HR and Payroll Glossary

payroll terms

We connect businesses with the industry’s leading, independent providers of employer services – everything from payroll to human resources and employee benefits. Tax withholding is the process of deducting applicable federal, how to get a job at deloitte ey kpmg and pwc state and local employment taxes from employees’ wages. Once you have taken out pre-tax deductions, the remaining pay is taxed. The FICA tax rate is 7.65%—1.45% for Medicare and 6.2% for Social Security taxes.

  1. Independent contractors are workers who are hired to perform a specific job or project.
  2. They’re not employees, so they aren’t protected by federal labor laws or the federal government’s minimum wage requirement.
  3. Either way, your organisation’s payroll performance requires everyone on the team to have a working knowledge of UK payroll terms.
  4. The person or company you outsource payroll to typically handles the entire process for you, from calculations to wage distribution.
  5. Gross pay is the total paid to an employee each pay period before any deductions for taxes or other purposes are made.

In addition to financial savings, internal payroll systems help companies keep confidential financial information private. However, software programs can be time-consuming, which can pose a problem for small companies with few staff. As a business grows, its accounting needs become more complex. Larger firms may need to invest in a custom enterprise resource planning  (ERP) system for their accounting and payroll functions. Get the basics on payroll processing and how outsourcing can benefit your company.

Solve the mysteries of terminology with this informative resource. Updated regularly with industry-specific vocabulary and concepts, the Glossary provides easy-to-understand definitions of tax-related terms. Without further ado, take a look at what is payroll composed of on a micro-level. In this section, we’ll break what is payroll down to a science. Paid time off encompasses all the time an employee is not working while being compensated. Unemployment programs offer temporary compensation to people who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.

Click through for a roundup of words that are commonly used in the payroll industry. Search our glossary to get simple definitions of common payroll-related words, phrases, and acronyms. If you are a new business owner, you may come across specific payroll terms that you should understand. Knowing the language always helps better negotiate new territory. Read on to understand these payroll terms and acronyms so that you are familiar with them. Outsourcing payroll is the most expensive (but least time-consuming) payroll option.

New hire reporting is a process employers undergo to report new hires to their state. Federal law requires that all new hires be reported within 20 days of their hire date, but some states are stricter (Alabama requires seven days). Net pay is the final amount you pay your employees for their work, after all deductions have been made. Hopefully these definitions help to round out your payroll vocabulary and gain a better understanding of what goes into the payroll process.

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QuickBooks Payroll

The W-2 form is a lot like a 1099, but it is used to report wages earned for traditional employees. The W-2 also contains information pertaining to taxes withheld (such as Social Security) and compensation outside of wages (such as moving allowances). Throughout her career, Heather has worked to help hundreds of small business owners in managing many aspects of their business, from bookkeeping to accounting to HR. Before joining Fit Small Business, Heather was the Payroll/HRS Manager for a top cloud accounting firm in the industry. Her experience has allowed her to learn first hand what the payroll needs are for small business owners.

payroll terms

The individual regulations in FLSA may, under certain circumstances, be superseded by state and local laws. These types of payments are taxable, so you must separate them out when you’re doing payroll accounting and include them in the employee’s taxable wages for the year. 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. You must comply with the order if you receive a garnishment notice ordering your business to garnish wages.

Non-exempt Employee

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. The term “pay period” refers to the frequency with which an employer chooses to pay employees and contractors.

payroll terms

The annual salary is divided by the number of pay periods in the year to determine gross pay for a pay period. A shift differential is a premium amount that you can pay employees who work outside of normal business hours. For some companies, this is the overnight shift and weekends. The additional pay is usually calculated as a percentage of the employee’s pay rate, like 30% extra, or a flat dollar amount, like an extra $3 per hour.

The U.S. Department of Labor reduces the credit reduction for businesses in states that are late on repaying federal advances to fund their state unemployment program. For the past few years, the Virgin Islands has been the only state or territory designated as a credit reduction state. The FICA tax rate is 15.3%, split evenly between employees and employers, with 12.4% going toward Social Security tax and the remaining 2.9% for Medicare. The Social Security tax applies to the first $142,800 of eligible compensation in 2021.

What Is a Payroll Tax Cut?

Fringe benefits, also called imputed income, are the perks that businesses offer aside from regular wages. Paychecks, also called payroll checks, are checks issued to employees for working. The amount of a paycheck is the employee’s net pay, or gross pay minus payroll deductions. 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.

The payment is considered fully taxable for the first six months, then becomes exempt from FICA and FUTA if the payments continue into the seventh month and beyond. These payments need to be shared with the employer and recorded on the employer’s tax returns, including employee W-2s. Social Security (OASDI) – Social Security is both an employee withholding tax and an employer payroll tax. The employer is responsible for remitting a total of 12.4% of an employee’s taxable earnings to the IRS.

Calculate Your Employees’ Gross Pay

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. Health Savings Account (HSA) funds can be used for qualified medical expenses and are wholly owned by the employee. Those funds are not subject to certain taxes at the time of deposit.

For hourly employees, this is their hourly rate multiplied by the number of hours they’re being paid for the period—plus any overtime, bonuses, and additional pay. Compensation includes total cash and noncash payments made to an employee in exchange for his or her services rendered. Increasingly, payroll is outsourced to specialized firms that handle paycheck processing, employee benefits, insurance, and accounting tasks, such as tax withholding. Many payroll fintech firms, such as Atomic, Bitwage, Finch, Pinwheel, and Wagestream, are leveraging technology to simplify payroll processes. Disposable earnings are an employee’s wages after all legally required deductions — including payroll taxes — have been subtracted from his or her gross wages. Employers don’t match income tax deductions, but they pay federal unemployment taxes.

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