Free California Payroll Tax Calculator and CA Tax Rates

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    Pay Details

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    Exemptions

  • 3

    Federal Information

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    State Information

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    Locale Information

  • 6

    Voluntary Deductions

  • 7

    Calculate Paycheck

Welcome to our payroll calculator!

Before we jump in, who are you using this calculator for?

Thanks!

Our calculators are designed for employers, and they’ll ask for information you may not have. For a better experience, please check out this employee-focused paycheck calculator.

How much did your employee earn?

Gross Pay: This is the total amount of wages your employee earned before taxes and deductions are withheld.


For salaried employees, gross pay equals their annual salary divided by the number of pay periods per year. For hourly employees, gross pay equals the number of hours worked multiplied by their hourly wage.


(Don’t forget to add on any tips, commissions, or bonuses!)

Gross Pay Method: Is the gross pay amount based on your employee’s annual compensation, or by how many hours they worked in the last pay period?

Gross Pay YTD: Enter the total gross pay your employee has earned this year, prior to this paycheck. Normally, this can be found on the last pay stub.

Pay Frequency: How often do you normally issue paychecks?

Check Date: Enter the check date that should appear on your paycheck.

Is your employee exempt from any taxes?

Federal: In some cases, public and governmental employees are exempt from federal taxes. Check “yes” if your employee is exempt and Federal taxes should not be deducted.

FICA: In some cases, public and governmental employees are exempt from FICA. Check “yes” if your employee is exempt and FICA taxes should not be deducted.

Medicare: In some cases, public and governmental employees are exempt from Medicare taxes. Check “yes” if your employee is exempt and Medicare taxes should not be deducted.

Please enter your employee’s withholding information.

2020 W4: Would you like to use the 2020 withholding tables? Here’s an article that covers the 2020 W-4 updates if you aren’t sure.

Federal Filing Status: Select your employee’s filing status for federal withholding. This helps determine how much federal tax will be withheld.

Two Jobs: If the employee indicated that they have more than one job or are married and filing jointly with a working spouse, select Yes here.

Dependents Amount: Enter the amount your employee listed on Line 3 of their W-4, if any. This is where they claim dependents.

Other Income: If your employee listed another other income on line 4(a) of their W-4, enter the amount here.

Deductions: Enter any deductions that your employee listed on line 4(b) of their W-4, if applicable.

# of Federal Allowances: Enter the number of allowances claimed on line 5 of your employee’s W-4 form. For example, a single person living on their own with no dependents would enter 1.

Additional Federal Withholding: If your employee has asked to have additional funds withheld from each paycheck, enter the amount here. If they have not, enter “0”.

Round Federal Withholding: Would you like us to round your employee’s withholding totals to the nearest dollar? (It’s not required, but it is permitted)

Now, add information for their state.

State: Select the state where withholding should be calculated. It should be the same state where the work was performed.

Now, add locale information if applicable.

Does your employee have any voluntary deductions?

Please add any additional deductions for items like health insurance, 401(k), HSAs/FSAs, or any other benefits.


Select type of deduction needed:

401(k)

Add deduction

HSA

Add deduction

Custom

Add deduction

Let’s finish crunching the numbers!

Click the button below to see your paycheck calculated.

Here’s your paycheck information:

Leave payroll to us.

We do all the hard work to set you up for just $40 + $6 per employee.

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Updated: February 6, 2023

According to the Small Business Association, 99.2% of businesses in California are classified as “small businesses.” Whether you run an ice cream stand along the boardwalk or the tiny startup that will one day change the world, there’s one thing all California small business owners have in common: payroll taxes. Figuring out how to pay employees can be a huge hassle, but our payroll calculator simplifies the process so you can spend more time focusing on making your small business the best it can be.

Federal Payroll Taxes

You can use our California payroll calculator to figure out your employees’ federal withholding as well as any additional taxes you are responsible for paying as the employer.

 

Here’s a quick overview of what you need to know when you’re calculating federal payroll taxes. If you would like to get into each calculation in detail, check out our step-by-step guide.

 

