Confused about a specific term or acronym? Solve the mysteries of terminology with this informative resource. Updated regularly with industry-specific vocabulary and concepts, the Glossary provides easy-to-understand definitions of tax-related terms.


Salary Compensation received by an employee for services performed. A salary is a fixed sum paid for a specific period of time worked, such as weekly or monthly.

Sarbanes-Oxley Act The Sarbanes-Oxley Act was signed into law in an effort to prevent or reduce the incidence of corporate and securities fraud. Significantly, the Act (technically named "The Corporate and Criminal Fraud Accountability Act of 2002") provides protection to, and even encourages, employees who would report such fraud.

Sarbanes-Oxley provides the most forceful protections to date for corporate whistleblowers. It prohibits retaliation against whistleblowers, reinforces the act of whistleblowing, and requires public companies to adopt a code of business ethics and protocols for receiving and reviewing reports of ethical wrongdoing. More importantly, the Act enforces compliance by making both corporations and individuals accountable for their actions via administrative, civil, and criminal enforcement mechanisms.

School Rate Percentage of withholding for a school district.

SDI See State Disability Insurance.

Seasonal Company Companies, such as summer camps and farms, that do not process payrolls in every quarter of the calendar year.

Section 125 IRS section setting forth rules & regulations regarding pre-tax deductions for some insurance premiums, un-reimbursed medical expenses and child/dependent care.

Separation Record Documentation prepared by an employer to outline reasons why an employee is no longer employed. The documentation can include disciplinary action, policy or procedure guidelines and any written statement by involved individuals. For additional information about effective documentation contact your UCS Client Service Representative.

Settlement Date The date the Federal Reserve Bank records an exchange of funds.

Severance Pay A payment made by an employer to terminated employees (usually those who are terminated through no fault of their own) that is designed to tide them over until new employment is secured.

Shift Differential Extra pay received by employees for working a less-than desirable shift (i.e., late nights, evenings).

Short term disability (STD) Short term disability (STD) pays a percentage of your salary if you become temporarily disabled, meaning that you are not able to work for a short period of time due to sickness or injury (excluding on-the-job injuries, which are covered by workers compensation insurance). A typical STD policy provides you with a weekly portion of your salary, usually 50, 60, or 66 2/3 percent for 13 to 26 weeks.

SIT See State Income Tax.

Social Security Administration (SSA) The federal government agency that administers social security.

Social Security/Medicare (SS/MED) Referring to the requirement by the Federal Insurance Contribution Act that employers and employees to contribute to retirement, medical, and disability insurance. The combined (FICA) rate is withheld from employee wages up to a set taxable limit and matched by a required employer contribution.

Social Security Number (SSN) An individual's taxpayer identification number; it consists of nine digits in the format 000-00-0000.

SOD See Statement of Deposits and Filings.

Sole Proprietorship The singular owner of a business.

Special Tax Rate A rate assigned to the employer account that did not result directly from a computation method under regular experience-rating provisions of the State unemployment compensation law.

SPLS See State Parent Locator Service.

Spousal Support Support Payment made by one spouse to the other during or after legal separation or divorce (also known as alimony). See also Support Order

SS/MED See Social Security/Medicare.

Stale Dated Checks Checks that have not been negotiated within a specified time limit.

Standard Contribution Rate The basic rate of contributions from which variations are computed under the experience-rating provisions of a State unemployment compensation law.

Standard Industrial Classification Code (SIC) Each employer, upon application for a federal employer identification number (FEIN) is assigned a SIC number. The Standard Industrial Classification was developed for use in the classification of businesses by type of activity in which they are engaged as a way to promote uniform collection of data at the federal level. SIC codes are based upon the primary activity or output that a company is engaged in.

State Disability Insurance (SDI) Referring to a state-established compensation plan for the support of employees unable to work due to an illness or injury. Some states require employee and employer (EE/ER) contributions to a disability insurance fund for payment of SDI benefits.

State Income Tax (SIT) A withholding tax deducted from an employee's wages as required by a state.The amount of withholding varies with the amount of earnings, frequency of pay, number of claimed exemptions, and marital status.

Statement of Deposits and Filings (SOD) Quarterly and annual documents provided to ADP Tax Filing Service clients. SODs summarize filings and deposits made by ADP on a client's behalf to authorized jurisdictions.

Statement of Payment Wage Garnishment report that provides the client details of when Employee disbursements release and the payment method.

State Parent Locator Service (SPLS) A service operated by state Child Support Enforcement agencies to locate absent parents in order to establish paternity, and to establish and enforce child support obligations.

State Unemployment Insurance Identification The identification number assigned to employers by the state agency to control unemployment related reporting and accounting functions. The number will not be that same as the FEIN issues by the federal government, however, several states do use the FEIN as core to the SUI.

State Unemployment Insurance (SUI) A quarterly tax paid to a state unemployment agency. An experience rate assigned to the employer and a taxable wage limit established by the agency determine the amount of the tax due. The SUI tax can be paid by the employee (SUIEE) or paid by the employer (SUIER) or both - depending on the state's rules.

Status Change A change in the type of Tax Filing Service ADP provides to clients. The change affects ADP's quarterly and annual depositing and filing responsibilities.

STD See Short Term Disability

Stoppage of Work Under the labor dispute provision, a substantial curtailment of the normal operation of an employer at a given location.

Subject To Typically referring to wages or compensation that are liable to taxation.

Subsidiary A separate business entity filing reports under state and federal account numbers-different than those of the parent company. (Also see: Division)

Successor The remaining entity, after a partial or total transfer of business.

SUI See State Unemployment Insurance.

SUI Exempt Some nonprofit employers are excluded from paying State Unemployment Insurance tax. Exempt employers are not required to file any quarterly returns or Employee Wage Detail Reports.

SUI Less FUTA Used to refer to cases where the employee wages are exempt from State Unemployment Insurance (SUI) taxes, but not from Federal Unemployment (FUTA) taxes. When SUI taxable wages are less than FUTA taxable wages, the employer is liable for the full FUTA tax rate on the exempt wages.

SUI Reimbursable The status of nonprofit organizations or employers with a history of few unemployment claims. Instead of quarterly contributions, the employer reimburses the state agency for unemployment claim benefits paid to former employees. These employers are required to file quarterly Wage Detail Reports with the agency.

SUI Surcharge An additional temporary fee assessed by a state unemployment agency in order to pay back loans from federal unemployment funds or to replenish low state unemployment funds.

Sundry Small amounts (less than $2.00) which are written off rather than charged or credited.

Supplemental Wages Compensation received by employees other than their regular pay; such as bonuses, commissions, and severance pay; income tax may be withheld from such payments at a flat rate under certain circumstances.

Supplemental Wages Compensation received by employees other than their regular pay; such as bonuses, commissions, and severance pay; income tax may be withheld from such payments at a flat rate under certain circumstances.

Support Order The attachment of a portion of an employee’s wages for child, spousal, ormedical support. This wage attachment can be the result of a court order(mandatory) or an agreement between involved parties (private).

Surcharges Contribution assessments made to finance training, health care and administrative costs. Certain states also maintain special funds for the possibility that the states' unemployment trust fund may become insolvent.