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Feeling haunted: Don’t be scared by year-end Payroll

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in Office Management,Payroll Management

Who needs Halloween when year-end seems to come up like a witch riding on a broomstick—all at once. Take a few minutes to stir things up now and your Payroll cauldron won’t bubble over in December.

√  Inquire when your software provider will publish tax updates for 2013.

  Have employees confirm their addresses and Social Security numbers (SSNs). If your payroll system masks SSNs, unmask them so employees can confirm them.

  Register with the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Business Services Online portal. Use the SSA’s Social Security Number Verification Service for SSNs that don’t match your records.

  After you file your third-quarter Form 941, check your records against the totals on all three forms. Identify any over- or under-reporting of income or wages, and adjust tax overpayments or underpayments on your fourth-quarter 941.

  Review authorization letters and corporate officers’ facsimile signatures for Forms 941, 940 and 945.

  Check deduction codes for employees making charitable donations through payroll deductions. If you choose, you can report those amounts in Box 14 of their W-2s.

  Inquire whether other departments will need year-end reports from Payroll. Send memos to other departments thanking them for their timely input last year and reminding them that their cooperation will be needed again this year. Examples: HR, accounts payable, accounts receivable, accounting, president/CEO, CFO.

  Review the holiday processing schedule, and remind managers of the dates nonexempt employees’ time sheets are due to Payroll because of the holiday schedule.

  Identify new outsiders, such as third-party 401(k) plan administrators or third-party payers of sick pay, with whom you’ll be working.

  Mark Nov. 1, or any later date, as the cutoff date, if you use the special accounting rule for noncash fringe benefits.

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