The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 temporarily reduced the social security contribution rate for employees and the self-employed by 2.0 percentage points for 2011 (informally referred to as a “payroll tax holiday”). The social security contribution rate for employees was reduced from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent, and the contribution rate for self-employed workers was reduced from 12.4 percent to 10.4 percent. Because personal contributions for government social insurance are a subtraction in the calculation of personal income, these changes boosted personal income and disposable personal income for January 2011 by $107.0 billion at an annual rate.
Although the Making Work Pay Credit provision of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 expired at the end of 2010, the Making Work Pay tax credit continued to boost government social benefits in 2011, in part because the credit caused taxpayers to owe less in taxes or receive larger tax refunds when they filed their taxes for tax year 2010. For January 2011, this tax credit boosted personal income by $54.8 billion at an annual rate.