What Is A Pay Stub? How It Works In 2022

Anyone who receives a paycheck from an employer should understand the information included on their pay stub and review it regularly.

Reviewing this information is important to ensure that you are not only receiving the money you are entitled to but also paying the correct amount in taxes.

With the increasing popularity of direct deposit, fewer people are receiving a physical paycheck, which makes checking this information even more necessary.

If you are working-class, checking your pay stub and understanding what a pay stub is, is necessary. 

What is a Pay Stub?

A pay stub is usually a salary statement you receive, which includes a notice that the direct deposit transaction has gone through or that is attached to the paycheck.

Each country has laws as to what must be included on a pay stub, But this typically includes details of the gross wages for the pay period and the taxes and any other deductions the employer is required to make by law as well as other personal deductions such as retirement plan or pension contributions, insurances, garnishments, or charitable contributions taken out of the gross amount to arrive at the final net amount of the payment, also including the year to date totals in some circumstances.

A pay stub, also known as a paycheck stub or earnings statement, is a document that details your employee compensation. It essentially itemizes how much you were paid during a given pay period.

You receive a pay stub when your employee issues a direct deposit to your financial account or when it’s attached to your paycheck.

Your pay stub often includes how much you were paid during the associated payroll period, your withdrawals or deductions such as your tax payments or insurance costs, cumulative payments made during the year

Also, your pay stub may include sensitive information such as your social security number, your legal name, the name of your employer, and the amount of money you made.

It is important to keep your pay stub out of the wrong hands to prevent someone from stealing your identity.

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Why Do You Need a Pay Stub?

There are several reasons why you need a pay stub.

Some of these reasons are:

  • Knowing the information, a pay stub provides can help you track your income and ensure you’re receiving what you’re owed as an employee. 
  • You can also use your pay stubs to verify your identity or to prove your income. 
  • Pay stubs are used to settle discrepancies with employee pay. If there is a question about an employee’s pay, it can be solved by looking at the pay stub. 

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What Does a Pay Stub Look Like?

Pay stubs can look very different from country to country as each jurisdiction has unique requirements of what information they should include.

Whether it is electronic or paper, a pay stub should be able to give you a detailed account of contributions, taxes, and your final wage at the end. 

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What Does a Pay Stub Include?

A pay stub is part of a paycheck that details the hours worked, taxes paid, wages earned for a specific pay period, and year-to-date payroll.

It is also a record confirming required taxes and fees have been deducted. For employees, pay stubs can be reviewed to ensure accurate payments and correct deductions.

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How Can You Get a Pay Stub?

There are several reasons why you could need your pay stub and also several reasons why your pay stub is given to you.

However, a problem arises when you need your Pay Stub but aren’t able to get through to it. In such a situation, there are two ways to obtain your pay stubs.

They are:

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Through Your Employer’s Website

When your employer does not provide you with pay stubs, you could go online to the website and get it from there.

To get your pay stub electronically through your employer’s website, you should:

  • Ask your employer or the human resources department where you can find your pay stub. To access it, you would likely require to log in. Find out what the password to the website is before you proceed. 
  • Access the website. Once you know where to find your pay stubs online, locate the website. Make sure you have your employee login and password. 
  • Locate your pay stubs. After you’ve logged in, locate the part of the website that houses your pay stubs. From here, you can view your pay stubs or download them at your leisure. 

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Through Your Payroll Department

If your employer doesn’t have your pay stubs available electronically, you may have to contact your company’s payroll department for further assistance.

To do this, you should:

  • Determine where you can find your pay stubs from the payroll department
  • Ask for copies of your pay stubs
  • Allow time for their retrieval. If you asked for paper pay stubs, it may take the department a while to locate them and print them depending on how many you asked for. If you asked for them to be emailed, the department will need time to locate them, scan them and email them to you.

How to Get a Pay Stub from Your Last Employer?

Since many third parties such as landlords or insurance companies ask to see your pay stubs to confirm your income, it’s important to have them readily available.

While it’s easy to obtain them from your current employer, the process for obtaining them from your previous employer requires a few extra steps.

To get your pay stub from your previous employer, the steps you should take are:

Step 1: Contact Your Former Employer

Contact your former employer or the company’s human resources department. Ask them how you can obtain your previous pay stubs.

