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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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About six weeks after the House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (H.R. 1628), the Senate released a “discussion draft” of its take on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act—The Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017. The Senate’s discussion draft doesn’t depart drastically from the House’s bill. Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the payroll provisions and the provisions that apply to group health plans, as they stand now …

Even if the Affordable Care Act is headed to the repeal-and-replace chopping block, you’re still on the hook for penalties for failing to file Forms 1095-C/1094-C for 2015 and 2016. Bad news: The IRS has started the penalty process by mailing letters to employers …

If your electronically filed first-quarter Form 941 was rejected by the IRS, you’re not alone. According to Mike McGuire, from IRS Modernized e-file, the IRS rejected tens of thousands of first-quarter Form 941s because the amount reported on Schedule B didn’t equal the amount on Line 12.

Nope, we’re not talking about cash to pay your income taxes or cash to deposit your payroll taxes. The IRS is still good with that. But, beginning June 15, you’ll have to use if you want the IRS to issue a private letter ruling, a closing agreement and certain other rulings.

Now that we’re approaching peak vacation season, you can be bit more generous with your vacation policy by allowing retirees to fill in for vacationing employees. Everyone benefits: Retirees already know your business, so there’s no painful breaking-in process, and they’ll appreciate some temporary work.

What payroll tax issue bugs you the most? The IRS would like to know. It’s taking suggestions for its 2017-2018 Priority Guidance Plan, otherwise called the business plan.

“Payroll is a key player in the IRS’ ongoing fight against identity theft,” said Tamara Powell, acting director for Return Integrity Operations at the IRS’ Small Business/Self-Employed Division. Powell addressed attendees at the APA Congress’ general session about the evils of identity theft and the steps the IRS and its partners—including payroll providers—are taking to stop it.

A change to the payroll cycle affects every employee, even those whose pay won’t be impacted, because employees talk. So, planning for the change is key, and planning and execution can take as long as two years, commented Lisa Poole, CPP, VP, business systems analyst at SunTrust Bank. Poole provided some tips and tricks to make the change process as painless as possible.

Anita Bartels, IRS territory manager, Small Business/Self-Employed Division, Employment Tax, caught attendees up on several knotty payroll issues that are currently befuddling the IRS. Here are highlights.

“Aren’t kids wonderful?” asked Larry White, CPP, director of payroll training at the American Payroll Association. White led a panel, which also included Pat McQuiller, CPP, associate director at AT&T Services Inc., and Cynthia Holdren, employer services specialist at the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement. The panel discussed the ins and outs of child support withholding orders.

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