How to decipher those strange codes on your paycheck

Are you getting less money in your paycheck than you should?

Most workers opt for receiving their cash via direct deposit these days from their employers because it’s convenient and secure.

But taking your pay this way could mean you’re not getting the right amount.

“Every year tax laws change. Payroll departments rely on software programs to stay current and there could be errors along the way,” said Sam Kerch, director of finance at Symmetry Software, which develops tools used by many of the largest payroll processors.

“You want to make sure the change that happens on your check is expected.”

The only way to know if you’re being paid correctly is by looking at something you may not have seen in a while — your complete pay stub.

Review federal withholdings

Federal income taxes are usually the first to be listed and come out of every paycheck.

“Everybody is going to see some kind of federal taxation — at the least Social Security and Medicare,” said Kerch.

If it’s not entirely written out, look for a line that says FED, FIT, or FITW, representing federal income tax withheld. Social Security taxes are often abbreviated as SS, SOCSEC or OASDI, according to Kerch.

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