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Wisconsin Paycheck Calculator

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Use SmartAsset's paycheck calculator to calculate your take home pay per paycheck for both salary and hourly jobs after taking into account federal, state, and local taxes.

Overview of Wisconsin Taxes

Wisconsin workers are subject to a progressive state income tax system with four tax brackets. The tax rates, which range from 3.54% to 7.65%, are dependent on income level and filing status.

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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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Wisconsin Paycheck Calculator

Photo credit: ©iStock.com/csfotoimages

Wisconsin Paycheck Quick Facts

  • Wisconsin income tax rate: 3.54% - 7.65%
  • Median household income: $64,168 (U.S. Census Bureau)
  • Number of cities that have local income taxes: 0

How Your Wisconsin Paycheck Works

When you receive a paycheck in Wisconsin, you will notice that money has been subtracted from it for FICA taxes, as well as federal and state income taxes. That's because the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) requires that Social Security and Medicare taxes are withheld.

These taxes are deducted from your paycheck in fixed percentages. The federal government receives 12.4% of an employee’s income each pay period for Social Security: 6.2% comes from the employee’s paycheck itself and the employer matches that to provide the other 6.2%. Medicare tax follows a similar process. Employees pay 1.45% from their paychecks and employers are responsible for the remaining 1.45%.

If you earn wages in excess of $200,000 (single filers), $250,000 (joint filers) or $125,000 (married people filing separately), you will have to pay an additional 0.9% Medicare surtax, which employers do not match. If you are self-employed, you must pay the full percentages of FICA taxes, but a tax deduction lets you recoup some of the “employer” portion.

How much you pay in federal income taxes varies from person to person. Your Wisconsin employer will make sure that the income withheld from your paycheck is consistent with the information on the W-4 form you submitted. This information includes your marital status, dependents and any additional dollar amounts you want withheld.

Withholding calculations and the Form W-4 have seem major revisions over the last few years. The new version completely removes the use of allowances. Instead, it uses a five-step process that allows filers to enter personal information, claim dependents and indicate any additional income or jobs. These updates mainly apply to those adjusting their withholdings or changing jobs. Employees hired prior to 2020 aren’t required to complete the form, but employees hired on or after Jan. 1, 2020 must fill it out.

Taxes are not the only factors that affect your paycheck. If you make contributions to a health savings account (HSA) or flexible spending account (FSA), that will reduce your paycheck further. Similarly, if you get health or life insurance through an employer-sponsored plan, any premiums you pay will be deducted from your wages.

Wisconsin Median Household Income

YearMedian Household Income

Previously, Wisconsin had some of the highest state income and property taxes nationwide. Beginning in 2013 and 2014, the state made significant tax cuts that have reduced, and will continue to reduce, rates. These cuts have had the most significant effect on the lowest of the four income brackets. The top state income tax bracket stayed the same, though.

As a single earner or head of household in Wisconsin, you'll be taxed at a rate of 3.54% if you make up to $11,790 in taxable income per year. Singles and heads of household making $263,480 or more in taxable income are subject to the highest tax rate of 7.65%. The tax rates are the same across all filing brackets, but the income levels change based on filing status. There are no additional local income taxes anywhere in the Badger State.

If you’re thinking about buying a home in the state, or if you’re looking to refinance a property, you might want to check out our Wisconsin mortgage guide to make sure you’re familiar with the rates and details of getting a mortgage there.

Income Tax Brackets

Single Filers
Wisconsin Taxable IncomeRate
$0 - $11,7903.54%
$11,790 - $23,9304.65%
$23,930 - $263,4806.27%
Married, Filing Jointly
Wisconsin Taxable IncomeRate
$0 - $15,9603.54%
$15,960 - $31,9104.65%
$31,910 - $351,3106.27%
Married, Filing Separately
Wisconsin Taxable IncomeRate
$0 - $7,9803.54%
$7,980 - $15,9604.65%
$15,960 - $175,6606.27%
Head of Household
Wisconsin Taxable IncomeRate
$0 - $11,7903.54%
$11,790 - $23,9304.65%
$23,930 - $263,4806.27%

A financial advisor in Wisconsin 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.

How You Can Affect Your Wisconsin Paycheck

The decisions you make when completing your Form W-4 play a big role in determining the size of your paycheck. To avoid owing money to the IRS in April, you may want to opt for an additional dollar withholding from each of your paychecks. There is a line on the W-4 that allows you to enter the extra amount you want withheld. While this will result in smaller checks for now, it will reduce your bill come tax season, or even turn it into a refund.

Another option for Wisconsin taxpayers is to put more of your paycheck into tax-advantage accounts like a 401(k) or 403(b) retirement account. You can also put money an HSA or FSA, which are two accounts that can be used for medical expenses. The money that you contribute to these accounts is deducted from your paycheck prior to taxes being withheld. So by increasing your contribution, you can lower your taxable income and possibly save some money in taxes. Keep in mind, however, that the funds you put into your FSA may not all roll over from year to year. If you don’t use them in time, you’ll lose them.

Wisconsin Top Income Tax Rate

YearTop Income Tax Rate

Most Paycheck Friendly Places

SmartAsset's interactive map highlights the most paycheck friendly counties across the U.S. Zoom between states and the national map to see data points for each region, or look specifically at one of the four ranking factors in our analysis: Semi-Monthly Paycheck, Purchasing Power, Unemployment Rate, and Income Growth.

Rank County Semi-Monthly Paycheck Purchasing Power Unemployment Rate Income Growth

Methodology To find the most paycheck friendly places for counties across the country, we considered four 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, or greatest take-home pay.

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 index that shows the counties with the lowest rate of unemployment. For income growth, we calculated the annual growth in median income throughout a five year period for each county and then 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 2018 American Community Survey, MIT Living Wage Study, Bureau of Labor Statistics