For a long time, some or all employee are paid in cash, since it’s the easiest and fastest method of payment. As technology continues to advance, businesses have shifted to other methods of payment such as bank transfers and direct deposit.

This form of payment has been accepted by most employees, as long as the employer provides a pay slip that sets the tax, necessary contribution, and gross pay for the period.

While it is not illegal to pay your employees in cash; nevertheless, it is not the best business practice for several reasons. Here are some risks associated with paying employees in cash.

Risks of Being Paid Salaries in Cash

Some of the dangers of being paid in cash include;

  • Employees paid in cash have no Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA) taxes withheld, many are denied social security earnings that could be used in calculating social security benefits .FICA taxes are the social security and medical taxes that must be paid by individual and employers.
  • Some employers take advantage of paying their employees, less than the correct award wages for their relevant fields.
  • Likewise, employees who are not on the payroll are not eligible for unemployment benefits or workers compensation.
  • Once an employee gets injured at the work place, they are not eligible to file for workers compensation claim.
  • Chances of theft increases, since money in the drawers may tempt employees to steal.
  • Some of the employers don’t withhold income taxes based on the wages of the employees, concerning a number of allowances they claim on the form W-4.
  • The employer may not comply with payroll laws, and fail to report all wages to IRS when they get paid via cash.



Paying employees via cash is very risky nowadays; hence businesses should embark on an appropriate payment method to reduce risks .Cash in hand  payment may limit the employees from enjoying  their social security benefits , unfair wage payment, and lack of compensation.