Unexpectedly Intriguing!
01 January 2009

Burning Money Happy New Year! Around these parts, we celebrate each new year by looking at the changes the new year will bring, starting with the newest version of our tool that can show you how much money Uncle Sam wants to take out of your paycheck to support the wise investments in national infrastructure that he'd like to make. You know, like the National Money Hole or other, much less deserving, federal spending programs....

And now that "change itself" is coming to Washington D.C., we suspect we may be coming out with a revised edition of this tool later this year.

Until then, or next year, just enter the basic data indicated below and we'll work out how much the federal government will be extracting directly from each one of your paychecks in 2009. We can take things like the number of federal withholding allowances into account, your tax filing status, how much you stash away on a pre-or-post tax basis into your 401(k) type plan, how much you set aside pre-tax into a flexible spending account, and even how much a raise might change your take home pay.

We thought you might like that last part. Enjoy it (while you can!...)

Your Paycheck and Tax Withholding Data
Category Input Data Values
Basic Pay Data Current Annual Pay ($USD)
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 Data Annual Contribution to Health Care Spending Account
Annual Contribution to Dependent Care Spending Account
What if You Had a Raise? Desired Raise (%)

Your Paycheck Data
Category Calculated Results Values
Basic Income Data Proposed Annual Salary (Including Desired Raise)
Typical Paycheck Amount ($USD)
Federal Tax Withholding Amounts U.S. Federal Income Taxes ($USD)
U.S. Social Security Taxes ($USD)
U.S. Medicare Taxes ($USD)
401(k) or 403(b) Contributions Pre-Tax Contributions ($USD)
After-Tax Contributions ($USD)
Total Contributions ($USD)
Flexible Spending Account Contributions Health Care Spending Account ($USD)
Dependent Care Spending Account ($USD)
Take Home Pay Estimate Net Paycheck Amount ($USD)

One last thing - if you don't like these income taxes, remember, Political Calculations is the only place where you can build your own personal income tax plan!

Elsewhere on the Web

There are other paycheck calculators like this on the Internet, including the superior tools available at PaycheckCity.com. We really like PaycheckCity's tools because they allow 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.

Then again, if you live in one of the nine states that have no personal income tax (Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington or Wyoming), our 2009 paycheck estimator will provide you with a very good estimate of your actual take-home pay. We'll note that both New Hampshire and Tennessee both tax dividend and interest income, which doesn't affect your paycheck, but might influence your withholding decisions - especially if you plan to overwithhold your federal taxes as a way of saving to cover what you might have to pay for state taxes.

About the 2009 Paycheck Estimator

Political Calculations' 2009 Paycheck Estimator will determine the amount of U.S. Federal Income, Social Security and Medicare taxes to be withheld for wages and salaries earned in 2008, as determined through the percentage method outlined in the IRS's Employer's Tax Guide (Publication 15 Circular E, which is available online.)

The paycheck estimator also takes into account the amount of pre-tax 401(k) or 403(b) plan contributions you make as well as your pre-tax flexible spending account contributions for health care and dependent care expenses before figuring the amount of taxes to withhold.

Previously on Political Calculations

Did you ever wonder what your paycheck would have looked like in previous years? Our archive of tax withholding calculators can show you!

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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

Thanks in advance!

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