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  • Writer's pictureSummit Bookkeeping

Washington State Payroll Taxes

Updated: Mar 6, 2023

As an employer, part of your job is to withhold, deposit and report payroll taxes. Payroll taxes are required at a Federal and State level and it’s important that you’re aware of your responsibilities as an employer to avoid fines and penalties. Here are the most common payroll taxes and responsibilities for small business owners in Washington state.

Required Payroll Deductions for Employees

Here are the tax rates that must be withheld from an employee’s paycheck:

* Some exceptions may apply

Additional Medicare tax (0.9%) may apply if an employee:

  • Files as single and their income exceeds $200,000.

  • Files as head of household (with qualifying person) and their income exceeds $200,000.

  • Files as a qualifying widow(er) with a dependent and their income exceeds $200,000.

  • Files as married filing separately and their income exceeds $125,000.

  • Files as married filing jointly and their combined income exceeds $250,000.

Voluntary Payroll Deductions for Employees

If offered, employees may choose to participate in employer sponsored plans and withhold deductions. These plans may include:

  • Premiums on health and life insurance

  • Retirement plan contributions

  • Employee stock purchase plans

  • Job-related expenses such as meals and uniforms.

Required Payroll Taxes for Employers

Your business is responsible for paying a share of payroll taxes. This includes:

  • Social Security tax — 6.2%

  • Medicare tax — 1.45%

  • Federal unemployment tax (FUTA) — 6%

  • State unemployment insurance (SUI) — Variable*

  • Workers’ compensation insurance (L&I) — Variable*

  • Paid Family and Medical Leave (required if you have 50+ employees)*

*Some exceptions may apply

Employer Responsibilities




Stay on Top of Your Payroll

All businesses are different and requirements may differ from what’s listed. If you’re unsure about your tax obligations as an employer, talk to your CPA or bookkeeper.

If you’re looking for help managing your payroll, our experienced bookkeepers can help take off some of the pressure of keeping up with complicated taxes so you can focus on growing your business.

Contact us or give us a call at (360) 756-5020 to see how we can help!



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