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4 Min. Read

What Is Supplemental Pay Meaning & How It Affect Taxes

What Is Supplemental Pay Meaning & How It Affect Taxes

Taxation is never a simple matter. But when it comes to government regulation, supplemental pay is another matter entirely. You need supplemental pay for things like Social Security and Medicare taxes.

It’s also necessary for separate state-specific withholding tax practices. This applies to state labor department requirements, as well. This only further adds to the complexity of compliance. And maintaining compliance is complicated, but it has never been more important. Why?

Because the Department of Labor is cracking down on wage and hour violations as per the Fair Labor Standards Act. As IRS funding increases, audits and investigations become more common. And the penalties for mishandling supplementary pay are more serious than ever.

But before you let supplemental pay overwhelm you, stick around to learn its intricacies. We cover all you need to know in this handy guide, so read on to learn more.

Here’s What We’ll Cover:

What Are Supplemental Wages?

Differences in Supplemental Wages and Regular Wages

Supplemental Pay and Income Taxes

Key Takeaways

What Are Supplemental Wages?

Supplemental wages are essentially additional payments. There are many different scenarios in which supplemental wages apply. Take a moment to explore the examples below to get a better understanding of what supplemental wages are and when to use them.

  • The value of taxable fringe benefits
  • Nondeductible moving expenses
  • Accumulated sick leave
  • Retroactive pay
  • Severance pay
  • Overtime pay
  • Commissions
  • Back pay
  • Bonuses
  • Awards
  • Prizes
  • Tips

As you can see, supplemental wages fall under many different and unique categories. While all different, it’s important to know when and where to use supplemental wages in your business. Now that you have a better idea of its purpose, let’s examine how it’s different from regular pay.

Differences in Supplemental Wages and Regular Wages

As a business owner or manager, you need to understand the difference between supplemental pay and regular rate of pay. These two types apply to different withholding practices and federal wage laws.

For example, regular wages must be paid within 7 days after the end of a certain payment period. Supplementary wages are not required to do so. Therefore, you can pay regular wages and supplemental payments at different times.

Supplemental Pay and Income Taxes

Normal wages are usually withheld based on the following:

  • The amount of federal income tax withholding allowances
  • Marital status

Supplemental income isn’t based on either. In order to withhold tax on supplemental wages, employers can:

  • Separately determine supplemental wage payments and withhold a flat tax rate of 25%. The Internal Revenue Service does not allow any other interest rates.
  • Perform complex calculations. These will help find the withholding tax for supplemental wage payments and regular wages.
  • Add all the employees’ wages (additional wages and regular wages) together, and withhold taxes on the entire amount.

There is more. If the supplementary salary does not exceed $1 million, you can choose to tax all salaries together in a single payment. Or, you can use a flat tax rate of 25%.

However, if the supplemental wages don’t exceed $1 million, the employer must withhold a 37% tax on the excess after exceeding $1 million.

In addition, there are exceptions to the treatment of holidays and tips. If the holiday salary is higher than the normal salary paid during this period, the holiday salary is regarded as supplemental wages. If the employee receives wages and tips, the tips will be treated as supplemental wages.

If the employer does not withhold tax from the regular salary, the tip will be added to the regular salary, and all taxes will be levied. Between the federal income tax regulations and the various tax rules in each state, supplemental wages may make you dizzy.

Now more than ever, you can’t afford to make mistakes in wages or working hours. One misstep can result in labor law violation that affects your bottom line. As such, it’s wise to use software that can protect your business from such tax consequences.

Thanks to FreshBooks, you can ensure optimal operation in your business. The powerful suite of tools streamlines essential factors like:

  • Double-entry accounting
  • Time tracking
  • Payments
  • Expenses
  • Invoicing
  • And more!

You can’t afford to miss out on FreshBooks’ benefits. Be sure to try it out today to see what it can do for your business.

Key Takeaways

Understanding the intricacies of taxes can be challenging for business owners. But thanks to FreshBooks, you can simplify your accounting management and more. In doing so, you can avoid taxation issues among your staff. Looking for even more small business support? Be sure to explore our Resource Hub for valuable information.


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