Each “general” withholding you create for things like health insurance, retirement plans, employee child care and local taxes requires a Payroll Formula to determine the amount to withhold. This article explains how to use variables and the syntax for entering the formula. You may also Download & Import pre-made general withholdings rather than creating them from scratch.

### Getting There

Follow the steps to create a new withholding in the Payroll Formulas article. Then use the examples below as ideas for how the formula may be written using the *Payroll Formula Builder*. You may also be interested in an explanation of preset Variables & Functions.

### Formula Examples

Once the formula is set up be sure to assign any variables (like an amount or percentage) to the Employee Withholdings screen of each person.

**Example 1: Withhold a Flat Amount**

This is often useful for items like health insurance that have a set amount to withhold per paycheck. The amount can be different for each employee.

The formula just references the variable.

**Example 2: Withhold a Percentage or Amount**

For something like a retirement plan an employee may elect to have a percentage of their gross pay withheld or a fixed amount per check.

You’ll use two variables. Select the “Money” or “Percent” *Mask *as appropriate.

The formula could then choose whichever would withhold more (the percentage or the fixed amount).

**Example 3: Wage Base**

Some withholdings, including things like SDI (state disability insurance), may require a wage base. This means the amount is withheld up to a certain level of earnings for the year (the wage base) and once a person had earned more than that the withholding no longer applies.

You may not need any new variables, instead you’ll use built-in variables like *(gross)* and functions like *YTD[gross]*. Often, this type of withholding a fixed percentage built into the formula. Once a person exceeds the wage base no more is withheld.