I'm writing an Excel or MS Access application to handle my small company's specific payroll needs. I'm getting hung up on the amount of effort required to update the spreadsheet or database each year. It looks like I would need to update dozens (hundreds?) of figures every year, which would be way more effort than it is worth.

I'm looking for some way to automate this process in an ongoing basis. My first thought was to retrieve the tax rate tables in a downloadable, import-friendly format (CSV, TXT, XLS, XLSX, XML, etc.).

I've searched the IRS website but can't find anything besides the PDFs. Ideally, there would be some official IRS repository of the current tax tables in a format that could be imported annually into the custom payroll software system I am writing. If not an official IRS product, perhaps something maintained by a reputable third-party (a la, taxrates.com, a website that offers state sales tax tables).

I am specifically looking for payroll withholding tables, like those shown in IRS Publication 15. I don't need the full tables, just those on pages 45-46 of the linked publication.

As an alternative, is there a reliable way to generate the tables on pages 45-46 from a master rate table, such as the one at the top of this page: 2015 Tax Brackets?

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    I like this question here, but it might get a better response at opendata.SE. – Ben Miller - Reinstate Monica Dec 18 '15 at 15:09
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    You know those tables are just calculated based on a few key percentages, right? You don't need to import the table, you just calculated it based on the data from page 45 and 46 of the linked PDF. – JPhi1618 Dec 18 '15 at 15:13
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    Don't bother requesting a migration. Just take your best guess as to which site will generate a better response and post there. If you decide to post at opendata, delete your question here. (Some people get annoyed at cross-posted questions.) – Ben Miller - Reinstate Monica Dec 18 '15 at 15:14
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    Also, there is Form 15a (Page 26) that specifically lists calculation methods for payroll software. I think trying to find and import the whole table is just the wrong approach. – JPhi1618 Dec 18 '15 at 15:18
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    @JPhi1618: Thanks for your comments. I've edited my question to show that I'm interested in just the minimum necessary to perform the calculations in the software. Even using the minimum data, it's still two full pages of tables that will need to be updated every year. I'd rather invest the time in automating it once, if possible. – mwolfe02 Dec 18 '15 at 15:36

After testing the numbers in the tables, it seems there are a very limited number of key numbers required to calculate everything else. These are the following (for 2015):

  • Annual Withholding allowance amount (Page 43, Chapter 17, Table 5)
    • $4,000
  • SINGLE person ANNUAL payroll period (Page 46)
    • 10%: over $2,300
    • 15%: over $11,525
    • 25%: over $39,750
    • 28%: over $93,050
    • 33%: over $191,600
    • 35%: over $413,800
    • 39.6%: over $415,500
  • MARRIED person ANNUAL payroll period (Page 46)
    • 10%: over $8,600
    • 15%: over $27,050
    • 25%: over $83,500
    • 28%: over $159,800
    • 33%: over $239,050
    • 35%: over $420,100
    • 39.6%: over $473,450

That leaves me with only 15 numbers to update each year, which is simple. The rest is just math. To figure the eight percentage tables, you need to use the following multiples for the respective pay frequencies:

  1. Weekly: 52
  2. BiWeekly: 26
  3. Semi-Monthly: 24
  4. Monthly: 12
  5. Quarterly: 4
  6. Semi-Annual: 2
  7. Annual: 1
  8. Daily/Misc: 260 (52 weeks x 5 working days/week)

I'm in the same boat - using Excel for tax prep, searching IRS to no avail. Google to the rescue - https://taxmap.irs.gov For Tax Tables, for example, select Tax Table, then the html version - there you can copy and paste tables directly into Excel Yay! Cheers


This is very irritating, not to have a ready-made CSV format. I like doing my own taxes in an Excel spreadsheet - so I know exactly where everything came from. In order to create the tax table there, I found I could copy and paste from the 2016 1040 instructions PDF, getting data like this:

82,850 82,900 16,490 12,261 16,698 15,016
82,900 82,950 16,503 12,274 16,712 15,029
82,950 83,000 16,515 12,286 16,726 15,041
83,000 83,050 16,528 12,299 16,740 15,054

(You can do this a page at a time.) You can't paste it directly into Excel, but you can paste it into a text file; then edit the text file, and mass-replace all the spaces with tabs. Then copy from the text file, and paste directly into Excel. This worked with the "Sublime Text" text editor, at any rate; if that copy'n'paste doesn't work, you can import the file as a CSV (with tabs) from excel. (Obviously commas would be problematic.)

Good luck!

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