Work & Paying Taxes

Understanding Your Pay: Lesson 3

Deductions From Paychecks

  • Your employer can keep some of the money you earn, but only for certain purposes.
    • The total money you earned is called the “gross” pay amount.
    • The amount left after money is taken out (deducted) is called the “net” pay amount.
    • The net is your “take home” pay.
  • Examples of legitimate deductions are:
    • Income tax withholdings (federal taxes in Tennessee; most Tennessee workers do not pay state income taxes from paychecks)
    • Union dues
    • Deductions you have authorized (vanpool, health insurance, meals you eat at work)
    • Money you are paying back to your employer for things you lost, broke, or stole, or are repaying because you were overpaid
Create an Account

Already have a user account?


When you become a member of our site, you will have full access to all of our courses and quizzes. Plus, you'll have access to any new courses and quizzes that we add during your membership. You will also be enrolled in our members-only newsletter where we share additional information exclusively for you. Sign up now and start educating your teens and young adults on how to stay out of legal trouble and have a brighter future.