Saturday, November 11, 2006
Pay Stub Precautions
Getting laid off or being relegated permanently to a station beneath your capacities is so common nowadays that it can be hard to remember that even when you do get paid decently you can face problems. Even our boys in Iraq have been jerked around on their paychecks. One wounded National Guardsmen had serious debt issues when the government accidentally overpaid his hardship pay. (Frankly, I don't think we can "overpay" these guys enough for all the sacrifices they're making.)
Here are some basic rules that will allow you to remain on top of the pay stub situation:
1) Pay attention to everything- In other words, make sure you're getting paid for the right number of hours, check to see if changes that would influence deductions before taxes (such as health care benefits, life insurance, 401(k) contributions, etc.) are correctly calculated, and so on.
2) Report payroll errors immediately - Let your employers know if they paid you too much, because they will find out eventually and they won't forget that you didn't tell them. Also let them know if you weren't paid enough. That's the kind of mistake that only you will really care to see corrected, so you ought to take care of it A.S.A.P.
3) Keep your pay information current - Update your W-4 information with the births, deaths or departures from the household of any dependents, or if you get married or divorced. These may be big events in your life or the lives of your loved ones, but as far as your relationship with the IRS is concerned, it all just means more red tape.
"Be vigilant: Payroll errors commonplace" from IndyStar.com (Indianapolis)
"Paycheck accuracy shouldn't be taken for granted" from The Montgomery Advertiser
"Double-check pay stub to make sure information's right" from The Modesto Bee