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Certified Payroll: Forms and Information

By Diane Dennis

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"Certified Payroll Forms" and "Prevailing Wage Payroll Reports" and "Government Payroll Forms" ... Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

Oh boy, certified payroll and forms used to intimidate me like no other.

I was so sure that one mistake was going to have the government knocking on our door.

Once I better understood it all I became more comfortable. I can now say don't let certified payroll and prevailing wage, or its related forms and documents, intimidate you.

It's so easy once you understand and I'm here to help with that understanding. Soon you'll find yourself helping someone else to understand the process - maybe even your own customer(s).

What information do the certified payroll forms require?

Most public entities (read: Government) require contractors on the project to submit certified payroll forms that are a written record of:

Certified payroll forms are typically used on projects that are known as public works projects. A public works project is a project that is at least partially funded with government funds.

  • The name and social security number (or other identifying number) of every employee the contractor has working on the project

  • The classification of each employee
  • The withholding information for each employee
  • The straight time and overtime hours that the employee works on the project
  • The gross amount the employee has earned for the week for all jobs the employee worked on, whether for the project the form is for or not (some employees will work on more than one job during a week, the government wants to know that)
  • The individual deductions from the employee's paycheck
  • The total amount of deductions from the employee's paycheck
  • The net amount of the employee's paycheck

Some of these prevailing wage payroll reports even require the number of the check that the employee is paid with! One more way for the government to dig into your business...

Why are the certified payroll forms needed?

The forms are designed to track who is working on the project and that each person is being paid correctly and that taxes and other deductions are being handled properly.

These forms would be good if they could be trusted. While most contractors will be honest and pay what they're supposed to pay to the employee, unfortunately there are some contractors out there who lie on these forms.

We know of more than one occasion where the contractor paid the employee the prevailing wage rate, then when the employee cashed his check, he was required to give back to his employer the difference between his regular wage and the prevailing wage rate.

This allows the contractor to either make a killing on the project, or underbid you and win the job.

The only way to find out that a contractor has done this is for the government to get wind of it and investigate. They have to ask the employee if he was paid accurately.

How many times do you think the employee will tell the government that they weren't paid correctly?

How bad does the guy need his job?

That will determine whether or not he tells the truth, and most guys need their job so they don't turn in their employer.

And on top of everything, with all the sections of the government being so low on funds, how often do you think the accuracy and honesty of these forms are even investigated?

Where to get these required certified payroll forms?

But, all of that being said, if the project you're working on requires the forms then you have to do them. There's no way around it.

Pretty much every state has their own version of the form (some states have several different forms, and even within each state, some jurisdictions have their own forms!), and then the Federal government has their own version.

There are several states forms available here, as well as the Federal Department of Labor form.

You can fill them in with your computer and they'll do some basic calculations for you (but they don't have tax tables or prevailing wage rates built in).

The entire form, including your filled in information, will print on a plain 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper.

Here's a short list of a few of the certified payroll forms that are available:

Some of the forms listed above come with filled-in samples, and detailed how-to instructions, and even a list of frequently asked questions (with answers of course). :o)

Interested in something a little more robust than just a certified payroll form?

If you're interested in something a little heartier than a form, here is a software program that will collect weekly hourly time card information and print the certified payroll reports. But that is soooo not all. ;)

Also included are many more project labor, fringe benefit, employment utilization, and payroll analysis reports, at no extra charge.

The program also contains a tax table that is maintained and updated as the tax deduction requirements change.

They'll print on plain paper AND you can make PDF and RTF copies that you can email.

It's easy to see that using this program will save you significant amounts of time.

With the 60-day no-questions-asked money-back guarantee, now's the time to go for it.

Try it out and see what it'll do for you and the time it'll save you. If you don't agree, then get your money back. You have a full 60-days to "play" with it.

Try getting that with most software programs these days!

And for being my reader, and using the special code TCG, and clicking on this link, you will get a special discount that is available exclusively to my readers, which would be you!

You MUST make certain that the code TCG is in the discount code box when you check out or you won't get the special exclusive discount.

Article Series: Prevailing Wage/Certified Payroll

(Please note: links with an asterisk (*) will take you to my other website - Download-Construction-Forms.com - until I can get those webpages moved here. A separate window will open, allowing you to easily return here.)

Certified Payroll Wage Warning

  • The Prevailing Wage Determinations Online website is filled with pitfalls that could negatively affect your contract profitability.

Prevailing Wage Compliance

  • The terms "prevailing wage" and "certified payroll" can send even the toughest contractors heading for the hills.

Certified Payroll: Forms and Information

  • It's all surprisingly easier than imagined...

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