Easy methods to Calculate Payroll Taxes


Having workers is a tremendous feeling. However studying the duties of being an employer could be daunting. One accountability you may have when you rent workers is withholding taxes from their paychecks. For correct withholding, discover ways to calculate payroll taxes.

What are payroll taxes?

While you consider payroll taxes, you would possibly consider all taxes you withhold out of your workers’ paychecks. Nonetheless, payroll taxes are only one kind of employment tax. Payroll taxes particularly discuss with Social Safety and Medicare taxes, often known as FICA (Federal Insurance coverage Contribution Act).

Most employers should calculate and withhold payroll taxes from their workers’ gross taxable wages.

What are gross taxable wages?

Gross taxable wages describe the cash your worker earns that’s topic to revenue tax withholding and/or FICA tax. Taxable wages don’t embody non-taxable revenue or pre-tax deductions, comparable to expense reimbursements or Part 125 medical insurance deductions. 

For instance, an worker earns $1,000 in gross wages however has an expense reimbursement of $200 and a medical insurance deduction of $100. To calculate the gross taxable wages, subtract the medical insurance deduction from the gross wages ($1,000 – $100 = $900). Do not add the expense reimbursement. The gross taxable wages are $900 (that is the quantity you employ to calculate the FICA tax on). 

After you calculate all taxes on the gross taxable $900, add the $200 expense reimbursement. The $200 expense reimbursement will increase the online wages you pay to the worker. 

Earnings and unemployment: The opposite employment taxes

Now that you already know Social Safety and Medicare taxes are payroll taxes, let’s take a short take a look at different taxes to deal with once you run payroll.

Withhold revenue taxes from worker wages except your worker is exempt from revenue taxes. The varieties of revenue taxes embody:

Most states have state revenue taxes. Should you’re in a state with state revenue tax withholding, gather state W-4 types out of your workers to find out the quantity per paycheck. Keep in mind to examine together with your native authorities to find out if you could withhold native taxes out of your workers.

Unemployment taxes are one other kind of employment tax. Not like revenue taxes, employers usually pay unemployment taxes. The 2 varieties of unemployment taxes are:

  • Federal unemployment tax (FUTA)
  • State unemployment tax (SUTA)

Calculate your unemployment tax contributions based mostly in your workers’ gross wages. 

Understand that revenue and unemployment taxes usually are not technically “payroll taxes.” However, you need to deal with these employment taxes once you run payroll.

Calculating payroll taxes: Social Safety and Medicare

Once more, payroll taxes embody Social Safety and Medicare taxes. Each you and your worker pay matching contributions. 

The overall worker contribution is 7.65%, and also you pay an identical 7.65%. This FICA tax fee goes towards Social Safety and Medicare taxes. 

Learn on to be taught tax charges for each varieties of payroll taxes.

Let Patriot’s payroll software program do the calculations for you!

Don’t need to calculate taxes your self? Patriot’s on-line payroll software program routinely calculates payroll taxes so that you don’t need to.

Social Safety tax fee

Every worker pays a Social Safety tax fee of 6.2%. You additionally pay an identical 6.2% for every worker. So if an worker’s gross taxable wages are $1,000 for the pay interval, the worker pays $62, and you’d pay $62. 

The Social Safety wage base is $168,600 for 2024 (up from $160,200 in 2023). The wage base signifies that workers pay into Social Safety taxes till their gross taxable earnings for the 12 months attain the brink. 

After an worker earns $168,600 in 2024, cease withholding Social Safety taxes from their paychecks. And, cease contributing the tax for that worker, too. 

Medicare tax fee

The Medicare tax fee is 1.45% of every worker’s wages. You need to additionally contribute an identical 1.45%. 

There is no such thing as a wage base restrict for Medicare taxable wages. As an alternative, there’s a further Medicare tax of 0.9% after an worker earns a sure wage. This extra tax relies on their submitting standing:

  • Single: $200,000
  • Married submitting collectively: $250,000
  • Married submitting individually: $125,000

If an worker earns above the $200,000 threshold, calculate 1.45% plus the 0.9% extra Medicare tax. Employers don’t contribute the extra Medicare tax. 

