Payroll 101

As an employer, you have specific payroll responsibilities that are required by government agencies. These agencies can be federal, state or local. Some of these responsibilities include, but are not limited to, withholding amounts from your employees' compensation to cover income tax, social security, Medicare, and other payments. This section is designed to help familiarize you with the basic concepts of payroll management and introduce options to help make the process easier. Consult with a tax professional or accountant to address all of your business' specific needs.

What is Payroll?

Payroll is the total amount of money paid by a business to its employees over a set amount of time.

What Are Payroll Taxes?

Any tax levied by a government agency on employees' wages, tips, and other compensation. The amounts withheld by employers from employees' pay for federal income, social security, and Medicare taxes are considered as trust fund taxes. They are referred to as trust fund taxes because the money is held in a special trust fund for the U.S. government. Amounts withheld for state and local income taxes are held in trust for the state or local government.

Your Responsibilities

Reporting and depositing payroll taxes to the appropriate agency in an accurate and timely manner is vital to your business. Late or inaccurate deposits may result in penalties and interest charges. These complex payroll tax requirements may seem intimidating but by learning a few simple concepts, you will be able to understand your payroll responsibilities and choose the best method for meeting them.