Payroll Terminology Learn About Payroll Services

payroll terminology

Under this law, employers are required to notify employees at least 60 days before a plant closing or other type of mass layoff. The W-3 form is completed by employers, and summarizes employee wages and tax information from the W-2 form. Also known as “Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements”, it’s sent to the Social Security Administration (SSA) every year at the same time as the W-2. The IRS defines an independent contractor as any worker who is self-employed, as opposed to traditionally employed by a company.

Other workers are considered non-exempt and you must pay them overtime. A worker is considered non-exempt and eligible for overtime unless an exemption can be proved by the employer. Withholding doesn’t have to be approved by employees because these amounts are required by law. But all deductions from an employee’s paycheck except for deductions ordered by a court must be approved by the employee in writing. If the company pays in arrears, the paycheck will be for the workweek that ended seven days before.

A small business is one that can use out-of-the-box software without requiring extensive customizations. As a business grows, its accounting needs become more complex, and a custom enterprise resource planning (ERP) system is often needed. Many companies use software solutions to manage their payroll. The employee inputs their hours through an API, and their pay is processed and deposited into their bank accounts.

  1. It is common for employers to offer a matching contribution to encourage participation, typically up to a certain percentage.
  2. It’s important that you understand these terms and acronyms to be confident that you’re processing payroll for your employees accurately.
  3. Base pay rate is only the wages paid to an employee for their work, which is often broken down as an hourly, monthly or annual salary.
  4. The State Unemployment Tax Act (SUTA) tax is a payroll tax that states require employers to pay in order to provide unemployment benefits.
  5. The amount an employee pays in payroll taxes over the course of his or her career may be indirectly related to the level of benefits for which he or she is eligible.

Courts sometimes issue garnishment orders for debts like student loans, small claims judgments, child support, or other amounts the employee owes. You must comply with the order if you receive a garnishment notice ordering your business to garnish wages. Garnishment is typically done on a per-paycheck basis, so you’ll have to add this to your list of deductions.

Minimum Wage

Gross pay is the total paid to an employee each pay period before any deductions for taxes or other purposes are made. It’s determined in different ways for salaried and hourly employees. For example, the New Jersey minimum wage is $12 per hour in 2021. Their maximum tip credit is $7.87 per hour, meaning employers of tipped workers must pay their employees at least $4.13 per hour ($12 – $7.87).

Throw some of these terms around the next time you talk to your accountant about payroll. To encourage your workers to take the overnight shift, you might offer any takers an additional $5 per hour. Unemployment programs offer temporary compensation to people who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. Here are the top-line payroll terms you’ll hear as a small business owner. SSN stands for Social Security number, or the code assigned by the Social Security Administration to every American’s social security account.

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payroll terminology

No matter your involvement with payroll at your business or organization, we have broken down some of the most common terms to know. Sign up to receive more well-researched small business articles and topics in your inbox, personalized for you. Join more than 500,000 UK readers and get the best business admin strategies and tactics, as well as actionable advice to help your company thrive, in your inbox every month.

Payroll Terms To Learn Before Doing Payroll

Also called a cafeteria plan, a Section 125 plan lets employees pay for their benefits — such as health insurance, flexible spending accounts and traditional 401(k) plans — with pretax money. Each state sets its own SUTA tax wage base, which is the maximum amount of an employee’s income that can be taxed. In addition to the wage base, each state then establishes the rates, which can vary anywhere from 0.5% to 7% depending on the state. Rates are determined based on a few different factors, and often many states give new employers a standard rate.

payroll terminology

Though only a certain amount of funds carry over each year, employees have until mid-March to spend the remaining balance of their FSA from the previous year. Understand applicable payroll taxes, stay compliant with IRS. The rate that has been agreed upon to be the starting point for employee earnings.

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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. 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.

Companies might also face tax penalties for errors made by the payroll service. 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. 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. An employee’s federal income tax withholding is determined by using the information on a Form W-4 completed by the employee at hire and for state income tax by a state W-4 or another tax form.

Base pay rate is only the wages paid to an employee for their work, which is often broken down as an hourly, monthly or annual salary. This payroll glossary provides simple, jargon-free definitions that help you understand all things payroll. We guarantee that your payroll taxes are calculated and filed accurately once payroll data is entered correctly, just take a look at our online payroll service. Payroll accounting and payroll processing is a complicated but extremely critical part of a company.

Federal law doesn’t have strict guidelines or requirements regarding PTO; you choose whether you want to offer paid vacation time or not. Processing payroll is a complex and time-consuming endeavor that requires adherence to strict federal and state rules and regulations. It requires extensive record-keeping and attention to detail. Small businesses often handle their own payroll using cloud-based software. Other companies choose to outsource their payroll functions or to invest in an integrated ERP system that manages the overall accounting and payroll.

This form is most often used by freelancers and independent contractors. Unlike the Form W-2, Form 1099NEC does not require a company to withhold taxes or other deductions. The Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) mandates a payroll tax to be imposed on both employees and employers.

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