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    Paycheck vs. pay period dates

    Article ID: 2000146


    What is the difference between pay period and paycheck dates?


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    Paycheck date:

    The date on which employees are paid, i.e., checks are distributed (pay day). The paycheck date is used to determine when payroll liabilities are due, based on deposit schedules.

    Pay period dates:

    The pay period begin and end dates represent the period in which employees worked or earned wages.

    When an employee works in December, but is paid in January:

    Because IRS rules are based on when wages are paid (not earned), any wages paid in January, regardless of the pay period, will be included in the new year's wages for tax deposit and reporting purposes (including annual W-2 Forms).

    If pay period dates have been entered incorrectly:

    Because pay period dates do not affect the timing of tax deposit due dates or payroll tax reporting, it is not necessary to correct these dates for tax purposes once checks have been distributed.

    For more information regarding W-2 Forms, refer to the section titled Calendar Year Basis in IRS Publication Instructions for Forms W-2 and W-3.

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