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Typical Mistakes on Pay Stubs: How to Correct Them

Pay stubs offer valuable insights into how employees’ salaries are calculated. But what if there is a mistake on a pay stub? Check out this article to learn about the common mistakes on pay stubs and how one can address the issue.

What A Pay Stub Should Include?


Let’s first try to understand what a paystub should include to figure out the most common mistakes employers can make when creating such documents. A pay stub, also known as a pay slip or paycheck stub, is a document that details an employee’s earnings and deductions for a certain pay period. Employees often receive pay stubs in the form of physical or electronic documents along with their paychecks.

This convenient document displays the computations behind the paycheck so that workers better understand what withholdings and taxes are withdrawn from their wages or salaries. A pay stub should generally include the following information:

  • Employee and employer’s information. The employee’s name, address, and Social Security number should be included on the pay stub. The same rule applies to the employer (company name).
  • Period of pay. The start and end dates of the pay period for which the worker is being paid should be included on the pay stub.
  • Gross income. It’s the employee’s gross earnings for the pay period, which is the total amount of money earned before taxes and any deductions. This data should be shown on the pay stub. The list should include the employee’s regular pay rate and any overtime pay, bonuses, or other kinds of compensation for work.
  • The amount of taxes taken from the employee’s salary for federal, state, and local taxes should be included on the pay stub. Individual taxes, such as Social Security and Medicare, should be written down and withheld.
  • Deductions and withholdings. Any deductions from the employee’s paycheck, such as healthcare premiums, retirement payments, and other withholdings, should be included on the pay stub. These deductions should be listed individually (since each employee completes a W-4 form), along with the amount deducted for each.
  • Net Payment. The employee’s net pay is the amount of money received after taxes and deductions. Simply put, it’s the amount the employee gets in their paycheck.
  • Year-to-date (YTD) data. The pay stub should provide year-to-date data for the current year, such as total wages, taxes withheld, and deductions. This data is useful for tax purposes and assists employees in keeping track of their total earnings and deductions.

Note: not all these deductions are always included. Moreover, some paystubs also include involuntary and voluntary withholdings. The deductions depend on the individual receiving the salary. However, this list includes all typical data pieces. Thus, it’s easier to understand when there is a mistake in the paystub.

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Common Mistakes On Pay Stubs

Pay stubs are a crucial element of the payroll process since they record an employee’s compensation, deductions, and taxes paid. However, errors and typos on pay stubs can occur, causing confusion and aggravation for both employees and employers. Let’s look at some frequent errors on pay stubs and how to fix them.

Incorrect Personal Information

Incorrect personal information is one of the most prevalent mistakes on pay stubs. Misspelled names, incorrect addresses, and erroneous Social Security numbers are examples of this. Personal information that is incorrect can cause problems when filing taxes or validating employment information.

Employees should immediately alert their employer and supply the necessary information to fix this error so that it won’t happen again in the future. It’s not a critical mistake, and it’s easy to fix it, but the employee must be quick to inform about the issue. In rare cases, the employer information is incorrect. The issue typically occurs when the company was recently launched, and the employer lacks experience dealing with payroll.

Incorrect Hours Or Wages

Incorrect hours or wages are another common error on pay stubs. This might happen when an employee’s pay rate, overtime, or holiday pay is stated incorrectly. Employees should first communicate with their employer and submit documents to support their claim in order to fix this error.

Employees can submit a complaint to their state labor department or seek legal guidance if their employer refuses to remedy the error. It’s crucial for employers to ensure fair pay since they may have problems with local or state authorities.

Not Included Paid Time Off

Paid time off is an essential component of an employee’s compensation package, but it is easy to overlook on a pay stub. This error might lead to confusion about an employee’s paid time off balance and the amount of time available to them. Employees should contact their employers and offer documents to support their claim to fix this issue.

Missing or Inaccurate Deductions

Deductions that may include healthcare and life insurance premiums, retirement contributions, and taxes may also be missing or stated incorrectly on pay stubs. Employees may pay more or less in taxes and benefits because of such a typo or error.

Workers should immediately verify their pay stubs and compare them to their employment contract or benefits documentation to fix this error. It’s especially critical to do so at the beginning of employment as that’s the time when such typos typically occur. Employees should inform their employers or the appropriate HR departments if the error is not addressed.

Incorrect Tax Withholdings And Other Deductions

Incorrectly calculated tax withholdings can appear on pay stubs because of typos, mistakes in W-4 forms, and other reasons. Another common reason that causes such mistakes is when an employee’s tax status changes, such as when they marry or have a child.

Employees may owe more or less in taxes than they expect due to incorrect tax withholdings. Employees should verify their pay stubs and compare them to their tax papers to fix this error. Employees should inform their employer or the appropriate government agency if the error is not fixed.


Mistakes and typos are common and usually occur because of miscommunication. It’s easy to fix them, but employees must address these issues quickly to avoid unpleasant situations.

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