Tax Withholding: How To Calculate Your Withholdings

In order to figure out the tax withholding, calculate several different numbers and you will end up with your take home pay.

Tax withholdings are based on several different numbers that are either constant or are determined by the number of exemptions you have declared on your W-4.

Multiply Hours and Pay Rate

To find out how much you paycheck will be you need to start with how much you have actually worked. Add up your hours and multiply that by your base pay rate. Then add in any overtime hours you have worked. From this amount your will deduct all other withholdings.

Deduct Tax Withholdings

Using a tax table provided by the IRS in the Employer's Tax Guide, you will then deduct the amount of tax that should be withheld. For example, you would look for the closest pay amount, then reference that the number of exemptions. This will give you the total amount to withhold. This is also the same for any state taxes.

Social Security

From your original pay amount, deduct a fixed rate of 6.2% from it. This number is the amount that is withheld from your paycheck.


Again, from the original pay amount, you will now deduct another fixed rate of 1.45%. This will cover your Medicare benefits.