Payroll Recordkeeping Requirements

What Is Payroll Recordkeeping?

Payroll recordkeeping refers to the process of documenting and maintaining accurate records of all aspects related to employee compensation within an organization. These records typically include information such as wages, salaries, bonuses, deductions, taxes, benefits, and any other payments made to employees.

Key functions include following federal and state laws, including employee records, reporting requirements, tax and financial reporting, and the keeping of historical data.

The Major Payroll Recordkeeping Requirements

Payroll record keeping requirements can vary depending on the jurisdiction and specific regulations, but generally, they include the following major components:
  • Employee Information:
    Employers must maintain accurate records for each employee, including their full name, address, Social Security number or other tax identification number, date of birth, occupation, and any other relevant personal information.
  • Time and Attendance, Benefits, Earnings, and Tax Withholding Records:
    Employers must keep records of each employee's time and attendance, earnings, etc.
  • Wage Garnishments:
    If any wage garnishments are in place for employees, employers must maintain records of these and ensure compliance with the garnishment orders.
  • Records Retention:
    Employers should retain payroll records for a specific period as required by law. This retention period can vary depending on the type of record and jurisdiction but typically ranges from three to seven years.
  • Reporting Requirements:
    Employers may be required to submit various payroll reports to government agencies, such as quarterly or annual tax returns, wage and tax statements (e.g., Forms W-2), and other reports as mandated by federal, state, and local laws.
  • Documentation of Policies and Procedures:
    Employers should also maintain documentation of their payroll policies and procedures, including any employee handbooks or manuals outlining payroll-related guidelines.
It's essential for employers to stay informed about the specific record-keeping requirements applicable to their business to ensure compliance with all relevant laws and regulations. Additionally, consulting with legal or accounting professionals can provide guidance tailored to your specific situation and jurisdiction.

Common Payroll Record Keeping Mistakes

Keeping accurate payroll records is crucial for businesses to comply with tax regulations and labor laws. Below are some common payroll recordkeeping mistakes that businesses make that you can learn how to avoid with our payroll recordkeeping training courses:
  • Misclassifying Employees:
    Misclassifying employees as independent contractors or vice versa can lead to issues with tax withholding, benefits eligibility, and compliance with labor laws.
  • Missing or Incomplete Time Records:
    Failing to accurately track and record employee work hours can result in underpayment or overpayment of wages, leading to compliance issues and potential legal disputes.
  • Errors in Calculating Overtime:
    Incorrectly calculating overtime pay can result in underpayment of employees or non-compliance with overtime regulations, leading to potential legal liabilities.
  • Missing Deadlines for Tax Filings:
    Missing deadlines for tax filings, such as quarterly payroll tax returns or annual W-2 filings, can result in penalties and interest charges.
  • Lack of Documentation for Payroll Adjustments:
    Making payroll adjustments without proper documentation or approval can result in inaccuracies in payroll records and potential compliance issues.
  • Failure to Maintain Accurate Payroll Records:
    Businesses are required to keep payroll records for a certain period as mandated by law. Failure to maintain these records or improper record storage can lead to penalties during audits.
By avoiding these common mistakes and implementing robust payroll record-keeping practices, businesses can maintain compliance with tax regulations and labor laws while ensuring accurate and timely payments to employees.

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
More Details / Order:

>>> Worker Classification

paycheck rulesDuring this training session, you will learn how to properly identify, use, and pay Independent Contractors to prevent costly worker-classification audits. Specifically, you and/or your team will learn:
  • The factors used to determine if an employment relationship exists
  • What the IRS and states consider a bona fide independent contractor
  • What the auditing agencies are focusing on
  • How to determine the scope and potential areas of focus for your audit
  • How to identify any areas of concern prior to an external audit or an audit by another group within your company
  • Common areas where mistakes or issues can normally be found
  • How a review can help you detect internal control issues
Details / Order:

>>> Garnishments

By attending this training session you will learn:paycheck rules
  • State and federal law regarding garnishments
  • How to determine how much to withhold for child support
  • The priority of garnishment orders - yes, some people get more than one!
  • Recent legislation challenges such as lump sum reporting for child support orders
  • Discussion of legally allowed Child Support fees - and how to administer
  • Review of EIWO and the benefits
  • How to properly calculate applicable earnings (Ex: Disposable earnings, take home pay)
  • The process for terminated employees that have garnishment orders
  • How to keep up with changing legislation
  • Other garnishment processing best practices
Details / Order:

>>> How To Document Your Payroll Procedures

In this course you will learn the best way to document your payroll procedures. We will discuss how to get started on the process and not become bogged down, as well as the simple steps to insure your procedures are correctly documented, clear, and concise.

By attending this training session you will learn:paycheck rules
  • What is required by federal acts and state regulations
  • Best methods for how to document your procedures
  • Resources that can be utilized so you don't get bogged down and recreate processes you can use
  • The key points that should be included in each procedure, as well as when is the information provided too much versus not enough
  • Additional tips to save you time and energy when documenting your procedures
Details / Order:
Find Seminars, Webinars, And Online Training In Your Area
Designations / Certifications
Improve your knowledge and industry standing!
Professional Development
Products & Services to help manage and grow your career!

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.

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.

About Us Guarantee Privacy Join our Email List Affiliate Program List Your Courses Contact Us My Account 5755 North Point Parkway, Suite 227 | Alpharetta, GA 30022 | 770-410-1219 |
Copyright 2024 | Web Site Development by OTAU