I'm a PhD student living in South Carolina. I have a graduate research assistant job in my university and my salary is $20,000 per year. I just got my paycheck recently and I realized that my direct deposit is increased about $62 this time in comparison to previous paycheck. In fact, each two weeks I received direct deposit of $714.31 but this time which covers the dates 12/16/2020 to 12/31/2020 I received $776.86.

I checked the details and realized that in previous paychecks I paid:

  • Federal tax: $91.77
  • State tax: $27.25

But this time on my recent paycheck it is:

  • Federal tax: $31.04
  • State tax: $25.43

Did something happen to tax rates recently that I missed probably? My question: Is there any reason why my federal tax is reduced while the state tax remained almost the same?

  • I have a couple of questions related to your question: Are you paid every 2 weeks or twice a month (16-31 Dec implies twice a month)? Is there anything else deducted from your pay: insurance, social security, tuition, books, rent? Did those change? Commented Jan 18, 2021 at 11:47
  • @mhoran_psprep Just a fee for computer that remained unchanged. Commented Jan 18, 2021 at 15:08
  • every two weeks doesn't equal 2x a month. Is every check the same, or does it change depending on the number of workdays in each pay period? Commented Jan 18, 2021 at 15:16
  • @mhoran_psprep Sorry I forgot to answer that. It’s every two week and each paycheck is constant before tax equal to 833.33 including this last time that my taxes are reduced. Commented Jan 18, 2021 at 15:41
  • Is the new paycheck dated in 2021 or 2020 (it's not what period it "covers", but the date of the paycheck)? Do you know if the difference is in income tax withheld, Social Security tax, or Medicare tax?
    – user102008
    Commented Jan 18, 2021 at 20:27


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