Glossary of Terms Related to Payroll Processing

The below is a glossary of terms related to payroll processing and may help to explain the terminology used by your Accuchex account representative.

Advance Earned Income Credit: If employees are eligible for this tax credit, it can be advanced to them by withholding less federal income tax from each employee paycheck.

Archer Medical Savings Account: A pre-tax account where either an employee or employer (not both) can deposit funds for use at a later date.

Cafeteria Plan: A plan where pre-tax benefits are taken out of employee pay.

Circular E Employers Tax Guide: A guide published annually that outlines employer tax responsibilities.

Constructive Receipt: When employee pay is made available. For example, direct deposit of employee pay into their own account means constructive receipt is achieved earlier than issuing a paper employee check.

Deferred Compensation: A deferral of a portion of employee pay to a future date, such as a pension plan, 401K or employee savings account.

Defined Benefit Plan: A plan of employee benefits usually based on pay rate and length of employment, where only the employer makes contributions to the account.

Direct Deposit: The process of depositing employee paycheck amounts directly into the employee bank account. Construction receipt is achieved faster and it can be cheaper than printing and disbursing paper employee paychecks.

EIN (Employer Identification Number): A number issued to a business by the IRS to indentify the business for tax purposes, similar to how a social security number works for individuals.

EFPTS (Electronic Federal Tax Payment System): A system that allows an employer to electronically pay the employees withholding taxes directly to the IRS.

FICA: The tax withheld from employee paychecks for Social Security.

Withholding Amount: The amount withheld from employee paychecks for the payment of their taxes to the State and IRS.

Gross Pay: Total amount of employee compensation before the necessary deductions are made.

Independent Contractor: Someone who performs work for an employer as a non-employee for which the employer is not obligated to deduct any withholding, pay employee benefits or conform to labor laws governing employees. There are rules defining when someone may be paid as an independent contractor rather than an employee and unless that definition is met and adhered to, there can be penalties assessed on an employer if they are found to have skirted employee withholding and labor laws by granting independent contractor status to someone who is really meets the definition of an employee.

IRA (Individual Retirement Account): An account that allows an employee to deposit a portion of their employee paycheck for retirement and get certain tax advantages.

Payroll Register: A report that specifies employee pay, withholding amounts, and other payments made related to employee payroll processing.

Percentage Method: Method for determining how much withholding to deduct from employee paychecks.

W-2: An annual statement of employee earnings, withholding, and other payments that is required to be produced and distributed to employees.

W-4: The form filled out by new employees that indicate the amount to be withheld from employee paychecks.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or if you want to add to the above Glossary of Terms Related to Payroll Processing.