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Payroll calculations help employers factor in numerous deductions, rates and percentages to determine how much take-home pay each employee receives. Common calculations include tax rates, overtime, insurance premiums, time and attendance, retirement contributions and wage garnishments.

Payroll calculations are a complicated process that may vary based on state and local rules, and from company to company. Some companies may have their own payroll structure based on their own unique payroll components. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), state and local minimum wage and overtime rules as well as other wage and hour rules affect payroll calculations. The passage of new HR, wage and hour and tax laws at the federal, state and local level can affect how much net pay each employee actually receives.

Simple missteps in payroll calculations may result in significant penalties. To help protect themselves from risk and navigate compliance rules, many employers choose to work with an accountant or payroll service provider, who can help automate many of the calculations.