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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.

Congress has repealed the dreaded withholding provision under which state and local governments would have been required to withhold 3% of payments made to any payee for goods and services. The provision was slated to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2013.
Employees can take a lot of the guesswork out of their 2012 income tax liability by ensuring that their W-4s are accurate. Those who need to file new forms due to changes in their personal finances now have the inflation-adjusted figures on which to base those decisions.
After weeks of wrangling, the House of Representatives and the Senate on Dec. 23, 2011 agreed to extend a 2 percentage point payroll tax cut for two months to buy time for talks on a full-year renewal. President Obama immediately signed the bill into law. The vote removes employer uncertainly about how to handle payroll withholding starting Jan. 1, 2012.
Question: An employee signed up for a cafeteria plan health flexible spending account (FSA). Last February, she had back surgery, which meant that she was reimbursed for the full amount of her annual election. She quit before the balance of her elective deferral could be withheld from her pay. Must we report the amount paid out to her from the FSA, but not yet deducted from her pay, on her W-2?

W-2s can give you aggravation, sleepless nights, you name it. Here are the critical due dates, as well as six common W-2 errors and easy tips to avoid them:

As part of an economic stimulus effort, the withholding rate in 2011 for the employee’s share of the Social Security tax was reduced from the usual 6.2% to 4.2%. Will Congress agree to extend the 4.2% rate through 2012?
Employers that have a noncompensatory business purpose for providing cell phones or related equipment—that includes smartphones and personal digital assistants—to employees may treat their business use as a tax-free working condition fringe benefit and their personal use as a tax-free de mini­mis fringe benefit.
States, which need to repay the federal loans they took out to pay regular unemployment benefits, are slapping tax surcharges on experience-rated em­­ployers. But if you’re willing to budget just a little bit more to pay so-called voluntary contributions, you may actually come out ahead.
If dealing with year-end 2011 hasn’t caused enough anxiety, lurking just around the corner is W-2 reporting of employees’ health benefits. If you’ll be filing at least 250 W-2s for 2012 and don’t have a self-insured plan that’s not subject to COBRA, you’re on the hook for health care reporting, beginning next year.
Q. How do I set up a simple time sheet in Excel?