Paycheck Calculator and W-4 Creator

your tax refund now

When filling out a new W-4 for your job, you might have asked yourself: why is this W-4 so complicated? What do I enter where? How will this affect my paycheck and next tax return?

The generic design of the Form W-4 does not give you the actual tax withholding amount. This Taxpert paycheck calculator is an integrated calculator that also creates a W-4 Form based on your pay period paycheck. Thus, you can easily manage your IRS tax withholding based on your paycheck and make adjustment as needed. 

At the end of the paycheck calculator, the tool will layout steps on how to increase or decrease your per period federal tax withholding. You might ask yourself: how do you know if you should increase or decrease your per paycheck tax withholding?

  • We suggest you lean on your latest tax return to make educated withholding changes. For example, if you received a tax refund, e.g. $1,400, take that refund amount and divide it by the number of months remaining this year (if we are in May, you would have 7 months left (June - December): $1,400 divided by 7 = $200. Let's call this the refund based adjust amount. Then, look at your last paycheck's tax withholding amount, e.g. $250, and subtract the refund adjust amount from that: $250 minus $200 = $50. That result is the tax withholding amount you should aim for when you use this tool, in this example, $50.

Paycheck based W-4 Estimator, Creator

Use the Paycheck Calculator or PAYuycator below and, at the end of the calculation in section P16.3, you will see your per paycheck tax withholding amount based on your selected pay period. You will find instructions on how to increase or decrease that tax withholding amount. When done, create the W-4 and the result of that W-4 will be based on your paycheck calculation results. Complicated? Yes, it might seem so, but since the W-4 is created this way, that is all we have to work with. Contact a Taxpert® if you have questions.

PAYucator and W-4 Check Tool

How much in IRS or federal taxes would you like to withhold from each of your paychecks?

Start the PAYucator

Estimate your 2021 Paycheck Tax Withholding - Help
P1 Select Your Filing Status
Estimate your 2021 Paycheck Tax Withholding - Details
P5 How often do you get paid? Number of paychecks/month for this job
P6 Enter your Gross Paycheck Dollar ($) Amount
per pay period as selected above.
P7 Health Plan Contributions per Pay Period If no contributions, enter 0
P8 Health Savings Account (HSA)
Contributions per Pay Period If no contributions, enter 0
P9 Retirement/401K Contributions per Pay Period If no contributions, enter 0
P10 Other Pre-Tax Deductions per Pay Period If no deductions, enter 0
P11 Your per pay period taxable income is: $0.00 Continue and answer questions about other tax scenarios you might have.
P12 Number of Active, Current Jobs Enter your and your spouse's jobs; do not enter 0 or zero.
P13 Other Yearly Income Income for which you currently do not withhold taxes
P14 Other Estimated Annual 2021
Tax Return Deduction Amount Do NOT include the standard deduction; the tool has included them for you based on your filing status: $.
P15 Enter Extra Federal Tax Withholding
per paycheck periodAmount of additional IRS tax withholding per paycheck pay period
Make sure you have answered all questions and/or have values entered before you can continue by clicking below on Calculate Federal Tax Withheld.
Keep in mind, for W-4 planning or creation purposes, you can change the answers or values here as the W-4 Form is a planning tool for you to manage your IRS tax withholding amount. For planning purposes, enter different values and monitor the results on the next page.
Paycheck Results For This Job

Per Pay Period Results

P16.1 Your Estimated Gross Income per Pay Period
P16.2 Your Estimated Net Paycheck per Pay Period
P16.3 Your Estimated IRS Tax Withholding per Pay Period

Other Estimated Paycheck Items per Pay Period
Pre-Tax Deduction
Medicare Withheld
Social Security Withheld

Annual Results

Your Estimated Annual Gross Income
Your Estimated Annual Net Income
Your Estimated Annual IRS Tax Withholding

Other Estimated Annual Paycheck Totals
Pre-Tax Deduction
Medicare Withheld
Social Security Withheld

If you want to change the IRS tax withholding amount listed under P16.3 above, select one of the links below. What is important is that you achieve your tax return goals; keep more of your money per paycheck and not owe taxes on your next tax return. Feel free to contact a Taxpert® if you need further assistance with this very important financial planning step. Once your per paycheck IRS tax withholding amount matches your goal, click the Create My New W-4 button below and your form will be generated based on that IRS tax withholding amount.

P16.4 See steps to take to Decrease Your Paycheck Tax Withholding Amount

P16.5 See steps to take to Increase Your Paycheck Tax Withholding Amount

P17 Enter the date on which you will submit this W-4 Form to your employer.
P18 Enter your information.
First Name
Middle Name Initial
Last Name
City / Town
P19 Enter your Social Security Number.
P20 Sign the Form W-4.
Type or draw your signature
P21 Enter your email address.
Enter your or your employer's email

  • Once you are done, take it a step further and estimate your annual Taxes based on the W-4 tax withholding you have just calculated: Use the current year Tax Calculator.
  • More Form W-4 tools to further optimize your tax withholding based on your individual estimated or actual income.
  • Prepare to tax prepare - learn how to begin planning for your tax return by keeping track of your finances and their tax implications during the year.

Contact a Taxpert® to discuss your individual W-4 planning challenges.