Paycheck Calculator Wisconsin - WI

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Wisconsin - WI Paycheck Calculator: Hourly and Salary

So you are offered an appealing job in Wisconsin? Can't decide whether moving to a new state for this job worth it or not? Don't worry! We have done the work for you! Our travel and finance experts have joined hands to cram this unique little Wisconsin's guide full of useful stats, and details you need to know before relocating.

This guide covers the following topics:

  • A brief overview
  • The thing you must know before moving to Wisconsin
  • Wisconsin Payroll Facts
  • How to Calculate Paycheck in Wisconsin? – This section would benefit both employers and employees in the following ways:
    • Help job seekers to compare several job offers in terms of take-home pay and choose the best one.
    • Help entrepreneurs to compare different business opportunities in Wisconsin in terms of employment cost.
    • Help employees of Wisconsin to calculate their upcoming Paycheck amount for verifying and budgeting.
    • Help employers in Wisconsin to calculate Paycheck amounts for multiple employees instantly using our Wisconsin Paycheck Calculator.
  • Federal and Wisconsin Payroll Laws to ensure your paycheck complies with the law.
  • Frequently Asked Questions

A Brief Overview

Wisconsin is a US state famous for the That ‘70s Show, farmland, cheese and the Green Bay Packers. It is located in Midwest, north-central, and Great Lakes regions of the United States, sharing in borders with Lake Michigan to the east, Minnesota to the west, Lake Superior to the north, Illinois to the south, Iowa to the southwest, and Michigan to the northeast.

Some Quick Facts:

  • Population: 5,822,434 (2019)
  • It is the 23rd largest state by total area
  • It the 20th most populous state in the country
  • Madison is the state's Capital
  • Milwaukee is the largest City
  • Chicago metropolitan area is the largest Metro

The Thing You Must Know Before Moving To Wisconsin

Moving from town to town or state to state is not an easy job. It requires a lot of research, planning, and guidance to make this life-changing decision worth it. Here are the few things you must know about Wisconsin state, before loading your packing your bags and move:

Cost of Living

Living in Wisconsin is cheaper than most of the states. The cost of living in WI is 90.9 (according to bestplaces.net), which is significantly lower than the national average of 100 points. Housing followed by grocery and transportation costs is a significant contributor to the overall lower cost of living. Whereas, Health, Utilities, and Miscellaneous expenses are almost similar to the rest of the state.

Cost of Housing

You can easily rent or buy your dream house in Wisconsin at an affordable price, as the median home value in the state is $188,100, which is considerably lower than the nationwide median home value of $231,200.

Moreover, the median rental expense in the state for a single bedroom is $683, and for a double bedroom is $867. However, if you are looking for way cheaper than the state's average, then you can go to cities like Merrill, Rothschild, Kronenwetter, and Waupun.

Education

Don't Worry! The bright future of your kids would be in a safe hand while living in Wisconsin, as the state ranked #13 in the United States for States with the Best (and Worst) Schools by USAToday.

Some of the top school, colleges, and universities that offer great value and affordability for education include the University of Wisconsin – Madison (Madison), Marquette University (Milwaukee), St. Norbert College (De Pere), Elmbrook School District (Brookfield) and School District of Whitefish Bay (Whitefish Bay).

Outdoor Opportunities

Wisconsin, also known as The Badger State, has endless outdoor opportunities to make your weekend and vacation memories with friends and family. You can explore famous natural wonders and cultural sites, including Cave of the Mounds, The Historic Third Ward, Taliesin Preservation (Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor Center), Historic Cedarburg, and Wisconsin State Capitol.

Moreover, you can also enjoy a great view, hiking, camping, and much more in State parks like Copper Falls State Park, Amnicon Falls State Park, and Peninsula State Park. Besides, the state also has endless spots for delicious foods and drinks, as well as some cool and unusual places like House on the Rock, American Science & Surplus, and Dr. Evermor's Forevertron.

Weather

Wisconsin has two climate regions; the southern and southwestern portions have hot-summer humid continental climate while most of Wisconsin state has a warm-summer humid continental climate. The state experiences pretty chilly winters where low can drop under 10°F, with an average of 40 inches of snow in the south and up to 160 inches in the Lake Superior area.

