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Pay Stub Abbreviations

A pay stub summarises your earnings in a pay period and how they have been distributed. This includes your gross earnings, tax deductions, and net income. However, when you receive a paycheck stub, you may notice that the information is written in plain language. You will encounter various abbreviations along the way.


It’s essential to understand these abbreviations, and in this article, we shall explain the reasons why you need to learn them and what these abbreviations mean.


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Why do you need to Understand Paystub’s Abbreviations?


You may be wondering if these abbreviations on your pay stub mean something. But do you really need to understand them? Let’s figure it out:


Check for errors: Sometimes, the information on your pay stub may need to be corrected. You need to learn how to decode this information on your paystub to detect and forward the issue to your employer for correction.


You might find errors in this information regarding unpaid overtime and other things. If you can’t read your pay stub deduction abbreviation, errors might pass under your nose.


Here are some boxes to check for errors:


  • Taxes and Withholding
  • Hours worked
  • Paid time off
  • Benefits and Deductions


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Understanding Tax Deductions


If you want to know what amount the employer is withholding with each pay stub, it will come as smooth, but you owe more taxes, and you need a refund. This is a way of saving yourself from potential tax troubles. 


Using as a Proof of Income


Whether you use it as a credit card, car loan, or renting an apartment, you will need to show proof of your income. A Pay stub is a perfect way to showcase your income. It would help if you indicated that you have the amount to take on the financial obligations and cover your regular financial commitments.


To Generate Pay Stubs


If you need help understanding the information written on your pay stub, then generating one will be a difficult task for you. Generating a pay stub requires you to have all the vital information like (EIN), employee identification number, SSN, and benefit deductions.


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Understanding Paystub Abbreviations


While reading and understanding a pay stub might seem secondary to most people, they need to learn how to decode the information on the pay stub.


However, understanding a pay stub is relatively easy if you start understanding the different sections of a pay stub and what its abbreviations mean.


Pay Stub is all about Understanding Abbreviations


Nowadays, all employers are using the digital migration method, where most businesses are online, including payroll. But when the employees need their paystub for various reasons, employers use the free paystub generators, customizing and creating their paystub deductions and abbreviations.


Now let’s look at how you can read your pay stub section-wise:


Header and Abbreviation Code


Your pay stub header contains your employee’s genetic information. But you might notice the following uncommon abbreviations:


  • Check No.: This means check number, and your employer uses this to identify every payout for tracking the money and for record-keeping purposes.
  • SSN: This is your Social Security Number. The Social Security Administration issues it, and you use it to track your earnings and benefits.
  • EIN: This is the Employer Identification Number. It is a code given by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for tax provision and employer identification purposes.


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Earning Abbreviations


The earning section carries information, which you will see abbreviated information throughout the section. Below is what you will commonly find:


  • Gross: This is the total amount you receive before your employer takes out any of the withholdings from it. This includes all your earnings, including compensation and overtime.
  • Reg Pay: This is known as regular pay. It is your base salary.
  • Add Pay: This is known as additional pay. This is an additional amount you receive over and above your regular income.
  • OT: This is known as overtime pay. This is the amount you receive for the hours you have worked above your regular time.
  • Hol: This is known as Holiday Pay. It is the amount you receive from your employer for time off during holidays, which the government declares.
  • OnCall: This is on-call pay. It is the amount you get for availing yourself outside of the regular working hours.
  • Vac: Vacation pay is what you receive when you take a paid vacation.
  • PTO: This is known as paid time off. This is the compensation for sick days and other type of personal leaves.
  • YTD: This is known as Year-To-Date earnings. It is the aggregated amount you have earned in a calendar year.
  • Misc: Miscellaneous pay is any amount you receive outside the general pay group.
  • Net: This is the amount you get when all the deductions have been made.


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Tax Deduction Acronym


There are lots of tax deduction synonyms on your pay stub. These include the amount the employer withholds from local, state, federal, and other tax deductions that may apply in your case. Below is what you can see:

  • FICA-SS: This is the Federal Insurance Contributions Act, and you’re required to contribute to the FICA tax withholding of 6.2% of your gross income.
  • FIT/FITW/FWT: This acronym stands for the Federal Withholding. This is the tax you pay to the Internal Revenue Service.
  • SIT/SWT: When you see any of these on your paystub, they mean the withholding tax that you pay to the state.
  • Local Tax: This is the income tax you pay to the government.


Pay Stub Abbreviation before Tax

  • DCR: This is known as Dependent Care Reimbursement. It is a refund of the dependent care payments you have paid out of your salary.
  • HCR: This is known as Healthcare Reimbursement. It is an employer-funded benefit that is also used for compensation for medical-related expenses.
  • Vision and Den: These are the premiums you pay for either vision or dental premiums.


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Pay Stub Abbreviation after Tax

  • CHD SU: This is known as Child Support. It is deducted when your child support payment is deducted directly from your paycheck.
  • StdnLoan: This is known as Student Loan. This is deducted when your employer deducts an amount from your salary to clear out your student loan.
  • TX Levy: This is known as the tax levy. This amount is deducted from your earnings and dispatched to the IRS to cover the taxes that you still need to pay.




Pay stubs, abbreviations, and acronyms are the shortest version of your earnings. Understanding these abbreviations gives you clarity on how your income is calculated.


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What does "Gross Pay" mean on my pay stub?


Gross Pay is your total earnings before any deductions, including taxes and other withholdings.

What does "Net Pay" represent on a pay stub?


Net Pay is your take-home pay after deductions. It reflects the actual amount you receive in your bank account.

What is the significance of "Deductions" on a pay stub?


Deductions encompass amounts withheld from your earnings, such as taxes, insurance premiums, and retirement contributions.

What does "PTO" stand for on a pay stub?


PTO stands for Paid Time Off. This section details your accrued and used vacation, sick leave, or other paid leave, impacting your pay.

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