Take-Home-Paycheck Calculator

Use our Take Home Pay Calculator to estimate actual paycheck bring home after taxes and deductions from salary. Please note that it is mainly intended for use by U.S. residents. This calculator gives results based on both 2016 and 2017 tax brackets.

Your Annual Income (Salary)
Pay Frequency
File Status
Number of Federal Allowances
Total Pre-tax Monthly Deductions 401k, health insurance, HSA, etc.
State Tax Rate% click here to find out
City Tax Rate%
Are you self-employed or an independent contractor?  

RelatedIncome Tax Calculator | Budget Calculator


In the US, income can take on two different forms: before- or after-tax (and deductions). While most people use the former in conversation and comparison, the more meaningful figure is after-tax, the amount actually disbursed for usage. Figures entered into 'Your Annual Income (Salary)' will be before-tax, otherwise known as gross pay.

Employers automatically withhold taxes and deductions from employees' paychecks. However, independent contractors and self-employed individuals need to submit quarterly or yearly tax payments themselves.

Pay Frequency

There may be pay frequency requirements for certain states, and it is probably best to operate within those regulations. Federal and state laws also dictate that pay is to be released in predictable and routine streams. Pay periods have no effect on tax liability.

The most common methods of pay frequency are weekly, biweekly, semi-monthly, and monthly. It is important to make the distinction between bi-weekly and semi-monthly, even though they may seem similar at first glance. Bi-weekly is not schedule dependent of dates, but simply occurs every other week. Also, bi-weekly frequency will generate two more paychecks a year (26 compared to 24 for semi-monthly).

In general, employees like to be paid more frequently due to psychological factors and immediate use, and employers like to pay less frequently due to the costs associated with each individual released payment. Although employers generally dictate the terms regarding pay frequency, it is most likely in their best interest to mutually come to agreeable terms with their employees on what type of pay frequency is preferred within legal bounds.

File Status

The most common options will be "Single", "Married Filing Jointly", and "Head of Household". The following are the definitions of IRS:

Single – Not married, divorced, or legally separated according to state law.

Married Filing Jointly – A married couple together filing a return together.

Married Filing Separately – If a married couple decides to file returns separately, each of their filing status should generally be Married Filing Separately.

Head of Household – Only applies to anyone not married and has paid more than half the cost of maintaining a home for themselves and a qualifying person.

Qualified Widow – This filing status requires a dependent child, and allows for the retention of the benefits associated with the "Married Filing Jointly" status for two years after the year of the spouse's death.

It is possible for someone to be able to claim more than one filing status. For instance, a "Single" person can also file as "Head of Household" or "Qualifying Widow" if the conditions are met. Given these options, it is possible for a taxpayer to evaluate their options and choose the filing status that results in the lesser amount of taxation.

Federal Allowances

The W-4 form is distributed to employees by employers to obtain information about how much in income tax to withhold from paychecks. Most people will be required to fill one out upon starting a new job, but remember to submit new ones if relevant personal or financial situations change. Generally, the more allowances claimed, the less tax will be withheld from each paycheck.

Single people with one job and no kids may claim 2 allowances, which allows more paycheck upfront, but will result in less in the future tax return. Taxpayers with dependents (usually in the form of children) can add one allowance for each. In the case of a married couple with one child, each parent may claim three allowances, four for two children, so on and so forth. Anyone classified as a dependent may claim 0 allowances on their W-4 form. Please be aware that paying too little tax upfront by using a high allowances number may cause IRS penalty in annual tax filing.

Regardless of the number of allowances claimed, the total tax paid for a certain year will not change, only when the tax is paid. Therefore, erratic spenders who want a strict method to control spending can consider claiming fewer allowances in order to withhold more in taxes for a smaller paycheck.

As an aside, tax on interest, investment return, bonuses, earnings from gambling, and commissions can also be withheld.

Monthly Deductions

This input should be the sum of any and all other additional deductions taken out of each paycheck before they are released. Examples of deductions that fit this category include, but are not limited to the employee share of the following:

401(k), 403(b)Traditional IRA (not Roth IRA)
Tax-Deferred InvestmentsHealth Savings Plans
Transportation BenefitsGroup Health Insurance
Medical, Dental, Vision, Long-Term DisabilityFlexible Spending Accounts
Dependent Care Assistance Programs  

When calculating, please use the shared cost of employees only. The shared cost refers to the partial benefit cost that many employers require employees to share, such as medical insurance, dental insurance, life insurance, and disability insurance. Many employers provide 401K plans and "match" the savings of the employees. In this case, use the contribution by the employee only.

