I started a new job and am trying to understand my paycheck. I understand the state, medicare, and social security deductions, but am confused about the federal deductions. Below is what my bi-weekly paycheck states.

Total Earnings - 3,846.40 
Fed Taxable Gross - 3,846.40 
OASDI Gross - ...
MEDI Gross - ... 

Federal Withholding - 785.73 
Fed MED/EE - ...
Fed OASDI/EE - ...
State - ...

Shouldn't my federal be the following?

18481.25 + (0.28*((3,846.40*26)-90750)) = 21073.042 ==> /26 ==> 810.50

What are the possibilities for why they are not taking the full amount?


From IRS PUB 15 Employers Tax Guide For use in 2015 pages 44&45

Assuming Single and zero withholding allowances

  • Fed Taxable Gross: 3846.40
  • value of one withholding allowance: $153.80 x 0
  • sub total: 3846.40

    Over— But not over—                      of excess over—
    $3,579 —$7,369..       $710.90 plus 28%    —$3,579


    +74.87 = (3846.40 - 3579) * 0.28
    equals 785.77

Only off by a few pennies.

Since almost everybody takes the standard deduction (or itemizes to get an even bigger deduction) and takes a personal exemption those are built into the tax tables used by your employer. That is why it gets more complex to get the withholding right if a person has two jobs or one spouse makes a lot more than the other.

  • Thanks for the reference. I wish there was an easy way to make it exact. Oh well. Oct 1 '15 at 16:27

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.