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I keep reading about software industry salaries in the US. 100k / year, 130k / year, etc. Are these numbers before or after taxes ?

What is an estimate of the salary after taxes ?

EDIT: I would appreciate if knowledgeable folks would estimate it for me instead of sending me to some online calculator sites. I have zero knowledge of how to calculate the average Joe's wage after taxes. Joe is not married, lives in California, and he was born there. No special status, he has to pay everything he owes in CA.


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$100K is not a typical salary for software industry people in the US. It is on the high side for a software engineer, but for an experienced programmer it isn't entirely uncommon. –  JohnFx Jan 14 '12 at 18:39
There are many aspects that factor into how much tax you will be paying. Own or rent your house? Any bank accounts getting interest? Any of that money going into pre-tax 401Ks? All of this sort of stuff makes a big difference in the after taxes pay that will be seen. This is why they give salaries as pre-tax. –  Kellenjb Jan 14 '12 at 19:54
I know you don't want this... but here's an online calculator that takes into acount different state's rates. surepayroll.com/calculator/calc_paycheck_netpay.asp Also, you can put in common deductions. For example, many people have 6-8% of their gross income deducted into retirement accounts. –  MattMcA Jan 14 '12 at 20:34
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3 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Here is an estimate.

Take the yearly pretax salary and estimate:

  • 15% for federal tax
  • 4% for social security
  • 1.5% for medicare
  • 9 % (Cal taxes)

so subtract ~30% for these taxes

This does not include any deductions for insurance, 401K...

Remember this is an estimate, these will vary depending on exactly which bracket you fall into.

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It begins to look to me like USA is not really that much of a heaven corner for programmers. Care to detail more about retirement (401k), health insurances and whatever most sane people would opt to pay for from their wage ? What is the final $ sum I get in my pockets in one year from that 100k I made ? –  kellogs Jan 15 '12 at 2:03
the amount is hard to predict. You can include 0 to 17,000 for the 401K, some employers match a portion of that. Insurance can vary a lot depending on what options you pick (ask the company for booklet/pdf). I that I will see about 60-65% after all is included. –  mhoran_psprep Jan 15 '12 at 2:12
thanks. I wonder why u got a vote down :/ –  kellogs Jan 15 '12 at 4:56
15% fed seems a bit low... On the other hand, 9% for state is pretty high, as some states have no income tax and others are quite low. Also keep in mind, some cities (like NYC) charge income tax as well. –  TM. Jan 15 '12 at 5:35
@kellogs, probably because its incorrect. For 100K salary, if its the only income and you don't have any tax-exempt expenses, you'll probably pay over 20% for federal, but less then 9% to Cali. Overall, I'd say consider 1/3 pay to go to taxes. To get a better result you'll have to use a calculator and consider your situation in more details, I'm sorry that's not the answer you're looking for, but unlike others I prefer to give you an answer different that what you expect, but not incorrect. –  littleadv Jan 15 '12 at 7:55
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Salaries are usually dealt with before any taxes. In the US (as anywhere else, to the best of my knowledge), taxation is personal, and two employees with the same pre-tax salary may end up with significantly different net amounts.

You can check the net salary estimations on paycheckcity.com, for example.

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I think I have an idea, but.. If could you could, please refer me to a site with after-taxes statistics. Maybe not in CA but in U.S., for programmers (or mobile app programers if it made any difference). Thanks –  kellogs Jan 18 '12 at 7:39
@kellogs - there's no such site, not in CA and definitely not in whole US. The salaries depend on cost of living, and 100K in California is waaaaay less than 90K in Alabama. You can find some info re gross salaries on glassdoor.com, after-tax is something that is plainly irrelevant and incomparable. I'm not sure you understand what you're asking for, but compare it to "give me please the average temperature of water". Would you be able to answer such a question? –  littleadv Jan 18 '12 at 8:07
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A good rule of thumb is that taxes take up 1/3.

A take-home pay for someone making 100,000 will be around $66,000. I don't know about the super-rich, but this is for most US professionals.

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