Payroll issue causes changes in school employees' checks for January

For their first checks of the new year, some Pittsylvania County Schools employees were surprised to find that their checks were less than they should’ve been.

According to Tracey Worley, director of finance for the school division, this was caused by an error in updating the federal tax table for 2019 for withholding allowances, which caused more federal taxes to be taken out of individuals’ checks than normal.

The money was submitted on the employee’s behalf to the federal government and charged to them for additional federal taxes paid for the year. Worley says no money was actually lost.

This issue affected those who claim withholding allowances.

She said that there was no way for this to be caught, as there were no red flags on the information.

“There was no possible way for that to be caught until after payroll was processed and completed for the month of January,” Worley said. “It was very, very unfortunate.”

At this point, Worley said the error has been corrected, so everything should be back in line for the coming months.

Superintendent Dr. Mark Jones said that the gross pay for the employees was correct, but the amount of taxes taken out was not, and the result was an inaccurate take home pay for employees.  

“In the end, when they get their taxes back, it’ll all come out the correct way,” he said. “By the end of next year when people file their taxes, the adjustment will be made for them. They will not lose money, but they just may have had a check that did not reflect their actual withholdings for January.”

Jones said out of 1,500 employees, the majority was not effected, and the total amount of taxes withheld for the division for January was lower than last month’s, which did not raise a red flag for the division about the issue.

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