Overview of Utah Taxes
All taxpayers in Utah pay a flat 5% state income tax rate, in addition to federal income taxes. No cities in the Beehive State have local income taxes.
This calculator reflects the 2018 federal withholding tax changes.
Click here to learn more about how the Trump Tax Plan will affect you.
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- Our Tax Expert
Jennifer Mansfield, CPA Tax
Jennifer Mansfield, CPA, JD/LLM-Tax, is a Certified Public Accountant with more than 30 years of experience providing tax advice. SmartAsset’s tax expert has a degree in Accounting and Business/Management from the University of Wyoming, as well as both a Masters in Tax Laws and a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center. Jennifer has mostly worked in public accounting firms, including Ernst & Young and Deloitte. She is passionate about helping provide people and businesses with valuable accounting and tax advice to allow them to prosper financially. Jennifer lives in Arizona and was recently named to the Greater Tucson Leadership Program.
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Utah Paycheck Calculator
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Utah Paycheck Quick Facts
How Your Utah Paycheck Works
Determining your take-home pay if you have recently switched jobs or received a promotion can be daunting. That’s because every pay period your Utah employer will deduct money from your wages for a variety of reasons.
Some of this money goes to FICA and federal income taxes. Social Security and Medicare taxes together make up FICA taxes, and they are treated in the same way across all states. A withholding of 6.2% of your income goes toward Social Security taxes with an additional 6.2% coming from your employer, as well. Medicare taxes account for a smaller percentage at 1.45%, with employers again matching that amount. If you earn wages in excess of $200,000, you will have to pay a 0.9% Medicare surtax which your employer will not match.
In most cases you’re only responsible for paying 50% of your FICA taxes on your own, but this isn’t always the case. In situations where you don’t have an employer to contribute the additional 50% you may find yourself responsible for the full percentage. This is the case for self-employed people and some independent contractors.
Federal income tax will also be drawn from your paycheck each pay period. How much you pay in federal income tax is based on factors like your salary, your marital status, how many allowances you claim on your W-4 form and if you asked for an additional dollar withholding. It’s your employer’s job to withhold federal income tax based on the information you provide on your W-4 form.
Withholding calculation have changed for the 2018 tax year because of President Trump's new tax plan. The IRS released new withholding guidelines in January, to reflect the new tax plan, and taxpayers should have seen changes to their paychecks starting in February 2018. For the time being, you do not need to fill out a new W-4. Your employer will use the withholdings on your current form.
Keep in mind if you have more than one job, you cannot claim the same allowance with multiple employers. You will have to choose which allowance you want to claim at which job, or you could claim all your allowances at one job and none at the others. If you claim the same allowance at more than one job, you will have to pay additional taxes in April.
How often you receive paychecks impacts your monthly cash flow. With bi-weekly checks, you'll be receiving your pay in small and evenly spread installments. With monthly checks, you will be getting larger but fewer paychecks so you will have to budget accordingly.
Utah Median Household Income
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If you find yourself newly relocated to Utah from a state with either a progressive income tax system or no state income tax at all, you may be facing a new and unfamiliar experience.
Utah taxpayers enjoy some of the lowest tax burdens and property tax rates in the nation. The Beehive State has a flat income tax rate. This means that whether you file taxes as an individual, the head of the household or with your spouse, you’ll face the same percentage of tax liability. This is true for income level as well. All filers will pay the flat rate of 5% regardless of income level. This wasn’t always the case. Taxpayers who were paying up to 6.98% in state income taxes in 2007, are now paying a flat 5%. If you are considering purchasing a property in Utah or are looking to refinance, check out our Utah mortgage guide.
If you’re a city taxpayer in Utah, you won’t face any additional hits to your paycheck compared with others in surrounding areas. Whether you call Salt Lake City or West Valley City home, you’ll be relieved to know that no Utah areas have additional local income taxes.
How You Can Affect Your Utah Paycheck
A primary way in which you can affect your Utah paycheck is through the number of allowances you choose to claim throughout the tax year. Changing the number of allowances you claim means your resulting paycheck could either be larger or smaller.
The more allowances you claim, the less your employer withholds in taxes and the more of your income remains accessible to you throughout the year. This means you can funnel extra money toward savings, debts or investments. It's important to be aware that the drawback to this method is that you risk underpaying your taxes all year and facing a big bill from the IRS come April.
Claiming fewer allowances means more of your money withheld for taxes during the year and smaller paychecks as a result. More withholding often leads to more safety with regard to the IRS. This means that while your resulting take-home pay will be smaller, your likelihood of owing money in April will also be smaller. This option doesn't allow you extra funds to put toward debts and other expenses on a month-to-month basis but you may receive a refund when you file your taxes.
If owing money to the IRS sounds like a nightmare, you might want to opt for additional dollar withholding from each of your paychecks on top of the normal amount of income withheld. You can indicate on a new W-4 form how much you want withheld, say $50 from each paycheck.
Another option that may work for you if you are concerned that you’re going to be paying a lot of money in taxes is to funnel more of your paycheck into pre-tax accounts. If your employer offers a 401(k) or 403(b) retirement account, you could choose to increase your contribution to it. This way you are not only saving for the future but you are also lowering your taxable income (since the money will be deducted from your paycheck before you pay taxes).
For similar reasons, you may also want to utilize a Health Savings Account or Flexible Spending Account. The money you put into these accounts can be used for certain medical expenses like copays. Keep in mind though that these funds have expiration dates and you have to use the money before the deadline or you’ll lose it.
Utah Top Income Tax Rate
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Most Paycheck Friendly Places
SmartAsset's interactive map highlights the most paycheck friendly counties across the country. Zoom between states and the national map to see data points for each region, or look specifically at one of the four factors driving our analysis: Semi-Monthly Paycheck, Purchasing Power, Unemployment Rate, and Income Growth.
Methodology Our study aims to find the most paycheck friendly places in the country. These are places in the country with favorable economic conditions where you get to keep more of the money you make. To find these places we considered four different factors: semi-monthly paycheck, purchasing power, unemployment rate and income growth.
First, we calculated the semi-monthly paycheck for a single individual with two personal allowances. We applied relevant deductions and exemptions before calculating income tax withholding. To better compare withholding across counties we assumed a $50,000 annual income. We then indexed the paycheck amount for each county to reflect the counties with the lowest withholding burden.
We then created a purchasing power index for each county. This reflects the counties with the highest ratio of household income to cost of living. We also created an unemployment rate index that shows the counties with the lowest unemployment. For income growth, we calculated the annual growth in median income over five years for each county and indexed the results.
Finally, we calculated the weighted average of the indices to yield an overall paycheck friendliness score. We used a one half weighting for semi-monthly paycheck and a one-sixth weighting for purchasing power, unemployment rate and income growth. We indexed the final number so higher values reflect the most paycheck friendly places.
Sources: SmartAsset, government websites, US Census Bureau 2016 5-Year American Community Survey, MIT Living Wage Study, Bureau of Labor Statistics