Simple tax calculator to determine if you owe or will receive a refund

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Prepare and eFile Your 2021 Taxes Now Taxes Made Simple Again at

How to calculate net income

  1. Determine taxable income by deducting any pre-tax contributions to benefits
  2. Withhold all applicable taxes (federal, state and local)
  3. Deduct any post-tax contributions to benefits
  4. Garnish wages, if necessary
  5. The result is net income


Update Your Contact Information!

It’s important that the Division of Workers’ Compensation has your current contact information. Email your name, previous address, and current address to

Experience Rate

The Missouri Employment Security Law includes a merit or experience rating provision as an incentive for employers to maintain stable employment, review claims, and reduce unemployment.

The Division keeps a record of experience for each employer’s account. The experience includes taxable wages reported, contributions paid (including voluntary payments), and benefits charged. Unemployment taxes paid are credited to an employer’s account. Unemployment benefits paid to eligible claimants are charged against the accounts of the claimant’s employers during the base period of the claim. These factors, which are recorded in the employer’s account through the preceding July 31st, are used to compute annual tax rates after the employer becomes eligible for an experience rate. An employer generally becomes eligible for an experience rate after two full calendar years of liability under the law.

Answering your unemployment income questions

To help you make sense of it all, we’ll answer 3 important questions:

  1. Is unemployment taxable on the federal and state level?
  2. How and when do you pay income tax on unemployment?
  3. Does getting unemployment affect your tax return?

Plus, H&R Block Free Online allows you to include unemployment income. You can’t do that with TurboTax Free Edition.


Who Pays Federal Unemployment Taxes?

Federal unemployment taxes are paid solely by the employer and are calculated based on an employee’s wages. To pay FUTA, you are required to submit form 940 to the IRS. Employers who pay employees who aren’t household or agricultural employees and answer “yes” to either of the following are generally subject to FUTA and required to file form 940:

  • Did you pay wages of $1,500 or more to employees in any calendar quarter?
  • Did you have one or more employees for at least some part of a day in any 20 or more different weeks in the year? Count all full-time, part-time, and temporary employees. However, if your business is a partnership, don’t count its partners.

FUTA and Household Employers

Household employers are required to pay FUTA tax on wages paid to household employees only if cash wages of $1,000 or more were paid in any calendar quarter? 

In most cases, employers of household employees must file Schedule H (Form 1040) instead of Form 940.

FUTA Exemptions

Certain employers are exempt from FUTA tax, even if they meet one of the above requirements:

  • Organizations with 501(c)3 status are exempt from FUTA tax.
  • Household employers are not required to report cash wages paid to a spouse, a child under age 21, or a parent.

Why Check Your Withholding

There are several reasons to check your withholding:

  • It can protect against having too little tax withheld and facing an unexpected tax bill or penalty at tax time next year.
  • It can let you adjust your tax withheld up front, so you receive a bigger paycheck and smaller refund at tax time.

Income Taxes and Form W-4

As we previously mentioned, in addition to the specific payroll taxes related to FUTA, SUTA, and FICA, income taxes are also calculated and withheld from payroll for most employees (any 1099 contractor will need to report and pay self-employment tax if their net income is $600 or more).

The employer should calculate and withhold proper income taxes based on the withholding status declared by the employee—but ultimately, correct payment of income taxes is the individual employee’s responsibility and any under or overpayment of taxes will be theirs to resolve when they file their tax return.

It is best practice to have all employees complete Form W4, which declares their amount of withholding, and revisit their withholding status on an annual basis (December is a great time to do so!). Federal and state income taxes (and local income taxes where applicable) are calculated based on the employee’s W-4 form.The IRS, in turn, provides the income tax calculation based on those declarations. The employee can include more in withholdings than is required by the IRS. State taxes are determined in much the same way. Every individual state’s tax board provides a calculating formula for tax withheld.

What is a paycheck?

A paycheck is how businesses compensate employees for their work. The most common delivery schedules are bi-weekly and semi-monthly, though this varies based on employer preferences and applicable state laws and regulations. Business-specific requirements, such as collective bargaining agreements covering union employees, may also dictate paycheck frequency.

Types of paychecks

Traditionally, employees received printed checks in person or by mail, but more often today, the money is electronically deposited into a bank account. Some employers may also offer optional alternatives to paychecks, such as paycards, which can be advantageous to unbanked workers.

After You Use the Estimator

Use your estimate to change your tax withholding amount on Form W-4. Or keep the same amount.

To change your tax withholding amount:

To keep your same tax withholding amount:

  • You don’t need to do anything at this time.
  • Check your withholding again when needed and each year with the Estimator. This helps you make sure the amount withheld works for your circumstance.  

Unemployment Taxes at the Federal Level

At the federal level, unemployment benefits are counted as part of your income, along with your wages, salaries, bonuses, etc. and taxed according to your federal income tax bracket.

