It may be January, but the heat is on for Payroll — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily
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It may be January, but the heat is on for Payroll

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in Office Management,Payroll Management

By Jan. 31, employees must have their W-2s; the IRS must have your fourth-quarter 941 form, and annual 940, 944 and 945 forms; and the Social Security Administration must have your W-2s. Here’s what you must do now.

√ If you need an extension of time to file W-2s, 1099s or 1095s, file Form 8809 with the IRS.

√ Renew third-party designee status on Forms 940 and 945.

√ Review states’ filing deadlines and mandatory e-filing thresholds for W-2s.

√ Review wage and tax categories. Before processing W-2s and the fourth-quarter 941, verify that the general ledger employer/employee withholding liability accounts balance. Make correcting journal entries for out-of-balance situations caused by year-end adjustments.

√ Complete your fourth-quarter 941 first, then balance the 941 and W-2 totals. What must balance: Social Security and Medicare wages/taxes and federal income tax withheld.

√ Use the SSA’s Accuwage Online app to flag critical errors before distributing W-2s. Accuwage is available at

√ Verify data before a preliminary printing of W-2s on plain paper. Watch: Employees’ Social Security numbers, employees whose wages exceed the 2017 Social Security wage base, benefits reported in Boxes 10 and 12, check marks in Box 13 and state/local totals. Match totals to a reconciliation worksheet.

√ Confirm that data extracted from templates/interfaces are accurate before transferring the data onto your records.

√ Verify that employees sign requests for duplicate, corrected or early W-2s and that signatures are legitimate. This ensures that ex-spouses or ID thieves haven’t slipped one by employees.

√ Notify the mailroom of the date W-2s will be mailed. Remind mailroom personnel to have sufficient postage in the postage machine.

W-3 WORKSHEET: Use the worksheet below to reconcile your four quarterly 941s and W-2s, so the amounts you report to the SSA and the IRS match.


Click the image to download.

Worksheet for 2017 Forms W-3/941


















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