How can I get my pay slip

Prepare payroll accounting

1. Payroll: Frequently Asked Questions

As an employer, you are obliged to provide your employees with a monthly wage and salary slip. This shows how the gross wage becomes the net wage and is the basis for the monthly wage and salary payments. In other words: All components that are deducted directly from the wages are itemized. At the same time, the payroll shows which sums are to be transferred to which institution (e.g. tax office).

Wages and salaries are not the same. The salary is a firmly agreed sum that is the same per month - regardless of the hours worked. The salary can vary and is paid according to the number of hours actually worked. That is why one speaks of a payroll or a pay slip. An alternative designation would be thatPayrollthat unites both terms.

The following data must not be missing on a pay slip:

  • Employee data
  • Overview of working and vacation time
  • contact details
  • Billing information
  • Gross earnings
  • Prints, e.g. B. Income tax, church tax and solidarity surcharge
  • Payout amount
  • Bank details

As an employer, you are obliged to prepare a wage slip in text form for each of your employees. The legal basis can be found in § 108 GewO.

  • income tax
  • if applicable, solidarity surcharge
  • possibly church tax
  • Health insurance
  • care insurance
  • Pension insurance
  • unemployment insurance
  • Contributions to the statutory accident insurance

For mini jobs, flat-rate taxes of 15% pension insurance, 13% health insurance and 2% flat-rate tax apply, which are paid to the Deutsche Rentenversicherung Knappschaft-Bahn-See.

The days on which the remuneration is paid is usually regulated individually in the employment contract. Employees should also receive their pay slip at the same time.

The wage tax certificate, sometimes referred to as the annual wage statement, shows the employee in detail how much was deducted from his gross wage and for what purpose. In most cases, mini-jobbers do not receive an income tax certificate.

Founders who are just starting their business can create pay slips themselves using special programs. However, if you have a certain number of employees, we recommend that you outsource the preparation of the payroll to a tax advisor.

Even if you part with an employee, you must keep their documents.

  • Documents that are relevant for the withholding of income tax (e.g. pay slips) must be kept for six years.
  • If these documents are relevant for the determination of company profits, you have to keep them for ten years.
  • Documents under social security law, such as statements of contributions to social security, must also be kept for ten years.
  • If documents contain claims to benefits from the company pension scheme, the retention period does not expire until after 30 years.

2. Create your own payroll or outsource it?

Why should founders go to the trouble and prepare the pay slips themselves? We look at Advantages and disadvantages of creating it yourself using payroll softwaree.

  • Inexpensive: Compared to external providers or a payroll office, self-created payroll accounting with software is cheaper.
  • Compliant with the law: Most providers of payroll software update and maintain their products regularly so that they are always legally up to date.
  • Independently: You are not dependent on external providers and you can create your pay slips whenever you want.
  • Elaborate: If you are not exactly a payroll fox, you must first familiarize yourself with the subject. This can sometimes be very time-consuming. In addition, the pay slips still want to be created. Founders lose this time on customer service and acquisition.
  • Error-prone: Mistakes happen. Nevertheless, you are better off with a payroll clerk. Because if errors occur, it is in many cases that they are liable and not you.

Five classic mistakes in payroll accounting & their consequences

These errors usually occur when founders try to do the payroll in addition to their core business:

  1. Lack of care in stressful situations
  2. Incorrect assessment of the social security obligation
  3. Special features of the billing of a partner-managing director
  4. Wrong distinction between short-term employees and mini-jobbers
  5. Settlement of tax-free or flat-rate taxed wage components

If you make calculation errors - e.g. taxes that have been calculated too high or too low or an incorrect payment to the employee - you have three months to correct this error retrospectively. However, this involves quite a bit of effort and paperwork. Forget about the timely transfer of the contributions to the tax office, but it looks different. If you fail to pay three times in a row, you are liable to prosecution and face fines or imprisonment.

Payroll accounting should therefore only be left to experienced professionals, as there can be numerous sources of error if you do not deal with the topic on a daily basis.

