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How Can I Calculate My Salary after Tax?

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  • Written By: Larry Ray Palmer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 25 September 2016
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When calculating one's salary after tax, there are a few basic mathematical equations used. The figures needed to compute one's after tax income include the tax rates for each tax being paid and gross (or pre-tax) income. Once these numbers are ascertained, the process of computing salary after tax is actually very simple. While the actual taxation rates and types may change from one location to another, the basic mathematical principles involved in figuring salary after tax remain constant.

For the purpose of simplicity, let's assume that the employee has two different taxes being deducted from his payroll check. These taxes are a 5% federal tax and a 3% state tax. We will also assume that the employee earns a $100,000 US Dollars (USD) annual salary as gross income.

To compute the salary after tax, one would simply multiply the gross income ($100,000) by each of the tax rates. For this example, the employee would pay $5,000 USD in federal taxes and $3,000 USD in state taxes. The total deductions for these taxes are then added together ($8,000) and subtracted from the gross income to figure the salary after tax. In this example, the employee will have an after tax income, or take home pay, of $92,000 USD.

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While the basic method of computing salary after tax income is simple, there are variations in tax structures that can make the process slightly more complex. For example, some countries use a taxation system which imposes taxes on earnings above a certain level. For the sake of simplicity, assume that the employee is from a country where he is only taxed on his earnings above $5,000 USD a year. To figure the employee's after tax income, one would simply subtract the deductible amount from the gross income and multiply the result by the tax rate.

In addition to deductions, some tax systems also offer extra complexity to the process of figuring salary after tax. For example, if the federal tax is charged on the gross income but the state tax is charged on the adjusted income after deductions, it can sometimes lead to some confusion for the non-accountant. While it may look very complex, the process of computing the take home salary remains essentially the same. In the given example, the federal tax would be $5,000 USD (The gross income multiplied by the federal tax rate) and the state tax would be $2,850 USD (The adjusted income of $95,000 USD after the $5,000 USD annual deductible multiplied by the state tax rate of 3%). The total tax bill would be $7,850 USD leaving the employee a salary after tax of $92,150 USD.

It is important to realize that the taxation system used by many governments changes over time and the exact formulas used for figuring owed taxes and after tax salary may require modification to reflect these changes. When figuring one's after tax salary, always be sure that your information on tax rates and deductions is the most current information available to avoid paying in too much money or having to pay stiff penalties for unpaid taxes. By understanding how the tax system works and how to maximize deductions, one can take home a substantially larger portion of their income each year.

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