How to Stop Social Security Deduction

Participating in Social Security withholding is mandatory for nearly everyone who earns income in the United States. You won't be able to simply ask your employer to stop deducting Social Security from your paychecks because you'd prefer not to contribute for personal, political or financial reasons. However, there are some valid exemptions available for qualifying taxpayers that make it possible to opt out of having Social Security deductions taken from paychecks. Here's a glimpse at the four main categories that can qualify for exemptions under certain circumstances:

  • Students who are employed by the colleges and universities they attend.
  • Foreign workers not planning to immigrate to the United States.
  • Some members of the clergy.
  • Conscientious/religious objectors with beliefs that prohibit them from participating.

Keep in mind that the religious exemption for opting out of Social Security deductions is strict. Only members of recognized religions formed prior to 1950 can qualify. If this applies to you, you'll need to let your employer know ahead of time that you're filing for an exemption to cease your payroll deductions.

Which Form Should You Use to Stop Social Security Deductions?

The IRS doesn't provide a general form for declaring a Social Security exemption for all taxpayers. There are several highly specific forms to use when ending Social Security deductions. It's important to use the right form based on your reason for opting out of deductions. Here's the rundown:

It's important to confirm that you are exempt from withholding if you intend to claim this status. If you mistakenly claim yourself as being exempt from withholding, you will receive a large tax bill once the IRS discovers your mistake. You may also be charged penalties for essentially failing to pay your taxes in full. It's also important to check state laws before claiming that you're exempt from withholding. Laws regarding what qualifies students and foreign workers for exemptions can vary by state.

Final Thoughts on Stopping a Social Security Deduction on Your Paycheck

Overall, stopping the Social Security deduction is simply not something that's in the cards for most people. Every self-employed person and wage recipient is expected to pay what they owe in Social Security withholdings every year. It's also important to emphasize that simply disagreeing with Social Security taxes isn't considered justification for failing to pay what you owe in the eyes of the law. It will be considered tax evasion if you make the decision to stop withholdings.

Be prepared to prove that you belong to a qualifying religious group if you opt to stop withholdings based on religious grounds.