Frequently Asked Questions

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What is included in payroll?

This item includes the gross earnings of all employees paid during the calendar year (cash basis). It includes all forms of compensation, such as salaries, wages, commissions, dismissal pay, bonuses, vacation and sick leave pay, and compensation in kind, prior to such deductions as employees' social security contributions, withholding taxes, group insurance, union dues, and savings bonds. The total includes salaries of officers of corporations; it excludes payments to proprietors or partners of unincorporated concerns. The census definition of payroll is identical to that recommended to all Federal statistical agencies by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, in particular, the definition used on the Employer's Quarterly Federal Tax Return, Treasury Form 941. This definition does not include employers' social security contributions or other nonpayroll labor costs, such as employees' pension plans, group insurance premiums, and workers' compensation. Data presented on annual payroll are sample-based and include payroll of enterprise support locations, such as retail warehouses, and thus may not match payroll data compiled in the 2007 Economic Census.

For more information, visit the Business Expenses website.


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