Payroll Deductions: What’s Coming Out of Your Paycheck?

If you're a standard W-2 employee, then you already know there's money automatically taken out of each of your paychecks for taxes and other expenditures. However, very few people realize exactly what's being taken out of their hard-earned pay and why. Read on to explore the most common paycheck deductions to be on the lookout for when you review your next pay stub.

Federal Income Tax

The most common paycheck deduction comes in the form of Federal and state income taxes, which all United States citizens pay. The amount that'll be deducted can vary greatly depending on how many exemptions you claim and which tax bracket you fall under. The more you make per year, the higher the percentage you pay on these taxes. Always check to make sure that the amount deducted from your check is proportionate to the percentage you're used to paying.

Social Security/Medicare

The second largest deduction from most people's paychecks is that of Social Security and Medicare. The flat tax rate for Social Security and Medicare combined is 6.2% of an employee's taxable income.

The nice thing about being a W-2 employee and paying this tax is that your employer picks up the other 6.2% for you. On the other hand, self-employed workers are left to pay more than double the amount, since they don't have employers picking up half this cost for them.

Wage Garnishment

Another deduction you might see on your pay stub is that of a wage garnishment; these deductions are automatically made when a creditor has received a court order to take money out of an employee's paycheck as a means of repaying a debt.

Wages can be garnished from a paycheck for anything from back child support and student loans to tax levies and alimony payments. When an employer receives a court order to garnish an employee's wages, it's is required by law to begin doing so immediately.

Other Deductions

Depending on where you work, there may also be other deductions coming out of your paycheck. For instance, if your company has an on-site cafeteria that pays for your daily meals, then this may show up as a deduction in the form of a cafeteria plan. Other common deductions include:

  • uniform deductions
  • health and dental care deductions
  • charity deductions

Now that you know about the most common payroll deductions, you can better understand what you're seeing the next time you look at a pay stub. You can contact payroll services for more information.