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Use these hazy, lazy days of summer to prep for the rest of the year

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in Office Management,Payroll Management

That ice cream sandwich you just bought will taste even sweeter later if you take time now to perform some general payroll maintenance chores and early year-end tasks.

  • Download the Social Security Administration’s 2018 W-2 e-filing specs, Electronic Filing of W-2s (EFW2). Visit www.ssa.gov/employer/pub.htm.
  • Check that the additional 0.9% Medicare tax is being withheld properly; find and fix errors now. Inform high earners that they may refile their W-4s to account for the additional tax.
  • Schedule routine maintenance for your legacy computer systems. Reason: relevant tax and wage-and-hour data may reside there.
  • Work with IT to create intrusion detection rules for computer security.
  • Total employees’ supplemental pay to see if it’s approaching the $1 million mark. Reminder: Disregard W-4s and withhold at the 37% rate on all subsequent supplemental pay.
  • Review nonexempts’ time sheets for errors (e.g., they report all 7s or 8s), missing employee signatures and work schedules that vary from employees’ fixed schedules.
  • Remove Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) from the payroll system. The IRS provides ITINs to aliens for tax purposes unrelated to work; employees always have Social Security numbers.
  • Reduce the collection and retention of employees’ personal identifying information (e.g., names in conjunction with SSNs).
  • Remind employees who use self-service payroll systems that you don’t solicit their PII and that they should report attempts to solicit this information to you and IT as a phishing attempt.
  • Alert Finance as employees max out on the Social Security and state unemployment wage bases.
  • Coordinate with Accounts Payable information reporting for deceased employees, employees who win prizes at company events and employees who have outstanding travel allowances or other taxable disbursements made under nonaccountable plans. Reminder: W-2s are required if the company supplies prizes or distributes vendor-supplied prizes.

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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