Sometimes the amount of salary that you expect to receive for a month's work doesn't exactly match up with the amount on your paycheck. Your take-home salary is the amount of money that you receive after taxes and deductions. This is also known as your "net" salary. Your "gross" salary is the amount that you make before you subtract any taxes or deductions. You can determine your monthly take-home salary by performing a series of basic calculations.
1. Divide your yearly salary by 12 to find your gross monthly salary. For example, if you have a yearly salary of $72,000, divide this figure by 12 to get a monthly gross of $6,000.
2. Subtract your monthly federal and state taxes, as well as your taxes for FICA. These amounts should appear on your paycheck as well. Federal and state taxes are calculated as a percentage of your gross earnings. This percentage depends on how much you make and how many allowances or exemptions you claim. State taxes also depend on the state in which you live, with some states having no yearly state tax. FICA taxes fund the Social Security and Medicare programs. Consult the IRS' Circular E form for federal taxes and withholding formulas for state taxes. FICA is deducted at 4.2 percent for employees, 6.2 percent for employers and 10.4 percent for self-employed individuals. For example, consider a single person living in Alaska, making $6,000 per month. There are no state taxes in Alaska. According to federal guidelines, this person would pay $395.85 plus 25 percent of excess over $3,050. Subtract $3,050 from $6,000 to get $2,950. Multiply 0.25 times $2,950 to get $737.50. Add $737.50 to $395.85 to get $1,133.35 in monthly federal taxes. He would also pay 4.2 percent FICA taxes if he were an employee. Multiply 0.042 times $6,000 to get $252. Add $252 to $1,133.35 and subtract the total from the gross of $6,000 to get $4,614.65.
3. Subtract other voluntary deductions, such as insurance premiums and 401(k) contributions. Continuing with this example, assume the individual pays $300 per month for health insurance and contributes $200 per month to a 401(k) plan. Subtract $300 and $200 from the previous total of $4,614.65 to get a take home monthly salary of $4,114.65.
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