How to Generate a Pay Stub for Self-Employment

Self-employed people often must provide documentation to prove their income. While a previous year's tax return works in some instances, many organizations such as banks, rental agencies and credit card companies require a pay stub with their applications. Even if you pay yourself by simply transferring funds from your business account to your personal account, you can generate a pay stub to document your income.

Self-employed people often must provide documentation to prove their income. While a previous year's tax return works in some instances, many organizations such as banks, rental agencies and credit card companies require a pay stub with their applications. Even if you pay yourself by simply transferring funds from your business account to your personal account, you can generate a pay stub to document your income.

Access online software for creating pay stubs. Companies such as Ap Sense offer software downloads that create not only pay stubs but 1099 forms and W-2 forms as well. Other companies that offer similar software include StubSamples.com and WebToThumb.com.

Practice on the free demo. These companies sell their software, but they offer a free demo online. Use it to find out what kind of information you'll need to complete the form. Printouts from demos say "demo" across the copy, so you can't use them for your actual pay stub. You can decide if you think it's worth it to purchase the software once you peruse the demo. Software prices (as of July 2011) range from $40 to $60.

Establish a pay period. Once you get into the registered version of the software, determine what kind of pay period you want to use. Bi-weekly is common. You may, however, be dealing with an organization that requests your monthly income, such as a landlord's agent.

Determine your pay rate. You must figure an hourly rate or salary you get paid. Though you may make irregular withdrawals from your business account for your own income, you need to average your withdrawals over a period of at least six months to determine your average salary.

Calculate withholding amounts. Base your federal income tax withholding on last year's federal tax rate. Determine your FICA/Social Security withholding amount by using the current rate (as of July 2011) of 10.4 percent.

Estimate your state tax withholding. If you have a previous year's tax return, use the state tax rate from that document. If you don't have a previous year's return, obtain the tax rates from your state tax office (most publish tax rates online), and make an educated guess about what your state tax withholding should be.

Subtract all your withholding amounts from your gross pay. The resulting figure is your net pay for the pay period in question. It can be useful to also fill in the year-to-date figures for gross and net pay. Organizations that ask you for pay stubs will be interested in year-to-date amounts.

Tips

  • Use your pay stub generating software to keep you aware of how much money you should be setting aside for taxes.

Warnings

  • While there is no screening among pay stub software companies regarding the accuracy of your figures, it's illegal to report false amounts of income to credit agencies, landlords, banks or any other financial institutions.

References

About the Author

Kevin Johnston writes for Ameriprise Financial, the Rutgers University MBA Program and Evan Carmichael. He has written about business, marketing, finance, sales and investing for publications such as "The New York Daily News," "Business Age" and "Nation's Business." He is an instructional designer with credits for companies such as ADP, Standard and Poor's and Bank of America.