U.S. Payroll Primer

A comprehensive seminar covering indispensable training and information from workers' status issues to tax withholding, depositing and reporting procedures.

The U.S. Payroll Primer for Canadians course provides cost-effective, flexible training for you and your entire staff.


Come away with the payroll knowledge, skills, and abilities required to produce accurate paychecks, ensure payroll compliance, and improve job performance. U.S. Payroll Primer for Canadians teaches fundamental pay calculations through hands-on exercises and complex pay calculations and concepts.

Who Should Attend?

Payroll practitioners in the early stages of their careers, along with accounting, benefits, bookkeeping, HR administrators, and others who interface with payroll. The course can help prepare you for both the Fundamental Payroll Certification (FPC) and Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) exams.


  • Calculate gross and net pay
  • Recognize taxable vs. nontaxable fringe benefits
  • Withhold, deposit, and report federal income taxes
  • Identify an employee
  • Prepare and file Forms 941 and W-2
  • Use forms provided by new employees, including Forms W-4 and I-9

This seminar is presented with the cooperation of THE AMERICAN PAYROLL ASSOCIATION.

APA Logo


Program Overview

Minimum wage and overtime rules

  • Minimum wage and overtime
  • Opportunity wage for teenagers
  • Definition of exempt and non-exempt employees
  • Definition of workweek
  • Definition of overtime
  • Definition of regular rate of pay
  • Converting a salary to an hourly rate
  • Company policy vs. federal and state wage-hour laws
  • Tips and tip credit
  • Collecting time worked
  • Child labor

Pay frequencies

  • State rules for pay intervals
  • State rules for deductions
  • Pay calendar

Calculation of the employee's gross pay

  • Gross pay
  • Final payday
  • Salary conversion to hourly rate
  • Paycheck calculation

Paycheque calculations

  • Gross to net
  • Withholding taxes
    • Employer responsibilities
    • Requirements of withholding
    • Constructive receipt
    • Form W-4

      Federal income tax Withholding
    • Social security tax
    • Medicare tax
    • State income tax withholding
    • State disability tax withholding
    • State unemployment insurance tax withholding
    • Local income tax withholding
    • Taxing tips

Calculation of the employee's net pay

  • Deductions from pay
  • Common benefits' impact on net pay

Method of payment

  • Check
  • Direct deposit
  • Payroll cards
  • Off-cycle payments

Payroll journal entries
Payroll department issues

  • Confidentiality
  • Telephone skills
  • What is a career in payroll?

Who is an employee?

  • Identifying an employee
  • Definitions of:
    • employee
    • temporary agency employee
    • leased employee
    • independent contractor
    • common law test

Employment eligibility

  • Form I-9
  • Review of documents

Social security numbers

  • Verifying social security numbers
  • Verifying names

Pay calculations

  • Piecework
  • Gifts
  • On-call time
  • Vacation, sick, holiday, other earnings
  • Retroactive payments

Taxable/nontaxable compensation

  • IRS definition
  • Fair market value
  • Other compensation
  • Constructive payments
    • Non-taxable fringe benefits and IRC Section 132
    • No-additional-cost fringe benefits
    • Qualified employee discounts
    • Working condition fringe benefits
    • De minimis fringe benefits
    • Qualified transportation fringe benefits
    • Qualified retirement advance
    • Moving expenses

Taxation of employer-paid benefits

  • Personal use of company vehicles
  • Group-term life insurance
  • Deferred compensation plans
    • Qualified plans versus nonqualified plans
    • 401(k) plans
  • Cafeteria plans
  • Loans to employees

Withholding taxes

  • Form W-4
  • Federal Income Tax
    • Supplemental method
    • Flat rate method
    • Aggregate method
  • Gross-up
  • Deceased employees

Federal tax deposit requirements

  • Lookback period
  • Monthly depositor
  • Semiweekly depositor
  • One-day deposit requirement
  • Deposit requirements - Off-cycle payments
  • Quarterly deposits
  • Penalties

Wage and tax reporting

  • Taxpayer identification numbers
  • Form W-2
    • General instructions
    • Box-by-box instructions
  • Form 941
    • General instructions
    • Line-by-line instructions
    • Reporting tax liabilities on Schedule B
  • Reviewing the payroll register
  • How to reconcile wages and taxes

Deductions from pay

  • Employer deductions
    • Assignments
    • Overpayments
    • Benefits
    • Charitable contributions and reporting
  • Wage attachments
    • Disposable earnings/take home pay
    • Priorities
    • Bankruptcy
    • Child support
    • Federal tax levies
    • Creditor garnishments
    • Student loan collections
    • Federal agency garnishments


  • Minimum wage and overtime - FLSA
  • Tax Records for IRS and SSA
  • Family and Medical Leave Act
  • Immigration Reform and Control Act
  • Company requirements

Advancing your payroll career

Your registration includes: seminar presentation, course reference manual and handouts, exercises with answers, continental breakfast, lunch and refreshments for all breaks.

Dress code is business casual. Please dress in layers to accommodate temperature fluctuations.

CANCELLATIONS OR SEMINAR TRANSFER: Requests must be received in writing at least five (5) business days prior to the seminar date. Please note a cancellation fee or transfer fee in the amount of $50 plus applicable taxes per day/per registrant for all sessions cancelled or transferred will apply. Cancellation or transfer requests received less than 5 business days prior to the seminar date are not eligible for transfer or refund.

FOR ANY QUESTIONS or concerns regarding this registration, please contact member services at membership@payroll.ca


Séminaires à venir


1 350,00 $

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1 570,00 $

Préinscription *

1 470,00 $

* Inscrivez-vous 14 jours avant la date du séminaire

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