I got a new job. My first paycheck was for only one week of work since I started during a pay period. These are the figures:

Gross Pay: 2395.83
Federal Income Deduction: 151.62
California State Income Deduction: 90.63

My second paycheck was for 10 days of work so I figured the deductions would simply be double but they are significantly more. These are the figures:

Gross Pay: 4791.67
Federal Income Deduction: 495.79
California State Income Deduction: 335.30

Both paychecks are using 3 for the federal and state exemptions. Can you please help me figure out why those numbers are so much higher for simply another week of work?

  • 1
    Keep in mind that every time you change jobs, you should probably use the IRS' online tax calculator to make sure that you'll actually be okay. Just plug in a few details, and you'll get an estimate and advice for altering your W4, if necessary.
    – phyrfox
    Apr 16, 2018 at 5:23

1 Answer 1


Since you get paid biweekly, tax withholding is based on multiplying your pay by 26 pay periods a year. Your withholding for the first paycheck was based on the assumption that you’re making $62,000 a year, and for the second, $125,000 a year. Since we have progressive tax rates, the tax is far more than double.


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