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Should my spouse work?

This calculator is designed to help you see the financial impact of adding, or removing, a spouse's income to your household. As with any decision of this type, there are many factors to consider, but knowing your finances is a good place to start. This calculator uses the latest withholding schedules, rules and rates (IRS Publication 15).

Should my spouse work? Definitions

Additional expenses when spouse works
These are any additional expenses that you expect to pay when your spouse works. All of the expenses should be entered as the amount per pay period. We assume that these expenses are paid with your after-tax income.
Pay period
This is how often you are paid. Your selections are: Weekly (52 paychecks per year), Every other week (26 paychecks per year), Twice a month (24 paychecks per year), Monthly (12 paychecks per year), and Annually (one paycheck per year).
Gross pay
This is your gross pay, before any deductions, for the pay period. Please enter a dollar amount from $1 to $1,000,000.
Number of allowances
When your Federal income tax withholding is calculated, you are allowed to claim allowances to reduce the amount of the Federal income tax withholding. In 2017, each allowance you claim is equal to $4,050 of income that you expect to have in deductions when you file your annual tax return. The number of allowances you should claim depends largely on the number of dependents you have and your itemized deductions. This calculator allows from 0 to 99 allowances.
401(k)/403(b) plan withholding
This is the percent of your gross income you put into a taxable deferred retirement account such as a 401(k) or 403(b). While increasing your retirement account savings does lower your take home pay, it also lowers your Federal income tax withholding. The impact on your paycheck might be less than you think. While your plan may not have a deferral percentage limit, this calculator limits deferrals to 80% to account for FICA (Social Security and Medicare) taxes. Please note that your 401(k) or 403(b) plan contributions may be limited to less than 80% of your income. Check with your plan administrator for details. For 2017, the maximum contribution to a 401(k) or 403(b) is $18,000 per year for individuals under 50 and $24,000 for individuals 50 or older.
Employee paid health insurance
Health insurance premiums deducted from your pay. Do not include any amounts paid directly by your employer. Your health insurance premiums are not subject to FICA or Medicare taxes.
State and local taxes
This is the percentage that will be deducted for state and local taxes. We take your gross pay, minus $4,050 per allowance, times this percentage to calculate your estimated state and local taxes. Please note, this calculator can only estimate your state and local tax withholding. The tax rate displayed is an assumption that may or may not be relevant to your situation.
Social Security tax
For 2017, Social Security tax is calculated as your gross earnings times 6.2%. For 2017, incomes over $127,200 that have already had the maximum Social Security tax of $7,886 withheld will not have additional withholding. Please note that if you have other wages or employers this calculator does not make any assumptions as to the total Social Security tax withheld for the current year other than the actual inputs for this calculator. This tax is also referred to as the Federal Insurance Contributions Act Old Age Survivors and Disability Insurance (FICA OASDI).
Medicare tax
Medicare tax is calculated as your gross earnings times 1.45%. Unlike the Social Security tax, there is no annual limit to the Medicare tax. Starting in 2013, an additional Medicare tax of 0.9% is withheld on all gross earnings paid in excess of $200,000 in a calendar year. If you enter an amount for the year-to-date gross earnings, this additional Medicare tax will be calculated based on the current period's gross earnings that exceed the annual $200,000 threshold. If no year-to-date amount is entered, any additional Medicare tax withholding will be calculated only for any gross earnings in excess of $200,000 for the current payroll period. If year-to-date wages prior to the current payroll period have exceeded $200,000, the year-to-date wages must be entered to calculate an accurate additional Medicare tax.
Federal tax withholding calculations
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