How To Calculate Your Take-Home Pay

Man using a calculator to figure out his take home pay amount.

Towfiqu Photography / Getty Images

If you recently started a job, you might notice that your paychecks are less than the wage you were offered when hired. That's a normal part of working life, and it reflects the taxes you pay to the federal, state, and local government. Estimating your tax burden can help you more accurately anticipate paychecks.

Learn about how FICO taxes, retirement contributions, and other paycheck reducers explain the difference between your salary and the actual amount you take home.

Key Takeaways

  • Your take-home pay will depend on your gross pay, personal exemptions, tax filing status, and other deductions such as health insurance.
  • Your income level will determine your federal tax rate, and it may influence any state or local taxes you owe.
  • Not all retirement contributions are taken directly out of your paycheck, only pre-tax contributions.

What You Need To Calculate Your Take-Home Pay

Want to know what your paycheck will look like before you take a job? There is a way to figure out exactly how much you’ll have left after FICA, federal taxes, state taxes, and any other applicable deductions are removed. You need a few pieces of information in order to calculate your take-home pay:

  • The amount of your gross pay. If you earn a fixed salary, this is easy to figure out. Just divide the annual amount by the number of periods each year. If you are paid hourly, multiply that rate by 40 hours to determine your weekly pay.
  • Your number of personal exemptions. When you start a new job, you fill out a W-4 form to tell your employer how much to withhold from your check.
  • Your tax filing status. There are standard federal and state tax deductions that vary depending on whether you are single, married filing jointly, married filing separately, head of household, or a surviving spouse.
  • Other payroll deductions. This category could include contributions to a 401(k) retirement plan, health insurance, life insurance, or a flexible spending account for medical expenses. It also may include union dues or any other garnishments that are taken from your wages. It helps to categorize these according to pre-tax and after-tax contributions, to deduct them from either your gross salary or after-tax calculation.

How To Calculate Your Taxable Income

There are two steps to calculating your income. First, account for FICA taxes, and then subtract your standard deduction.

How To Calculate FICA Withholding

Your FICA taxes represent your contribution to Social Security and Medicare programs. Everyone pays a flat, 7.65% rate on the first $147,000 they earn in 2022 (rising to 160,200 in 2023). You can reduce the amount of your annual gross pay by this percentage before making other calculations. Employers pay half of your FICA taxes, so self-employed individuals must pay the entire 15.3%.

How Much Is the Standard Deduction?

Next, subtract your standard deduction. For taxpayers who are single or married filing separately, the standard deduction is $12,950 in 2022. For those who are married and filing jointly, the standard deduction is $25,900 in 2022. Heads of households have a standard deduction of $19,400 in 2022.


The standard deduction is higher for taxpayers who are age 65 or older, or who are blind.

The resulting number should be very close to your taxable income. This is the total that will be used to determine your federal and state tax brackets.

Calculating Income Taxes

Several taxes apply to your gross pay, including federal, state, and local income taxes.

The amount of federal tax you pay will depend on your filing status and bracket. The federal income tax rate ranges from 10% to 37%. Note that the IRS tax brackets are marginal, which means you pay different percentages for different income amounts. For instance, if you are a single filer and have income of $60,000 (after the standard deduction), you would owe 10% on the first $10,275; 12% on the amount from $10,276-$41,775; and 22% on the amount from $41,776 to $60,00. That's a lot to calculate, but you can plug your income into an effective tax calculator, which does all the math for you, for an estimate.

Federal Income Tax Bracket (2022)
Tax Rate Annual Income (Single) Annual Income (Married Filing Jointly)
10% ≤$10,275 ≤$20,550
12% $10,276-$41,775 $20,551-$83,550
22% $41,776-$89,075 $83,551-$178,150
24% $89,076-$170,050 $178,150-$340,100
32% $170,051-$215,950 $340,101-$431,900
35% $215,951-$539,900 $431,901-$647,850
37% >$539,900 >$647,850

If you live in a state with a personal income tax, you will need to find your state tax bracket to determine how much will be deducted from your take-home pay. Each state has its own set of brackets, which should be available on the state government website where you live. The Tax Foundation lists state individual income tax rates and brackets on its website.


Depending on where you live, you may also need to pay a local tax. New York City, for example, has its own tax on income. You can usually find this information on your city’s government website.

Add together your federal, state, and other income taxes, and this is the amount that will be deducted from your paychecks over the course of the year.

Other After-Tax Payroll Deductions

Again, remember also to subtract any other relevant deductions. Depending on whether they are pre-tax or after-tax deductions, you can deduct them from your salary before or after calculating income tax due. For example, a 401(k) retirement plan is pre-tax, so if you contribute 6% of your salary, take that amount from your gross salary before calculating your taxes.

Health insurance premiums paid by you are also typically taken from gross pay before taxes are taken out. For union dues and other garnishments, you can verify whether they are taken out before or after tax or use estimates for those figures.

Final Calculations

To determine the total amount of money deducted from your paychecks, add up the amounts you've calculated for FICA taxes, income taxes, and other deductions, then subtract that total amount from your annual gross pay. What's left is your net pay. Divide both your total deductions and your net pay by the number of pay periods for the year to determine how much those amounts will be per paycheck.


Online resources can help you simplify the process. Once you have a sense of who exactly gets a piece of your paycheck and how much, you can easily determine your take-home pay using an online paycheck calculator.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much is my take-home pay after taxes?

To calculate your take-home pay, you must subtract your estimated tax burden from your gross pay. You must also subtract any retirement contributions, health insurance payments, or related paycheck deductions.

What is the average yearly take-home pay in Florida?

The median hourly wage in Florida in 2021 was $18.23. Assuming 52 working weeks at 40 hours per week, that comes out to $37,918.40 per year before taxes. Florida does not have an income tax, so you only need to subtract federal income taxes and the 7.65% FICA tax. That comes out to about $30,672.93 in take-home pay before accounting for retirement contributions, health insurance, and other personal factors along those lines.

What percentage of my take-home pay should I pay for a mortgage?

The federal government uses a 30% rule of thumb for housing costs. In other words, a household shouldn't spend more than 30% of its take-home pay on housing costs like rent or mortgage.

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The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Internal Revenue Service. "Topic No. 751 Social Security and Medicare Withholding Rates."

  2. Internal Revenue Service. "Self-Employment Tax (Social Security and Medicare Taxes)."

  3. Internal Revenue Service. “IRS Provides Tax Inflation Adjustments for Tax Year 2022.”

  4. Internal Revenue Service. "Topic No. 551 Standard Deduction."

  5. Tax Foundation. “State Individual Income Tax Rates and Brackets for 2022.”

  6. NYC Department of Finance. "Taxes."

  7. Internal Revenue Service. "401(k) Plan Overview."

  8. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "May 2021 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates: Florida."

  9. Florida Department of Revenue. "Tax Information for New Residents," Page 2.

  10. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. "Trends in Housing Costs: 1985 - 2005 and the 30-Percent-of-Income Standard," Page 30.

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