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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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4/18/18 Update: The IRS’ computer systems went back on line a little before 5:00 p.m. yesterday. In light of this huge computer glitch, the filing deadline has been automatically extended to midnight tonight. Returns e-filed yesterday, which sat unprocessed due to the glitch, will still bear a “postmark” date of 4/17/18, so they’re timely filed. […]
I don’t know about you, but I try to never leave free money on the table. But about one million taxpayers who don’t file their 2014 1040s by April 17, 2018, will be doing just that. That’s a lot of people. Some of them may be your employees. How much is at stake: According to […]
Two of our favorite words: Play ball! Now that the baseball season has officially begun, instead of pondering the infield fly rule, whether real-time review of questionable plays is really worth the time or how to handle that obnoxious, drunken fan of the opposing team sitting two rows ahead of you, think about like-kind exchanges. […]
Strike while the iron is hot. The IRS is declaring this week—as most taxpayers have finished their 2017 taxes and before the April 17 tax deadline—Paycheck Checkup Week. This week the IRS is hoping to show employees how a paycheck checkup can help them prevent having too much or too little tax withheld from their […]
If you’ve already tackled your 2017 income taxes, you’ve probably noticed that not much has changed, despite the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. That’s because the 2018 1040 tax filing season is basically unaffected by the TCJA—those provisions kicked in on Jan. 1. Your 2018 income tax withholding process was likewise relatively unaffected, the late […]
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act unleashed a torrent of questions from employers regarding the payroll tax treatment of certain items, like employer-provided meals and working condition fringe benefits, which the IRS promised to answer in the 2018 edition of Pub. 15-B, Employer’s Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits. Good news for employees: As we anticipated, […]
The IRS adjusts many tax figures for inflation every year. These cost-of-living changes are measured by changes to the consumer price indices. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act—the new tax reform law—slows down increases by pegging them to the “chained CPI.” The chained CPI, which became effective for inflation adjustments determined as of Jan. 1, […]

The IRS promised a new withholding calculator by the end of February, and it kept its promise. On Feb. 28 it released an updated withholding calculator and the 2018 Form W-4. Both reflect changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the tax reform legislation that took effect Jan. 1.

Our friends at the American Payroll Association recently surveyed its members on the TCJA. The findings give us a somewhat clearer picture of how the law is working out in reality and what’s bothering employees. Here are highlights of the survey results.

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. […]
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