Our tip: outsource payroll accounting

If you want to prepare the pay slips for your company yourself, you should have a sound training and years of routine in the preparation of pay slips. As a rule, however, most founders lack detailed knowledge and experience in this area. Numerous payroll programs promise quick handling of monthly wage and salary statements, but here too you need some prior knowledge in order to create correct statements. It is therefore not worthwhile for most founders to do their own payroll accounting. We therefore recommend outsourcing this.

  • Special start-up offers for payroll accounting
  • Special cases no longer take away time and nerves
  • Experts are more experienced and need less time
  • External accountants advise and support you with tax audits

3. Amount of taxes, duties and allowances

In the following, we will examine the elements of a payroll in detail: from contributions and taxes to payments to tax exemptions.

# 1 Taxes & Contributions in Payroll

In every payroll there are components that apply to all employees. These are tax and contribution rates. These rates vary in height:

  • The wage tax is based on the amount of the gross wage and the wage tax class
  • Solidarity surcharge and church tax are dependent on wage tax, if applicable
  • The social security contributions form a fixed percentage for the payroll
Delivery pointSubmission
Tax office
  • Income tax (15-45%)
  • possibly solidarity surcharge (5.5% of wage tax)
  • possibly church tax (8 or 9% of wage tax)
Health insurance
  • Health insurance (14.6%)
  • Long-term care insurance (3.05%)
  • Pension insurance (18.6%)
  • Unemployment insurance (2.4%)
Trade associationContributions to the statutory accident insurance
Deutsche Rentenversicherung Knappschaft-Bahn-See

450 euro jobs: flat-rate taxes of

  • 15% pension insurance
  • 13% health insurance
  • 2% flat tax

As a rule, there are fixed dates on which the tax office (often on the 10th of the following month) and the health insurance company (at the end of the month) demand the funds. It pays to settle this easily by direct debit.

# 2 earnings for payroll

In the payroll, there are not only deductions and contributions, but also remuneration that is offset against the gross pay.

Reference typedescriptionExamples
Pecuniary advantage

A pecuniary benefit is a special service by the employer to his employee that is not paid out. With such a pecuniary benefit, employees ultimately have more net of the gross, as they do not have to finance these things themselves. Some pecuniary benefits are tax-free as benefits in kind or there is an exemption limit (44 euros / month).

  • Job ticket
  • Bahncard
  • Company car
  • Health promotion
  • ...
Expense allowancesIf travel, accommodation, subsistence or incidental travel costs are incurred during business trips, these can be submitted by the employee and then included in the payroll by the employee.
Other earningsPayments that are not paid out regularly fall under "other pay", but must also be mentioned and taxed in the payroll.
  • Royalties
  • Vacation and Christmas bonuses
  • Severance payments

# 3 Allowances in the payroll

Some allowances are relevant for calculating wage tax:

AllowancedescriptionHeight (2020)
Basic tax allowance

Wage tax is only due from a certain annual income. This allowance increases a little every year. The basic allowance is intended to secure the subsistence level of low-income earners.

9,408 euros

Child allowanceTo secure the subsistence level for children under the age of 18, all parents are granted the child allowance. This consists partly of the BEA allowance (care, education and training needs).7,812 euros
Discount allowanceThe discount allowance applies to all discounts that an employee receives from the employer as part of his employment relationship. These payments are tax-free up to a certain value.1,080 euros

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4. Content and structure of a payroll

The pay slips of different providers differ in terms of their design and the arrangement of the data. Of course, they agree in terms of the central information. In the following, we present a sample for the wage and salary accounting of the provider Sage.

