Tax season is a time of stress and panic. Employees fuss over forms and have a calculator, receipts, pencils and a whole sheaf of papers on hand as they desperately try to figure out how much tax they should be remitting to the government. If you work for a company that handles the tax returns of their employees, then good for you! You don’t have to deal with all these computations. But if you need to handle all these tax intricacies all by your lonesome, and you’re not that well-versed with the nuances of tax laws, then you will need all the help you can get.
Professional accountants are some of the people whom you can approach for tax return assistance. However, not all accountants are willing to provide their services for free. Since tax accountants usually charge clients by the hour, you should make sure that you cover as much ground as possible with every minute you spend with them. Thus, it may be wise if you could make preliminary withholding calculations and present these to them for verification and correction.
Preparing preliminary withholding information is not that difficult to do, at least not anymore with the advent of online tools such as the Paycheck Withholding Calculator.
Paycheck Withholding Calculators are calculation tools that anyone, whether you are an employer or an employee, can use at any time. These are usually readily available on the internet and those that are provided by local or state government sites may be used for free.
To use Paycheck Withholding Calculators, it is advised that you have all your pay stubs, and a copy of your previous tax return readily available. You may need to refer to information stated on these every so often. Once you have these ready, you will be asked to enter pertinent information on the fields that have been provided. Once all the data has been entered, the Paycheck Withholding Calculator will come up with a figure that would represent the amount that should have been remitted to the government.
Check this amount with the figure your employer has reported (or with the amount that you have come up with). If there is a discrepancy, double check the data you have entered on the calculator as these tools, specifically those on government websites, are generally very accurate. If the totals still vary, it may be best to talk to your employer to verify if the information you have is accurate and to check if the right amount is being deducted from you.
If you wish to further verify the accuracy of your withholding data, you can make copies of the results these online calculators have provided and consult with a competent tax professional.
Incidentally, you don’t have to worry about your privacy and your identity when you are using paycheck withholding calculators. All the information that you plug in are discarded immediately after you have logged out and no personal data (email, salary, addresses, etc) are kept on file.