This California bonus pay aggregate calculator uses your last paycheck amount to determine and apply the correct withholding rates to special wage payments, such as bonuses. See payroll calculation FAQs below.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is California’s supplemental/bonus tax rate?
Some states tax bonuses, which are also called supplemental earnings. Find California’s supplemental rate in our Payroll Resources under “Withholding Requirements”.
Are bonuses taxed differently than regular pay?
Yes. Bonuses are taxed more than regular pay because they are considered supplemental income. They are always federally taxed, no matter which tax bracket you’re in.
Bonuses are taxed either by using the percentage method or the aggregate method. PaycheckCity has both percentage and aggregate bonus free calculators.
What is the percentage method for bonuses?
The percentage method is used if your bonus comes in a separate check from your regular paycheck. Your employer withholds a flat 22% (or 37% if over $1 million). This percentage method is also used for other supplemental income such as severance pay, commissions, overtime, etc. Supplemental wages are still taxed Social Security, Medicare, and FUTA taxes.
What is the aggregate method for bonuses?
The aggregate method is used if your bonus is on the same check as your regular paycheck. Your employer will withhold tax from your bonus plus your regular earnings according to your W-4 answers. Your bonus will be taxed the same as your regular pay, including income taxes, Medicare, and Social Security.
Will my bonus be taxed even if I claim exempt in my W4?
Yes, the flat 37% rate applies even if an employee claims exemption in their federal Form W-4 from federal income tax withholding.
What’s the difference between single and head of household?
Someone who qualifies as head of household may be taxed less on their income than if filing as single. This is because the tax brackets are wider meaning you can earn more but be taxed at a lower percentage. This status applies for people who aren’t married, but adhere to special rules. If you’ve paid for more than half the cost of your household (with a qualifying dependent), consider this status. Be sure to double check all the stipulations before selecting, however. Picking the wrong filing status could cost you time and money.
What was updated in the Federal W4 in 2020?
In 2020, the IRS updated the Federal W4 form that eliminated withholding allowances. The redesigned Form W4 makes it easier for your withholding to match your tax liability. Here’s how to answer the new questions:
Step 2: check the box if you have more than one job or you and your spouse both have jobs. This will increase withholding.
Step 3: enter an amount for dependents.The old W4 used to ask for the number of dependents. The new W4 asks for a dollar amount. Here’s how to calculate it: If your total income will be $200k or less ($400k if married) multiply the number of children under 17 by $2,000 and other dependents by $500. Add up the total.
Step 4a: extra income from outside of your job, such as dividends or interest, that usually don't have withholding taken out of them. By entering it here you will withhold for this extra income so you don't owe tax later when filing your tax return.
Step 4b: any additional withholding you want taken out. Any other estimated tax to withhold can be entered here. The more is withheld, the bigger your refund may be and you’ll avoid owing penalties.
If your W4 on file is in the old format (2019 or older), toggle "Use new Form W-4" to change the questions back to the previous form. Employees are currently not required to update it. However if you do need to update it for any reason, you must now use the new Form W-4.
What’s the difference between a deduction and withholding?
In addition to withholding federal and state taxes, part of your gross income might also have to contribute to deductions. These are known as “pre-tax deductions” and include contributions to retirement accounts and some health care costs. For example, when you look at your paycheck you might see an amount deducted for your company’s health insurance plan and for your 401k plan. Pre-tax deductions result in lower take-home, but also means less of your income is subject to tax. Some deductions are “post-tax”, like Roth 401(k), and are deducted after being taxed.
In our calculators, you can add deductions under “Voluntary Deductions” and select if it’s a fixed amount (pre-tax), a percentage of the gross-pay (pre-tax), or a percentage of the net pay (post-tax). For hourly calculators, you can also select a fixed amount per hour (pre-tax).
The calculators on this website are provided by Symmetry Software and are designed to provide general guidance and estimates. These calculators should not be relied upon for accuracy, such as to calculate exact taxes, payroll or other financial data. Neither these calculators nor the providers and affiliates thereof are providing tax or legal advice. You should refer to a professional adviser or accountant regarding any specific requirements or concerns.