Unexpectedly Intriguing!
January 2, 2017
Greedy Uncle Sam - Source: https://gideonfountain.wordpress.com/2012/08/02/surprise-the-irs-taxes-olympic-medals-and-everything-else/

Uncle Sam is a greedy and angry man. And in 2017, he's going to take money that you worked hard to earn straight of your paycheck before you even get it!

Not that that's much of a surprise. For Americans, that is something that will not be any different from any other year since 1943, but since Uncle Sam is always changing how much he takes out of your paycheck each year, we here at Political Calculations do our best to keep up with those changes so you can know in advance what your paycheck will look like after Uncle Sam has taken what he's going to from it.

The way we keep up with those changes is by building tools each year to estimate how much of your income the U.S. government will withhold from your paycheck each year, where we also make it possible to answer paycheck-related questions that might come up for you during the next year, which include:

  • How much take home money will I have each payday?
  • How will that change if I get a raise?
  • What if I boost my pre-tax 401(k) or 403(b) retirement plan contributions - how will that change my paycheck?
  • Will I take a hit from the Additional Medicare Tax? [That's the "shared responsibility contribution" that doesn't ever go into Medicare's trust funds, which can affect higher income earners.]
  • How would a flexible savings account for health care or dependent care expenses affect my take home pay?

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! 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!


Your Paycheck and Tax Withholding Data
Category Input Data Values
Basic Pay Data Current Annual Pay
Pay Period
Federal Withholding Data Filing Status
Number of Withholding Allowances
401(k) or 403(b) Contributions Pre-Tax Contributions (%)
After Tax Contributions (%)
Flexible Spending Account Annual Contribution Data Health Care Spending Account
Dependent Care Spending Account
What if You Had a Raise? Desired Raise (%)





























Your "Typical" Paycheck Data
Category Calculated Results Values
Basic Income Data Proposed Annual Salary (Including Raise!)
Typical Paycheck Amount
Federal Tax Withholding Amounts U.S. Federal Income Taxes
U.S. Social Security Taxes
U.S. Medicare Taxes
U.S. Additional "Medicare" Taxes (If Applicable)
401(k) or 403(b) Contributions Pre-Tax Contributions
After-Tax Contributions
Total Contributions
Flexible Spending Account Contributions Health Care Spending Account
Dependent Care Spending Account
Your Paycheck's Bottom Line
Take Home Pay Estimate Basic Net Paycheck Amount
... But, After Social Security's Taxable Income Cap Is Reached, It Becomes (If Applicable, for a Full Paycheck)
... And Then, After Additional Medicare Tax Income Threshold Is Reached, It Becomes (If Applicable, for a Full Paycheck)

Now that we've given you a sense of how much money you'll have withheld in 2017 from each of your paychecks by the U.S. federal government, we should note that there are some really complicating factors that may come into play during the year depending upon how much you earn.

For example, in 2017, once you have earned over $127,200, 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, but 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 part of the new income taxes imposed by the "Affordable Care Act" (a.k.a. "Obamacare"). 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.

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. Also, 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.

Things That May Happen in 2017

With a new President coming into office on 20 January 2017, it likely won't be long before proposals to reform U.S. personal income taxes start working their way through the U.S. Congress.

If and when any such legislation that alters income tax withholding might be passed into law, we will supersede this tool with a new tool that reflects the changes in the nation's tax laws. Until that happens, this tool should present results that reasonably resemble what your paycheck will look like in 2017.

Elsewhere on the Web

There are other paycheck calculators like this on the Internet, including the very well done tools available at PaycheckCity.com. We really like PaycheckCity's calculators because they allow you to determine the amount of state income tax withholding that will be taken out of your paycheck separately from what the federal government takes. Payroll processor ADP also has a salary paycheck calculator, but we think that it's not quite as user friendly as PaycheckCity's calculators.

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, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, or Wyoming), our tool above will provide you with a very good estimate of your actual take-home pay. We'll also note that both New Hampshire and Tennessee do not tax wage and salary income, but they do both tax dividend and interest income (Tennessee will eliminate this state income tax in 2022). Fortunately, those state-level income taxes won't affect your paycheck (and our tool's results), but if you live in these states and have significant investment income, it's something of which you should be aware.

Previously on Political Calculations

We've been in the business of calculating people's paychecks (not including state income tax withholding) since 2005!


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About Political Calculations

Welcome to the blogosphere's toolchest! Here, unlike other blogs dedicated to analyzing current events, we create easy-to-use, simple tools to do the math related to them so you can get in on the action too! If you would like to learn more about these tools, or if you would like to contribute ideas to develop for this blog, please e-mail us at:

ironman at politicalcalculations.com

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