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Tips on how to Calculate Payroll Taxes


Having staff is an incredible feeling. Studying the duties of being an employer will be daunting, although. One accountability you’ve when you rent staff is withholding taxes from their paychecks. For correct withholding, learn to calculate payroll taxes.

What are payroll taxes?

Whenever you consider payroll taxes, you may consider all taxes you withhold out of your staff’ paychecks. Nonetheless, payroll taxes are only one kind of employment tax. Payroll taxes embody FICA (Federal Insurance coverage Contribution Act) and self-employment taxes. Each self-employment and FICA taxes cowl Social Safety and Medicare taxes. 

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

Do you want to calculate self-employment taxes for your self? Nicely, that is determined by your kind of enterprise entity. Sometimes, should you do not obtain a wage like your staff, you need to pay self-employment taxes. 

What are gross taxable wages?

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

For instance, an worker earns $1,000 in gross wages however has an expense reimbursement of $200 and a medical health insurance deduction of $100. To calculate the gross taxable wages, subtract the medical health 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 utilize 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. 

Revenue and unemployment: The opposite employment taxes

Now that you understand FICA and self-employment taxes are payroll taxes, let’s take a quick take a look at earnings and unemployment taxes. Withhold earnings taxes from worker wages until your worker is exempt from earnings taxes. The forms of earnings taxes embody:

Most states have state earnings taxes. When you’re in a state with state earnings tax withholding, acquire state W-4 kinds out of your staff to find out the quantity per paycheck. Keep in mind to verify along with your native authorities to find out if you want to withhold native taxes out of your staff.

Unemployment taxes are the opposite kind of employment taxes you need to pay. In contrast to earnings taxes, employers sometimes pay unemployment taxes. The 2 forms of unemployment taxes are:

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

Like payroll taxes, calculate your unemployment tax contributions primarily based in your staff’ gross wages. 

Remember the fact that earnings and unemployment taxes usually are not technically payroll taxes.

Calculating payroll taxes

Once more, payroll taxes embody FICA and self-employment taxes. Learn on to study tax charges for each forms 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 must.

FICA tax

FICA tax is an worker and employer-paid tax for Social Safety and Medicare. Each you and your worker pay matching contributions. 

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

Social Safety tax charge

Every worker pays a Social Safety tax charge 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’ll pay $62. 

The Social Safety wage base is $160,200 for 2023. The wage base signifies that staff pay into Social Safety taxes till their gross taxable earnings for the yr attain the brink. 

After an worker earns $160,200 in 2023, cease withholding Social Safety taxes from their paychecks. And, cease contributing the tax for that worker, too. 

Medicare tax charge

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

There isn’t any wage base restrict for Medicare taxable wages. As a substitute, there’s an extra 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 brink, calculate 1.45% plus the 0.9% further Medicare tax. Employers don’t contribute the extra Medicare tax. 

Self-employment tax

In contrast to FICA tax, employers and staff don’t share the accountability of self-employment tax. As a substitute, the employer is chargeable for paying the entire 15.3% towards Social Safety and Medicare taxes. Self-employment tax is often known as the Self-Employment Contributions Act (SECA) tax. 

Of the 15.3% complete SECA tax, 12.4% goes to Social Safety and a pair 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 through the tax yr. Connect IRS Schedule SE to Kind 1040, U.S. Particular person Revenue Tax Return. 

Instance of decide payroll taxes

Check out the next examples to grasp calculate FICA and SECA payroll taxes. 

FICA tax instance 1

You’re a sole proprietor with three staff: Worker A, B, and C. Staff receives a commission on a biweekly foundation. Beneath 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. It’s worthwhile to match every worker’s FICA tax legal responsibility.

  • Employer FICA Tax Legal responsibility Whole | $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 staff 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, and their submitting standing is single. 

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 Whole | $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 now not withhold or contribute Social Safety tax. Add the common Medicare tax charge (1.45%) to the extra Medicare tax charge (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 the Medicare and extra Medicare taxes. Proceed to contribute solely 1.45% of Worker D’s wages. 

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

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

SECA tax instance

For self-employment tax, we’ll use a easy instance. You earn $198,000 in 2023. Solely apply the Social Safety tax (12.4%) as much as $160,200.

Let’s decide your Social Safety tax legal responsibility in your first $160,200. Social Safety is 12.4% of your wages as much as the wage base.

  • Employer SECA Tax Legal responsibility (Social Safety) | $160,200 X 0.124 = $19,864.80

Now, decide your Medicare tax legal responsibility in your wages. Medicare tax for SECA is 2.9%. 

  • Employer SECA Tax Legal responsibility (Medicare) | $198,000 X 0.029 = $5,742.00

Since you don’t earn above $200,000, you do not want to fret in regards to the further Medicare tax.

Your complete SECA tax legal responsibility for 2023 could be $25,606.80 ($19,864.80 + $5,742.00).

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

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



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