2018 IRS limits

New 2018 limits (direct from the IRS)

IRS recently came out with limits on Social Security wage base, funding retirement plans, health savings account contributions, and more.

Below is a quick summary of IRS limit changes.

Social Security wage base

Wages are taxed up to $128,400 for FICA in year 2018 (up from $127,200 in 2017). The 2018 rates for FICA (6.2%) and Medicare (1.45%) remain unchanged from 2017.

Funding 2018 retirement plans

Funding limits for employee payroll contributions to various types of "qualified" retirement plans during 2018 are as follows:

  • 401(k), 403(b) annuity, and 457 government
    • Regular amount: $18,500
    • Additional catch-up*: $6,000
    • Regular amount: $12,500
    • Additional catch-up*: $3,000

*An employee must be at least age 50 by 12/31/18 to contribute the "catch-up" contributions.

Note: The maximum compensation which can be "counted" for defined contribution retirement plans is $275,000 for 2018 (which produces a funding "cap" of $55,000 in 2018).

Health savings accounts

The 2018 annual funding limits to health savings accounts (HSAs) increases to $3,450 for self-only or $6,900 for family HSAs. Employees age 55 - 65 can fund additional "catch-up" amounts of $1,000 to HSAs (to $4,450 for self-only and $7,900 for family HSA accounts). These 2018 annual funding limits are the combined contribution amounts between employee and employer funding.

Note: It is always smart to include employee HSA contributions as an "includable benefit" in a written Section 125 cafeteria plan document, in order to save FICA/Medicare taxes.

Flexible spending accounts (FSA)

The maximum amount an employee can contribute to a health FSA during 2018 is $2,650. Contributions to "dependent care" FSA accounts (for child care) are limited to $5,000 in 2018; OR $2,500 if "married filing separately" as your tax filing status.

Note: Make sure you have a written Section 125 plan document if you sponsor FSAs.

Employer-paid parking

An employer may reimburse or directly pay employees for up to $260 per month during 2018 for parking as a non-taxable fringe benefit. The parking must be job-related and on or near the employer's business location.

Note: "Downtown" employers may want to consider providing non-taxable parking benefits in lieu of taxable employee wages.

Mileage reimbursement

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2018, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car, van, pickup or panel truck will be:

  • 54.5 cents per mile for business miles driven; up from 53.5 cents in 2017
  • 18 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes; up from 17 cents in 2017
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

An employer may choose to reimburse employees at the IRS rate for business miles driven on their personal vehicle without the reimbursement being reported as taxable wages to the employee. Reimbursements above the IRS mileage rate must be treated as taxable wages.

Note: An employer is NOT required to use the IRS mileage rate for employee reimbursements; therefore, it can reimburse more (taxable on excess) or less than the IRS rate listed above.


If you have questions about the IRS limits, contact Cindy McSwain using the information below.

Cindy McSwain

Senior Vice President
Outsourcing Services

Cindy McSwain leads AGH’s outsourcing services group. Her team provides payroll, accounting, funds disbursement, controller, and other financial outsourcing services to numerous clients throughout the U.S. Prior to joining the outsourcing group, Cindy served AGH’s audit clients for 10 years, working with a wide range of middle-market, closely held and family-owned organizations.

Her current clients cross many industry sectors, including manufacturing and distribution, restaurants, retailers, medical and not-for-profit. She has participated in numerous SEC filings and public registrations and has experience in mergers and acquisitions. Cindy is a certified public accountant and a member of both the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Kansas Society of Certified Public Accountants.

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