The Social Security Administration released their final 2019 numbers last week. Most Social Security recipients will receive an extra 2.8% in their pay starting in January 2019. That is the good news.
The bad news is that the Social Security Wage Base has increased from $128,400 to $132,900. For those farmers over the wage base amount in both years, this means that you will now owe an extra $558 of FICA tax compared to 2018. The Medicare tax remains at 1.45% on all earnings (2.9% for self-employed farmers) and the extra .9% high income Medicare tax on the employee continues at the same level ($200,000 single and $250,000 MFJ).
If you elect the optional self-employment method on your return, you will be credited with four quarters of coverage and will owe self-employment tax on $5,440 or $832.32 of SE tax. You can earn up to $17,640 before full retirement age (FRA) and not have any repayment owed to Social Security.
The maximum monthly Social Security Benefit at FRA is now $2,861 with FRA at age 66. This also means that if you wait until age 70 your maximum monthly benefit will approach $4,000.