With most income, like wages, taxes are pay-as-you-go. With wages, you are expected to pay taxes on your income as you earn it. As an employee, part of your paycheck is usually automatically deducted to pay your federal income and Social Security taxes.  Unlike wages, federal income taxes are not automatically withheld on unemployment benefits.

You are responsible for paying taxes on your unemployment benefits. You can request to have federal taxes withheld, make quarterly estimated tax payments, or pay the tax in full when it is due.

The Bottom Line

Your unemployment income will be taxed right along with any other income you might have earned during a calendar year.

Use Form W-4V to withhold any tax from your unemployment income, or pay quarterly taxes to ensure you don't owe the government any penalties come tax season. And always consider working with a tax professional if you have questions about your specific situation.

Important Changes to the Tax Code

If a former employee is receiving unemployment compensation or will soon be laid off and indicate they plan to collect it, they need to be aware of factors that have changed since 2019.

Jackson Hewitt advisors explain that expenses incurred while job hunting are no longer deductible – nor are moving expenses unless an individual is active-duty military and the move is undertaken due to military orders. This means that individuals cannot deduct travel costs, job-placement companies or resume expenses incurred in the pursuit of a new job.

Kiplinger writers list a number of important changes that include a set of tax credits for self-employed people who can’t work because of the coronavirus, including credits intended to offset the paid leave that they must give employees.

Have unemployment income? You may be able to file for free

Unemployment benefits can provide a vital income source for you and your family during a stressful financial setback. When it comes to tax time, filing your return shouldn’t add to any of your worries.

That’s why we’ve made filing as easy as possible. For example, you can snap a pic of your documents, and the program will help you work through your return with step-by-step guidance.

Best of all, H&R Block Free Online allows you to include unemployment income (Form 1099-G).

Find out more about H&R Block Free Online.

Federal Payroll Tax Rates

The steps our calculator uses to figure out each employee’s paycheck are pretty simple, but there are a lot of them. Here’s how it works, and what tax rates you’ll need to apply.

  1. Figure out each employee’s gross wages. Gross wages are the total amount of money your employee earned during the current pay period. The math works a little differently for salaried employees, hourly employees and contractors.
    1. Hourly employees: You’ll need to multiply the number of hours your employee worked by their hourly pay rate. If they worked any overtime hours, make sure to calculate those hours at the overtime rate.
    2. Salaried employees: A salaried employee is only paid a fraction of their annual salary each paycheck, so divide that employee’s annual salary by the number of pay periods you’ll have each year.
    3. Contractors: Advance to “Go” and collect $200! You actually don’t have to withhold any payroll taxes for contractors. Just pay them whatever’s on their invoice, but remember that you’ll need to send each contractor a 1099 form at the end of the year. Keeping good payroll records will make that process a lot easier.
  2. Deduct any pre-tax withholdings. Payroll taxes aren’t the only thing to exclude from employees’ paychecks. Make sure to deduct for things like health and retirement benefits. The process for documenting and remitting these funds will vary depending on your benefits providers. Note that many services can be integrated with payroll software, which allows you to automate your deductions.
  3. Deduct and match any FICA taxes: FICA, the Federal Insurance Contributions Act, is one of the many payroll acronyms you’ll soon get to know and love. It simply refers to the Medicare and Social Security taxes employees and employers have to pay:
    1. Social Security tax: Withhold 6.2% of each employee’s taxable wages until they earn gross pay of $142,800 in a given calendar year. The maximum an employee will pay in 2021 is $8,853.60. As the employer, you must also match your employees’ contributions.
    2. Medicare tax: Under FICA, you also need to withhold 1.45% of each employee’s taxable wages for Medicare. Employers must match this tax as well. There’s no withholding limit like the one for Social Security, but well-compensated employees who earn more than $200,000 must pay an Additional Medicare Tax of 0.9%. You don’t have to match the 0.9%, but you should include it in your withholding calculations.
  4. Pay FUTA unemployment taxes: Employers are solely responsible for paying federal unemployment taxes. The tax rate is 6% of the first $7,000 of taxable income an employee earns annually. If your company is required to pay into a state unemployment fund, you may be eligible for a tax credit.
  5. Deduct federal income taxes, which can range from 0% to 37%. Withholding information can be found through the IRS Publication 15-T.
  6. Subtract any post-tax deductions: Some employees may be responsible for court-ordered wage garnishments or child support. They may also choose to make post-tax contributions to savings accounts, elective benefits (like life insurance), or other withholdings.

What can disqualify you from receiving unemployment benefits?

Each state has its own unemployment criteria and rules. Unemployment programs typically require you to be unemployed through no fault of your own and meet work and wage requirements. If you quit or were fired for cause, you usually don't qualify for unemployment. Self-employed people and contract workers usually aren't eligible for unemployment benefits, but the CARES Act allowed states to extend unemployment benefits to these individuals.