Heading the pay slip

The following information can be found in the upper third of the payroll:

  • Employee data: Personal information (including date of birth), tax information and information under social security law
  • Overview of working and vacation time: Entry date, attendance and absence times and, if applicable, (remaining) vacation days
  • contact details: Name, address and, if applicable, personnel / department number
  • Billing information: In addition, you can specify the weekly working time, cost center or hourly wage, if necessary, illness or parental leave must also be noted

Numbers part of the payroll

This is followed by the data on the salary and deductions:

  • Gross earnings: Monthly payments, e.g. consisting of hourly wages, holiday wages, vacation wages and vacation pay. For each item you add a note on tax and social security obligations.
  • Prints: z. B. Income tax, church tax and solidarity surcharge
  • Net payments / net deductions: Sum of the deductions
  • Payout amount: Amount that is paid out for the corresponding month

Footer in the payroll

Other aspects are:

  • Company pension scheme: if available
  • Bank details: Account details of the employee
  • Total cost of the employer: The total costs for the employer can optionally be given. (Gross earnings of the employee as well as the ancillary wage costs, e.g. employer's contribution to social security)
  • footer: if applicable, notice that the account was drawn up in accordance with Section 108 (3) of the Trade Regulations

Mandatory information in wages and salaries

Not all of the information shown is mandatory. The minimum information that you must provide to your employee in accordance with Section 108 (3) sentence 1 of the trade regulations are as follows:

  • Name and address of employer and employee
  • Date of birth and insurance number of the employee
  • Date of start of employment and, if applicable, end of employment
  • Billing period including tax and social insurance days included
  • Composition of wages including income tax class, child allowances, tax allowances, church tax deduction, etc.
  • Type and amount of surcharges, allowances and other remuneration
  • Information on the type and amount of deductions, discounts or advances
  • Contribution group key, collection point and total social security contribution

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5. Payroll: Calculate the net amount + example

To get an initial overview of the calculation of the final payout amount, you will find a scheme for calculating the net fee below. We have also prepared a sample calculation.

The example below is for a

  • unmarried person
  • over 23 years old, no child and no church affiliation
  • for tax class 1 in Hesse.
Gross earnings2.000 €        2.000 €
+ flat-rate taxed wage components0 €0 €
+ monetary benefits0 €          0 €
+ Benefits in kind0 €        0 €
+ Surcharges and allowances0 €        0 €
+ company pension scheme0 €        0 €
= Total gross2.000 €        2.000 €      

- health insurance (14.6%)

157 €        157 €
- Pension insurance (18.6%)186 €        186 €
- unemployment insurance (2.5%)24 €        24 €
- Long-term care insurance (2.55%)35,50 €        24 €
- Solidarity surcharge0 € 

- Income tax

172,50 € 
- possibly church tax  
total- 575 €        + 391 €        
= Net1.425 €        2.391 €        

- Remuneration in kind

- advances  
- capital accumulation benefits                      
+ Grants                  
+ Expense allowances  
= Payment amount / employer gross1.415,51 €2.391 €

It can be seen that with a gross salary of 2,000 euros, the employer ultimately has costs of almost 2,400 euros.

Short-time work benefits and payroll

If you have submitted an application for short-time work allowance for your employees and this has been approved, you must now consider various changes when creating the corresponding Kug pay slip.

Employees who create pay slips with software - which we generally advise against in this case - can view a table online at the employment office for calculating the short-time allowance. However, good wage programs such as Lexware also support you in creating the accounts under short-time work and do some of the calculations for you. However, since the calculations can be quite complex, we recommend going to a tax advisor.

6. Conclusion on payroll accounting

Payroll accounting is a rather annoying topic for founders - like most accounting-related topics. An accounting program usually doesn't help either. Sooner or later, a tax advisor will usually take over the monthly payroll for you.

If you are doing the payroll accounting for the first time and independently, you should pay particular attention to the timely preparation and the minimum information. Once created, you can use the template anew every month.

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Author: Für-Grü editors

As editor-in-chief, René Klein has been responsible for the content of the portal and all publications by Für-Grü for over 10 years. He is a regular interlocutor in other media and writes numerous external specialist articles on start-up topics. Before his time as editor-in-chief and co-founder of Für-Grü, he advised listed companies in the field of financial market communication.