Free Calculators to Figure Out Paycheck Tax Deductions

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A paycheck calculator lets you know how much money will be in every check that you receive from your employer.

If that seems unnecessary, recall a scene from an early episode of the TV show Friends ("The One With George Stephanopoulos"), where Rachel receives her very first paycheck, and is unpleasantly surprised to find out how much lower the amount is than her hourly salary. "Who's FICA, and why's he getting all my money?" she asks.



FICA stands for the Federal Insurance Coverage Act. Each paycheck will include a deduction for FICA, which goes to covering the Social Security and Medicare programs. But that's not all: Typically, your check will also have deductions for local, state, and federal taxes. To avoid the surprise factor, and to know your take home wages or salary even before the first check is received, use a paycheck calculator to figure out the exact amount.

What Is a Paycheck Calculator?

A paycheck calculator lets you know what amount of money will be reserved for taxes, and what amount you will actually receive. Generally, paycheck calculators will show the take home salary for salaried and hourly workers; they can also help calculate the amount of overtime pay will be paid out directly in your check. 

Find out more about what is included on your pay stub, including tax withholdings, Social Security deductions, and much more.

Why Use a Paycheck Calculator

One major reason to use a paycheck calculator is to avoid the mistake Rachel makes on Friends: Before you get your first paycheck, use one of the calculators listed below to estimate how much money will be in your pay. Paycheck calculators can also be helpful even before you've accepted a job offer, or when you're offered a raise.

What may seem like a large salary, or a reasonable hourly rate, may seem different when you use a paycheck calculator and see the amount that you receive.

Paycheck calculators can also help determine if you are deducting the correct amount of money from your check for taxes. If you deduct too little, you will need pay back the amount you underpaid throughout the year at tax time. Or, if you deduct too much, you'll receive money back at tax time — while unexpected money is always nice, having the money throughout the year may be more beneficial. Here is information on how to fill out a W4 form when you begin a new job, so you can make sure the correct amount of money is deducted from each paycheck.

There are paycheck calculators to help you determine how much your paycheck will be after deductions and to help you decide how much you should have deducted to cover taxes.

Paycheck Calculators to Estimate Your Paycheck

Here are some options of calculators that will help you analyze your paycheck and determine your take-home salary.

Receiving Your Pay

When you receive you paycheck depends on the timing of the company's payroll. Employees typically receive a paycheck either weekly or every other week. Receiving a paycheck monthly is less common. Paychecks are typically paid via check or direct deposit directly into the employee's checking account.

See more information about when you will receive your first paycheck after starting a job, as well as when you will receive your last paycheck after you stop working for a company.

More on Paychecks and Earnings

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