Additionally, the Badger State also has threats and risks of natural disasters like Flooding, Tornadoes, Thunderstorms, and Blizzards & Snowstorms.

Job and Business Opportunities

Wisconsin is currently ranked #24 in the United States for Overall Economy by US News & World Report. The unemployment rate here is only 2.9%, while the minimum wage rate is $7.25/hour. Hence, giving a positive vibe, especially for job seekers. The fastest-growing jobs in the state include business analysts, operations analysts, taxi drivers, and web developers. Moreover, among the highest paying job are surgeon, OB/GYN, dentist, and podiatrist.

The state secures 24th position for a business environment and 38th position for economic growth among the 50 states, giving a sign of hope for entrepreneurs, especially in the industries like Agriculture, Advanced Manufacturing, Healthcare, and Information Technology.


Pros and Cons

Here are the quick points about all the loves and hates about the Badger State:

Pros:
  • Low living cost
  • Affordable housing
  • Four seasons
  • Endless recreational activities
  • Numerous parks
  • Low unemployment rate
  • Lots of Festivals
Cons:
  • Extreme weather
  • Higher taxes
  • Obesity
  • The abundance of pests like bugs and beetles
  • Smell of manure

Wisconsin Payroll Facts:

  • The Wisconsin employers withhold federal income tax from their employee's paycheck at the rate ranging from 0% to 37%, sorted in seven tax brackets determined by filing status and income level.
  • The employers of Wisconsin withhold FICA tax from their employee's paycheck, and themselves pay dollar-for-dollar of this tax for each of their employees. FICA tax comprises 6.2% of the Social Security tax of each employee's first taxable wage of $137,700 in a year and 1.45% of Medicare tax for each employee's first taxable wages of $200,000 in a year. However, if an employee's taxable wage exceeds $200,000 threshold, he/she is charged with an Additional Medicare surtax of 0.9%.
  • Only employers pay 6% of the first $7,000 of each employee's taxable income each year as FUTA Tax. Moreover, they also pay State Unemployment Insurance tax having rates ranging between 0% and 12% on the first $14,000 in wages paid to each employee in a year. However, new employers only have to pay at a flat rate of 3.05% (if payroll is below $500,000) and 3.25% (if payroll is above $500,000). Fortunately, employers who pay SUI tax in full and on time can enjoy FUTA tax credit up to 5.4%.
  • Wisconsin state levies State income tax from employee's paycheck at the rates ranging from 86% to 7.65%, distributed on four tax brackets according to income level and filing status.
  • No city or county in Wisconsin levies local income tax.
  • The WI state has a minimum wage rate similar to the federal minimum wage rate of $7.25/hour for employees, unless or otherwise exempted. However, the Minimum wage rate of youth employees is $5.90. Moreover, the cash minimum wage rate for tipped employees is $2.33, with a maximum tip credit of $4.92.
  • Employers in Wisconsin pay overtime to their non-exempted at a time and half of the employee's regular hourly rate for each hour over 40 hours in a workweek.
  • Residents of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, or Michigan working in Wisconsin, can submit exemption Form W-220 for Wisconsin State income tax under reciprocal agreement.
  • The livable wage for a single adult living in Wisconsin is $11.40/hour, while for a couple (both working) with two children is $16.49/hour.
  • The average salary In Wisconsin for a Male is $64,874, and for a female is $47,745, according to datausa.io.
  • The median household income in Wisconsin, according to datausa.io, is $60,773.

How to Calculate Paycheck in Wisconsin?

As we are done with relocation to Wisconsin and its payroll facts, now it's time to calculate paycheck.


Step 1 - Calculating Gross Pay:

The very first step to calculating the paycheck amount is to determine Gross Pay. It is a wage that an employee earned in the last pay period.


