Tax Law Changes

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2003 Tax Law Changes

Internal Revenue Service

May 28, 2003

IR-2003-69

New Withholding Tables on IRS Web Site Reflect Tax Law's Changes

WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service today posted to its Web site at www.irs.gov new tables for employers to use in figuring how much federal income tax to withhold from workers' wages.

The tables posted today contain the percentage method formulas used by payroll programmers. By week's end, the wage bracket method tables should be on the site. The IRS expects to mail printed copies of Publication 15-T, containing all the tables, to employers nationwide by the third week of June.

The tables reflect changes made by the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act, which President Bush signed today. Employers are requested to use the new tables as soon as they can work them into their payroll systems. Barring unusual circumstances, they should implement them not later than July 1, 2003.

The tables incorporate tax rate changes for most taxpayers and the higher standard deduction for married couples.

The new law extended the 10 percent rate to cover the first $7,000 of taxable income for single persons, $14,000 for married couples. It also lowered the tax rates above 15 percent to 25, 28, 31 and 35 percent. This is a drop of two percentage points for each rate except the top one, which went down 3.6 points.

The new law also raised the standard deduction for married couples to $9,500 and extended their 15 percent tax rate to $56,800 of taxable income. Each figure is double the number for single taxpayers. The changes reduce the "marriage penalty" - the difference between the tax couples pay and the amount they would have paid as two single persons.

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Upcoming Tax Dates

May 11 Employees who work for tips
If you received $20 or more in tips during April, report them to your employer - Details

May 11 Social security, Medicare, and withheld income tax
File Form 941 for the first quarter of 2015. This due date applies only if you deposited the tax for the quarter timely, properly, and in full.

May 12 Communications and air transportation taxes under the alternative method
Deposit the tax included in amounts billed or tickets sold during the first 15 days of April.

May 14 Regular method taxes
Deposit the tax for the last 15 days of April.

May 15 Social security, Medicare, and withheld income tax
If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in April.

May 15 Nonpayroll withholding
If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in April.

May 28 Communications and air transportation taxes under the alternative method
Deposit the tax included in amounts billed or tickets sold during the last 15 days of April.

May 29 Regular method taxes
Deposit the tax for the first 15 days of May.

View More Tax Dates