Post-tax deductions FAQ

« Back to Glossary Index

Post-tax deductions FAQ

Post-tax deductions impact everyone in an organization, from the payroll department to individual employees. Hence, a clear understanding of the concept and its role in payroll is essential. Here are some frequently asked questions that should help you grab the concept of post-tax deductions.

1. What are post-tax deductions?

Post-tax deductions, often called after-tax subtractions, are amounts deducted from an individual’s earnings after necessary tax withholdings. Common examples include Roth 401(k) contributions, life insurance premiums, union contributions, and disability insurance premiums.

2. What types of deductions are considered post-tax deductions?

Common types of post-tax deductions include Roth 401(k) contributions, Roth IRA contributions, charitable donations, union dues, certain insurance premiums (those for supplemental life insurance or certain disability insurance policies), court-ordered deductions (child support or alimony payments), and after-tax investments.

3. How are post-tax deductions different from pre-tax deductions?

The key difference between pre-tax and post-tax deductions is when they are applied in relation to income tax calculations. Pre-tax deductions reduce taxable income and provide immediate tax benefits, while post-tax deductions are applied after taxes are withheld and do not reduce taxable income.

4. Are post-tax deductions subject to income tax?

No, post-tax deductions are not subject to income tax because they have already been subjected to income tax. When post-tax deductions are taken from an employee’s paycheck, they are subtracted from the employee’s net income, which is the income remaining after income taxes have been calculated and withheld.

In other words, the money used for post-tax deductions has already been taxed as part of the employee’s gross income. Therefore, post-tax deductions are made with after-tax dollars, and no additional income tax is applied to them.

5. Can I change my post-tax deductions?

The ability to change post-tax deductions is influenced by employer policies, the type of deductions involved, and any qualifying life events that may allow for adjustments outside of regular enrollment periods. It’s advisable to familiarize yourself with your employer’s specific policies and consult with HR or payroll representatives for guidance on making changes to your deductions.

6. Is there a limit to how much I can contribute to post-tax retirement accounts?

The annual contribution limits for post-tax retirement accounts, such as Roth IRAs or Roth 401(k)s, are set by the government and may change each year. Here are some contribution limits as of 2023.

Roth IRA (Individual Retirement Account)

  • For the tax year 2023, the annual contribution limit for a Roth IRA is $6,500 for individuals under the age of 50 and $7,500 for individuals aged 50 and older (including catch-up contributions).
  • These limits are subject to income restrictions, and contributions may be reduced or phased out for individuals with higher incomes.

Roth 401(k) or Roth 403(b) Plans

  • Roth 401(k) and Roth 403(b) plans offered by employers have higher contribution limits than Roth IRAs.
  • For the tax year 2023, the annual contribution limit for these plans is  $22,500 for individuals under the age of 50, with an additional catch-up contribution limit of $7,500 for those aged 50 and older.

Roth 457(b) Plans (for government employees)

  • Contribution limits for Roth 457(b) plans can vary by employer and may be influenced by the age of the account holder.
  • For 2023, individuals under age 50 could contribute up to $22,500.

7. Can I claim a tax deduction for post-tax charitable donations?

Depending on your tax situation and the specific tax laws in your country, you may be eligible to claim deductions for charitable donations on your income tax return. In the US, you can claim a tax deduction for post-tax charitable donations, but there are specific rules and requirements that must be followed. Consider the following key points to stay on the safe side.

  • Itemizing deductions. To claim a tax deduction for charitable donations, itemize your deductions on your federal income tax return using IRS Schedule A (Form 1040).
  • Qualified charities. The charitable organization to which you make contributions must be a qualified tax-exempt organization under Internal Revenue Code. Most established charities, religious organizations, and nonprofit groups fall into this category.
  • Documentation. Keep records of your charitable contributions, including receipts or written acknowledgments from the charity.
  • Limits on deductions. You can generally deduct up to 60% of your AGI for cash contributions to qualified charities.
  • Non-cash donations. If you donate non-cash items, such as clothing or household goods, you may also be eligible for a deduction.
  • Special deduction for 2021. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allowed for an above-the-line deduction of up to $300 for cash charitable contributions made by eligible individuals who did not itemize deductions for the 2020 tax year. This provision was extended for the 2021 tax year, allowing for an above-the-line deduction of up to $300 ($600 for married couples filing jointly) for cash donations to qualified charities, even if you take the standard deduction.

8. Do W-2s show after-tax deductions? 

No, W-2 forms do not typically show after-tax deductions. W-2 forms provide a summary of an employee’s taxable income and the various taxes and pre-tax deductions that have been withheld during the tax year. After-tax deductions, which are subtracted from an employee’s net (after-tax) pay, are not included on the W-2 form because they do not affect the calculation of taxable income or tax withholding.

Yet, voluntary after-tax contributions to certain non-Roth pension plans might appear in Box 14.

9. What are statutory deductions? 

Statutory deductions, also known as mandatory deductions, are deductions from an individual’s income that are required by law. These deductions are typically enforced and regulated by government authorities, and employers are obligated to withhold and remit the specified amounts to the appropriate government agencies. 

Statutory deductions are an essential part of an individual’s compensation and include income tax, social security tax (FICA), medicare, unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, and child support and alimony.

10. How to make your global payroll easier? 

If you’re navigating global payroll complexities, MWDN is here to help. As an outstaffing company hiring tech specialists around the globe, we provide assistance with payroll and management of international employees and contractors, ensuring law compliance. Whether you need a small remote team or a giant office offshore, we’ve got solutions tailored for you.

« Back to Glossary Index
Want to work with us?
Book a call