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Pay Stub
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A pay stub form is a document used by an employer to record detailed information relating to a employee’s wages or salary. It’s not only used as a proof of payment but also as proof of employment in some cases where an employee might need to present pay stubs when applying for credit. In addition, it provides information needed to submit income tax returns.

When do you receive a pay stub?

You should receive a pay stub for each pay period. In the past, the pay stub was stapled to your pay cheque. Today, most employers pay their employees electronically but either supply a print or electronic copy of their pay stubs.

What information is included in a pay stub form?

A pay stub should contain basic company information, employee information, gross and net amount paid and a record of deductions for taxes and healthcare and pension plans.

Company information

Company name and employer identification number (EIN)

Employee Information

Full name, employee identity number, social security number and address (if mailed)

Gross pay

Your pay before deductions. It includes basic salary, overtime, bonuses and reimbursements and does not take into account deductions for taxes, insurance and retirement contributions.

Taxes withheld

The amount withheld for personal income tax depends on your tax bracket. In other words, how much tax you pay depends on how much you earn. It may include federal, state and local taxes.

Benefit insurance deductions

Any contribution toward health, disability or unemployment insurance. There is usually a company contribution as well as an employee contribution. In the United States, it’s your contribution to Medicare and Social Security.

Retirement or pension plan contribution

Contributions to a retirement or pension plan set up by the company. There is usually a company contribution and an employee contribution.

Wage garnishments

Wage garnishments are court ordered child support payments. Your employer is court ordered to withhold a certain amount of money from your pay to pay money owed either on debt, a tax bill or child support payments.

Back pay or adjustments

Back pay is the amount of salary and other benefits that an employee claims that he or she is owed after a wrongful termination. Back pay is typically calculated from the date of termination to the date a claim was finalised or judgment was rendered.

Net pay

This is the amount of money you receive on pay day after adjustments and deductions. It’s the money you take home or is paid into your bank account.


Does an employer have to give you a pay stub?

Today, most permanent employees receive their monthly pay via a direct deposit into their bank account. Federal law does not mandate pay stubs for employees but a company is required to keep accurate records of employees payments, adjustments and deductions.

An employee has a right to request a pay stub or a similar document with a record of his/her gross and net income, adjustments and deductions. Most states allow employers to use electronic pay stubs as long as they meet these three standards:

  • employees can access their pay stubs electronically
  • employees have a unique, secure login
  • the pay stubs can be printed out

Do independent contractors and freelancers get pay stubs?

A company does not issue a pay stub to an independent contractor or freelancers unless that person works on a semi-permanent basis for the company. Typically, an independent contractor or freelancer issues a company with an invoice.

It’s up to the person to pay submit his/her income tax return and pay taxes owed. A company does not deduct money for taxes, medical healthcare or a pension plan from the amount paid to independent contractors or freelancers as they are not technically employees.


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