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How to Get a Pay Stub?

how to get a pay stub

A pay stub breaks down your wages and helps you understand your taxes as an employee.

It allows you to check your contributions and deductions and, therefore, enables you to make sure that a company or employer has appropriately paid you. Ultimately, a pay stub is an additional piece of information to your paycheck to ensure that everything is correct.

Never put your pay stub in the trash. You never know when it may become helpful and why you might need it for the future. We’ll touch on that later…

So, let’s first take a look at How to Get a Pay Stub and all the benefits it includes.

how to get a pay stub

What’s The Difference Between A Pay Check And A Pay Stub?

A paycheck gives you the final information of how much you have earned and nothing more. A pay stub gives you all the details about your earnings and outgoings. It is a detailed page of everything financially in your employment. Let’s touch on that now…

What Is Included On A Pay Stub?


First of all, the pay stub should include your personal information. Your full name, address, employee ID number, if you have one, and the companies identification number.

Gross Wages

Gross wages are how much money an employer should pay you without deductions like tax or employee contributions. It is the start point of your pay. Gross wages will differ depending on whether you are salaried or paid by the hour.

If you are an hourly worker, the employer will multiply your hourly wage by the number of hours you work in a pay period. If you are a salaried worker, the employer will divide your annual salary by the number of pay periods in a year.

Not so tricky on paper…

It doesn’t sound straightforward, but not to worry. Once you see it on paper, it makes more sense and is easier to understand. Usually displayed in three columns, the information includes; deductions, current gross total, and year-to-date pay.

how to get the pay stub

Employee Taxes

Unfortunately for us all, we do not take home our gross pay wage, far from it. We have to pay taxes. This means that we have deductions from our salary, which ultimately reduces employee earnings. Your employer should have this clear and organized for you, and if it is not clear, you must request they review the pay stub, so you know which taxes you are paying.

Employee taxes all depend on how much you earn and your employment status. Taxes likely to be paid out include:

  • Federal Income Tax
  • State Income Tax
  • Social Security
  • Medicare


These are dependent on your employer and company. Deductions are likely to go to a retirement fund or insurance premiums. However, you may have signed up for charitable donations, loan payments, involuntary deductions such as child support and child care.

The totals should be itemized separately and have precise current and year-to-date totals.

Employer Contributions

Your employer may provide some benefits within the job role. These usually only apply to full-time staff members, and you’ll have signed up as you accepted the job offer. Anywhere from retail jobs to Google offer some of these benefits. They include:

  • 401(k) Benefit Plan
  • Health Insurance
  • Dental and Vision Coverage
  • Life Insurance

Employer Taxes

Your employer will have to pay taxes for you as an employee. These taxes should be displayed entirely separately from your taxes. You don’t have to worry too much about these as rest assured your employer will be familiar with the taxes they have to pay in the State for their employees. They include:

  • Federal Unemployment Tax
  • State Employment Tax
  • FICA tax

Net Pay

After you’ve looked through all your taxes and deductions, you get to your net pay. The net pay is how much you’ll take home after all the previous taxes and deductions. The net income is the total your employer will pay you on payday.

Making A Request

If your employer doesn’t provide a pay stub with your paycheck, you can contact them and inform them you would like one. Depending on the companies protocols, sometimes you can access a pay stub via a portal online.

how to get your pay stub

Check Online

If you are working for a bigger corporation, you can likely access your pay stub online. There may be an electronic portal, or if you already view your paycheck online, an option for a pay stub may also be present.

If you are lucky enough to have an online portal, you can access all your work-related information, such as vacation days, sick days and, employment history. Make sure to keep your login and password in a safe place in case you forget or haven’t accessed it for a while.

Ask your Manager or HR department

If you work for a smaller company that does not have access online, you can ask your manager if they have any information. Otherwise, please send an email to the correct department, HR, or a specific payroll department requesting your pay sub.

The process should be straightforward, and they can send it to you via email or give a copy to you at work.

Payroll Department

In larger organizations, if you don’t have an online portal, they will likely have a payroll department that has experience issuing pay stubs and giving information regarding your payment, taxes, and any other questions you may have.

It may take a few days to get back to you, and if it is more than a week, you should send a follow-up email requesting them again.

Previous Employment

If you want to receive your pay stub from your previous job, you should email the correct department explaining what you need. That may be the HR or accounting department, of course, it depends on your details. Whoever responds should put you in the right direction if you contact the wrong department.

To make it easier, make sure to inform them of all the essential information needed to access your pay stub. That includes:

  • Full Name
  • Current Address
  • Previous Address
  • Social Insurance Number
  • ID number
  • Pay Period Dates

When To Use Your Pay Stubs?

Pay stubs allow you to access all your financial employment information and confirm your net pay is correct. They are also helpful for other reasons.

Proof of Income

There are several reasons for proving your income; this is to:

  • Receive the correct insurance plan.
  • Ask for a loan from the bank.
  • Take out a car on finance.

You must demonstrate how much you earn, and having your pay stub on hand can help you do so.

Taxes and Deductions

Make sure you are paying the correct taxes and not overpaying. You may have signed up to give to charity when you started with a company. If it is no longer working for you, a pay stub can remind you how much you are gifting. This will allow you to contact the payroll department to amend your donation.

Verify Earnings

Keeping your pay stub allows you to have a clear breakdown of what you earn and your monthly payments, especially if your employer pays you by the hour and your monthly earnings vary.

What To Do When You’re Self Employed

In this case, you would be handling your business, pay, and taxes. So, check out J.K. Lasser’s Guide to Self-Employment: Taxes, Strategies, and Money-Saving Tips for Schedule C Filers, and the Working for Yourself: Law & Taxes for Independent Contractors, Freelancers & Gig Workers of All Types to keep everything on the straight and narrow!

In addition, we have the 475 Tax Deductions for Businesses and Self-Employed Individuals: An A-to-Z Guide to Hundreds of Tax Write-Offs, or The Tax and Legal Playbook: Game-Changing Solutions To Your Small Business Questions, and finally the Taxpayer’s Comprehensive Guide.

We also recommend reading Working With Independent Contractors and the Tax Accounting: A Guide for Small Business Owners Wanting to Understand Tax Deductions, and Taxes Related to Payroll, LLCs, Self-Employment, all available online in 2023.

Final Thoughts

Keeping hold of your pay stub is very important. There is no rule on how long you should keep your pay stubs. Experts and financial advisors believe you should keep them for at least a year before adequately discarding them. That means shredding them to be on the safe side.

Having a collection of your pay stubs is handy if anything comes up with insurance or doubts in your paycheck.

If you haven’t got yours already, it’s worth taking the time to request a pay stub or check yours online to make sure everything is in order.

Now you can Get your Pay Stub and keep your taxes in order!

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