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How to Read a Pay Stub

What is a pay stub

At will employment gives businesses more flexibility when needing to make changes. Include both the pay period net pay and year-to-date net pay on the check stub. Saray is the Head of Human Resources at Connecteam, where she leads a team of HR specialists. She has a diverse background in recruiting and HR management and deeply understands the unique challenges presented to high-growth companies. Saray has strong managerial and business leadership skills, making her a relentless force in solving company issues. Personal and Check information includes your personal information, filing status (single or married), as well as the withholding number, according to your IRS form W-4.

Depending on the state, providing your employee pay stubs is a necessary part of being compliant. Pay stubs in the U.S. vary according to how they are generated, but most contain a number of key features, including your pay, taxes, and deductions. It’s important to ensure that this information is correct, but not enough people make an effort to do so.

Do employers have to provide pay stubs?

A pay stub, also known as a check stub, is the part of a paycheck or a separate document that lists details about the employee’s pay. It itemizes the wages earned for the pay period and year-to-date payroll information. The check stub also shows taxes and other deductions taken out of an employee’s earnings. And, the pay stub shows the amount the employee actually receives (i.e., net pay).

What is a pay stub

Doing payroll this way can mean relying on a jumble of spreadsheets, paper documents, separate websites, and so forth, every pay period. It’s possible to do that way if you only have a few employees, but it’s complicated and time-consuming. Payroll software is a much better option for small businesses and becomes essential as they grow.

Contributions to a health savings account are deducted from your pre-tax income. Adding more employees increases the complexity and risks of making pay stubs. This makes you more vulnerable to payroll errors like typos for critical information. If delivered digitally, they must ensure the employee has access to a printer. All the information on your pay stub is important to insure you are being compensated correctly.

What are the best payroll processing services?

Unemployment programs are funded by the FUTA tax (federal)

and the SUTA tax (state). These amounts are paid by the employer, but also

reported on the pay stub. For 2020, the employee tax for Social Security is 6.2% on income earned up to

$137,700. The Medicare tax rate is 1.45% on all wages, and high-income

taxpayers will pay an additional 0.9% tax for Medicare. The pay stub information should match the data on each employee’s W-2 form, which individuals use to file their personal tax returns.

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Check with your state to see if there are any other employer-paid taxes you must pay and include on employee pay stubs. Your payroll software can probably create a pay stub for each of your employees as you run payroll. It’s also possible to create payslips manually, but this is time-consuming and can lead to errors.

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You might notice that your pay stub looks quite a bit different than the Zenefits one. Sally’s net pay is $2,308, less a total of $577 for taxes,

and $50 for her health insurance premiums. As a potential lender, you can check the math on a pay stub, along with the document layout and fonts to determine if the document is real.

  • A dishonest person may create a fake pay stub to support income listed on a loan application.
  • As with federal taxes, money for state taxes is withheld from every paycheck.
  • This will allow them to see exactly how income taxes and deductions affect their gross earnings and result in their net pay.
  • For 2020, the employee tax for Social Security is 6.2% on income earned up to


  • If your city imposes an income tax, then you will likely have an amount withdrawn from each paycheck labeled local or with the name of your locality.

Pay stubs can satisfy the record-keeping requirements of the FLSA and keep employees well informed about their pay. Most payroll software can generate pay stubs for employees, making it easy for you to incorporate into your company. Pay stubs keep employees informed about their wages for each pay period, as well as deductions for employment taxes and contributions to benefit plans. Payslips also mean that employees are more likely to notice any issues with their pay and bring them to your HR team quickly. Resolving payroll issues early is important to establish trust among your employees and avoid compensation lawsuits and penalties.

The other 41 have requirements that include how to distribute pay stubs and who gets to decide—always the employee. If your payroll or HR software offers a self-service portal for employees, they can typically access their payslips online this way. However, some states don’t consider electronic pay stubs to be sufficient. Each pay stub includes year-to-date What is a pay stub fields for each withholding category so you can track how much money you’ve paid for taxes, Social Security and Medicare throughout the year. Many employers include a similar listing for contributions to retirement savings plans and health plans. You’ll generally see these fields marked as the acronym “YTD” (year-to-date) on your pay stubs.

Issuing paychecks and pay stubs is quicker and easier once the data is entered for each employee. For employers, pay stubs prove their business is paying their employees as promised. It is also a record confirming required taxes and fees have been deducted. For employees, pay stubs can be reviewed to ensure accurate payments and correct deductions. All of the information you’re required to keep may go beyond what’s included in an employee’s pay stub. Still, it’s good to have a record of each payroll period and paycheck, should that information be called into question.

Do states require employers to provide pay stubs?

Employers often have their own payroll taxes and contributions to pay. Instead, the employer pays the sums directly to the local tax authority or relevant fund. The information you must include on a paycheck stub can also vary by state. By reviewing their pay stubs, employees can make sure they were paid correctly and understand their deductions. If your employment tax records are kept in another place, you would still want to hold on to pay stubs and payroll records for at least three years.

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As mentioned above, your pay stub will show you your wages and what you have made and any taxes taken off. Depending on your job and agreement, your pay stub may also show deductions for things like life insurance premiums or corporate pension plan contributions. A paycheque is a payment of wages, and a pay stub is a record of wage payments. They are both distributed by employers to their employees after a predetermined pay period.

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Every worker contributes 1.45% of their gross income to Medicare and every employer pays an additional 1.45% on behalf of each employee. So, if you’re operating a business in California, you need to provide your employees with an itemized pay stub for every pay period worked. But even if pay stubs weren’t a requirement, as a business owner, they provide some serious benefits.

Intuit Inc. does not have any responsibility for updating or revising any information presented herein. Accordingly, the information provided should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research. Intuit Inc. does not warrant that the material contained herein will continue to be accurate nor that it is completely free of errors when published. Be sure to check the pay stub legislation for each state in which your business operates to determine whether you must issue payslips and what information must be included.

Some payroll card programs establish a separate account for each employee. Most payroll card accounts in the United States are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. To start, you’ll need some

basic contact information for both the employer and the employee. Then our

intuitive form will ask you some simple questions about employee’s salary, as

well as current pay date and pay period. If you have chosen our advanced

template, you will be able to enter additional earned income, such as overtime,

tips, holiday pay, and sick pay. As such, a lot of them end up not putting the correct or complete information on the stub.

A pay stub can also be called a paycheck stub, salary statement, earnings statement, or pay slip. Employers usually provide pay statements because it’s required by a state or local jurisdiction. It also may be referred to as a paycheck stub, wage statement or pay slip.

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