What is a Pay Stub? This is Everything You Need to Understand

what is a paystubNot sure what a pay stub is? Here’s everything you need to know in this simple article!

If you’re like most Americans, you get paid through direct deposit.

You should know if…

  • you’re getting paid the correct amount
  • paying enough in taxes
  • there’s info not included in your direct deposit amount

A pay stub can reveal a lot of these things about your earnings.

Keep reading to learn what a pay stub is – and why you want to look at it every time you get paid.

What Is a Pay Stub?

It’s a document that is usually attached to your paycheck. Since you get paid via direct deposit, you may or may not have access to it. That would depend on your state and the laws about pay stub requirements.

The information on a Pay Stub includes…

  • the pay period
  • hours worked
  • money earned
  • vacation time
  • overtime
  • taxes
  • other deductions

All of that turns into your net pay, which is the money you get in your bank account.

A Pay Stub has important information that you should look at each time you get paid.

At some point in their careers, about half of all workers have had some kind of payroll issue. They have been paid less than they should have, or the money was deposited into the wrong account.

It’s not a huge surprise to find that errors occur because many companies still do payroll by hand on or on outdated systems.

You want to make sure that you can access your pay stub and double-check to see if you’re getting the money earned.

Does My Employer Have to Provide Pay Stubs?

The answer to this question is that it depends on the laws of your state. Your employer should keep a record of your paycheck. It will protect them in case of an IRS or state tax audit.

Despite that possibility, there isn’t a federal law that instructs your employer to produce and maintain payroll records.

States have their own laws, which are broken out into a few categories.

An access state means…

  • Your employer has to give you access to your pay stub, either printed or electronically.

They can use a check stub template to create them – or in some cases, create them by hand.

Some states don’t have to give pay stubs to employees, including…

  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • South Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Mississippi
  • Alabama
  • Tennessee 

You’ll want to check with your state’s labor department and with your employer to see what the requirements are.

Your Pay Stub Is Important

There is very useful information that you don’t want to miss on your pay stub. This small document tells you whether you are getting paid the correct amount.

When you look at it, you’ll also know if you’re paying the right amount of taxes. Basically, you could be paying too little in taxes and wind up with a huge tax bill in April.

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