Instance of the way to decide payroll taxes: FICA tax calculations

Check out the next examples to grasp the way to calculate FICA tax. 

FICA tax instance 1

You’re a sole proprietor with three workers: Worker A, B, and C. Workers receives a commission on a biweekly foundation. Under is the quantity of every worker’s gross wages.

Worker Pay
Worker A $1,500.00
Worker B $1,200.00
Worker C $2,000.00

To find out every worker’s FICA tax legal responsibility, multiply their gross wages by 7.65%, as seen beneath. These are the quantities you withhold from worker wages and ship to the IRS.

Worker FICA Tax Legal responsibility
Worker A $1,500 X 0.0765 = $114.75
Worker B $1,200.00 X 0.0765 = $91.80
Worker C $2,000.00 X 0.0765 = $153.00

Now, onto calculating payroll taxes for employers. You have to match every worker’s FICA tax legal responsibility.

  • Employer FICA Tax Legal responsibility Complete | $114.75 + $91.80 + $153.00 = $359.55

You owe $359.55 per pay interval to cowl the employer parts of FICA tax. Proceed paying this quantity till worker wages change. These workers don’t earn above the Social Safety wage base restrict.

FICA tax instance 2

This instance is for a extremely compensated worker, Worker D, who’s your solely worker. Worker D earns $10,000 biweekly. This implies the worker earns $260,000 yearly ($10,000 X 26).

Right here is how a lot to withhold and ship to the IRS for Worker D’s FICA tax. 

  • Worker D | $10,000 X 0.0765 = $765.00

Now, check out your FICA tax legal responsibility. As a result of Worker D is your solely worker on this instance, your FICA contribution matches Worker D’s FICA tax. 

  • Employer FICA Tax Legal responsibility Complete | $10,000 X 0.0765 = $765.00

Proceed paying this quantity till Worker D’s wages change or they earn above the Social Safety wage base.

Check out how FICA works as soon as the worker earns above $200,000. You not withhold or contribute Social Safety tax. Add the common Medicare tax fee (1.45%) to the extra Medicare tax fee (0.9%). Withhold a complete of two.35% for Medicare.

That is how a lot to withhold from Worker D’s wages for FICA.

  • Worker D | $10,000 X 0.0235 = $235.00

Withhold $235.00 from Worker D’s wages for Medicare and extra Medicare taxes. Proceed to contribute solely 1.45% of Worker D’s wages. 

  • Employer FICA Tax Legal responsibility Complete | $10,000 X 0.0145 = $145.00

The employer contribution is $145.00, however Worker D’s withholding for Medicare is $235.00 per pay interval. 

What about self-employment tax?

Like FICA tax, self-employment taxes additionally go towards Social Safety and Medicare taxes. Do you could calculate self-employment taxes for your self? Nicely, that will depend on your kind of enterprise entity. Usually, for those who do not obtain a wage like your workers, you need to pay self-employment taxes. 

Not like FICA tax, employers and workers don’t share the accountability of self-employment tax. As an alternative, the employer is answerable for paying the whole 15.3% towards Social Safety and Medicare taxes. Self-employment tax is also referred to as the Self-Employment Contributions Act (SECA) tax. 

Of the 15.3% complete SECA tax, 12.4% goes to Social Safety and a couple of.9% goes to Medicare tax. After you earn above the Social Safety wage base, you do not want to pay the Social Safety tax portion.

In case your gross taxable wages exceed the extra Medicare tax threshold, you additionally must pay the extra 0.9% for Medicare tax. The wages for the extra Medicare tax are the identical for SECA as they’re for FICA. 

File Schedule SE to find out the quantity of self-employment tax it is best to pay throughout the tax 12 months. Connect IRS Schedule SE to Type 1040, U.S. Particular person Earnings Tax Return. 

This text has been up to date from its unique publication date of July 3, 2017.

This isn’t meant as authorized recommendation; for extra data, please click on right here.


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