What will be my take home salary in Chicago if I file as married jointly and I have no children. I am the only income earner. What is the effective tax rate and how much federal/state allowances do I claim?

  • Don't forget that take home pay calculation also have to include social security and medicare which can be calculated; and other items such as medical, dental, vision which differ by company. The number of allowances you will take will also depend on if you are itemizing or taking the standard deduction. Dec 13, 2013 at 11:03
  • You can also find cost-of-li ing comparison tables on line, which will give you some idea of how far that take-home salary will go in one place versus another.
    – keshlam
    Dec 5, 2015 at 18:53
  • It's not clear why you reference Chicago specifically. The question seems to reference federal taxes which are not specific to Chicago. Do mean to ask how Illinois state taxes might affect your federal taxes?
    – JimmyJames
    Oct 18, 2016 at 20:22

2 Answers 2


For estimating your take home salary, I suggest using one of the many free salary calculators available over the Internet. I personally use PaycheckCity.com, but there are plenty of others available.

To calculate your allowances for the US Federal tax, you can use the worksheet attached to the form W-4.

Similar form (with a similar worksheet) is available for state taxes, on the Illinois Department of Revenue web site.


There are online tax prep sites, H&R Block among them. You'll be able to enter your projected details, and do a 'what-if' type scenario by adding things that impact the return. You don't mention any Schedule A deductions. No mortgage? Planning to have money taken off the top to a 401(k)?

  • Do you have a Health Savings Account? You can save $1K's pre-tax to pay for medical expenses. Dec 19, 2013 at 23:33

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