Taxable wage base

The taxable wage base is the maximum amount on which you must pay taxes for each employee. The rate is calculated each year based on average wages in Washington.

  • 2017 - $45,000
  • 2016 - $44,000
  • 2015 - $42,100
  • 2014 - $41,300
  • 2013 - $39,800
  • 2012 - $38,200
  • 2011 - $37,300
  • 2010 - $36,800
  • 2009 - $35,700
  • 2008 - $34,000
  • 2007 - $31,400
  • 2006 - $30,900
  • 2005 - $30,500


Example for 2016

  • If the employee's salary = $36,000, pay taxes on $36,000.
  • If the employee's salary = $49,000, pay taxes on $44,000 of their wages.

The amount over the taxable wage base of $44,000 ($5,000 in the second example) is considered excess wages. Excess wages are reported (for unemployment-insurance benefits purposes), but are subtracted from the employee's total wages, so you do not pay taxes on the amount above the taxable wage base ($44,000 in 2016).