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Payroll Management

Ineffective payroll management and shoddy payroll systems can result in personal liability (including JAIL TIME) for non-compliance.

Business Management Daily helps our readers with information on payroll processing and tips on timesheets that will help you to implement payroll programs that pay off.

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We can already hear the collective “@#$%&!” from Payroll managers across the nation. But the world turns, and now it turns once again to year-end. Take a few minutes now to run down this checklist, and you’ll almost certainly have a smooth start to year-end 2013.
The 2013-2014 Priority Guidance Plan is the IRS’ road map for regulatory and administrative guidance it hopes to publish by June 30, 2014. Commonly referred to as “the business plan,” the IRS has loaded itself up with 324 projects. As usual, Payroll figures very prominently on the IRS’ agenda. Here’s what to expect.
Question: An employee said he fulfilled his child support obligation. The state faxed us corroborating information, but not on the federal Income Withholding Order (IWO), so withholding continues. Must states use the IWO to inform employers to stop withholding?
A federal appeals court has ruled that a former employee’s Title VII jury award was taxable back pay and front pay. The employer, therefore, didn’t need to seek the trial court’s approval to withhold taxes, even though the award didn’t explicitly allow the employer to withhold.
NOTE: Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays as observed in the District of Columbia are taken into account to determine due dates. Under the federal deposit rules, you’re allowed a deposit shortfall of the greater of $100 or 2% of your tax liability.
Question: How can the company fulfill the I-9 requirement to physically review new hires’ documents when employees work remotely? Can we have a notary review the documents, notarize a copy of them and send that copy to our main office?
What goes into a final paycheck, and when that check must be given to a terminating employee, is strictly a state issue. Here are the final-pay rules.

The IRS has postponed until 2015 the Affordable Care Act’s mandate for large employers to provide health insurance to full-time employees or pay a free-rider penalty. Not postponed: The Oct. 1, 2013, opening of the individual exchanges and the small business exchanges, or SHOPs. Also not postponed: W-2 reporting of employees’ health benefits. Crucial: You also need to provide the exchange notices to all employees by Oct. 1

Question: On last year’s W-2s, Accuwage flagged a Social Security number (SSN) beginning with a nine. We called the Social Security Administration (SSA) and were advised to enter nine zeros for this SSN. We later learned that the SSN was an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). Should we have reported the nine zeros or the ITIN, even though the W-2 instructions say not to accept an ITIN from an employee?

As a Payroll professional, what’s your job? Accord­­ing to Lisa Poole, CPP, corporate payroll manager for Simmons Bedding Corp., your job is to protect the company’s assets, protect employees’ data and remain compliant. Internal payroll audits help you do all three.

The results of the IRS’ 401(k) Excess Deferral Project are in, and they reveal a high failure rate for pretax contribution amounts that were reported on employees’ Forms W-2. The finding: 75% of employers needed to correct their W-2s.

Employer Identification Number theft is the poor stepchild to Social Security number theft—but it’s a growing problem. If it happens to you, EIN theft will cost time and money as you unravel the complications with the IRS. Final regulations begin to take aim at the problem.

This chart summarizes the states' final-pay laws. States without laws have been omitted.
NOTE: Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays as observed in the District of Columbia are taken into account to determine due dates. Under the federal deposit rules, you’re allowed a deposit shortfall of the greater of $100 or 2% of your tax liability.
Q: Must nonexempt employees enter the time they leave and return from lunch, or can we assume that they took their lunch hours unless otherwise noted in their time records?
Your payroll department won’t become audit bait if you file a Form 941-X to correct a previously filed Form 941, keep good records, file returns on time and respond to IRS notices, according to an IRS senior program analyst for employment tax policy. What does put you in the audit hot seat?
Q: How do we record this work shift: Our workweek begins and ends at midnight on Sunday. An employee works eight hours Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., for 40 hours, and then works an additional shift from 6:00 p.m. Saturday to 3:00 a.m. on Sunday?

Metrics can add value to the Payroll department, said Linda Obertin, vice president at Fidelity Investments, at the American Payroll Association’s Annual Congress. To implement a metrics program, Obertin highlighted these six steps:

If your business is moving, be sure to file Form 8822-B with the IRS. Failure to notify the IRS of a change of address recently prevented a taxpayer from contesting a lien for unpaid taxes.
With colleagues away on vacation, now's a great time for Payroll to prep for some year-end tasks and perform general payroll maintenance.
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