Payroll Recordkeeping Requirements

Tips For Payroll Record Keeping

Are you 100% certain that you are in compliance with federal and state payroll record keeping rules? Even a 1% degree of uncertainty can subject your organization to fines and penalties.

So why take the chance when you get get up-to-date with our payroll records and payroll recordkeeping training courses.

Training For Your Payroll Recordkeeping Requirements

Featured Course: Payroll Records: What To Keep, What To Toss

This training session covers the rules for identifying, filing, retaining, protecting, and destroying your important payroll records. By attending, you and your team will learn:
    payroll recordkeeping requirements
  • Which records must you keep - and for how long?
  • Recommended record retention processes
  • Do record retention rules vary by state, and if so, how?
  • How electronic retention rules differ from paper standards
  • How to know when it's safe to scan a document and dump the paper original
  • How and where to keep W2s, 1099s, payroll tax deposits, quarterly payroll tax returns, yearly summary reports to government agencies, and other year-end forms
  • How to handle special forms such as local tax forms, prevailing wage reports, government contract requirements, etc.
  • Electronic I-9s: How to comply with the strict new federal rules on completing, signing and retaining
  • The four steps you must include in your electronic I-9 program
  • How does the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act change the retention requirements for your payroll records?
  • Must payroll records be kept separate from HR records?
  • How to destroy records
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Questions About Payroll Recordkeeping Requirements

Q: What Payroll-Related Records Must Be Kept?
A: Among other items, employers must retain the following records for employees for the timeframes required by state and federal laws:
  • Employee name, address, Social Security number, and birth date
  • Employer identification number
  • Dates of employment
  • Amounts and dates of all wages and/or tips, including total weekly hours worked, how employees were paid (e.g., hourly, salary, piecework), regular hourly pay rate, regular and overtime earnings per workweek
Employers should also keep records of the employee's hiring documents (inlcuding the I-9), job descriptions, retirement plan specifics, and termination info.

Q: How Long Must Payroll Records Be Kept?
A: According to the Department of Labor and the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers must keep all payroll records for at least three years, and records that show how wages were determined for two years. Since some states have more stringent requirements, employers should also check the payroll record keeping laws in the states in which they do business.

Q: How Must Employers Keep Track Of Tipped Employees Payroll Records?
A: Payroll records must identify the employee as a tipped employee. Employers must keep a record of: the employee's reported tips, how tip credits were applied, and any changes in the tip credit to the employee for each week where a change occurred.

Employers should note that if an employee performs both tipped and non-tipped work, the employer must keep separate records for the hours worked in each classification.

Q: Is There A Required Payroll Recordkeeping Format?
A: The FLSA doesn't dictate the specific type of time-keeping methods that employers must use. For instance, a time clock is acceptable, but not required.

Q: How Should Payroll Records Be Stored?
A: While most HR and payroll professionals know to keep personnel and other files separate and secret, there are no specific requirements for how to store your payroll records. That said, payroll records could be kept in a secure location either in the office, via paper files stored offsite, or electronically.

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