably during the period January 1, 2021, to April 30, 2021.

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