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5.5.5 Payroll Record Requirements

​All records pertaining to employment taxes must be readily available for inspection by the Internal Revenue Service, the State of California, and the U.S. Department of Labor, if the need should arise. The length of time that records are to be retained is determined by Document Retention. No particular form has been prescribed for such records, but they must include for each employee:

  • The amounts and dates of all wage, annuity, pension payments and tips reported

  • The name, address, and occupation of each employee or payee receiving such payments

  • The period of the employee's employment

  • Time records showing when the employee begins and ends each work period

      • Non-exempt employees' time records must include daily meal periods, split shift intervals, total daily hours worked, and sick pay accrual

      • Exempt employees' attendance records must show their attendance and reasons for absence (e.g., sick, vacation, leave)

  • Total hours worked by the non-exempt employee in the payroll period and applicable rates of pay

  • Total wages paid to the employee each payroll period, including other compensation actually furnished to the employee

  • The periods for which the employee was paid while absent due to illness or personal injury, and the amount and weekly rate of such payments

  • The employee's Social Security number

  • The employee's income tax withholding allowance certificates (W-4)

  • The Employer Identification Number

  • Duplicate copies of returns filed (IRS Forms 940 and 941 and State DE9 and DE 9C)

  • The dates and amounts of deposits made​​


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