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Tax Table - California Instructions

Published: 2011.01.07 

How to Calculate California Withholding for 2012

Steps to calculate California withholding taxes are shown in the example below. You may also calculate your withholding tax by going to At Your Service Online (see Related Information).

Example: An employee is paid $1,930.00 each biweekly pay period. The employee has a biweekly tax deferral of $200. The employee claims married status with three regular allowances and four additional allowances on the W-4 form.  

Calculation of California 2011 Withholding Tax 
First, determine if earnings are greater than amounts listed in "Table 1 - Low Income Exemption Table"; if so, income tax can be calculated following the instructions. If not, no taxes are calculated.
Step 1:  Determine taxable gross. A.  Gross Earnings 1,930.00
B.  Less tax-deferred deductions* -200.00
C.  Taxable Gross 1,730.00
Step 2:  Determine wages subject to withholding. D.  Determine the number of each additional allowances (as listed on W-4, Section II, Line 3). If there are no additional allowances, go to Step 3. In this example, there are four additional allowances    
E.  Determine the value of the additional allowance. (See "Table 2 - Itemized Deduction Allowance Table" in Tax Table - California State Income Tax.)  -154.00
F.  Subtract the value of the additional allowances from Taxable Earnings 1,576.00
Step 3:   Determine taxable income. G. Subtract standard deduction based on payroll period and marital status. (See "Table 3 - Standard Deduction Table" in Tax Table - California State Income Tax.) -290.00
H. Adjusted Taxable Income (income subject to withholding) 1,286.00
Step 4:  Calculate withholding taxes before personal exemption credit. Tax Computation: Use  "Table 5 - Tax Rate Table" in Tax Table - California State Income Tax  
I.  Determine Payroll Period: Biweekly   
J.  Determine W-4 marital Status: Married   
K.  Determine appropriate tax table section: Biweekly Payroll Period/Married  
L.  Find the appropriate range by comparing your adjusted taxable income (Step 3) to the ranges of the tax table section (K). For this example: The income of 1,294.00 is between the range of "548 not over 1,300"  
M.  List the income subject to withholding (H) 1286.00  
N.  Subtract the lower value of the appropriate range (L). This is called the marginal income 564.00  
O.  Difference 722.00  
P.  List tax rate for the range (K) 2.20%  
Q.  Multiply O by P 15.88
R.  Add the tax listed on the table  of marginal income. In this example, the tax amount on $564.00 is ...  6.20
S. Total California tax withholding before credit (add Q and R)  22.08
Step 5:   Apply personal exemption credit. T.  Determine the number of personal allowances. This is based on the allowances listed on the W-4 as regular allowances. In this example, there are three allowances    
U.  Determine the value of the allowances by applying the information from Table 4 and subtract from S   -12.95
V. Total California Tax Withholding   9.13

*Tax-deferred deductions can include the following: DCP-REG, DCP-CAS, 403b, 457(b), DEPCARE, pretaxed parking, pretaxed vanpool deduction, HFSA and employee-paid health.

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Payroll Services Tax Team
Phone: (310) 794-8726 | Fax: (310) 794-8751 | Mail Code: 141648
10920 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 620
Los Angeles, CA 90024-6505
  Office Hours
Monday – Friday 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday Closed

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