Most places require employers to provide not only payment but also to provide pay stubs. However, if you live somewhere it's not required, are self-employed, or are an independent contractor doing gig work, you might not get a pay stub.
The problem is that pay stubs are one of the standard forms of income verification, and it can be difficult to prove income for getting a new rental lease, a mortgage, certain kinds of loans, or some financial benefits without them.
Typically pay stubs fall under the fair labor standards act, but there isn't another federal law that covers them, and state and local laws can vary. Some employers also may not be in compliance with the fair labor standards act, but that's a different story.
If you don't get either electronic pay stubs or paper pay stubs, there are still some options available to you. Here's what you can do to prove income and manage things like your federal income tax without pay stubs.
Ways To Prove Income Without A Pay Stub
A pay stub isn't the only way you can prove you have business income or make sure your wages paid show up as proof of income. Here are some alternatives to a pay stub that you can use if your employer refuses to provide pay stubs or if you don't have an employer to provide one in the first place.
And remember, just being in a paperless pay program doesn't mean you don't get pay stubs, they might just be electronic instead of paper.
Use Your 1099 Statements
One of the better ways of proving income, if you're a private contractor, is to keep track of your 1099 statements from completed jobs. These aren't the same as an income letter or pay stub, but they can still prove that you do the work you claim, and work a little like a pay statement to verify income.
You just need to keep very accurate records to provide enough pay information.
Create A Business And Pay Yourself A Wage - And Make Your Own Pay Stubs
Another way to get around not getting pay stubs if you're self-employed is to create your own business. That way the business can be paid via direct deposit, and then you can create your own pay stubs to create proof of income.
Just remember, you need to understand pay stub requirements and meet those requirements if you want your pay stubs to be valid.
If you want to make it even easier, you can use a pay stub generator to help make sure you meet pay stub requirements and to save time each pay period.
Show Monthly Payments In Your Bank Account Or Bank Statements
Another common proof of income is to provide bank statements or show the direct deposit payments going into your bank account. Proof of income isn't the same as proof of employment, so all you need to show proof of income is to demonstrate that you have income.
Speaking of providing proof of income without an employer...
Retired? Social Security Benefits, 401k Distributions, and Other Retirement Benefits Count
Most people don't receive pay stubs or paychecks after they've retired. Showing proof of income, therefore, needs to include retirement income, like Social Security Benefits, 401k disbursements, pension distributions, or any other retirement benefits.
Landlords require proof you can pay monthly rent, but they love renting to retirees, so almost any proof of retirement income should work in lieu of a pay stub.
Keeping Track Of Income For Taxes Without Pay Stubs
Chances are if your employer isn't providing pay stubs, or if you're self-employed or an independent contractor, you aren't going to get a standard W2 on tax day. Here are some tips to make tax returns a little easier.
Keep Track Of Your Earnings In A Set Pay Period
Keeping track of your personal finances is challenging enough. But if you're self-employed it's even more important. It's a good idea to sit down every two weeks to a month and figure out how much you've made in that time, your net wages after making a tax payment, and to keep an accurate record of your pay and how much you've worked.
Make Quarterly Estimated Tax Payments
When you don't have an employer making tax payments for you, it's important to pay estimated taxes each quarter, usually both state and federal. You can create a pay statement for yourself to figure out how much you owe each quarter.
File Your Tax Returns Early
Keeping accurate records of business expenses, pay, and other income will make it easier to file your tax returns, but it's better to file early in case you need to find some information you don't have, or in case you get audited.
Pay stub requirements are there in part to protect employees from wage theft and to make taxes easier. Without paycheck stubs or employer-provided tax documents, you need to put everything together yourself.
A little extra time never hurt anyone come tax season.