Calculate Net Salary Using Microsoft Excel

Know your pay before you get paid

A net salary formula calculates an employee's actual take-home pay in light of gross wages and relevant deductions. If you need to figure out what your take-home pay will be, create an Excel spreadsheet to calculate your paycheck with a handy formula.

Instructions in this article apply to Excel for Microsoft 365, Excel Online, Excel 2019, Excel 2016, Excel 2013, Excel 2010, and Excel for Mac.

Employee using spreadsheet on laptop.
Ariel Skelley / DigitalVision / Getty Images

Collect Payroll Data

Create a new workbook in Microsoft Excel, using your pay stub or payroll remittance advice form as a guide. Populate the sheet's columns as follows:

Column Value
A Pay Date
B Hours Worked
C Hourly Rate
D Positive Adjustments (for example, reimbursements or stipends)
E Negative Adjustments (for example, voluntary payroll deductions)
F Pre-Tax Deductions (for example, insurance premiums)
G Post-Tax Deductions (for example, garnishments)
H State Income Tax Rate
I Local Income Tax Rate
J Federal Income Tax Rate
K Medicare Tax Rate
L Pre-Tax Retirement Contributions
M Post-Tax Retirement Contributions

Every employer is different, and every state has different tax rules. So, you'll need to identify which of your deductions and contributions are assessed before or after your taxes.

Your federal tax rates may vary based on your exemptions. To calculate your tax rates, divide the assessed taxes against the taxable gross income from your pay stub.

Calculate Net Salary

The easiest way to calculate net salary is to break it into smaller formulas rather than one long and complicated formula. In this tutorial, we entered the information in the table from above and entered some payroll data in Row 2.

Use the following formulas to calculate your net salary and other financial metrics:

  • Net Salary: Hours worked x Hourly Rate + Positive Adjustments - (Negative Adjustments, Pre-tax Adjustments, and Pre-tax Retirement Contributions) - All taxes (Local, State, Federal, and Medicare) - Post-tax deductions.
  • Gross Salary: Hours worked x Hourly Rate + Positive Adjustments.
  • Pre-Tax Salary: Hours worked x Hourly Rate + Positive Adjustments - Negative Adjustments, Pre-tax Adjustments, and Pre-tax Retirement Contributions.
  1. This example uses data from the above chart and enters payroll information into Row 2.

    Basic payroll information has been entered into Excel.
  2. Below Row 2, (Cell B4 in this example) enter Gross Salary and press Enter.

    Entering Gross Salary into a cell in Microsoft Excel.
  3. In Cell C4, enter =B2*C2+D2 and press Enter.

    Entering Gross Salary formula into a cell in Microsoft Excel.
  4. In Cell B5, enter Pre-Tax Salary and press Enter.

    Entering Pre-Tax Salary into a cell in Microsoft Excel.
  5. In Cell C5, enter =B2*C2+D2-(E2+F2+L2) and press Enter.

    Entering pre-tax salary formula into a cell in Microsoft Excel.
  6. In Cell B6, enter State Income Taxes and press Enter.

    Entering State Income Taxes into a cell in Microsoft Excel.
  7. In Cell C6, enter =C5*H2 and press Enter.

    Entering state income taxes formula into a cell in Microsoft Excel.
  8. In Cell B7, enter Local Income Taxes and press Enter.

    Entering Local Income Taxes into a cell in Microsoft Excel.
  9. In Cell C7, enter =C5*I2 and press Enter.

    Entering local income taxes formula into a cell in Microsoft Excel.
  10. In Cell B8, enter Federal Income Taxes and press Enter.

    Entering Federal Income Taxes into a cell in Microsoft Excel.
  11. In Cell C8, enter =C5*J2 and press Enter.

    Entering federal income taxes formula into a cell in Microsoft Excel.
  12. In Cell B9, enter Medicare\SS Taxes and press Enter.

    Entering Medicare\SS into a cell in Microsoft Excel.
  13. In Cell C9, enter =C5*K2 and press Enter.

    Entering Medicare\SS formula into a cell in Microsoft Excel.
  14. In Cell B10, enter Net Salary and press Enter.

    Entering Net Salary into a cell in Microsoft Excel.
  15. In Cell C10, enter =C5-C6-C7-C8-C9-G2-M2 and press Enter.

    Entering net salary formula into a cell in Microsoft Excel.

By breaking the formula into smaller steps, you can easily see how your taxes and deductions are compiled to generate your net salary. Then referencing each result in the final formula (in cell C10), you can quickly compute the final results.

You might want to format the cells in the currency format and round to two decimals for easier reading.

Considerations

Using a formula to calculate net salary makes sense if you're trying to approximate your take-home pay. However, some situations may adversely affect your calculations:

  • If you're paid every other week, some deductions may not apply to the third payroll in the same month. In a calendar year, there are 26 pay periods but 24 fortnights. Some deductions (for example, health insurance) may be calculated to pull only 24 times per year.
  • Watch your pay stub to identify which deductions are pre-tax or post-tax.
  • Some deductions are based on a percentage of gross payroll, for example, garnishments.