Colorado Salary Paycheck and Payroll Calculator

Calculating paychecks and need some help? Use Gusto’s salary paycheck calculator to determine withholdings and calculate take-home pay for your salaried employees in Colorado.

We’ll do the math for you—all you need to do is enter the applicable information on salary, federal and state W-4s, deductions, and benefits.

The information provided by the Paycheck Calculator provides general information regarding the calculation of taxes on wages for Colorado residents only. It is not a substitute for the advice of an accountant or other tax professional. The Paycheck Calculator may not account for every tax or fee that applies to you or your employer at any time. ZenPayroll, Inc., dba Gusto ("Gusto") does not warrant, promise or guarantee that the information in the Paycheck Calculator is accurate or complete, and Gusto expressly disclaims all liability, loss or risk incurred by employers or employees as a direct or indirect consequence of its use. By using the Paycheck Calculator, you waive any rights or claims you may have against Gusto in connection with its use.

Colorado Salary Paycheck Calculator

It’s snowy in Colorado creating a winter wonderland for skiers. And it’s not only winter when you’ll see snow. If you’re in the mountains, it can snow on July 4th! 

Even though the snow leaves you shivering and reaching for a tall cup of hot chocolate, understanding the payroll taxes in Colorado won’t send a shiver down your spine. That’s because we’ve answered the most common questions employers ask about Colorado payroll taxes and paycheck rules.

Colorado payroll taxes and paycheck rules

Here’s what you need to know about withholding payroll taxes in Colorado.

  • Colorado 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.) that may impact their taxes.
  • The personal income tax rate in Colorado is 4.4%.

Additional Colorado forms

In addition to Form W-4 mentioned above, Colorado employers also need to file the following forms:

  1. Annual Transmittal of State W-2 and 1099 Forms (DR 1093)*
  2. Income Withholding Tax Return (DR 1094)*
  3. Wage and Tax Statement (State W2)
  4. Unemployment Insurance Tax Report (UITR-1)
  5. Family and medical leave insurance wage reports 
  6. Report of New Hires
  7. Various local returns

Colorado unemployment tax rate

Colorado 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 Colorado unemployment tax on the first $20,400 of an employee’s wages.
  • Rates range from 0.75% to 10.39%. 
  • Unemployment tax in Colorado should be paid to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

Paying Colorado taxes

Here’s what you need to know about paying Colorado taxes:

  • How often employers pay depends on the amount of tax you withhold in a year. 
  • Colorado’s payment frequencies are: quarterly, monthly, weekly.

Other Colorado taxes

Colorado employers are also required to pay or withhold the following taxes.

  • Occupational Privilege Tax
  • Colorado FAMLI Paid Leave
  • Aurora: (303) 739-7000
  • Denver: [email protected]
  • Glendale: (303) 759-1513
  • Greenwood Village: (303) 486-8299
  • Sheridan: (303) 762-2200

Colorado salary threshold

Colorado has a salary threshold of $961.54 per week effective January 1, 2023. When rounded, this is approximately $50,000 per year.

Workers’ Compensation

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. 

New hires

Employers in Colorado need to report new employees.

Payroll stubs

You must provide a pay stub to every employee that includes the following:

  1. Company’s legal name and address
  2. Employee’s name and last four digits of their Social Security number
  3. Pay period beginning and end dates
  4. Total hours worked
  5. Rate of pay
  6. Gross wages
  7. The amount and reason for any deduction

Final paychecks

Employers must pay final wages to employees within a certain timeframe, depending on the circumstances for leaving.

  • If an employee leaves involuntarily, wages must be paid immediately, with some exceptions.
  • If an employee leaves voluntarily, then wages are due on the next regular payday.

Time off

Colorado law requires employers to provide the following types of time off to employees.

  • Jury duty 
  • Voting leave: In some circumstances, employers are obligated to provide up to two hours of paid time off to allow employees to vote.
  • Family & parental leave: Beginning January 1, 2023, companies that employ at least one person for each working day during 20 or more calendar workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year or paid wages of at least $1,500 during any calendar quarter in the preceding calendar year, must make contributions to the leave program. Employees may use leave benefits beginning January 1, 2024.
  • Sick leave
  • Medical leave applies to employers with 50 or more employees 
  • Domestic violence leave applies to employers with 50 or more employees under the domestic violence leave law. It also applies to all employers under paid sick leave law.

Federal payroll taxes

In addition to Colorado-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 that 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

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