Understanding Pre Post Tax Deductions Paycheck

Several reasons can lead to your employer withholding money from your paycheck. Your financial situation might be significantly affected by whether this happens before or after the taxman takes his cut. Pre Post tax deductions occur when your company deducts money from your paycheck before the IRS deducts its portion of your income. Although it would be ideal if you could retain everything, pre-tax deductions can assist you by lowering your taxable income. This is because the amount you owe the IRS decreases as your taxable income decreases. The term “post-tax deduction” refers to the deduction made from the payroll after taxes have been deducted. Your tax bill does not decrease because of post-tax deductions. 

Understanding Pre Post Tax Deductions Paycheck

Types Of Deductions

Pre Post Tax Deductions Paycheck

  1. Pre tax deductions paycheck

Employers deduct money from their workers’ paychecks for various purposes, the most common of which is to deduct payments to the benefit schemes in which they are enrolled. 

Pre-tax contributions include the following: 

  • Social Security contributions. 
  • Retirement contributions. 
  • Health insurance premiums. 
  • Deductions for dependent care. 
  • Education expenses. 
  • Tax-deferred investments 
  • Childcare plans. 
  • 401(k) plans and other retirement plans. 
  • Disability insurance payments.
  1. Post-tax deductions 

Post-tax deductions allow employers to deduct payments from employees’ gross pay. They are like pre-tax deductions but are taken after taxes have been paid. 

Post-tax deductions enable employers to make additional financial contributions to a company or individual’s retirement plan. 

Post-tax deductions include: 

  • Retirement contributions to Roth IRAs and Roth 401(k)s. 
  • Insurance against disability. 
  • Life insurance. 
  • Union dues. 
  • Donations to charities. 

Some items above, such as life and disability insurance premiums, may also be deducted from taxes if your employer has a benefits program. 

Other deductions—such as union dues or Roth retirement contributions—can only be deducted once you’ve paid income tax. 

  1. Wage garnishments 

Wage garnishments fall in the category of miscellaneous itemized deductions, which are allowed even if you don’t itemize your taxes. 

Wage garnishment is usually done under the IRS’s levy statute, which allows the IRS to take money directly from your paycheck before you receive it. 

The money is withheld from your gross income, which can affect your ability to claim certain deductions. 

These mandatory deductions may cover a variety of debts, including: 

  1. Child support.
  2. Back alimony. 
  3. Student loans (but only if you are in default). 
  4. Federal debt obligations. 
  5. Tax levies. 

Types of income subject to wage garnishment 

  • Hourly wages.
  • Salaries.
  • Commissions. 
  • Bonuses.
  • Pensions and retirement plan payments.

Limitations On the Wage Garnishment Amount 

The amount that can be garnished from an employee’s paycheck is tied to their “disposable earnings,” which is the amount of money left over after legally required deductions have been made. 

Title III also limits the amounts an employer may deduct from employees’ wages for child support or alimony payments. 

  • Assume that a worker provides support for a spouse or child. For these reasons, up to 50 percent of their disposable wages can be garnished. 
  • If they aren’t supporting anyone else, 60 percent may be garnished. 
  • An additional 5 percent can be garnished for overdue child support payments. 

Exceptions To the Wage Garnishments Cap Under Title III 

  • A creditor can’t garnish more than 25% of your weekly pay. 
  • A creditor cannot garnish taxes owed to the IRS. 
  • Creditors cannot garnish funds under bankruptcy protection. 

Examples of amounts subject to garnishment 

The examples below show the statutory standards for establishing how much of a person’s wages can be garnished. 

  • Example 1: Employee A earns $8,000 per month in gross wages (including tips). The amount subject to garnishment is $5,000 ($8,000 x 100%). 
  • Example 2: Employee B earns a total of $7,500 per week in gross wages ($2,500 x 7 days). The amount subject to garnishment is $1,250 ($7,500 x 75%) minus their weekly paycheck. 

Calculating Payroll Deductions 

  1. Withhold pre-tax contributions to health insurance, 401(k) retirement plans, and other voluntary benefits from gross pay. 
  2. Use Form W-4 and IRS tax tables to calculate and deduct federal income tax. 
  3. Retain 7.65% of adjusted gross pay for Medicare tax and Social Security tax, up to the wage limit. 
  4. You may deduct 0.9% additional Medicare tax if your year-to-date income exceeds $200,000. 
  5. Whenever applicable, withhold income tax per each state’s employer’s tax code or guide. 
  6. To determine the total net pay, subtract garnishments, Roth IRA contributions, and other post-tax contributions. 


Running a profitable business requires an understanding of pre- and post-tax benefits. Pre-tax contributions lower the total amount of taxable income, while post-tax advantages may lead to future tax savings. Working with a financial expert and getting your payroll deduction is essential for employers to avoid hefty fines. You’ll save time and future troubles by being informed on pre- and post-tax advantages, voluntary deductions, paycheck and your state and local tax rules. 


When is the best time to make deductions? 

Pre-tax deductions are sometimes preferable when you need to save money immediately. In addition, employees benefit from improved take-home income due to post-tax deductions.

What two things are taken out of your Pre post tax deductions paycheck before taxes? 

Group term life insurance, medical and dental benefits, and 401(k) retirement plans are examples of pre-tax deductions. 

Understanding Pre Post Tax Deductions Paycheck

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