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Payroll Deductions Comparison Calculator

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Use this calculator to help you determine the impact of changing your payroll deductions. You can enter your current payroll information and deductions, and then compare them to your proposed deductions. Try changing your tax withholding, filing status or retirement savings and let the payroll deduction calculator show you the impact on your take home pay. Withholding schedules, rules and rates are from "IRS Publication 15" and "IRS Publication 15T". This calculator uses the redesigned W-4 created to comply with the elimination of exemptions in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).

Payroll Deductions Comparison Calculator Definitions

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).
Filing status
This is your income tax filing status. The choices are "Single", "Married" and "Head of Household." Choose "Married" if you are married, "Head of household" if you are unmarried with dependent children, "Single" if you file your taxes as a single person or if you are married but file separately.
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.
Two jobs or spouse works
Check this box if you have two jobs that have similar annual pay, or if you are married and your spouse also works with similar annual pay. If you check this box, it is assumed that you have also checked this option on the other job (or your spouse's job). If the jobs do not have similar pay, the tax tables provided by the IRS will require more taxes than necessary to be withheld. This will result in a larger tax refund (or smaller shortfall if you have other tax liabilities) when you file your taxes.
Credit for children under age 17
Enter your annual estimated child tax credit. This is typically $2,000 for each of your of children under age 17 that are your dependents. The IRS instructions are to include this credit only if your income is $200,000 or less ($400,000 or less if married filing jointly). If you have a spouse that works or have two jobs you should only claim these credits with one employer/paycheck.
Credit for other dependents
Enter your annual estimated credit for other dependents. This is typically $500 for each dependent that qualifies. Do not include children under age 17. The IRS instructions are to include this credit only if your income is $200,000 or less ($400,000 or less if married filing jointly). If you have a spouse that works or have two jobs you should only claim these credits with one employer/paycheck.
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. **PLAN_CONTRIBUTION_MAX**
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. **TAX_STATE_ALLOWANCE_TJA_DEFINITION** 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.
Other pre-tax deductions
Enter any other deductions made with pre-tax income. This amount will not be subject to income taxes, but is taxable in regards to require FICA and Medicare.
Post-tax deductions
Enter any payroll deductions made by your employer that are made with after-tax income.
Post-tax reimbursements
Enter any reimbursements made by your employer that are after-tax.
Year-to-date earnings
Your current year gross earnings that were subject to FICA taxes (Social Security tax and Medicare tax). This total should not include the current payroll period or any income from other sources or employers. The tool uses this amount to determine if you are required to have Social Security tax or additional Medicare tax withheld for the current payroll period. Typically, this is your gross earnings minus employer paid health insurance and any Flexible Spending Account (FSA) contributions. **TAX_YEAR_TO_DATE_DEFINITION**
Social Security tax
**TAX_SOCIAL_SECURITY_MAX** 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