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Saturday, July 3, 2010

How to Calculate Payroll Tax

The IRS is very strict on payroll tax and the deductions associated with it. Even a small miscalculation can land an organization in serious trouble with this regulatory authority. So, it is important to maintain careful records of payroll accounts in an organization.

The first step to calculating payroll tax is getting each and employee to fill up the W-4 form from the Internal Revenue Service. This form aims to calculate the payroll tax depending on the marital status of an employee and the number of dependents. Since most states have payroll structures that are based on the federal system formulated by the IRS, this form helps organizations calculate the payroll tax withholding for both federal and state governments.

Currently, the social security tax withheld from an employee's wages is calculated as 6.2% of total salary. This same amount has to be contributed by the employer, and added to the payroll account of the organization. The wage base for this tax is $76,000 dollars a year, beyond that, taxes need not be deducted from the employee. The same procedure is followed for Medicare taxes, calculated at 1.45% of the employees' salary. There is no wage base for Medicare taxes, and the employee and the employer goes on paying the tax independent of the salary of the employee. The Federal Unemployment Taxes (FUTA) is also calculated at 6.2%, but an employer can take credit up to 5.4%. The FUTA wage base is $7,000 dollars; an employee whose wages exceed this amount in a year, stops paying FUTA taxes that year. The same rules are applicable to State Unemployment Taxes (SUTA) also.

These calculations and deductions have to be done accurately to avoid any confusion. Each company must have a payroll account to that these deductions are transferred to and paid to the state and central governments at the end of the year.

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