If you need them by a certain date, ask them how long the request will take. In some cases, they may refer you to their payroll or accounting department.

Step 2: Complete the Necessary Paperwork

Complete any paperwork the accounting department provides such as a pay stub request form. You may also have to create a pay stub request in writing.

This should include, your:

  • full name
  • current address
  • previous address (if you moved since your last employment)
  • social security number
  • former employee identification number
  • The pay period dates for the pay stubs you’re requesting

If you’re required to complete a request, you can send it in via email, regular mail, by fax, or in person.

Make sure to confirm the receipt of your request if you send it in via email, fax, or regular mail.

Step 3: File A Complaint If Necessary

If your employer doesn’t comply with your request, file a complaint with your state’s labor department. In this case, they’ll be required to pay a violation fee.

What Is Contained In A Paystub?

There are many details on a pay stub that help you and your employee keep track of payments, taxes, and deductions.

Generally, the items on a pay stub include:

  • Gross Wages: This is the amount of money you owe an employee before you take out any taxes and deductions. If an employee has any nontaxable income, you must also include it under gross wages.
  • Pay Rate: This is the number of hours worked- for hourly workers and salaried workers, the amount to be paid for each period worked. 
  • Employee Taxes: The pay stub itemizes taxes so that employees can see all the tax amounts withheld from their gross pay.
  • Deductions: The payroll deductions on a pay stub vary depending on the small business employee benefits you provide. Deductions could also include charitable contributions, payments toward loans, and any other voluntary or involuntary deductions.
  • Employer Contributions: Depending on your business, there may be some line items on an employee’s pay stub that you don’t deduct from the gross pay amount. These generally include amounts you contribute as an employer. You might contribute to Health insurance premiums401(k) plans, health savings accounts (HSA), and other retirement plans
  • Employer Taxes: Employers must also pay payroll taxes for each employee. Include these taxes in a separate section with current and year-to-date totals. 
  • Net Pay: Net pay, or take-home pay, is the amount left over after subtracting taxes and deductions from the employee’s gross pay. If the employee receives nontaxable income, include that income after subtracting all taxes and deductions. 

How Do You Make a Pay Stub?

You can use special payroll software to generate professional-looking paycheck stubs for your employees.

There are many free tools available, as well as premium packages.

Once you select a pay stub tool, simply enter all the relevant information, and the software will create a paycheck stub for you.

You can then print off or email these pay stubs to your employees.

Do Employers Have To Give Pay Stubs To Employees?

Some states require employers to provide pay stubs. The information you must include on a paycheck stub can also vary by state.

Employers may be required to give employees the electronic (e-paystub) or paper pay stub. If the employer uses payroll software, he may give the employees access to their pay stubs online through a portal.

Keep a copy of each payroll stub for your employee payroll records.


If an employee quits or is terminated, you might need to pay them quickly. Knowing pay stub information makes the process smoother.

The more familiar you are with the parts of a pay stub, the faster you can check for accuracy and pay employees. Reviewing employee pay stubs can also bring mistakes to your attention.

Everyone, both the employer and the employee need to make good use of the pay stub. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Pay stubs are important record-keeping documents that benefit both employer and the employed. It shows an account of monies through the work period. 

It’s complicated. While some jurisdictions do require employers to provide their employees with pay stubs, others don’t. If you’re hiring international talent, you need to know what’s required by law in each country or state your employees work from.

Pay stubs are used to provide employees with an accurate record of their hours and wages. This allows them to track everything related to their pay and ensure the amount they’ve received, and paid in tax, is correct.

At first glance, pay stubs can seem very complicated, but once you understand certain payroll terms, such as “gross wages,” “net pay,” and “employer contributions,” they become much easier to read. 

You can find year-to-date (YTD) income on an employee’s pay stub by looking at the gross wages section. If you would like to calculate the YTD income of all your employees combined, simply sum up the year-to-date income as listed on their payslips.

If you’d like to calculate adjusted gross income (AGI) from an employee’s pay stub, subtract the total amount of deductions from their gross wages. The AGI is an employee’s total taxable income.

Paystub, payslip, paycheck stub. All words for the same thing. When employees receive their paychecks from you, the pay stub is what outlines the details of their pay each pay period.



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