How To Use Free Online Payroll Calculators

There are a number of different online payroll calculators that calculate for different values.  Some of these are:

  • Payroll calculator, which calculates your earnings after the taxes have been deducted every pay period ('take home pay').
  • Hourly payroll calculator calculates your take-home pay using six various hourly rates that you define.
  • Gross pay payroll calculator computes for the amount of your gross salary before any tax deductions are withheld, depending on the take-home pay numbers you provide.
  • Bonus calculators can calculate for your bonuses using either the aggregate method or the percentage method.
  • 401K payroll calculator is used in planning for your future savings.

So how do you use an online payroll calculator?  Most of the online payroll calculators generally ask for the same information.  This includes:

1.      General Information

  • Tax year
  • State of residence
  • Gross pay per year or per pay period
  • Year-to-date (YTD) Gross salary which is optional
  • Frequency of pay (per week, month, quarterly, annually, etc.)
  • Federal filing status - single, married, head of the household, supplemental
  • Number of federal allowances
  • Additional federal withholding ($)
  • Round federal withholding (yes or no)
  • Exemption for Federal Tax, FICA or Medicare

2.      State and Local Information

  • Percent of federal exemption
  • Any additional state withholding tax ($)

3.      Voluntary Deductions

  • Number of voluntary deductions for your paycheck
  • Deduction #1 name
  • Deduction #1 amount and whether it is a percentage of gross pay, percentage of net pay, a fixed amount ($) or an hourly rate ($)
  • Deduction #1 exemption from Federal Tax, FICA, State or Local
  • Details for Deduction #2, which are the same as above.

Once you have entered all the required information, verify that these are correct; then, simply click Calculate.  You will then be given a summary of the information you entered, together with the estimated Net Pay.  You can choose to enter a new set of information to calculate or print the results.

Most of the different payroll companies with free online payroll calculators actually use the same payroll calculator developed by  Some of these sites are Payroll for America, Inc., Sure Payroll and Intuit Online Payroll.  You can find other useful information in these three sites.  One website that uses a different payroll calculator is Payroll Manager.

Whether you work for a small company or have your own business, are an online employee or online employer, you can surely find the online payroll calculators useful.  However, do remember that these are just estimates and, as such, are meant to provide guidance. They are not replacements for your actual payroll team.  Think of the results as a payroll sample of what you can receive and not a precise amount of your projected wages.  The calculators cannot be used as a source of tax or legal advice.  Consult your accountant for any questions or concerns.

Next time you want to get an estimate of your wages, bonuses or 401Ks, use the available online payroll calculators on the web.  They are easy to use and, best of all, free!


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