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Payroll Tax

Understanding How Payroll Tax Works in New York

In 2022, payroll taxes brought in around $1.48 trillion to the US Treasury out of a total of $ 4.89 trillion in tax revenue. Payroll Tax is also predicted to increase to $2.3 trillion in 2033. 

Payroll taxes are, as you can see, a significant component of the tax system. In fact, understanding payroll taxes is important for both employers and employees.

To be more specific, workers must be aware of how payroll taxes impact their take-home pay, and employers must be able to compute and submit payroll taxes. Also, individuals can plan for retirement and other financial objectives by having a solid understanding of payroll taxes.

Note that if you need assistance regarding payroll taxes, it’s best to seek help from professional payroll Tax Services.

Keep reading to learn to reveal more about payroll taxes.

What Exactly Is Payroll Taxes?

Payroll taxes and income taxes are two types of taxes that people encounter in the working world.

Businesses and employees pay payroll taxes to support federal, state, and local programs. Withheld from the employee’s paycheck, these taxes are calculated as a percentage of their pay. Employers also pay a percentage of these taxes.

On the other hand, income tax is a kind of tax levied on the earned and unearned income of a person or business. Taxable income can originate from a number of sources, such as dividends, interest, royalties, earnings, salaries, rent, profits from gambling, and sales of products.

The main difference is that both employers and employees share payroll taxes. In contrast, income taxes are the responsibility of employees alone.

What Are the Types of Payroll Taxes?

In the United States, there are three types of payroll taxes:

1. Employer-paid taxes

2. Employee-paid taxes

3. Employee-and employer-paid taxes

Employers are the only ones who must pay federal and state unemployment taxes, while employees are only required to pay federal and state income taxes. Both employers and employees pay taxes for Social Security and Medicare.

How Do Payroll Tax Deductions Work?


Tax Category

Tax Type

Party Responsible


Wage Cap/Limit

Federal and State Income Taxes

Employee Employee Variable


Federal and State Unemployment Taxes

Employer Employer Variable None (FUTA has a limit)

Social Security

Both (Employee and Employer) Employee and Employer 6.2%



Both (Employee and Employer) Employee and Employer 1.45%

No limit

Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA)

Employer Employer 6% (on first $7,000)


State Unemployment Tax Act (SUTA)

Employer (Paid on behalf of employee)





How to Do Payroll Tax Audits

A payroll audit is a comprehensive review of a company’s payroll processes designed to ensure accuracy and compliance with employment laws and payroll regulations. This examination includes a detailed analysis of various aspects, such as active employees, wages, pay rates, and tax withholdings.

The primary objectives of conducting a payroll audit are as follows:

Accurate Tax Reporting and Deposits:

Ensure that the company’s tax reporting and deposit procedures are precise and comply with regulatory requirements.

System Alignment with Employee Requests:

Confirm that the payroll system aligns with individual employee requests and agreements.

Precision in Deductions and Reporting:

Validate the accuracy of all deductions and reporting processes within the payroll system.

Whether through regular internal HR audits or the hiring of external auditors, ensuring accurate data is crucial. External auditors bring a fresh viewpoint that might be useful in finding issues that may have been overlooked owing to lengthy exposure to the same data. Waiting for government officials is unnecessary because proactive internal or external audits can assist in preserving payroll accuracy and compliance.

What Are the Payroll Tax Best Practices?

One must know the payroll compliance for business owners. Otherwise, it’s difficult to ensure adherence to relevant laws and regulations.

Here are the five things you must keep in mind in the payroll process.

  • Understanding Laws and Regulations

Business owners must comprehend the laws related to payroll, particularly those concerning the calculation and submission of employee taxes.

Compliance involves careful attention to the entire payroll process, starting from hiring employees to accurately tracking hours and calculating taxes.

Providing necessary documentation for payroll filings and ensuring employees receive the required information for their tax return filings is essential.

  • Creating Written Policies

Establishing written policies for the payroll process is recommended. Clearly defined policies help ensure that everyone involved in the process is aware of the rules and regulations, reducing the likelihood of errors and promoting consistency.

  • Keeping Complete Records

Maintaining comprehensive records of all payroll-related transactions is vital for compliance. This includes records of employee hours worked, wages paid, and taxes withheld.

  • Improving Time and Attendance

Accurate tracking of time and attendance is crucial for payroll compliance. Implementing a reliable system to track employee hours worked helps ensure accurate and fair compensation.

  • Filing on Time

Timely submission of payroll-related government forms is emphasized as critical for compliance.

Late filings can lead to penalties and fines, highlighting the importance of meeting filing deadlines.

Concluding Notes on Payroll Tax

The payroll taxes substantially contribute to the US Treasury, which is estimated to reach $2.3 trillion by 2033 from $1.48 trillion in 2022. And it draws attention to the direct influence on take-home pay for both companies and employees. Also, you have learned about various kinds of payroll taxes, how they differ from income taxes, and best practices for adhering to the law. You can understand how payroll taxes help to finance public programs like Social Security and Medicare.

However, you must be aware that there are general best practices. So, all information may not apply to every payroll tax process. Hence, it’s important to consult with a tax professional or payroll expert to ensure that you comply with all applicable laws and regulations. This way, you can have business-specific guidance and ensure payroll tax best practices.


In case you need further clarification, go through the following queries.

How Does Payroll Tax Refund Work?

A payroll tax refund is a reimbursement of taxes that were withheld in excess from your paychecks. If you paid more in taxes throughout the year than required, you may be eligible for a refund. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issues this refund based on the surplus amount of taxes withheld from your paychecks.

What Are the Obligations for Small Business Payroll Taxes?

All businesses that employ people are required to pay applicable federal, state, and local taxes, as well as deduct payroll taxes from their employee’s paychecks. Federal, state, and local income taxes, as well as FICA (Medicare and Social Security taxes), are taxes that are normally deducted from an employee’s paychecks. Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) and disability insurance taxes in states including California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island are examples of additional withholding obligations.

What Are Payroll Taxes, and Why Are They Important for Us Employers?

Employers are obligated to deduct payroll taxes from employee paychecks and remit the taxes to the government. Programs like Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment insurance are funded in part by these levies. Companies are required by law to report the amounts withheld from employees’ paychecks on Form W-2 and to make a contribution to these taxes. Employer payroll taxes should be taken seriously since they guarantee workers’ entitlements to benefits and contribute to the funding of crucial government initiatives.

What Are the Different Types of Payroll Taxes?

Payroll taxes are often divided into three groups: taxes on Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment. Social Security taxes deduct 6.2% of your pay, and your employer contributes an equivalent amount that is not deducted from your income. Medicare taxes deduct 1.45% of your entire income, and your employer contributes a matching sum that is separate from your compensation. Benefits from unemployment insurance that you may get in the event of job loss are funded by unemployment taxes. State unemployment tax acts (SUTA) and federal unemployment tax acts (FUTA) are the two different forms of unemployment taxes.

What Are the Payroll Tax Benefits?

Payroll taxes are a vital source of funding for government initiatives that help those in need of financial assistance. For qualified people and their families, Social Security offers retirement, disability, and survivor benefits. Individuals who meet specific requirements, such as being 65 years of age or older, can receive health insurance through Medicare. For qualified people who have lost their jobs due to no fault of their own, unemployment insurance offers short-term financial support