Given you file as a single taxpayer, $78,000 will net you $58,349.84 after federal and California state income taxes. This means you pay $19,650.16 in taxes on an annual salary of 78,000 dollars. Your average tax rate will be 25.19% and your marginal rate will be 39.85%
Income taxes depend on your filing status. This page calculates your taxes based on filing “single”. We are working on the tax calculations for filing “married jointly” or as “head of household”.
- Which Income Taxes do I Pay in California?
- Tax Rate on Extra Income (Marginal Tax Rate)
- Your Average Tax Rate
- California Tax Structure
- Budgeting with a $78,000 salary
- What is my Net Hourly Rate and Why do I Care?
- Is $78,000 a Good Salary in California?
- Key Takeaways
- California Taxes at Higher Income Levels
Which Income Taxes do I Pay in California?
As a tax-payer, resident of California, you have to pay
- Federal income tax
- FICA taxes
- Social security
- California state tax
- California State Disability Insurance (SDI) tax
- Any applicable county or city Income tax
We already calculated the federal income tax on 78,000 dollars.
In summary, your employer withholds three types of taxes from your paycheck. On a $78,000 salary, you owe $9,420 in federal income tax. Additionally, the employer will withhold $4,836.00 for social security and $1,131.00 for medicare.
We calculate the taxes here as annual amounts. Your employer will withhold the part applicable to each paycheck (monthly or bi-weekly).
California Income Tax
California does not use the federal standard deductions. Instead, it uses its own standard deduction of $4,803 for a single.
The income is taxed in the following brackets
|lower bracket||upper bracket||tax rate||amount on 78K|
As a resident of California, you have to pay $3,561 in state taxes per year. This is calculated for filing “single” and with tax rates for 2023.
State Disability Insurance (SDI)
The California government taxes every wage earner for short-term disability insurance.
This insurance pays benefits in case you are unable to work for non-work-related reasons. For example, it pays when you have to stay home because of a sick child or an infection with COVID-19.
The benefits level is about 55% of your gross wages or salary.
In 2023 the Tax rate for the SDI is 0.9% of your income. This applies to the first $153,164 of your income.
On a 78K salary, you’ll pay $702.00 in short-term disability insurance a year.
CA Taxation Summary
With an income of $78,000 a year, you pay $9,420 in federal income tax and $5,967.00 in federally mandated insurance (FICA tax).
Furthermore, you pay $3,561 CA state tax and $702.00 state-mandated insurance (SDI). Your salary will shrink to $58,349.84 a year after taxes. This assumes you are filing taxes as “single”.
Tax Rate on Extra Income (Marginal Tax Rate)
Who doesn’t strive for extra income, such as overtime pay or a performance bonus? Most income tax rates rise with the income. You want to know which rate you are going to pay on additional income.
Marginal State Income Tax Rate
Your marginal rate for the California state tax is 10.20%. This means for an extra dollar of earned income you’ll pay 10.20% cents to the Franchise Tax Board of California.
California’s state income rate rises with increasing income, which means the tax rate is progressive. Thus, you want to know which taxes are due for extra income. The marginal tax rate gives you this information.
Combined Marginal Income Tax Rate (Fed + CA)
The federal tax rates also rise with increasing income. Your federal marginal rate is 29.65%. This includes the FICA taxes Social Security and Medicare. Your state marginal rate is 10.20%, including the SDI contribution.
Your combined marginal rate is 29.65% + 10.20% = 39.85%.
Example for Marginal Tax Rate
For example, an annual bonus of 1,000 dollars will increase your tax bill in California by $102. Your Federal marginal rate is 29.65%. You owe the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) $296.50 on that bonus.
Of that 1,000 dollars bonus, you will see only $602 in your paycheck. The government taxes you on that last 1,000 dollars at a combined rate of 39.85%.
Your Average Tax Rate
While the marginal tax rates look scary, your average tax rates are less so.
On an income of $78,000, you pay a combined average tax rate of $25.19%.
We base the average tax rate on the gross income without standard deductions.
California Tax Structure
California’s income tax rates are progressive. This means the share you pay in taxes increases with your gross income.
California has its own standard deductions, separate from federal standard deductions. The standard deduction for California income tax is $4,803. The standard deduction ensures that a very minimal income is not taxed at all.
California state income tax depends on your filing status. If you are filing “single”, you will have a more progressive tax schedule. If you pay “married filing jointly”, your tax brackets double and you share this income with your spouse. You can also file “married separate” and both be treated as “single”. Furthermore, as a “qualified widower”, you can pay taxes like you were still “married filing jointly”.
Other Taxes in California
Local Income Tax
Only the state of California charges income tax. None of the cities or counties charge extra taxes on income in California.