Gross Pay is calculated differently for both hourly and salary-based employees, which is discussed in detail as follow:


Gross Pay for Hourly Employee

Hourly Employees are paid at a mutually agreed pay rate for each hour they work in a pay period. Usually, Pay periods for Hourly employees are Hourly, Daily, Weekly, and Bi-Weekly. However, the Federal, State, and Local Wage law requires the employers to set the pay rate equals to or more than the defined Minimum Wage Law for the non-exempted employees.

Hourly employees are also entitled to receive overtime, for each excess hour worked after regular hours in a workday or a workweek. Remember, like Minimum wage, the employers are also required to follow Overtime wage law provided by the federal, state, and local authorities.


Note: All the relevant laws are discussed in detail ahead.

To calculate gross wage for an hourly employee:

  1. Calculate total hours worked in a Pay Period using the data from Timesheet or Timecard.
  2. Multiply Total Hours worked with the Hourly Rate (Pay Rate).
  3. Add overtime hours (if any) worked by the employee.

Quick Tip: You can also use our Timecard with overtime Calculator to calculate Gross Wage for Hourly Employee instantly.

Gross Pay for Salaried Employee

Salaried Employees are paid at the flat amount rather than on an hourly basis. The amount is usually mutually agreed as an Annual Salary, which is then paid in Semi-monthly or Monthly Pay periods.

Salaried employees are mostly exempted from overtime law. However, their salaries must be according to Federal and State Minimum Wage law.

To calculate Gross Pay for Salaried Employees:

  • Divide the "employee's salary" by "number of pay periods." For example: If the employee's annual salary is $25000 and is paid on a semi-monthly pay period, then the employee's Gross Pay would be: $25000 / 24 = $1042.

Don't forget that Supplemental Wages like Bonuses, commissions, tips, paid leaves, fringe benefits, or other taxable wages earned by the employee must be added into the Gross wages.


Step 2 – Subtracting Pre-Tax Deductions (If Any):

Once you are done with Gross Wages, it's time to subtract any Pre-Tax deductions from the gross wage to get taxable wages as Pre-tax deductions are not taxable for federal payroll taxes.

Pre-tax deductions are offered to the employees as benefits like fringe benefits, HSA plans, etc., to reduce their taxable income, hence, increasing their take-home pay amount. Remember, not all benefits are exempted from taxes, so choose the pre-tax deductions wisely.

Some of the common pre-tax deductible benefits are:

  • FSA - Flexible Spending Accounts
  • HSA - Health Savings Accounts
  • Retirement savings accounts like a traditional 401(k)
  • Some of the Fringe Benefits
  • health insurance
  • accident insurance
  • dental and vision insurance
  • Commuter Benefits
  • Short-Term Disability

Note: Pre-Tax deduction rate, contribution limits, special tax withholding rules change from year to year, according to inflation and costs of living by the federal government. Therefore, you must keep yourself updated with all rates before making any deductions.

Many Taxpayers find it hard to itemize their deductions to calculate taxable wages, for which they go for standard deductions, that varies according to the filing status, as shown in the table below:

All Filers(Updated Dec 2019)
Filing Status Standard Deduction Amount
Single Filers $12,200
Married, Filing Jointly $24,400
Married, Filing Separately $12,200
Head of Household $18,350

Step 3 – Calculate and Subtract Federal Taxes:

Once you have determined the taxable wages, it's time to deduct Federal Income taxes for the taxable wages.

IRS requires the employers to withhold federal income tax from the employee's paycheck, according to the details provided by the employee on Form W-4. The employee fills this form at the start of the job. The form includes all the necessary information, including income, number of allowances to claim, number of dependents, amount of additional taxes to deduct, and much more.

The employees are required to keep their Form W-4 up to date with all their current information, especially marriage, divorce, or child's birth.


