Overview of Virginia Taxes
Virginia has a progressive state income tax system with four tax brackets that range from 2% to 5.75%. The bracket you fall into will depend on your income. Since the highest rate applies to income over $17,000, most Virginia taxpayers will find themselves paying the top rate. Filing status does not affect state income taxes in Virginia. No cities in the state levy local income taxes.
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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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Virginia Paycheck Calculator
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Virginia Paycheck Quick Facts
How Your Virginia Paycheck Works
As with all other states, Virginia employers must withhold FICA taxes from their employee’s paychecks. FICA taxes consist of Social Security and Medicare taxes. Social Security withholding is 6.2% of your income while Medicare withholding is 1.45% of your income each pay period. Your employer will match these percentages so that the total FICA contribution is double what you pay. If you earn a salary in excess of $200,000, wages over that amount are subject to a 0.9% Medicare surtax.
In some instances, you might assume the responsibility of paying 100% of your FICA taxes instead of the usual 50%. This is the case with self-employed taxpayers. Since these types of workers do not have the luxury of having an employer to contribute half of their FICA taxes, they must cover all of these taxes alone. However, there is a deduction available during tax season so that self-employed workers can recoup some of the “employer” portion of their FICA taxes.
Virginia employers also withhold money for federal income taxes. How much you pay will depend on various factors, including your salary, your marital status and how many allowances you claim on your W-4 form. Remember whenever you start new employment or you undergo major life changes like getting married or adopting a child, you will need to fill out a new W-4 form.
You may also want to check your W-4 in early 2019 because President Trump's new tax plan caused a slight change in withholding calculations. The changes took effect in early 2018 but it’s still a good idea to make sure you are happy with your current W-4 designations.
Keep in mind that your paycheck frequency also plays a role in your cash flow each month. More frequent but smaller paychecks may mean you budget a bit differently than if you get fewer, larger paychecks.
Virginia Median Household Income
|Year||Median Household Income|
Like most states, Virginia also collects a state income tax. Taxpayers fall into one of four income brackets depending on income level. The top tax rate (5.75%) applies to taxable income over $17,000, so most taxpayers will be paying that rate on at least some of their income. The income tax brackets apply to all Virginians regardless of marital status.
If you are looking to buy a home in Virginia or if you want to refinance a mortgage on a home you already own, make sure to check out our Virginia mortgage guide for important information on rates and details about getting a mortgage in the Old Dominion.
Income Tax Brackets
|Virginia Taxable Income||Rate|
|$0 - $3,000||2.00%|
|$3,000 - $5,000||3.00%|
|$5,000 - $17,000||5.00%|
How You Can Affect Your Virginia Paycheck
There are a few ways that you can impact your Virginia paycheck. To begin with, you have control over how many allowances you claim. Claiming more allowances means less is withheld in tax per paycheck and more of your income is available to you during the year. Claiming fewer allowances means more is withheld for taxes and your paychecks are smaller.
It’s not quite that simple, though. If you claim more allowances than you qualify for, you run the risk of underpaying your taxes all year and owing money to the IRS in April. If you always find yourself owing taxes at the end of the tax year, you may want to claim fewer allowances.
Have more than one job? You can’t claim the same allowances with multiple employers. So, for example, if you want to claim two allowances and you have two jobs, you can either split them between the two jobs or claim both allowances at one and none at the other. The same is true for joint filers: You need to split the allowances between both of your employers.
You can also elect to set up an additional dollar withholding from each of your paychecks to go toward taxes. Yes, your paychecks will be smaller, but it’s easier to avoid underpaying and it may increase your chances of getting a tax refund in April – or at least, make it less likely that you’ll face a big bill.
Do you have health and life insurance for you and your family through an employer-sponsored plan? Any premiums you pay for those are deducted from your paycheck. The same goes for your contributions to a retirement plan like a 401(k) or 403(b) via your company. Additionally, the money you put toward these retirement plans is subtracted from your wages before taxes are applied. This lowers your taxable income and you may owe less in taxes as a result.
Virginia Top Income Tax Rate
|Year||Top Income Tax Rate|
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 2017 5-Year American Community Survey, MIT Living Wage Study, Bureau of Labor Statistics