The percentage of wages that a person pays in federal payroll taxes depends on factors such as marital status, earnings, exemptions and reductions, according to Washington State University. As of 2015, a single person pays anywhere from 0 percent to $5,000.05 plus 39.6 percent of his wages in payroll taxes.
People's tax rates vary widely based on their earnings, explains Washington State University. Taxpayers in different income brackets pay different tax rates. Taxable gross wages are calculated by subtracting salary deductions and the value of exemptions from gross wages. The individual can then refer to tax withholding tables for his state to determine his tax rate.