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Payroll Today

Payroll Today

Alice Gilman, Esq., is an expert in payroll and tax compliance who has covered payroll issues for more than 30 years. She’s written and edited several leading payroll publications, including Business Management Daily’s Payroll Legal Alert, the Research Institute of America’s Payroll Guide, Prentice Hall’s American Payroll Association’s Basic Guide to Payroll and the Payroll Manager’s Letter. She’s also the editor of Business Management Daily’s Payroll Compliance Handbook and The Complete FLSA Compliance Kit.

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Two years’ worth of warning Payroll departments to combat W-2 phishing attempts seems to have paid off. There’s bad news anyway: Phishers are targeting employees and taxpayers directly. The IRS has issued two alerts regarding the direct deposit of phony tax refunds. Similarly, the FBI has spotted a scam regarding direct deposit of employees’ pay. […]

What, more tax legislation?

by on February 13, 2018 12:20pm
in Payroll Today

Haven’t finished digesting the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the tax reform legislation signed into law late in 2017? Well, how about a side of Bipartisan Budget Reconciliation Act of 2018 (P.L. 115-123) to make everything go down a bit easier? That law, which President Trump signed Feb. 9, averts another government shutdown, extends some […]
If, thanks to tax reform, you can’t get your hands on 2018 W-4 forms, what are you supposed to do? Don’t worry. The IRS has issued interim guidance on W-4s that will apply until 30 days after the 2018 W-4 is released, whenever that will be. 2017 W-4s are OK New hires must file W-4s […]
For the last two filing seasons, I’ve written about robo-calls I’ve received from phishers who impersonate IRS revenue officers. Last week, I spotted a new, disturbing email scam that landed in my spam folder. Since the IRS opened up the 2017 filing season on Monday, Jan 29, this is something you and your employees should […]

Email W-2s? Not so fast

by on January 23, 2018 3:00pm
in Payroll Today

You have a scant nine days to go before you must provide employees with their 2017 W-2s and file those W-2s with the Social Security Administration. Same thing if you’re handling 1099-MISC forms for independent contractors (except you’re filing with the IRS). This level of payroll pressure can cause some odd things to happen. Work […]
The withholding tables the IRS released last week aren’t “obscure” or “so-called,” as several national media organizations have reported. They’re not remarkable and they are quite real. They are, in fact, the grease that keeps the country’s wheels rolling. Income tax withholding is responsible for about 75% of all income tax revenue collected nationwide each […]

The Internal Revenue Service has finally released the 2018 Notice 1036. The notice includes the official 2018 withholding allowance amounts and updates the percentage method tables to reflect changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was enacted last month. The IRS says that this is the first step it’s taking to help improve the accuracy of withholding.

Congratulations, you just won! No, you didn’t. It’s the IRS calling. No, it’s not. Your Social Security benefits will stop, unless …. No, they won.

If you took a holiday break last week, payroll was probably the last thing on your mind. We understand. The IRS, however, didn’t take time off last month. Here are a few things you might have missed. Withholding for 2018 Congress threw two monkey wrenches into 2018 income tax withholding: First, it passed tax reform […]

Your tax reform cheat sheet

by on December 21, 2017 1:15pm
in Payroll Today

Congress just passed the first major overhaul of the U.S. tax code in more than 30 years. The law, colloquially known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, will have a far-reaching impact on both employers and employees. Here are three things you need to know right now.

2018 withholding? That will have to wait. The first, and most immediate impact of the soon-to-be-enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1), is that the IRS will be delaying the 2018 withholding tables, withholding allowance amounts and various payroll publications—Circular E, the Employer’s Supplemental Tax Guide and the Employer’s Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits. […]
By now, visions of sugar plum fairies are dancing in everyone’s heads. Except yours. Here’s a sample memo or email you might consider distributing to employees before the end of the year. * * * * * * * Subject: Some holiday reminders from Payroll Season’s greetings from your colleagues in Payroll! Tax withholding for […]
The Senate and the House of Representatives have been in full tax-reform mode since November. You can read about that process here, here and here. The Senate and the House have now voted on their respective tax reform bills, so we can do a side-by-side analysis of the payroll provisions they included. Suffice it to […]

Tax reform is to policy wonks what bright, shiny objects are to toddlers: fun to look at and mesmerizing. But the world doesn’t stop while Congress is debating tax reform. Here are six payroll-related developments you might have missed.

Last week, we dissected the House’s version of H.R. 1—The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. You can read about that here. The bill has undergone yet more changes and the House is set to vote on it sometime this week. Meanwhile, the Senate Committee on Finance has released a legislative proposal called a “conceptual mark,” […]
It’s been a few days since H.R. 1, The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, made its prime time, House of Representatives debut. You can read our initial impressions here. The bill is now being marked up by the House Ways and Means Committee. Good news: Employer-provided dependent care assistance benefits have been restored, albeit on […]

The House Committee on Ways and Means has released legislative text for tax reform—H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. If enacted, it would substantially change the fringe benefits you offer to employees. The bill retains tax-favored status for employee 401(k) plan contributions, but changes the tax status of other benefits.

The amount employees can contribution into their 401(k) or 403(b) plan accounts increases by $500, to $18,500 for 2018, the IRS announced. Unchanged from 2017, employees who are at least 50 years old may contribute $6,000 in pretax catch-up contributions. Other inflation-adjusted amounts for qualified pension plans include the following: The Section 415 limit (i.e., […]

Have you digested the IRS’ new website yet? Well, there’s more. If everything goes according to plan, in late October, the IRS will roll out a new two-factor authentication process to access e-Services. Even if you’re currently registered to use e-Services, you’ll have to register again …

The Social Security Administration has announced that the taxable wage base for the Social Security portion of FICA will increase to $128,700 in 2018. That’s a 1.179% hike over the 2017 wage base of $127,200.

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