Understanding Your Pay Stub

Look at the example pay stub below.  Answer the comprehension questions on a sheet of paper.  Then, read the article explaining vocabulary related to paychecks.  When you are finished, answer the reading comprehension questions below on a sheet of paper.  Check all of your answers to make sure that they are correct.  Then, type your answers into the website:

1.  Click Leave a Reply

2.  Type your first name in the first box.

3.  Type your email address or “esl@gmail.com” in the second box.

4.  Type nothing in the third box.

5.  Type your questions in the fourth box.

Employee Pay Stub

Employer Name: Raleigh ESL Hotel
Employer Address: 2958 Gorman St./Raleigh, NC 27607
Employer Phone Number: (919) 555-1234

Employee Name: Ibrahim Mohammed Ali
Employee Address: 2947 Wade Ave./Raleigh, NC 27606
Employee Phone Number: (919) 555-5678

Employee No.: 3957293
Employee Social Security Number: XXX-XX-1234
Pay Period: 9/4/2014-9/18/2014
Pay Date: 10/3/14

       Current Earnings                                                                          Taxes Withheld

Type Hours Wage Total Type Current Year to Date
Regular 80 $10.00 $800.00 FICA-Medicare $18.30 $63.50
Overtime 20 $15.00 $300.00 FICA-Social Security $77.59 $486.27
Federal Tax $176.24 $1,090.62
State Tax $52.19 $292.43

Total Gross Income: $1,100.00
Y.T.D. Gross Income: $7,850.00

Total Taxes Withheld for this Pay Period: $324.32
Y.T.D. Taxes Withheld: $1932.82

Total Net Income: $775.68
Y.T.D. Total Net Income: $5917.18

Pay Stub Comprehension Questions

1.  How many hours did Ibrahim work?

2.  How much money did Ibrahim receive before taxes?

3.  How much money did Ibrahim receive after taxes?  How much money will he take home?

4.  How many weeks did Ibrahim work to earn this money?

5.  Why does Ibrahim earn more money for some of the hours he works?  Does he do two different jobs?

6.  What are the four different types of tax that Ibrahim has to pay?  Why do you think he needs to pay four different types of tax?

7.  Is this paycheck correct?  Check the math to make sure that Ibrahim received the correct amount of money for his work.

8.  What is the minimum amount that Raleigh ESL Hotel can legally pay Ibrahim for his work in the state of North Carolina?  Does Ibrahim earn more than or less than this amount?  If you do not know the minimum wage in North Carolina, read the information below.

Understanding Your Pay Stub

This pay stub has a lot of difficult vocabulary.  These are words that we need to understand finance in the United States.  Let’s look at some of these difficult vocabulary words and phrases:

  • Current Earnings – A person’s current earnings are the amount of money a person is receiving from a paycheck.
    • When you receive a paycheck, it is usually giving you money that you earned one week ago, two weeks ago, or even a month ago.  This gives your manager time to complete paperwork and send your taxes in for you.
      • This is very difficult for new employees, who often have to wait an extra week, two weeks, or even a month to receive the money that they already earned.
      • However, when you leave your job, you will probably receive one more paycheck after you leave to cover your last week of work.  If you quit your job, remember to ask your manager when you will receive your last paycheck.  Some jobs require you to collect a paycheck in person, while other jobs mail your paycheck or deposit it directly into your bank account.
  • Wage – A wage is the amount of money that you receive for one hour of work.
    • The minimum wage in North Carolina is $7.25 per hour before taxes.  This means that it is illegal for an employer to pay less than $7.25 per hour before taxes.
      • There is one common exception to this law: If a person is working in a job where he or she is earning tips that are expected to result in more than $7.25 per hour total, the employer is not required to pay this amount in addition to tips.
        • For this reason, servers in restaurants may earn as little as $2.13 per hour.  However, most people give a 15% to 20% tip to the server, when they pay for a meal.  For example, if a person orders a $20 meal, he or she would normally give a $3 or $4 tip to the server in addition to the $20 that he or she pays for the meal.  This causes many servers to earn significantly more than $7.25 per hour for their work.  They receive most of their money in cash.
    • Employees who work more than 40 hours in one week are required to receive overtime pay.
  • Overtime – An employee who works more than 40 hours receives overtime pay.  This is an increased wage for all hours worked after 40 hours.
    • Overtime pay is usually 1.5 (or one and one half) times the regular pay rate of an employee.
      • If an employee earns $7.25 per hour, overtime pay would be $10.88 per hour.
      • If an employee earns $8.00 per hour, overtime pay would be $12.00 per hour.
      • If an employee earns $10.00 per hour, the overtime pay would be $15.00 per hour.
      • If an employee earns $20.00 per hour, how much would the overtime pay be?
  • Gross Income – Gross income is the amount of money a person receives before taxes.  Most people never see this money in person because most companies pay your taxes to the government before they give you your paycheck.
    • Sometimes companies send in too much money for taxes.  This is why some people receive part or all of their money back from the government when they file taxes in April.
  • Year-to-Date – Year-to-Date is a term used to describe the amount of money that is earned or spent on taxes beginning this January and ending with this paycheck.  On some pay stubs, the words “Year-to-Date” are written as “Y.T.D.”
  • Taxes Withheld – The taxes withheld are the amount of money the company takes from your paycheck to give to the government.
  • FICA-Medicare – Medicare taxes are money that we pay to the government, so that we can have Medicare when we are older.  Medicare is a form of government health insurance offered to people over the age of 62, who have paid taxes throughout their lives.
  • FICA-Social Security – Social Security taxes are money that we give to the government, so that when we retire (at age 62 or older) or if we become disabled, the government will give us money each month to live.  How much money the government gives a retired or disabled person each month depends on how much money this person paid in taxes throughout his or her life and how old the person is when he or she accepts the money.
  • Federal Tax – The Federal Tax is money that we give to the United States government each time we receive a paycheck.
  • State Tax – The State Tax is money that we give to the state of North Carolina each time that we receive a paycheck.
  • Net Income – Your net income is the amount of money that you receive after your company pays taxes for you.  If you are self-employed, this is the amount of money you receive after you pay taxes.  Even if your company pays taxes for you, you still need to file taxes every April to make sure that your company paid the correct amount!  Not paying taxes can cause problems later if you apply for a visa, government assistance, or for US citizenship.

Reading Comprehension Questions:

1.  What is the difference between gross income and net income?

2.  Why do we pay Social Security and Medicare taxes?

3.  When is it okay for an employer to pay less than $7.25 per hour in North Carolina?  Why?

4.  What does Y.T.D. mean?

5.  When does a person earn overtime pay?

6.  If a person who earns $12 per hour earns 2 hours of overtime, how much overtime pay will this person receive.

One thought on “Understanding Your Pay Stub

  1. _Cross income os the amount of money that you recieve before taxes,while the net income is the amount of money that you recieve after deduction or taxes.

    _we pay social security and medicare taxes because when we retire or become disabled,we will be able to get money each month and to have health insurance over the age of 62.

    _It’s okay for an employer to pay less than $7,25 per hour in north carolina when an employee is working in a job where he or she is earning tips.because the employer is not required to pay this amount in addition to tips.

    _Y.T.D means Year-to-date,it describe the amount of money that is earned or spent on taxes beginning the january first and ending with the paycheck.

    _A person earns overtime pay when he or she works more than 40 hours in one week.

    _12+6=18,for the overtime pay this person will receive $36 for 2 hours.

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