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Don’t be spooked by year-end Payroll tasks

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in Office Management,Payroll Management

Trick or treat—it’s a very simple menu. To avoid a huge year-end trick, and have a sweet year-end, cross off these tasks from your to-do list.

  Register with the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Business Services Online portal.

  Have employees confirm their addresses and Social Security numbers (SSNs). If your payroll system masks SSNs, unmask them so employees can confirm them. Use the SSA’s Social Security Number Verification Service for SSNs that don’t match your records.

  Inquire when your software provider will publish tax updates for 2017.

  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 thanking them for their timely input last year and reminding them that their cooperation will again be needed this year. Also remind them of the new consolidated, accelerated W-2/1099 filing deadline. Reach out to: HR, Accounts Payable, Accounting, Benefits, Accounts Receivable.

  Review the holiday processing schedule, and remind managers of the dates when 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 cut-off date, if you use the special accounting rule for noncash fringe benefits.

RECONCILE TO THE THIRD QUARTER: We’ve included a handy worksheet that you can use to reconcile your payroll through the third quarter. Click the image below to download.

Work sheet for Fourth-Quarter 2016 941 Forms

















A step-by-step payroll compliance guide to each pay period, month and calendar quarter of the year is now available. Download it free here.

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