Maine Payroll Instructions

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Maine has state income tax withholding, using a 'step' table that is similar to the federal withholding tax tables. The formulas have changed in 21 of the past 27 years.

In 2016, the calculation method changed completely. Maine dropped the former exemption system, and now uses an adjustment to the exemption amount, for relatively high-income employees. It is a deduction for most people, but gradually changes to a negative deduction (addition to income) at higher brackets. We could not match their calculation method exactly, but we set up a deduction step table that is approximately the same.

In 2017 the calculation method was adjusted so there is no longer a negative deduction.

NOTE-- In 2006 we changed the Maine calculation formulas from an annual basis to a weekly basis, since the state withholding instruction booklet started to use weekly rates. Then in 2007, the state changed their calculations back to annual, so we changed back too. In 2014 they dropped the annual figures entirely, so we had to go back to weekly again. However, in 2016, it went back to annual again. Who knows what the wacky folks in the Maine tax department will do in future years...

Turtle Creek Software provides free annual updates for US federal and Maine tax withholding rates.

Maine State Withholding Instructions

To enter withholding information for an employee in your Goldenseal company file, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Employees from the Accounts menu.
  2. Locate the employee record.
  3. Click the Payroll Setup button.
  4. Enter the employee's marital status into the Marital Status field (see note below).
  5. Enter the number of federal dependents into the Federal Exemptions field.
  6. Enter the number of Maine dependents into the State Exemptions field.
  7. Enter the Maine Tax Package into the Tax Package field. HINT-- If you don't see it in the list, you'll need to import the tax info first.
  8. Click OK.

Maine State Unemployment Tax Instructions

In 2017, Maine SUTA (state unemployment insurance tax) is based on the first $12,000 of wages for each employee (no change since at least 2006). The tax rate depends on your company's past employment history (it ranges from .78% to 7.19%).

To enter your state SUTA tax rate into the Goldenseal payroll accounting software, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Payroll Setup from the Costs menu, and choose Tax Items from the submenu.
  2. You'll see a list of Tax Items. Locate the Maine SUTA tax in the list, and double-click on it. HINT: If you don't see Maine SUTA in the list, you'll need to import your state's payroll info first.
  3. Enter your percentage rate into the field to the right of Calculation method.
  4. If the cutoff amount has changed, enter it into the dollar field to the right of First Adjustment.

Maine Marital Status

Enter one of the following values for each employee, based on their marital and filing status:

  • Single- single employee
  • Married- married, single income
  • Dual Income- married, two incomes
  • Head of House- not used
  • Other- not used

NOTE-- There used to be separate tax tables for married employees with two incomes, but they now use the same rate as single-income couples. We still keep the tables separate just in case Maine decides to go back to the old system.


Maine Tax Contacts

Withholding tax website

Payroll Tax Office-- 207 626-8475
SUTA-- 207 289-3961

Maine Bureau of Taxation
State Office Building
Augusta ME 04330


Official State Lawn Ornament

Coastal regions: stack of lobster traps.
Inland: stack of firewood.