Payroll news you can use, straight from the feds

Here are digests of recently released official announcements from the federal government.

1. Responsible party on Form SS-4. To cut down on business identity theft, the responsible party named on Lines 7a-b of Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number, must be an individual, not the business that’s applying for the EIN. Exception: Government entities don’t have to identify an individual.

2. Hands off tips. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 (P.L. 115-141), which was signed into law in March, makes clear that employers can’t keep employees’ tips for any purpose, including allowing managers or supervisors to keep a portion of employees’ tips. The prohibition on keeping employees’ tips applies regardless of whether you take the tip credit. Violators may be subject to a $1,000 civil penalty. However, workplaces may establish tip pools between front-of-the-house and back-of-the-house staff, such as cooks and dishwashers.

3. Videos. In light of changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the IRS has released a series of You Tube videos to bolster its Paycheck Checkup campaign. You might want to pass these links along to employees:

The DOL has a new series of employer videos on its website regarding the minimum wage. Visit www.dol.gov/whd/flsa/videos.htm.


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.