The federal income tax is charged according to the tax brackets in which the taxpayer's income falls. The latest income tax brackets and rates are as follow:

Single Filers
Taxable Income Rate
$0 - $9,700 10%
$9,700 - $39,475 12%
$39,475 - $84,200 22%
$84,200 - $160,725 24%
$160,725 - $204,100 32%
$204,100 - $510,300 35%
$510,300+ 37%

Married, Filing Jointly
Taxable Income Rate
$0 - $19,400 10%
$19,400 - $78,950 12%
$78,950 - $168,400 22%
$168,400 - $321,450 24%
$321,450 - $408,200 32%
$408,200 - $612,350 35%
$612,350+ 37%

Married, Filing Separately
Taxable Income Rate
$0 - $9,700 10%
$9,700 - $39,475 12%
$39,475 - $84,200 22%
$84,200 - $160,725 24%
$160,725 - $204,100 32%
$204,100 - $306,175 35%
$306,175+ 37%

Head of Household
Taxable Income Rate
$0 - $13,850 10%
$13,850 - $52,850 12%
$52,850 - $84,200 22%
$84,200 - $160,700 24%
$160,700 - $204,100 32%
$204,100 - $510,300 35%
$510,300+ 37%

Step 4 – Deduct FICA Taxes:

Besides, Federal Income Tax, the IRS also requires the employer to withhold FICA tax (15.3%) for the employee's paycheck and also requires the employer to pay an equal amount for each employee.


Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) Taxes comprises of two types of taxes which are as follow:


  1. Social Security:

A total of 12.4% of social security tax is charged from which 6.2% is withheld from the employee's gross, and the employer pays the matching 6.2%. However, Social Security is only charged on the maximum taxable earnings of $137,700 for 2020.


  1. Medicare:

A total of 2.9% of Medicare is charged, from which 1.45% is withheld from the employee's gross, and the employer pays the matching 1.45%. Unlike Social Security, there is no maximum table earning limit for this tax. However, an additional surtax of 0.9% is charged as Additional Medicare Surtax on the employees having income over the specified level along with filing status, which is as follow:

Income Over Filing Status
$250,000 Married Filing Jointly
$125,000 Married Filing Separately
$200,000 Single

Note: Employers are not required to pay an equal amount for Additional Medicare Surtax.

Step 5 – Payment of FUTA Taxes

IRS requires the employer to pay another tax, known as The Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) Tax. This tax is paid at the rate of 6% on the first $7000 earned by each employee in a year. However, the IRS doesn't require the employees to contribute to it.

The employers who pay State Unemployment Insurance (SUI) tax in full and on time are given relieving FUTA tax credit of up to 5.4%, which saves a whopping 90% from FUTA Tax.


Step 6 – Subtract Post-Tax Deductions (If any):

Post-tax deductions (after-tax deductions) is an amount the employer takes out from the employee's paycheck after taxes. Therefore, it does not affect taxable wages and the amount of tax payable.

Here are some of the types of post-tax deductions that employee may voluntarily choose:

  • Charitable contributions
  • Disability insurance
  • Garnishments
  • Specific Retirement Plans like Roth 401(k)
  • Life Insurance

Step 7 – Withhold State Payroll Taxes:

As you are done with Federal Payroll Taxes, now it's time to discuss State Payroll Taxes. The Wisconsin State charges State Income Tax on employees, and State Unemployment Insurance (SUI) Tax on the employers.


Wisconsin State Income Tax

Wisconsin State levies State income tax from employee's paycheck according to the progressive income tax system, at the rate ranging between 3.86% and 7.65%, distributed in four tax brackets determined by income level and filing status.

The employer withholds this tax from the employee's paycheck according to the details provided by the employee in the Form WT-4. This form is filled by the employee while joining the job. Employees are required to keep the form updated with any significant life events like marriage, child's birth, and divorce.


State Unemployment Insurance (SUI) Tax

The State Unemployment Insurance (SUI) Tax is an employer-funded program that provides temporary income to unemployed workers who have lost their job without fault of their own.

The state doesn't charge in Wisconsin State Disability Insurance (SDI) tax on employers. However, it does require the employers to pay Wisconsin State Unemployment Insurance (SUI) tax, at the rate ranging from 0% to 12% on a first $14,000 earned in wages by each employee in a year. However, new employers are given relief as they have to pay:

  • 05% if your payroll is less than $500,000
  • 25% if your payroll is above $500,000
  • 30% if your payroll is less than $500,000 (as the new employer of construction industry)
  • 45% if your payroll is above $500,000 (as the new employer of construction industry)

Note: SUI Rates for Wisconsin Employers change with time. Therefore, you are required to keep a check on notices to make sure you have paid the right amount.

