Payroll Management

Ineffective payroll management and shoddy payroll systems can result in personal liability (including JAIL TIME) for non-compliance.

Business Management Daily helps our readers with information on payroll processing and tips on timesheets that will help you to implement payroll programs that pay off.

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Q: An employee who’s in line for a quarterly bonus has presented Payroll with a form that requires us to treat the bonus as regular wages and withhold accordingly. It’s our policy to use the 25% flat withholding method on all supplemental pay. We’ve never seen a form like this before. Must we honor it?
Employers that outsource their payrolls to third-party payroll providers have reported receiving phony emails referring to “Password Change Notification” or “First Notice—Digital Certificate Expiration.” It’s a scam.
Q. A contractor would like us to voluntarily withhold her federal income taxes. Accounts Payable isn’t equipped to do this, so it’s fallen to Payroll. Having her complete a W-4 form seems inappropriate, since she’s not an employee. Can we honor her request?

Undeposited payroll taxes can pile up so quickly that the IRS has a name for them—pyramiding. It also has a very effective solution: personally charging a company’s responsible persons with 100% of the undeposited taxes. Relief: an express installment agreement.

NOTE: Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays as observed in the District of Columbia are taken into account to determine due dates. Under the federal deposit rules, you’re allowed a deposit shortfall of the greater of $100 or 2% of your tax liability.

The IRS has made several permanent and temporary changes to its Voluntary Classification Settlement Program. Under VCSP, you can voluntarily reclassify independent contractors as employees for future tax periods on favorable tax terms. You’ll be liable for just over 10% of the wages paid to those reclassified workers for the past year; no penalties or interest will be due.

Q. We have heard that the U.S. Department of Labor has issued a timekeeping app that allows employees to track their time on smartphones. Should we permit employees to use this in our workplace?

Weather-wise, it’s hard to say exactly when spring arrives. What’s not subject to debate is the fact that your first-quarter 941 form is due shortly. Here’s help.
Q: An employee had pretax deductions made from her pay for mass transit passes. She terminated in the middle of January with a balance in her account, which she now wants refunded. Can we do this? If we can, how do we tax the refund?
The next 2,000 Forms 941 to audit as part of the IRS’ National Research Project (NRP) have been selected and all audits are open, said Faris Fink, commissioner of the IRS’ Small Business/Self-Employed Division. Fink said the Payroll NRP has shown high rates of compliance, but problems have become evident—notably, problems involving company cars.
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