Please remember to key in inputs that are accurately converted into monthly amounts. For instance, if a total of $12,000 is contributed annually by an employee to a 401(k), health savings account (HSA), and vanpool benefit, the correct input in this scenario would be $1,000.

$12,000/(12 (months)) = $1,000 each month.

Income Tax

To find an estimated amount on a tax return, please use our Income Tax Calculator.

Federal Income Tax

This is a progressive income tax that increases in accordance with income brackets. Currently, the federal income tax rate tops out at 39.6%, but only the highest earners are subject to this percentage.

State Income Tax

Seven states impose no income tax – Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming. In the states that do impose an income tax, the lowest maximum rate is 3.07% in Pennsylvania, and the highest is 13.30% in California. In most states, these rates are also progressive, subject to percentages based on brackets. Click here for comprehensive information on state income tax.

Local/City/Municipal Income Tax

Some cities impose local tax – such as New York City, Philadelphia, etc. In general, the highest city tax rates in the US are centered around large cities such as New York City.

Both state and local taxes are normally deductible on federal tax returns.


Also known as payroll tax, this refers to Social Security tax and Medicare tax. Whether employee or independent contractor, a certain percentage of the gross income will go towards FICA. In the case of employees, they pay half of it, and their employer pays the other half. Independent contractors or self-employed individual pay the full amount because they are both employee and employer. This is the reason why independent contractors tend to be paid more hourly than a regular employee for the same job; they must charge more to pay their higher share of the tax burden!

Finer Details

The Social Security tax rate is 12.40% up to an annual maximum ($127,200 for 2017). Based on the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, the Medicare tax rate is 2.90% up to $200,000 for singles and $250,000 if married and filing jointly. After that, it is 3.80% with no limit. For employees, their share of Social Security tax rate is 6.20% and Medicare tax rate is 1.45% for incomes below $200,000 (single) or $250,000 (married and filed jointly). If income is higher, Medicare tax rate is 2.35% for the higher portion. Employers will pay a 6.20% of Social Security tax up to the annual maximum and 1.45% of Medicare tax for employees at no limit.


Only after all of these factors are accounted for can a true, finalized take-home (after-tax) paycheck be calculated. Figuring out this final figure can be extremely helpful for many different reasons. For one, being able to know a close estimate of each regular paycheck can help with the successful planning of future finances. For more comprehensive and detailed calculations in order to help with budgeting, try our Budget Calculator; just note that it also requires a before-tax input for income.

2017 Tax Brackets

Taxable Income 
Single Joint Head of HouseholdTax Rate
$0 to $9,325 $0 to $18,650 $0 to $13,35010%
$9,325 to $37,950 $18,650 to $75,900 $13,350 to $50,80015%
$37,950 to $91,900 $75,900 to $153,100 $50,800 to $131,20025%
$91,900 to $191,650 $153,100 to $233,350 $131,200 to $212,50028%
$191,650 to $416,700 $233,350 to $416,700 $212,500 to $416,70033%
$416,700 to $418,400 $416,700 to $470,700 $416,700 to $444,55035%
$418,400+ $470,700+ $444,550+39.6%

2017 Deductions and Exemptions

  Single Joint Head of Household
Standard Deductions $6,350 $12,700 $9,350
Itemized Deduction Eliminated $261,500 $313,800 $287,650
Personal Exemptions (PEP) $4,050 per person
Personal Exemptions Phase-out Begin $261,500 $313,800 $287,650
Personal Exemptions Phase-out Completely $384,000 $436,300 $410,150

2016 Tax Brackets

Taxable Income 
Single Joint Head of HouseholdTax Rate
$0 to $9,275 $0 to $18,550 $0 to $13,25010%
$9,275 to $37,650 $18,550 to $75,300 $13,250 to $50,40015%
$37,650 to $91,150 $75,300 to $151,900 $50,400 to $130,15025%
$91,150 to $190,150 $151,900 to $231,450 $130,150 to $210,80028%
$190,150 to $413,350 $231,450 to $413,350 $210,800 to $413,35033%
$413,350 to $415,050 $413,350 to $466,950 $413,350 to $441,00035%
$415,050+ $466,950+ $441,000+39.6%

2016 Deductions and Exemptions

  Single Joint Head of Household
Standard Deductions $6,300 $12,600 $9,300
Itemized Deduction Eliminated $259,400 $311,300 $285,350
Personal Exemptions (PEP) $4,050 per person
Personal Exemptions Phase-out Begin $259,400 $311,300 $285,350
Personal Exemptions Phase-out Completely $381,900 $433,800 $407,850

* The assessment of this Take-Home-Pay Calculator is only an estimate. The actual result will be slightly different.