How to File for a Social Security Tax Overpayment Refund

When you work, your employer takes Social Security tax out of your check. You’re only required to pay a certain amount of Social Security tax each year. After you reach the limit, you don’t have to pay any more Social Security tax during the same year. If you work more than one job, it’s possible that you could have more tax withheld than you should. When overpayments occur as a result of multiple employers, you can claim a refund of the extra amount you paid directly on your income tax form.

Calculate the total Social Security tax withheld from you during the year. The amounts appear in Box 4 of your W-2 forms.

Check the total against current IRS base limits. As of publication, an employee can’t have more than $4,485.60 in Social Security tax withheld during the year, but this amount can change. Social Security taxes are withheld at a flat percentage of your wages. See IRS Publication 505 for details and current limit amounts.

Subtract the IRS limit from your total. If the result is positive, report the excess withheld from you on line 69 of your 1040 tax return. If you file Form 1040A, report the excess on line 41 and write “Excess SST” next to the box. You can only use Forms 1040 or 1040A to claim a refund of Social Security tax overpayments.


  • If you overpay and have just one employer, your employer must refund the excess to you instead. Do not claim excess payments on your tax return in this instance. If your employer refuses to refund your overpayment, file IRS Form 843. This form is available on the IRS website and must be filed separately from your tax return.

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About the Author

With a background in taxation and financial consulting, Alia Nikolakopulos has over a decade of experience resolving tax and finance issues. She is an IRS Enrolled Agent and has been a writer for these topics since 2010. Nikolakopulos is pursuing Bachelor of Science in accounting at the Metropolitan State University of Denver.