Since the founding of the IRS, millions of people have been working off the books, not paying taxes, and receiving their pay under the table. Trillions of dollars are earned this way every year and there are all kinds of ways that people try to balance an illegitimate living with legitimacy.
However, the penalty for fake pay stubs can be very high, especially for people who might not be making a lot of money. Here are some of the facts about pay stub fraud and why people try to get away with it.
Why Someone Might Make a Fake Pay Stub
One of the most common reasons that people make fake pay stubs is when they're trying to get a loan. Lenders want to know that they're going to be able to get their money back before they loan it out. One of the best ways to determine whether or not the person asking for the loan can afford to pay is to see how much they make every month.
If someone is unemployed, they might be up the creek, looking for a way to try to get back on their feet, and might look toward creating an illegal stub. If they have no documentation of their earnings, whether they had any or not, they might think a fake pay stub is no big deal, so long as they get the loan. They might go online, check out a video tutorial made by paystub frauds, and make up the information.
However, honesty is always the best policy. If someone needs a loan, they should be as honest as possible, especially with the people who control their money.
You could also be setting yourself up for a serious legal issue. There are fines that could total more than $1 million and you could even face jail time. It's probably not worth it to create a fake pay stub, especially to defraud a financial institution.
Some People Try to Scam
If you're thinking of using a fake pay stub to scam an insurance company or the government, you should stop yourself now. If you create a fake paystub just to get benefits you're not entitled to, you could be getting yourself into a mess.
If you buy fake pay stubs from someone, you could be stepping into a world of fraud you're not ready for. The people or companies selling fake paystubs online are looking for ways to take advantage of people who need money fast.
No matter how desperate you're feeling, the legal risks of a scam like this are too large to take. If you get caught, you could be subject to fines that make the whole affair not worth it. If the company gets caught, you could get tracked down as someone who participated in the scam.
An under-the-table stub generator is also an illegal move. You should think twice before you try to get paystubs generated under fraudulent circumstances. The consequences will cost you so much more than you could have imagined. You don't need to end up with endless legal fees, do you?
Don't Trust an Accountant Who Recommends Fraud
If you hire an accountant who suggests that you generate some fake paystubs, run as fast as you can. No accountant who is worth the fee they're charging you would ever recommend such a thing. Your accountant should be looking for ways to help you end up with a legitimate solution.
If you're not unemployed, you might be working for a company that pays you in cash. Your accountant shouldn't recommend fake pay stubs. They should recommend that your employer creates a 1099 or hires you as a W-2 employee.
Fake pay stubs can be created to assist you as you calculate your earnings or to help you to estimate your taxes. However, if you use them for legal purposes, to get money, or to show to anyone with authority, you're likely committing fraud.
However, if you create your paystubs, you could be doing the work for your employer. If they agree to certify your paystubs, you could have something legitimate in your hands.
Why Employers Make Fake Pay Stubs
You could find yourself in hot water without ever breaking the law yourself. Some employers make fake paystubs and set their employees up for a headache. If you find your employer has done this, you might be scratching your head trying to figure out why.
Employers will create fake pay stubs for many reasons. If they're not fully above board or they aren't paying taxes as they should, they might consider fake pay stubs. If they are running a front for another kind of operation that might be illegal, fake paystubs might be the solution they come up with.
If you suspect something is afoot, call an employment lawyer with questions. There are many who give pro-bono advice to low income and freelance workers.
How They Hurt Business
If you're running a small business or have any employees, fake paystubs are bad for business. First, they could put you in legal hot water and cause you to end up having to hire a lawyer unnecessarily. Second, they could be falsely accounting for labor costs that you could be losing money on.
If you're not calculating labor costs properly, you could be missing out on serious deductions.
If your employees find out that their pay stubs are fake, they might lose trust in you. If you break their trust, not only will they feel like you don't value them, but they could start taking advantage of you in preparation for the problems to come.
Keep things on the up and up with legitimate paystubs.
The Penalty For Fake Pay Stubs Isn't Worth It
Even if you think you'll get away with it, the fear of suffering a penalty for fake pay stubs could hang over you in the worst way. Instead of worry about the legitimacy of your paystubs, use a pay stub generator with real data and the real legal certifications. If you're looking to create legit paystubs that you can use for legal purposes, check out our paystub creator tool.