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Funny Payroll Stories?

edited April 2008 in Stupid Questions
Most visitors know that this Discussion Center is hosted by the folks. is a sponsor of the APA's National Payroll Week (9/3-9/7). We hope to inject some levity into NPW this year by publishling the most hilarious payroll stories known to mankind. We figured the best place to accumulate those stories is right here at the PayrollTaxes Discussion Center.

If you have a funny Payroll story, please submitt it. Who knows, you might read your story someday soon in the national press! We look forward to receiving your funny payroll stories. :D


  • A supervisor needed some info on certain employees working for him, SS#, pay rate, hours worked, copies of time sheets, so on. I scanned all the info to myself when I found it and then forwarded it to the supervisors email. Two days later he calls me again with some of the same names and asking me why I did not send the info. I said, I have the copies right here and I sent them to you 2 days ago-you did not get them? He said no. I sent them again. He emails me that he was still looking for two of the employees info and again, why didn't I send him the info? I replied, have you opened your emails from me in the last two days? His answer: NO! I wanted to scream! It took alot of my time and energy to gather the info and scan it to him-twice!! DUH!!
  • When I did the payroll for a convenience store chain we used box 14 on the W-2 to show the employees the amount of pre-tax Section 125 deductions they had.

    I had an employee call me asking what that Sec125 Cafeteria was on her W-2 because she had never eaten in any #@!! (insert your favorite swear word here) cafeteria at our company. :shock: Even after I explained what it meant she didn't believe me and insisted on documentation showing that there was such a thing as a "cafeteria" plan.

  • I also had a funny thing happen when I listed the section 125 cafeteria deductions in Box 14 of the W-2 form.

    I received a call from a large East Coast state indicating that we had to file additional information with them since the state considered us a "public" (ie government) employer. They indicated they considered us public due to the Box 14 section 125 entry!

    I explained to them that the company was a large law firm and definitely a private employer, not a public one.

    I deleted the cafeteria plan info from Box 14 the next year to avoid these issues.
  • I know most of us have a good W2 story or two....
    Last month I got a call from a terminated employee who stated his W2 was incorrect, that we reported way to much in earnings. He told me to just look at his previous couple of years and I would see there is a "BIG" problem.
    He went on to tell me that I needed to over night a corrected W2 to him immediately.
    Upon looking at his earnings, I saw that he was paid a fairly large separation payment, since that plant had closed down.
    I then began the task of explaining that his W2 was correct, even though he didn't believe me!! Said he "never" made that much $$. I asked him, on XX/XX/XX date did you recieve XX amount of money?? Yes, Ma'am.
    Oh my gosh!! :shock:
  • I'll throw one in here.

    I had a former employee call me after I sent out the 2007 W-2 forms asking why she had received one since her last day was Dec 30. I explained to her that Dec 30 fell into the payroll period that was paid out with the first check in January, therefore she was paid in 2007 and I was required to send a W-2 form to her. She said ok but didnt sound like she believed me.

    The kicker is that I hear she opened a small business doing accounts payable and payroll for small businesses. :roll:
  • JJacob wrote:
    I'll throw one in here.

    The kicker is that I hear she opened a small business doing accounts payable and payroll for small businesses. :roll:

    Rutt-roh. :P :roll:
  • I got an email from a member of upper management after our first checks of 2008 were cut. He wanted to know why his check was significantly less than it had been the check before.

    Of course the answer was that he had capped on SS, SDI, and 401k, and they all started back up January 1. For most people, this is a sufficient explanation. He was not satisfied, and followed up with an email to the VP of Finance detailing how this was totally unprofessional of payroll to do this to him without warning, and that it was payroll's responsibility to warn him when his taxes were going to change. He also wanted to know if it was possible to get a REFUND of the SS/SDI taxes that came out, and then have it withheld in equal installments over the remaining 25 pay periods in the year.

    The best part of this story? I got the same email from him on January 10, 2007. Although it didn't go to the VP last year... :shock:
  • ^ I had a similar issue with the VP of HR a couple jobs ago. His raise went in effective Jan 1 but his first check of the year was still lower than his last check of December. I explained the whole deal with SS and 401k now coming out, showed him his base rate compared to the prior check, and he still didn't get it. My mgr explained it, and he still didn't get it. He went on up the ladder and actually got a higher raise approved! :x

    edit: I guess that isn't really a "funny story". Sad and frustrating, actually.
  • Here are a few of my funny stories...

    I received a call from an employee stating that his W-2 was incorrect. His reasoning...the SS tax was higher than his Medicare tax and his accountant told him that could never happen. (I'm glad I don't have that accountant.)

    I also had an employee call me to say that Turbo Tax said he was owed a refund of Medicare tax that we withheld from him. When he was entering the information in Turbo Tax, it asked for Medicare wages in box 5. He said he entered 0.00 (even though there was an amount in box 5) because he thought the amount on his W-2 was incorrect. His reasoning...he was only 42 and that's not old enough to apply for Medicare.
  • Just last week we had a new employee call me insisting that she never authorized us to withhold OASDI and how dare we withhold from her check without her approval. I explained this is Social Security Tax, to which she replied "But I worked for that money, it wasn't Social Secuirty!"

    My other favorite happened several years ago. I received a call from a check cashing service asking why our bank refused to honor a check. I asked the date, check number etc and upon double checking realized it was a direct deposit. I tried to explain that it was direct deposit and not a check, I had her fax me a copy of the "check" and pointed out the numerous ways that it indicates it is not a check. The payroll cashing service insisted it was our responsibility to recover the funds from the employee. They ended up filing suit against us for the $487 paycheck. Thankfully the judge ruled in our favor.
  • edited April 2008
    I just had an employee leave an irate message stating that she doesn't qualify for Medicare and is receiving health insurance from another job, so I need to stop withholding Medicare RIGHT NOW and refund what we have taken from her over the last two years immediately :shock:
  • A few years ago an employee came up to my office extremely irate..he yelled so loud that all of my co-workers and my boss could hear how incompetant the payroll department was. He then told me what I had screwd up and that I better fix it and compensate him for his troubles...So I looked into the error and guess what I found in writing where he had requested the change granted his wife filled out the paperwork but he signed it and turned it in. So I called him and had him come back to my office showed him the proof that it was not an error...he very sheepishly apologized...I then asked him if he would turn around and yell very loudly that the payroll department was not incompetant and for copensation he owed doughnuts in the morning...amazingly enough he turned around and yelled and I had an apple fritter on my desk the next morning...we are the best of friends and laugh about the incident.

    HP :lol:
  • I just had a new hire tell me that, since he was being sent to Iraq in September, he does not want the health insurance we deducted from his payroll check and would like to be reimbursed. I asked for the figure that was deducted, and upon looking up the check stub, discovered the figured matched what was being deducted for Medicare. :? :lol:
  • I'm sure we all have those employees that leave memorable impressions with us on the phone. I got a phone call the other day from an ex-employee who stated she did not get a W2 for the 2007 tax year. I ask the employee for her information and after looking her up in the system, I realized that she hadn't been with the company since 2006. I then proceeded to go through the motions of explaining to her that she did not work for us in 2007 but she did in 2006. She was very adamant that she did and wanted me to fax her the W2 immediately! :shock: (this went on for 10 minutes) I explained again that her last day was xx/xx/2006 and then I heard..."Oh...this isn't "XYZ"? I replied, "No, this is ABC." I heard a quick sorry and then the phone hanging up!! :oops:
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