5 ways to beat the payroll tax increase

Make up for the payroll tax hike
Make up for the payroll tax hike © NikP/

Does it seem like you're bringing home less money than you used to? Chances are, you are. With the payroll tax increases that went into effect in January, the paycheck of every working American is a little less than it was last year.

According to the Tax Policy Center, a worker earning a $40,000 median wage will take home $800 less this year than in 2012, a 2.3 percent reduction. A single high earner making $120,000 will see his or her payroll tax bill jump more than $2,400, a 2.5 percent cut in take-home pay. That amount could move even higher because there's an extra 0.9 percent payroll tax for the highest earners, due to the Affordable Care Act.

How are Americans making up for the money they're not getting each month? A new study from Accounting Principals of Jacksonville, Fla., shows that as a result of payroll tax increases, 20 percent of American workers are going out to bars and restaurants less often, and 19 percent are eating out for lunch less often.

But, there are plenty of other ways to deal with the shortfall, some of which may be more productive. Here are five ways to make up for your payroll tax increase.


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