From January 1, 2016 forward, the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax exclusion for election officials and election workers is $1,700 a calendar year, unless those wages are subject to Social Security and Medicare taxes under the State's Section 218 Agreement. Under Section 218 of the Social Security Act, many States have excluded from coverage election workers paid less than the threshold amount mandated by law. Therefore, Social Security and Medicare taxes do not apply until the election worker is paid $1,700 or more.
Some State Agreements specify a lower threshold amount for election workers, e.g., $50 a calendar quarter or $100 a calendar year. In these States, the Social Security and Medicare tax applies when the amount specified in the State's 218 Agreement is met. States may modify the State's Agreement to exclude the services of election workers paid less than the threshold amount mandated by law. Such modifications are effective in the calendar year the modification is mailed or delivered to SSA.
If the State's Agreement does not have an election worker exclusion or the entity has a Section 218 Agreement that does not exclude election workers, Social Security and Medicare taxes apply from the first dollar paid. If the entity is not covered under a Section 218 Agreement, the rules for mandatory Social Security and Medicare under Section 210(a)(7)(F) of the Social Security Act apply.
The election worker threshold amount for each calendar year beginning 2016 and going forward is $1,700. For calendar years 2013 through 2015, the threshold amount was $1,600, and for calendar years 2009 through 2012, the threshold amount was $1,500. The election worker threshold amount was $1,400 for calendar year 2008, and $1,300 for 2006 and 2007. The threshold amount for calendar years 2002 through 2005 was $1,200 and was $1,100 for 2000 and 2001. The threshold amount was $1,000 for years 1995 through 1999. For years 1978 through 1994, the threshold amount was $100 for a calendar year. For years 1968 through 1977, the threshold amount was $50 a calendar quarter.
To find the coverage status of election workers for each State, click the Election Worker Coverage chart. In those States with limited coverage, contact the State Social Security Administrator concerning the coverage status of election workers under the State's Section 218 Agreement (see http://www.ncsssa.org for State contact). IRS Revenue Ruling 2000-6 (W-2 Reporting Requirements for Election Workers) provides reporting instructions for election workers.