North Carolina 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 North Carolina.

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 North Carolina 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.

North Carolina Salary Paycheck Calculator

Your employees are vital to the success of your business. Paying them correctly involves calculating several state and federal payroll taxes. There are also paycheck laws like parental leave and Workers’ Compensation insurance to consider. We’ll provide you with a summary of the taxes and rules. Using Gusto’s North Carolina Salary Calculator, you’ll see how easy it is to use an automatic system to make these calculations for you.

North Carolina payroll taxes

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

  • North Carolina payroll taxes start with employees filling out the Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate (NC-4EZ). 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 their NC-4EZ 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 North Carolina is 4.75%.
  • North Carolina does not have reciprocity with neighboring states.

Additional North Carolina forms

In addition to NC-4EZ form mentioned above, North Carolina employers also need to file the following forms:

  1. Annual Withholding Reconciliation (NC 3)
  2. Annual Withholding Reconciliation (Monthly Filers) (NC 3M)
  3. Withholding Payment Voucher (NC 5P)*
  4. Withholding Return (Quarterly or Monthly Filers) (NC 5)*
  5. Withholding Return (Semi-weekly payers only) (NC 5Q)
  6. Wage and Tax Statement (State W2)
  7. Quarterly Tax Payment Voucher
  8. Employer’s Quarterly Tax and Wage Report (NCUI 101)
  9. Employer’s Quarterly Tax and Wage Report (NCUI 101B) filed when needed
  10. New Hire Report

North Carolina unemployment tax rate

North Carolina 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 North Carolina unemployment tax on the first $29,600 of an employee’s wages.
  • New employers who are not in the construction industry pay at a rate of 1.0%.
  • Experienced employers pay at a rate of 0.06%–5.76%.
  • Unemployment tax in North Carolina should be paid quarterly with the Division of Employment Security.

Paying North Carolina taxes

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

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

North Carolina salary threshold

Because North Carolina doesn’t have its own salary threshold, it adheres to the federal salary threshold.

  • The federal salary threshold is now $684 per week on a salary basis or on an hourly basis at a rate not less than $27.63 an hour.
  • The Department of Labor permits employers to count some bonuses, commissions, and other incentive payments toward meeting the standard salary level (up to 10%).
  • Employees who earn at least $107,432 per year may qualify as “highly compensated.”
  • See this Department of Labor fact sheet for details.

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 North Carolina need to report new employees.

Payroll stubs

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

  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 by the next scheduled payday.

Time off

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

  • Jury duty
  • Domestic violence leave

Federal Payroll Taxes

There are four federal payroll taxes you need to know about.

  • Federal income tax
  • Additional Medicare tax
  • FICA tax
  • Federal unemployment tax

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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