26 CFR 31.3402(c)-1 - Wage bracket withholding.
(a) In general. (1) The employer may elect to use the wage bracket method provided in section 3402(c) instead of the percentage method with respect to any employee. The tax computed under the wage bracket method shall be in lieu of the tax required to be deducted and withheld under section 3402(a). With respect to wages paid after July 13, 1968, the correct amount of withholding shall be determined under the applicable wage bracket withholding table contained in the Circular E (Employer's Tax Guide) issued for use with respect to the period in which such wages are paid.
(2) For provisions relating to the treatment of wages paid under accident and health plans and wages paid other than in cash to retail commission salesmen, see paragraph (b)(8) of § 31.3401(a)-1 and § 31.3402(j)-1, respectively.
(b) Established payroll periods, other than daily or miscellaneous, covered by wage bracket withholding tables. The wage bracket withholding tables contained in Circular E for established periods other than daily or miscellaneous should be used in determining the tax to be withheld for any such period without reference to the time the employee is actually engaged in the performance of services during such payroll period.
(c) Periods to which the tables for a daily or miscellaneous payroll period are applicable -
(1) In general. The tables applicable to a daily or miscellaneous payroll period show the tax for employees who are to be withheld from as single persons and for employees who are to be withheld from as married persons on the amount of wages for one day. Where the withholding is computed under the rules applicable to a miscellaneous payroll period, the wages and the amounts shown in the applicable table must be placed on a comparable basis. This may be accomplished by reducing the wages paid for the period to a daily basis by dividing the total wages by the number of days (including Sundays and holidays) in the period. The amount of the tax shown in the applicable table as the tax required to be withheld from the wages, as so reduced to a daily basis, should then be multiplied by the number of days (including Sundays and holidays) in the period.
(2) Period not a payroll period. If wages are paid for a period which is not a payroll period, the amount to be deducted and withheld under the wage bracket method shall be the amount applicable in the case of a miscellaneous payroll period containing a number of days (including Sundays and holidays) equal to the number of days (including Sundays and holidays) in the period with respect to which such wages are paid.
(3) Wages paid without regard to any period. If wages are paid to an employee without regard to any particular period, as, for example, commissions paid to a salesman upon consummation of a sale, the amount of tax to be deducted and withheld shall be determined in the same manner as in the case of a miscellaneous payroll period containing a number of days (including Sundays and holidays) equal to the number of days (including Sundays and holidays) which have elapsed, beginning with the latest of the following days:
(i) The first day after the last payment of wages to such employee by such employer in the calendar year, or
(ii) The date on which such individual's employment with such employer began in the calendar year, or
(iii) January 1 of such calendar year, and ending with (and including) the date on which such wages are paid.
(d) Period or elapsed time less than 1 week. (1) It is the general rule that if wages are paid for a payroll period or other period of less than 1 week, the tax to be deducted and withheld under the wage bracket method shall be the amount computed for a daily payroll period, or for a miscellaneous payroll period containing the same number of days (including Sundays and holidays) as the payroll period, or other period, for which such wages are paid. In the case of wages paid without regard to any period, if the elapsed time computed as provided in paragraph (c) of this section is less than 1 week, the same rule is applicable.
(2) If the payroll period, other period or elapsed time where wages are paid without regard to any period, is less than one week, the employer may, under certain conditions, elect to deduct and withhold the tax determined by the application of the wage table for a weekly payroll period to the aggregate of the wages paid to the employee during the calendar week. The election to use the weekly wage table in such cases is subject to the limitations and conditions prescribed in Circular E with respect to employers using the percentage method in similar cases.
(3) As used in this paragraph the term “calendar week” means a period of seven consecutive days beginning with Sunday and ending with Saturday.
(e) Rounding off of wage payment. In determining the amount to be deducted and withheld under the wage bracket method the wages may, at the election of the employer, be computed to the nearest dollar, provided such wages are in excess of the highest wage bracket of the applicable table. For the purpose of the computation to the nearest dollar, the payment of a fractional part of a dollar shall be disregarded unless it amounts to one-half dollar or more, in which case it shall be increased to $1.00. Thus, if the payroll period of an employee is weekly and the wage payment of such employee is $255.49, the employer may compute the tax on the excess over $200 as if the excess were $55 instead of $55.49. If the weekly wage payment is $255.50, the employer may, in computing the tax, consider the excess over $200 to be $56 instead of $55.50.