Washington Hourly Paycheck Calculator
If you live in the state of Washington, you might be a Seattle Seahawks fan. You may also love the short trip to the Pacific Ocean, as well as the proximity to the mountains. There is very little that Washington is lacking. One item that it is lacking is a personal income tax—but there aren’t many complaints about that. This payroll guide will outline some of the other key payroll taxes and paycheck rules employers in Washington will want to know about.
Washington payroll taxes
Here’s what you need to know about withholding payroll taxes in Washington.
- Washington payroll taxes start with employees filling out Form W-4. This information helps you determine how much you should withhold.
- If an employee does not complete this form, you will need to withhold tax as though no exemptions were claimed.
- Employees need to update Form W-4 in case of life events (such as marriage, divorce, birth or adoption of a child, etc.) which may impact their taxes.
- The personal income tax rate in Washington is 7.0% on capital gains income only.
- Washington does not have reciprocity with other states.
Additional Washington forms
In addition to Form W-4 mentioned above, Washington employers also need to file the following forms:
- Employer’s Quarterly Tax and Wage Detail Report
- Labor & Industries Employer’s Quarterly Report
- Employer’s Paid Family & Medical Leave Quarterly Wages and Hour Report
- New Hire Report
Washington unemployment tax rate
Washington requires most employers to pay unemployment insurance tax to help compensate workers who are out of work through no fault of their own.
- Employers pay Washington unemployment tax on the first $67,600 of an employee’s wages.
- New employers pay at a rate of 1.29%.
- Experienced employers pay at a rate of 0.24–8.12%.
- Unemployment tax in Washington should be paid quarterly to the Washington State Employment Security Department.
Paying Washington taxes
Here’s what you need to know about paying Washington taxes:
- Washington’s payment frequency is quarterly.
Other Washington taxes
Washington employers are also required to pay or withhold the following taxes.
- Paid Family and Medical Leave
- Seattle City Tax
- WA Department of Labor and Industries
Washington minimum wage
In 2023, the minimum wage in Washington is $15.74 per hour.
Local minimum wage
The following municipalities have minimum wage rules:
- SeaTac: $19.06 per hour
- Seattle: $18.69 per hour
Washington overtime pay
Because Washington doesn’t have any state law governing overtime pay, the federal rules under the Fair Labor Standards Act apply. Generally speaking, hourly employees are to be paid time-and-a-half for all hours worked over 40 hours in a week.
Requirements to obtain Workers’ Compensation vary by state. This table outlines some of these requirements. If you determine that your company is required to purchase Workers’ Compensation insurance in your state, learn how to sign up for this insurance with Gusto. Sometimes, companies get a request for a workers’ comp audit—head to this article and click the workers’ comp audit reports dropdown for more information.
Employers in Washington need to report new employees.
- New hires must be reported to New Hire Reporting | DSHS.
- New hires must be reported within 20 days of their first day of work.
You must provide a pay stub to every employee that includes:
- Company’s legal name and address
- Employee’s name and last four digits of their Social Security number
- Pay period beginning and end dates
- Total hours worked
- Rate of pay
- Gross wages
- The amount and reason for any deduction
Employers must pay final wages to departing employees by the next scheduled payday.
Washington law requires employers to provide the following types of time off to employees.
- Jury duty
- Family & parental leave: The Family Leave Act was repealed and replaced by a paid Family and Medical Leave law. Under the Family Care Act, if sick or other paid leave benefits are provided, they may be used for a child’s medical condition or other family member’s serious health condition.
- Sick leave
- Medical leave
- Domestic violence leave applies to all employers under the domestic violence leave law and under the paid sick leave law
Federal payroll taxes
In addition to Washington-specific taxes, both you and your employees will pay a variety of federal payroll taxes. Check out the breakdown below.
Federal income tax
Unless they are exempt, your employees will pay federal income tax.
- You must withhold federal income tax from employees’ pay, unless they are exempt.
- Each employee’s Form W-4 will differ based on their filing status and dependents, among other details—so the amount of income tax to be withheld will vary.
- Form W-4 does not need to be sent to the IRS, but should be kept for your records.
Both you and your employees will pay Federal Insurance Contributions Act, or FICA tax.
- FICA is made up of the Medicare tax and the Social Security tax.
- In 2023, the Social Security tax requires employers and employees to each contribute 6.2% of wages up to $2,600.
- The Medicare tax requires employers and employees to each contribute 1.45% of all wages.
- See the IRS webpage for details, like maximum thresholds.
Like the state, the federal government also has an unemployment tax, called FUTA, which is paid by employers.
- FUTA is an annual tax an employer pays on the first $7,000 of each employee’s wages.
- The FUTA rate for 2023 is 6.0%, but many employers are able to pay less, for instance, up to 5.4% each year due to tax credits.
- Most employers will pay this tax annually with Form 940. But larger employers with more than $500 in tax due will have to pay quarterly.
Additional Medicare tax
The Additional Medicare tax is paid by employees. Here’s what you should know:
- For employees who earn over $200,000 per year, 0.9% of earnings will need to be withheld for the Additional Medicare tax.
- Whether or not your employee owes this tax may depend on their filing status.
Paying federal taxes
How often you’ll pay federal payroll taxes depends on how much you owe.
- Semi-weekly or monthly payments are required for federal withholding, Additional Medicare, and FICA taxes. And every quarter, a summary payroll tax return is due on Form 941, Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return.
- Quarterly or annual payments are required for federal unemployment tax. Most employers will pay annually, but quarterly payments are necessary if you owe more than $500. Each time you make a payment, you’ll need to file a payroll tax return on Form 940, Employer’s Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return.
We’re here to help
If you don’t love manual number crunching and payroll taxes sound overwhelming to you, take advantage of Gusto’s full-service payroll options or use an experienced accountant to help you with the process.