  • Calculate Gross Wages:
    • For all your hourly employees, multiply their hours worked by their pay rate (and don’t forget to pay the higher rate for any overtime hours worked).
    • For all your salaried employees, divide each employee’s annual salary by the number of pay periods your business has.
  • Calculate Any Pre-Tax Deductions:
    • If your employees contribute to 401(k), FSA, or any other pre-tax withholding accounts, subtract the amount from their gross pay prior to applying payroll taxes.
  • Deduct (and Match) FICA Taxes:
    • Social Security Tax: Withhold 6.2% of each employee’s taxable wages up until they reach total earnings of $160,200 for the year. As an employer, you will need to match this tax one-for-one.
    • Medicare Tax: Withhold 1.45% of each employee’s taxable wages up until they have reached total earnings of $200,000 for the year. You as the employer will also need to match this tax. However, for earnings above $200,000, employees need to pay what’s called an Additional Medicare Tax of 0.9%, along with the 1.45%. Only the employee is responsible for paying the Additional Medicare Tax.
  • Pay FUTA Unemployment Tax:
    • You will need to pay 6% of the first $7,000 of taxable income for each employee per year. If you pay state unemployment taxes, you are eligible for a tax credit of up to 5.4%, making your FUTA tax rate effectively 0.6%. FUTA tax is the sole responsibility of the employer. Your employees are not responsible for paying this tax.
  • Deduct Federal Income Tax:
    • Federal income tax ranges from 0% to 37%. Further withholding information can be found through the IRS Publication 15-T.
  • Subtract Any Post-Tax Deductions:
    • Your employees could be responsible for post-tax deductions such as court-ordered wage garnishments, child support, etc. If so, you will need to withhold these deductions from their paychecks.

 

Once you have all your withholding figured out, there are a series of quarterly and annual payroll tax filings you’ll need to perform. But before you write out your paychecks, you’ll need to calculate and withhold California state taxes as well.

California (CA) State Payroll Taxes

Now that we’re done with federal income taxes, let’s tackle California state taxes. The State of California wins for the highest top marginal income tax in the country. It’s a progressive income tax, meaning the more money your employees make, the higher the income tax. The following graph gives insight into the varied tax rates in place for single filers.

 

California Taxable Income Rate
$0+ 1.00%
$8,015+ 2.00%
$19,001+ 4.00%
$29,989+ 6.00%
$41,629+ 8.00%
$52,612+ 9.30%
$268,750+ 10.30%
$322,499+ 11.30%
$537,498+ 12.30%
$1,000,000+ 13.30%

 

More information can be found on the California Franchise Tax Board website.

 

The Golden State has four (4) state payroll taxes administered by the Employment Development Department (EDD): 1) Unemployment Insurance, 2) Employment Training Tax, 3) State Disability Tax, and 4) Personal Income Tax. You’re responsible for paying half of those taxes, while the other half should be withheld from each employee’s paycheck. Details and rates can be found on the EDD website.

 

  • What You Pay For:
    • Unemployment Insurance (UI) is issued by the U.S. Department of Labor. UI provides temporary payments to those who are unemployed against their own capabilities. Employers pay up to 6.2% on the first $7,000 in wages paid to each employee in a calendar year. New employers pay 3.4% for the first two to three years. Each December, you will be notified of your new rate.
    • Employment Training Tax (ETT), also known as funding for training. You are responsible for paying 0.1% of the first $7,000 of wages per employee a year. This one’s relatively cheap, maxing out at $7 per employee a year.
  • What Is Withheld From Employees:
    • State Disability Tax provides temporary funding for non-work related disabilities as well as paid family leave for those caring for an ill family member or bonding with their newborn child. For 2023, the rate is at 0.9% of annual income up to $153,164 which comes out to a maximum of $1,378.48 per employee.
    • Personal Income Tax (PIT), which charged to California residents as well as on income that nonresidents derive within California. The PIT is based on allowance filings on each employee’s W-4 or DE 4 form, and there is no maximum tax.

 

You can register and pay taxes online through your EDD account here.

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Now Write Those Paychecks!

Feel that wave of relief? You’ve checked “payroll taxes” off your to-do list so you can move onto the important things. Once each employee’s net pay is calculated (taking deductions and withholdings into consideration), you’re in the clear. All you have to worry about is getting your employees paid on time as well as setting aside whatever you owe in FICA and UI taxes. Those numbers can add up quickly!

 

You can pay federal taxes online to the IRS here. Plus, here’s everything you need to know about federal tax filings.

Additional California Payroll Tax Resources:

Our calculator is here to help, but of course, you can never learn enough, especially when it comes to payroll taxes. Here are some additional resources and contact information to help you run California payroll:

 

State of California Employment Development Department (EDD): (866) 333-4606 | E-Services for Business | Register Online

 

Franchise Tax Board (payroll tax assistance): (800) 852-5711

 

Being a California employer isn’t always easy. If you want to take some of the administrative burdens off your shoulders, there are a number of terrific payroll software companies that can do all the heavy lifting for you.

Other useful paycheck calculators

If you’re a California employer, we have a simple payroll calculator at the top of this page that handles the math (and required tax deductions) for you in just a few clicks. That said, employers sometimes have to manage situations that require a bit more number crunching when cutting paychecks. For example, if you reward employees with bonus pay, Uncle Sam considers this income, and taxes must be withheld. On the other hand, when an employee leaves for another job, you may need to figure out a final paycheck. So, if you need a bit more help with the math, check out the additional calculators listed below.

 

 

All of the rates on this page are based on local legislation and can change at any time. Always consult a tax professional if you are unsure about your obligations.

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