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What Is a Paycheck Stub?

By G. Wiesen
Updated Feb 07, 2024
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A paycheck stub is typically the part of a paycheck that an employee keeps after depositing his or her paycheck or that he or she receives if the paycheck was deposited through direct deposit. This stub will usually have information regarding the amount that was paid, personal employee information used by the company, and a running tally of income throughout the year or even over the full course of employment. A paycheck stub will also tend to have information regarding various deductions for taxes, insurance benefits, retirement programs, and any other sorts of things that may affect the pay of the employee.

Paychecks are generally a form of payment made by a business or employer to an employee who works for the company or person. This often takes the form of a check for record keeping, usually to allow both the employee and the employer to accurately track payroll and salary payment. A pay stub is a payment document usually attached to a paycheck or accompanying the paycheck to explain the payment and provide the employee with a document showing payment for his or her records. Different businesses may have different formats and information on a pay stub, but some aspects are generally common.

A paycheck stub will usually have the Social Security number or other type of identifier for the employee, as well as his or her name. This can often include an employee number for internal record keeping, and will usually also include the name and address of the business paying the person. The stub may also indicate what the payment is for, often showing the week or time period the person is being paid for, and how the payment breaks down if the person is being paid an hourly wage. Total income so far over a year or greater period of time may also be displayed on a paycheck stub.

Another purpose of a paycheck stub is to ensure that an employee is aware of deductions made for tax purposes or benefits. These will typically be shown separately for each deduction, such as federal taxes, state taxes, health benefits, and retirement programs. The amount deducted will usually be shown, as well as total deductions over the course of a year. This can make a pay stub not only helpful for providing an employee with information, but also useful as a tool for keeping clear records of tax and benefit information.

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Discussion Comments
By anon123731 — On Nov 03, 2010

There are a lot of things you can do with your paycheck-stub, and a lot of things you should be looking out for. Are you paying too much in taxes? Is your employer making the proper deductions? Sure there's fun stuff -- like getting a loan or playing paycheck-stub lotto, but there's also serious stuff too.

I think your paycheck-stub is one of the most important legal documents you see every week. It's a shame most of us don't take the time to figure out what's on there.

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