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.


  • 2
    $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, 2012 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, 2012 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, 2012 at 20:34
  • 4
    @JohnFx: everything I've read on Hacker News indicates that $100k is in fact (and was in '12) a perfectly normal software industry starting salary for new graduates in Silicon Valley. Of course, you then also have to pay Bay Area living expenses... May 14, 2014 at 15:01
  • 2
    I am 10yr Software Engineer in OC. I work in a comparably underpaid sector of this industry and the average salaries in my area for my level are 80-140k annually. I cough up about 30% of that in various taxes.
    – Matthew
    Aug 14, 2014 at 22:23

4 Answers 4


http://www.tax-rates.org/income-tax-calculator/ has an excellent and quick to use calculator of taxes. It depends on family members, deductions etc. and can be switched easily to see your range quickly.

Plugging in $100k, with 1 dependent (yourself), results in a California deduction of $3,841 and a Federal deduction of $8,950.


California - $96,057 Federal - $87,150

Gross tax:

California - $6,495 Federal - $23,940


$100,000 salary

Taxes: $30,435

30.44% taxation for a single person in California with $100k salary.

Breakdown of the numbers

Visit the site and see how the state and Federal taxes are formed.

California Progressive tax:

    Tax Bracket    Calculation        Marginal Tax
0.  $0.00+      $7,582.00 × 1%      $75.82
1.  $7,582.00+  $10,394.00 × 2% $207.88
2.  $17,976.00+     $10,395.00 × 4% $415.80
3.  $28,371.00+     $11,013.00 × 6% $660.78
4.  $39,384.00+     $10,390.00 × 8% $831.20
5.  $49,774.00+     $46,283.00 × 9.3%   $4,304.32

As you can see, income over that would be at 9.3% (or more).

Federal progressive tax:

    Tax Bracket     Calculation     Marginal Tax
0.  $0.00+      $12,750.00 × 10.00% $1,275.00
1.  $12,750.00+     $35,850.00 × 15.00% $5,377.50
2.  $48,600.00+     $38,550.00 × 25.00% $9,637.50

Income above $100k would be at a Federal level of 25% (or more?).

  • and atop the taxes you also have health insurance costs, 401(k) contributions, FSA contributions, and the like: it's not entirely unreasonable that the $69,565 post-tax would only be ~$53,000 after costs and contributions, ie take-home
    – warren
    Jun 26, 2014 at 15:18

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.

  • 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, 2012 at 7:39
  • 4
    @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, 2012 at 8:07

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.

  • 2
    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, 2012 at 2:03
  • 1
    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. Jan 15, 2012 at 2:12
  • 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, 2012 at 5:35
  • 6
    @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, 2012 at 7:55
  • Actually, if you make 100K, a lot of your salary will be in the 25% bracket, so I'd change the federal estimate to 20%, but the idea is on track. Also, you will have to pay for health insurance and a few other things such that your check will likely be even less, so if you are looking toward finding out what your lifestyle will be, you might want to include things like this.
    – JAGAnalyst
    Jun 17, 2014 at 17:36

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.

  • Is that really accurate? My take home pay is $60k exactly and my gross is $79,900. I am married with two kids, have a 401k and medical/dental/vision/life insurance deducted. Aug 15, 2014 at 10:58
  • 1
    If you are married and have kids, that differs. When you fill up your Tax form, you specify "allowances". Based on number of allowances, you tax is going to be reduced.
    – Kint Kant
    Aug 15, 2014 at 21:40

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