Payroll Glossary

Reasonable Basis

This is a standard used to determine whether a worker can be treated as an independent contractor whether or not the common law test is met, based on prior court and administrative rulings, IRS audits, or long-standing practice in the industry.


To reconcile means to ensure that amounts withheld, deposited, paid, and reported by employers agree with each other and, if they do not, to determine the reasons and make the necessary corrections.

Regular Rate of Pay

This is the hourly pay rate determined by dividing the total regular pay actually earned for the workweek by the total number of hours worked.

Reimbursed Expense

A reimbursed expense is a payment for business-related expenses incurred by an employee on behalf of, or for the convenience of, the employer.


Remuneration refers to payment for services, including benefits.

Request for Federal Income Tax Withholding From Sick Pay

If an employee receives sick pay from a third party (such as an insurance company) that is not an agent of the employer, federal income tax is withheld only if the employee chooses. The employee must file Form W-4S, Request for Federal Income Tax Withholding From Sick Pay, with the third-party payer, which must then withhold according to the employee's direction.

Resident Alien

A resident alien is a non-U.S. citizen who meets the "green card" or "substantial presence" test. Resident aliens are subject to federal unemployment taxes in the same manner as U.S. citizens.

Retained Earnings

Retained earnings are the amount by which a company's revenue exceeds its expenses, reduced by any amount returned to the owners.

Retroactive Pay

This is pay for time worked in a previous workweek. Retroactive pay must be applied to both regular and overtime hours.


Revenue refers to income received for goods and services provided by an organization.

Revenue Account

A revenue account identifies amounts received for goods sold and services rendered during the accounting period.

Revenue Procedures

These are detailed explanations issued by the IRS of actions taxpayers should take to remain in compliance with federal tax law and regulation.

Revenue Rulings

These are IRS regulatory interpretations based on a particular set of facts.