Sales Tax and Local Components
California collects 7.25% in state sales tax. Most local jurisdictions add district sales taxes that increase the tax paid by a buyer. Those district tax rates range from 0.10% to 2.00%. Some areas may have more than one district tax in effect.
While there is a state sales tax cap in place, the legislator has allowed currently 140 jurisdictions to exceed the combined sales tax rate of 9.25%.
You owe “use tax” when you buy goods and services outside of California and bring them into the state.
Most cities and counties charge property taxes. The average property tax in California is lower than nationwide.
Budgeting with a $78,000 salary
Governments determine taxes on a yearly basis. However, you pay rent, utility bills, and car payments every month. Furthermore, your employer pays you monthly, semi-monthly, or bi-weekly. In the following sections, we estimate the monthly, bi-weekly, and weekly amounts of your paycheck.
Budgeting for a Monthly Paycheck
Budgeting with a $78K annual gross salary requires breaking it down to monthly amounts.
Your employer will pay you one-twelfth of your annual salary each month. Yet, your employer will withhold the necessary taxes. The employer sends the taxes directly to the IRS and the California Franchise Tax Board.
Monthly withholdings on a $78,000 salary:
|Monthly Gross Income||$6,500|
|Social Security||– $403.00|
|Federal Income Tax||– $785.01|
|CA Income Tax||– $296.71|
|CA SDI||– $58.50|
|Monthly Take-Home Pay||$4,862|
Given you file taxes as a single, your monthly salary of $6,500 will result in take-home pay of $4,862.
Bi-Weekly Take-Home Pay
If your employer pays you every fortnight, there will be 26 paychecks in a year.
Here is an estimate of bi-weekly withholdings from your paycheck
|Bi-weekly Gross Income||$3,000.00|
|Social Security||– $186.00|
|Federal Income Tax||– $362.31|
|CA Income Tax||– $136.96|
|CA SDI||– $27.00|
|Bi-weekly Take-Home Pay||$2,244.22|
With a tax filing status of “single”, you can expect a net paycheck of $2,244.22 every fortnight.
Budgeting with bi-weekly income and monthly expenses has its own challenges 🔗. The simplest method is to assume you earn two paychecks a month and one extra paycheck. Best to apply the extra paycheck to savings.
Tax Withholdings with Weekly Payments
Some employers pay you weekly. This is very unusual for salaried employees and rare for wage earners.
This is the weekly breakdown of pay and withholdings
|Weekly Gross Income||$1,500.00|
|Social Security||– $93.00|
|Federal Income Tax||– $181.16|
|CA Income Tax||– $68.48|
|CA SDI||– $13.50|
|Weekly Take-Home Pay||$1,122.11|
Your weekly paycheck will amount to $1,122.11 if you earn $78K a year and are filing taxes as a single.
What is my Net Hourly Rate and Why do I Care?
Your net hourly rate is the amount of money you can effectively spend when you work one hour.
From your net hourly rate you can calculate the value of an expense in the hours (or minutes) you need to work for it. This makes it easier to be frugal with day-to-day expenses.🔗
Calculating the hourly rate from your net income, after taxes, is important because you can not avoid paying taxes.
With a $78,000 salary and taxes paid in California your net hourly rate is $28.05.
Is $78,000 a Good Salary in California?
An income of 78 thousand dollars annually or $6,500 monthly is 171.86% of a living wage in California. This is a good income for a single person with no children.
We compare the income against a California-wide average for the living wage. The living wage in different metro areas and counties can differ widely from this average.
Being a resident of California does not come cheap. Salaries and wages in most parts of California are higher than in other states. But so are taxes.
From a salary of 78,000 dollars, you will keep $58,349.84 a year or $4,862 a month. This is a good income in California for a single without children or dependents.
California Taxes at Higher Income Levels
Let’s find out what you’d owe at the next $1,000 level. At $79,000 income, your taxes will rise with the marginal rate.
At the next 10,000 level, you earn $80,000 and that may push you into the next tax bracket. Click to find out.
This article is not tax advice, nor should be taken as such. All calculations are estimates and for budgeting purposes only. The content of this article is only for learning and entertainment. The article does not replace professional tax advice.
In general, you have to consider your personal circumstances. Your taxable income may be reduced by exclusions, dependents, deductions, or other types of income. These and many other factors will influence the taxes you pay. To prepare your tax return you should consult with a tax professional. A CPA or other tax professional can give you individual advice on how to save on taxes.
We considered in this article only individual income tax. We did not include information on capital gains taxes, taxes on business income, or self-employment taxes.
We used data for the tax year 2023 for our calculations.
We used the following references for our estimates: