As we start 2019, parts of the U.S. government are remaining closed for business following the holidays, but that's not going to stop Uncle Sam from taking all the money he wants out of your paycheck anytime soon. Just like he took from five-year-old singer Bobby Hookey back in 1943.
The question that needs to be answered is "how much?" and that's something that we can help you answer!
We can tell you right now that the answer you'll discover on your first paycheck of 2019 will almost certainly be different than what it was on your last paycheck in 2018. That's why we've built the tool below, based on the math that the IRS published for 2019's withholding taxes, where you can find out just how much different your paycheck in 2019 might be.
Mostly, it won't be much different, because the withholding taxes that the U.S. government will take out of your paycheck have been slightly adjusted to account for the effect of inflation over the past year. But what if other things are changing for you? Is this the year that you'll start putting some money, or perhaps some more money, into a pre-tax 401(k) retirement account at work? What if you take advantage of those health or dependent care pre-tax flexible spending accounts your employer might provide as a benefit?
Better yet, what if you get a raise in 2019? How might that change in your pay affect how much money the U.S. government will let you take home from what you earned on the job?
Our tool below is designed to answer those questions, as well as a number of others that may occur to you that we haven't considered, such as whether Bobby Hookey would be able to afford so much as a little red wagon in 2019 after Uncle Sam has taken his cut. Just enter the indicated information as it applies for you, and we'll do our best to estimate how much of the money you work hard to earn will still be in your possession after the federal government has withheld what it wants from your paycheck! [If you're reading this article on a site that republishes our RSS news feed, please click through to our site to access a working version.]
Now that we've given you a sense of how much money you'll have withheld in 2019 from each of your paychecks by the U.S. federal government, we should note that there are some factors that can really complicate your withholding tax results depending upon how much you cumulatively earn during the year.
For example, in 2019, once you have earned over $132,900, you will no longer have the Social Security payroll tax of 6.2% of your income deducted from your paycheck (or 12.4% if you are self-employed, where our tool above is designed for those employed by others). But then, by the time that happens, you'll have long been paying taxes on your income that are taxed at rates that are at least 10% higher than those paid by over half of all Americans.
There's also the complication provided by the so-called "Additional Medicare Tax" that your employer is required to begin withholding from your paycheck if, and as soon as, your year-to-date income rises above the $200,000 mark, which is one of the new income taxes imposed by the "Affordable Care Act" (a.k.a. "Obamacare") that are still in effect. Since the money collected through this 0.9% surtax on your income does not go to directly support the Medicare program, unlike the real Medicare payroll taxes paid by you and your employer, it is really best thought of as an additional income tax. Since it isn't adjusted for inflation, that means that you could someday be subject to it through 1970s-style bracket creep, even though the tax was sold on the claim that it would be limited to very high income earners.
In the tool above, in case the amount of your annual 401(k) or 403(b) retirement savings contributions exceed the annual limits set by law, we've limited the results our tool provides to be those consistent with their statutory limits, and will do so as if you specifically set the percentage contributions for these contributions with that in mind. Our tool does not consider whether you might take advantage of the "catch-up" provisions in the law that are available to individuals Age 50 or older, which increase those annual contribution limits.
Elsewhere on the Web
There are other salary and hourly paycheck calculators like this on the Internet, including the very well done tools available at PaycheckCity.com. We really like PaycheckCity's Salary Paycheck Calculator because it allows you to determine the amount of state income tax withholding that will be taken out of your paycheck in addition to what the federal government takes out. Payroll processing giant ADP also has a salary paycheck calculator that will give you good results, but we still find the format of PaycheckCity's versionto be more user friendly.
Then again, if you live in one of the seven states that have no personal income tax for wage and salary income (Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, or Wyoming), our tool above will provide you with a very good estimate of your actual take-home pay.