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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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This week is Paycheck Checkup Week. If that sounds familiar, it may be because the week of March 26 was also Paycheck Checkup Week. Too much of a good thing? Probably not.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is an outstanding example of the law of unintended consequences. Here’s the latest…
Last week we deviated from our strict payroll perspective to bring you a sneak peak of the 2018 Form 1040. And we’re sure that we’ll deviate again. After all, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is just chock full of good stuff that we haven’t highlighted yet and it’s a long summer. But this week we’re back to dissecting the 2019 W-4. Eight steps, lots of heartburn …
One of Congress’ sales pitches for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was that you’d be able to file your income taxes on a postcard. Never mind that filing your taxes on an actual postcard would mean that anyone who handles the mail could see your most intimate financial details. The IRS has now released a draft of the 2018 Form 1040.
We often wonder how low ID thieves will go. Apparently, they haven’t hit bottom yet. The acting inspector general of the Social Security Administration recently issued a warning about ongoing Social Security Administration impersonation schemes.
I am not a patient person. I am not good at math. Neither, I suspect, are most employees. No doubt that will disappoint acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter, who commented recently that he’d like it if 200 million employees used the new IRS withholding calculator.

We spend the vast majority of our time unraveling the complexities of payroll law. But sometimes it’s good to step out and stretch our intellectual muscles by delving into other areas of tax law.

Let’s take a break from the never-ending saga of tax reform to consider what the Supreme Court did last week.

The IRS desperately wants to avoid handing taxpayers surprise tax bills next winter. Unfortunately, its withholding calculator is the only tool employees can use to right now to estimate their 2018 status and make changes to their withholding for the rest of the year by refiling their W-4s with you.

Key TCJA changes:

Not very comforting, is it?

Back in the winter, we mentioned that the IRS anticipated that the entire withholding process would change, beginning in 2019, thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Apparently that’s true, if this first draft of the 2019 W-4, which the IRS released last week, makes it into prime time.

I’m a city kid. I live now in the inner suburban ring of my city. It’s quieter, but sometimes the density and the crazy mall drivers get to me.

If you have employees who are more dismayed with their quality of life than I am, Vermont is beckoning. S.B. 94, signed by Gov. Phil Scott on May 30, promotes telecommuting by enacting a new remote worker grant program.

Ah, the beach. Or maybe you’re a lake and mountain person.

Wrinkle: Employees are still going to need to be paid while you’re gone, which means some advance planning is required.

Here’s our list of key tasks.

The American Payroll Association’s 36th Annual Congress, held this year outside Washington, D.C., just concluded. Here are some parting thoughts.

Most employees file their W-4s when they’re first hired and then promptly forget about them. That might not be the best strategy right now, thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, said Acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter.
The fact is, you may never know who’s been snooping around your files. It may be a temp who wasn’t properly vetted or a vendor, such as an electronic W-2 vendor, stressed Cindy Cichosz, CPP, Supervisor, Payroll, Shared Services, for Veolia, North America. Cichosz walked APA attendees through the basics of identity theft, how to minimize its occurrence, and how to respond to it.

Those giant thunderstorms, which hit the East Coast Tuesday night, grounded IRS rep Anita Bartels’ flight from Orlando. So Pete Isberg, VP of Government Relations at ADP, provided attendees at the American Payroll Association’s Annual Congress with some insight into such hot-button issues as the ongoing saga of tax reform and the Affordable Care Act.

There are now more employees who are millennials and Generation Z-ers than baby boomers—and using paycards can be an effective strategy for recruiting them, according to George Mavrantzas, VP, Special Projects at Global Cash Card.

Mavrantzas spoke at the American Payroll Association’s 36th Annual Congress, which is being held this year at National Harbor, Md., outside Washington, D.C.

Time for the Osterizer!

by on May 8, 2018 1:30pm
in Payroll Today

It sounds like a joke, but it’s not: What do you get when you throw two corporate income tax rates into a blender? The answer, according to recent IRS guidance, is the corporate tax rate that fiscal year corporations pay for 2018.

On second thought, no. Ever since the IRS’ midyear reduction to the maximum health savings account contribution, to $6,850, from $6,900, employees, employers and HSA custodians have been clamoring for guidance on what to do with that extra $50, plus earnings.

It’s no secret that employees use their phones, tablets and other electronic devices to perform work after hours. That creates all sorts of problems with employee burnout in general.

4/18/18 Update:

The IRS’ computer systems went back on line a little before 5:00 p.m. yesterday.

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