How to Calculate Payroll Taxes in California

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If you are an employer in California, you may be confused about how much in taxes should be withheld from an employee's paycheck. Although there are books and other resources available on the topic, all of the information can seem like a maze if you have no experience in calculating payroll taxes and deductions.

Navigate to the California Comptroller's office website (see References). Click on the "State Employees" tab. Then click on "Personnel and Payroll Services." And then click on the third link down, "Paycheck Calculator Download."

Click on the Excel file that best fits your pay structure. For example, if you pay biweekly then click on the corresponding file. For calculating current taxes, use the 2010 tax rates, which are the top row.

Click on one of the three files mentioned above. You should have the 2000 version of Excel or later to view the file. Enter the gross pay of the employee in the top left box labeled "Gross Pay." The Excel file will calculate the tax and necessary deductions automatically. Columns A and B from Row 19 down will give the amount to be withheld based on the gross pay.

Log on to the Paycheck Manager site (see References). Choose California in the drop-down menu. Enter the pay rate, pay cycle, hours worked and hourly rate. Click "Calculate."

Enter in any pretax deductions such as retirement or health insurance. The rest of the fields will populate automatically based on the choice of state. Click "Calculate" at the bottom, and the site will generate a pay stub for that employee.

References

About the Author

Martin Williams is a freelance writer and blogger who has written for his own blog and various other websites. Williams has a bachelor's degree in biology from Norfolk State University. His writing specializes in sports and politics.

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