I am working in a company for my summer internship in California, and today I noticed a weird point that raised a question: Last summer I was working in a big tech company in California. While the first paycheck was $4000, I received $2950 as net pay. And this year, I'm working in another big tech company here in California, and while my gross pay is slightly more ($4080), my net pay got lower ($2,898)!

Have California individual taxes increased or something? I just checked here and couldn't find anything. One thing to note is that I didn’t fill out the W-4 form yet, so maybe I’m applied against the maximum tax possible? However, I'm a single person.

  • Are the pay periods the same or for example is one biweekly and the other semi-monthly?
    – user662852
    Commented Jun 7, 2016 at 11:09
  • Do cities in California have income tax? If so, maybe the city income tax rate has changed either due to being in a different city or the same city but higher rates.
    – mikeazo
    Commented Jun 7, 2016 at 15:02
  • Both are biweekly.
    – Tina J
    Commented Jun 7, 2016 at 16:16
  • I think there is no city income tax.
    – Tina J
    Commented Jun 7, 2016 at 16:16

1 Answer 1


You're talking about salary deductions, not the actual taxes. These are not the same.

Salary deductions include benefits, which differ between companies. They also include tax withholding which is calculated on annual basis. In California they also include the State-mandated disability insurance, which can be a tax (CASDI) or a private insurance sponsored by your employer (CAVDI - Voluntary Disability Insurance). While VDI cannot be more than SDI - it can be less while providing the same benefits (or the same while providing more benefits).

So the difference can be explained by any of these, or a combination of some or all of these moving parts.

You'll need to compare the paychecks, and the deductions on them, to see exactly where the difference comes from.

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