Overview of New Hampshire Taxes
New Hampshire has no income tax on wages, though the state does charge a 5% tax on income from interest and dividends. No cities in New Hampshire levy local income taxes.
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New Hampshire Paycheck Quick Facts
- New Hampshire income tax rate: 0% (5% tax on interest and dividends)
- Median household income: $80,972 (U.S. Census Bureau)
- Number of cities that have local income taxes: 0
How Your New Hampshire Paycheck Works
One thing you’ll notice on your New Hampshire paycheck is deductions for FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) taxes. FICA taxes are Social Security and Medicare taxes, and they are withheld from each of your paychecks in order for you to pay into these systems. Social Security is taxed at 6.2% and Medicare at 1.45%. Your employer will match these contributions so the total FICA taxes paid are 12.4% of your pay to Social Security and 2.9% to Medicare. Any earnings you have in excess of $200,000 are subject to an additional 0.9% Medicare surtax, which your employer doesn’t match. If you are self-employed, you are responsible for paying the full FICA taxes yourself, though you can deduct the employer portion.
Even in a state like New Hampshire that does not levy income tax on wages, workers still have to pay federal income taxes. How much you pay in federal income taxes depends on several factors including your salary, your marital status and whether you elect to have additional tax withheld from your paycheck.
Your employer figures out how much to withhold from each of your paychecks for federal income taxes based on the information you provide on your Form W-4. Every time you start a new job, you will need to fill out a new W-4. You can also fill out a new W-4 if you have a big life change, like a marriage, or if you just want to make changes to your withholdings.
In recent years, the IRS has revamped the Form W-4. The revised W-4 takes away the use of allowances, therefore removing the option to claim personal or dependency exemptions. It also includes a five-step process where you can enter personal information, claim dependents and indicate any additional income or jobs.
One way to manage your final tax bill is to request additional withholding from each paycheck. For example, say you want to withhold an additional $20 from each paycheck so that the taxes you pay throughout the year will more closely cover your actual tax liability. There is a line on the Form W-4 where you can write in how much more you want withheld.
If you contribute to a retirement account, like a 401(k) or 403(b), that money will come from your pay. The same is true for health savings accounts (HSAs) and flexible spending accounts (FSAs). These medical accounts take pre-tax money, which means the money you pay into them comes out of your pay before taxes are removed. Pre-tax contributions lower your taxable income and could save you money on your taxes right now. Premiums that you pay for an employer-sponsored health or life insurance will also come out of your paycheck. These plans usually take pre-tax money, but check your individual plan’s details to make sure.
Another factor worth noting is the frequency of your paychecks. If you get paid weekly or bi-weekly, your checks will be smaller than if you get paid monthly. The more frequently you get paid, the larger each paycheck is. You still make the same amount of money, assuming the same salary, but longer pay periods could mean more challenges to your monthly budgeting.
A financial advisor in New Hampshire can help you understand how taxes fit into your overall financial goals. Financial advisors can also help with investing and financial plans, including retirement, homeownership, insurance and more, to make sure you are preparing for the future.
New Hampshire Median Household Income
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New Hampshire does not have any state income tax on wages. The state does tax income from interest and dividends at a flat rate of 5%, though that rate is slowing being phase to 0% over the next few years. There are no local income taxes in any New Hampshire counties or cities.
If you’re considering a move to the Granite State, make sure to take a look at our New Hampshire mortgage guide. It will help you understand mortgage rates and other important mortgage details in the state.
How You Can Affect Your New Hampshire Paycheck
Do you often owe money when you file your taxes? One simple fix is to have your employer withhold a specific extra dollar amount from each of your paychecks.
Furthermore, you can consider increasing how much of your salary you are putting into a 401(k) or another type of retirement account. Upping your contributions will both help you reach your savings goals and lower how much you pay in taxes. This is because money that goes into a 401(k) or 403(b) is taken out of your paycheck before taxes are applied, so you're actually lowering your taxable income. And while New Hampshire doesn’t collect income taxes, you can still save on federal taxes.
Another option is to put more of your paycheck into an HSA or FSA if your employer offers it. One important difference with spending accounts and retirement accounts is that only $500 rolls over from year to year in an FSA. That means if you contribute more than $500 to an FSA but you don’t use it all within the year, you will lose it. (Money in an HSA does roll over.)
On the other hand, if you regularly get a big refund, that’s a problem, too – after all, that’s extra money you could have been using all year. In this case, you might want to consider whether you should adjust your withholding. This will affect how much money is taken from your paycheck.