Step 8 – Withhold Local Payroll Taxes:

No city or county in Wisconsin levies Local Income Tax.


Step 9 – Calculate Pay Check:

Now that you are done with all payroll taxes and calculated the net take-home pay of an employee, it's time to cut the paycheck. Moreover, you, as an employer, must pay your portion of FICA tax along with FUTA and SUI tax in full and on time regularly.


Federal and Wisconsin Payroll Laws

  • Wisconsin state law requires employers to pay their employees at least once a month. Moreover, the payday must be within thirty-one (31) days of the end of a pay period.
  • The WI state laws require employers to pay at least the minimum wage rate of $7.25/hour to their non-exempted employees. Moreover, they are also required to pay overtime at one and half times the employee's regular hourly rate for each hour worked over forty hours in a workweek to their employees, unless or otherwise exempted. Employees exempted from overtime, and minimum wage law includes:
    • Tipped Employees: They can be paid at least the cash minimum wage rate of $2.33/hour, with a maximum tip credit of $4.92/hour.
    • Youth Employees: They can be paid at least the minimum wage rate of $5.90/hour.
    • Executive employees
    • Administrative employees
    • Professional employees
    • Outside salesmen
    • Computer systems analysts, computer programmers, and software engineers, and a few more.
  • Wisconsin's employers are not required to provide employees with either paid or unpaid vacation benefits, sick leave benefits, holiday leaves, jury duty leaves, or bereavement leave. However, it does require to provide up to three (3) hours of time off for voting.
  • The state law entitles the youth employees (under the age of eighteen) scheduled to work for more than six hours in a shift to receive at least a 30-minute duty-free meal period. However, there is no such law for adult employees.
Also Check: Wisconsin Sales and Reverse Sales tax Calculator to Calculate the amount of tax included in a gross price as well as the amount you should add to a net price.

FAQs

Answer: Following are the taxes taken out of employee's paycheck while working in Wisconsin:

  • Federal Income Tax: This tax is withheld at the rate ranging from 0% to 37%, sorted in seven tax brackets determined by filing status and income level.
  • FICA – Social Security: This tax is withheld at the rate of 6.2% each employee's first taxable wage of $137,700 in a year
  • FICA – Medicare: This tax is withheld at the rate of 45% of each employee's first taxable wages of $200,000 in a year.
  • FICA – Additional Medicare: if an employee's taxable wage exceeds $200,000 threshold, he/she is charged with an Additional Medicare surtax of 0.9%.
  • State Income Tax: This tax is charged at the rates ranging from 86% to 7.65%, distributed on four tax brackets according to income level and filing status.

Answer: followings are the tax rates and brackets of Wisconsin state withholding tax:

For "Single" and "Head of Household" Filers:

  • 86% for taxable wage ranging between $0 and $11,760
  • 04% for taxable wage ranging between $11,760 and $23,520
  • 27% for taxable wage ranging between $23,520 and $258,950
  • 65% for taxable wage over $258,950

For "Married, filing jointly" Filers:

  • 86% for taxable wage ranging between $0 and $15,680
  • 04% for taxable wage ranging between $15,680 and $31,360
  • 27% for taxable wage ranging between $31,360 and $345,270
  • 65% for taxable wage over $345,270

For "Married, filing separately" Filers:

  • 86% for taxable wage ranging between $0 and $7,840
  • 04% for taxable wage ranging between $7,840 and $15,680
  • 27% for taxable wage ranging between $15,680 and $172,630
  • 65% for taxable wage over $172,630

Answer: The average salary In Wisconsin for a Male is $64,874, and for a female is $47,745, according to datausa.io.

Answer: The WI state has a minimum wage rate similar to the federal minimum wage rate of $7.25/hour for employees, unless or otherwise exempted. However, the Minimum wage rate of youth employees is $5.90. Moreover, the cash minimum wage rate for tipped employees is $2.33, with a maximum tip credit of $4.92.

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