payroll terms

Payroll can also refer to the list of a company’s employees and the amount of compensation due to each of them. Payroll is a major expense for most businesses and is almost always deductible, meaning the expense can be deducted from gross income lowering the company’s taxable income. Payroll can differ from one pay period to another because of overtime, sick pay, and other variables. Payroll taxes are taxes levied on employers, employees, or both based on employee earnings. Most payroll taxes are calculated as a percentage of employee earnings. Each payroll tax comes with its own set of rules, exceptions, and limitations.

payroll terms

The U.S. Department of Labor requires employers to keep all payroll records for three years. The IRS requires that all tax records, including those for payroll taxes, be kept for at least three years, and longer in some cases. Each state sets its own SUTA tax wage base, which is the maximum amount of an employee’s income that can be taxed.

Payroll basics

Federal tipped minimum wage is $2.13 an hour, but employers must ensure that employee tips make up for the differential. For salaried employees, gross pay is usually the same each pay day; it’s their annual salary divided by the number of pay periods in the year. Exempt employees are paid overtime for any excess hours they work over 40 in a week.

Independent contractors are workers who are hired to perform a specific job or project. They’re not employees, so they aren’t protected by federal labor laws or the federal government’s minimum wage requirement. In turn, employers don’t pay payroll taxes on their earnings; instead, they complete a 1099-NEC form for all contractors they paid over $600. To calculate your salaried employees’ gross wages, divide the number of pay periods in the year by their annual salary. For example, you give an employee a yearly salary of $50,000 and pay them weekly. Because there are 52 weeks in the year, the employee’s weekly gross wages are $961.54 ($50,000 annual salary / 52 weeks).

Minimum wage is the lowest hourly pay rate you’re legally allowed to pay an employee. Per the Department of Labor (DOL), the federal minimum wage rate is currently $7.25 an hour, but state rates vary. Tipped employees are another group you’ll find the law makes exceptions for.

Payroll might not be a foreign country, but new small business owners should nonetheless familiarize themselves with these standard payroll terms and abbreviations. Either way, your organisation’s payroll performance requires everyone on the team to have a working knowledge of UK payroll terms. The acronym SSA can refer to either the Social Security Act or the Social Security Administration. The Social Security Act was enacted by President Roosevelt in 1935 as part of the New Deal plan. Its aim was to set up a social insurance system in order to reduce destitution among senior citizens and the disabled. The Social Security Administration is the government body set up by the Social Security Act.

Businesses may use paper timesheets, time clock software, or an ESS portal to track how much an employee worked. State Unemployment Tax Act (SUTA) taxes fund state-administered unemployment programs. SUTA is an employer-paid tax, except in Alaska, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, where both employers and employees chip in. The individual retirement account (IRA) offers employees greater control over their retirement savings. With this retirement plan, employees can deposit funds and enjoy access to tax advantages.

If the company pays in arrears, the paycheck will be for the workweek that ended seven days before. If the company does not pay in arrears, then the paychecks will be for the current workweek, even though it hasn’t yet ended. Variable pay, or incentive pay, is a far-reaching term for employee payments made to influence employee behavior or reward meeting specific goals. Employees earn variable pay after reaching a company milestone, like a sales target, or an employee-specific objective, like making a sale as a salesperson. You can use payroll analytics to help determine variable pay.

What Is the Difference Between Payroll and Salary?

This is the amount the employee receives after taxes and deductions are calculated and subtracted from earnings. A payroll tax cut would mean that less Social Security and Medicare taxes are withheld and taken out of paychecks. The idea is that workers and businesses would take home a little extra with each paycheck and that would encourage them to spend more and stimulate the economy. After subtracting taxes and other deductions from the employee’s gross wages, voila.

  1. Per the Department of Labor (DOL), the federal minimum wage rate is currently $7.25 an hour, but state rates vary.
  2. The information provided helps employees complete their tax returns with accurate information.
  3. California law, however, requires double-time pay for all hours worked over 12 in a day and for all hours worked over eight on an employee’s seventh consecutive day of work.

Payroll deductions are all the taxes, benefits, and other payments taken out of an employee’s paycheck. It’s the difference between an employee’s gross pay and net pay. Retroactive pay can apply to both hourly wages and overtime earnings. Fringe benefits are additional services, goods, or experiences given to employees beyond their regular wages, and they are subject to taxes.

Examples of taxable fringe benefits include using a company car for personal activities, wellness program incentives like gym memberships, gift cards, and prizes or awards. Even small amounts like a $100 gift card must be reported as taxable income by employees. Overtime is the additional amounts paid to hourly employees who work over 40 hours in a week, who work on weekends, or other additional amounts. Overtime must be paid at one-and-a-half times the person’s hourly pay rate for employees who work more than 40 hours in a workweek. Courts sometimes issue garnishment orders for debts like student loans, small claims judgments, child support, or other amounts the employee owes.

Payroll taxes

Pay periods refer to how frequently a business runs payroll. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to pay employees regularly. Your pay-period options are weekly, biweekly, semimonthly, or monthly. Payroll is the list of employees and workers a company must pay and the amount they will receive. It’s also the total amount of salaries and wages a company pays to its employees. Managing it using payroll software can make life much easier.

A copy should also be sent to the IRS and state tax agency, if applicable. The information provided helps employees complete their tax returns with accurate information. All information is stored in the National Directory of New Hires and helps child support agencies locate parents who owe money.

Payroll taxes include Social Security, which takes out 6.2% of your income up to $132,900. Payroll taxes also pay for Medicare, which takes out 1.45% of your income. They pay 6.2% of your income, so the government gets 12.4% of your total income, and your employer pays 1.45% of your income toward Medicare.

People That Influence Payroll

You must pay them overtime if an exempt employee is paid less than $684 a week. Net pay is the amount of pay an employee receives after all withholding and deductions from gross pay have been made. Handling your own payroll for your business can be tricky because the payroll/payroll tax process involves a vocabulary all its own. These terms are the most important ones you’ll encounter as you begin to work on employee paychecks and start the payroll process. Understanding basic payroll terminology is essential to processing payroll successfully. You don’t have to be an expert to know that both you and your employees pay FICA taxes or that all W-2s should be mailed by Jan. 31.

This means that a certain amount of time off is earned per pay period. As part of a compensation package, many employers offer paid vacation, sick, and personal time. Often employers choose to allow the employee to earn (or accrue) a certain amount of time per pay period. The deductions made on the employees’ wages are called payroll deductions, and it can be calculated as the difference between gross pay and net pay. Most often, you will pay federal taxes when you pay Social Security and Medicare taxes. The payroll service may also maintain a record of how much vacation or personal time employees have used.

The individual regulations in FLSA may, under certain circumstances, be superseded by state and local laws. Overtime is calculated differently for hourly and salaried employees. Most salaried employees are exempt from overtime, but your business may be required to pay overtime to some lower-paid exempt employees. The terms “salaried employee” and “hourly employee” relate specifically to how these employees are paid. Salaried employees are paid an annual salary, while hourly employees are paid an hourly rate times the hours they’ve worked. Payroll accounting and payroll processing is a complicated but extremely critical part of a company.