Pennsylvania Payroll Instructions

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Goldenseal Payroll Software Info

US Federal Withholding Tables

Free 2017 Payroll Tax Table Updates

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Pennsylvania has state income tax withholding at a simple percentage rate, with no exemptions or tax tables. Rates did not change in 2017, and have not changed since 2004.

HINT-- Turtle Creek Software provides free annual updates for US federal and Pennsylvania state tax withholding rates.

Pennsylvania 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 dependents into the State Exemptions field.
  7. Enter the Pennsylvania Tax Package into the Tax Package field. HINT--If you don't seeit in the list, you'll need to import the tax info first.
  8. Click OK.
  9. Goldenseal payroll software will automatically calculate the right withholding taxes for the employee.

Pennsylvania Local Tax Instructions

Many Pennsylvania localities have a separate income tax withholding for municalities and/or school districts. There are several thousand districts, so we do not provide all local rates.

Starting in 2008, we are providing sample tax items and tax packages for three different localities. You can add more local tax rates, if you need to withhold for more than three different rates.

To adjust local tax rates, 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 one of the local taxes in the list, and double-click on it. HINT: If you don't see local taxes in the list, you'll need to import the Pennsylvania state payroll info first.
  3. Enter the withholding rate into the percent field to the right of Calculation method. You might also want to rename the item so it is more descriptive of the locality.
  4. Click OK.
  5. Repeat steps 2 to 4 for each local tax.

To create Tax Packages for local taxes, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Payroll Setup from the Costs menu, and choose Tax Packages from the submenu.
  2. Click on one of the standard packages, then click Duplicate.
  3. Enter a descriptive name for the package.
  4. Go through the list of Tax Items, and select any local taxes that apply.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Repeat steps 2 to 5 for each locality where you need to collect taxes.

After you have set up additional Tax Packages, apply them to your employees:

  1. Choose Employees from the Accounts menu.
  2. Use the browser controls at upper left, to locate an employee.
  3. Click the Payroll Setup button.
  4. Enter the Tax Package that applies.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Repeat steps 2 to 5 for each employee that needs local withholding.

Pennsylvania State Unemployment Tax Instructions

Pennsylvania state unemployment tax is charged on the first $9,750 of wages for each employee (2017 cutoff amount, up slightly from last year). The tax rate is different for each employer, based on their past employment history. New employers pay 3.5% as a starting rate (9.7% for construction companies), plus a variable surcharge that depends on the current fund balance. After 2 or 3 years, the rate is adjusted, based on past history.

In addition, employees pay a variable percentage of wages into the UC fund. The employee contribution can vary between 0% and .09% of wages, depending on the current fund balance. Check with your local PA UI office for the current rate (it is .07% as of January, 2016).

To enter the Pennsylvania SUTA tax rate for your business, 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 Pennsylvania SUTA tax in the list, and double-click on it. HINT: If you don't see SUTA in the list, you'll need to import the Pennsylvania state payroll info first.
  3. Enter the rate that your business pays in the percent field to the right of Calculation method.
  4. If the cutoff amount has changed, enter it into the dollar field next to First Adjustment.
  5. Repeat steps 2 to 4 for the SUTA Employee contribution.

Pennsylvania Marital Status

Use the following to determine the value for the Marital Status popup menu in each Employee account:

  • Single- single employee with one personal exemption
  • Married- married employee with two personal exemptions
  • Dual Income- married employee with one personal exemption
  • Head of House- employee claims Head of Family status
  • Other- not used


Pennsylvania Tax Contacts

Payroll withholding website

Payroll Tax Office-- 717 772-2340
Unemployment Compensation-- 866 403-6163


Official State Lawn Ornament

Abandoned coal mine.