Advice

Tax audits are all about your records. Have good, accurate and complete records and you will walk away from an audit relatively unscathed. Have sloppy, incomplete and inaccurate records and you will needlessly pay tax penalties. Two cases are illustrative.
NACHA—the electronic payments organization behind all electronic banking transactions, including direct deposit—has developed a standard, voluntary protocol to help employees’ banks fight direct deposit-related ID theft.
While you were shopping for, opening and then returning holiday gifts, the IRS dropped some presents of its own. On Dec. 27, it released the final version of Pub. 15-T, which contains all the worksheets and withholding tables for 2020. On Dec. 31, it released the 2020 standard mileage rate.
You must file Form 945 for 2019 if you withheld income taxes from nonwage payments, like pensions, or backup withheld income taxes on payments to independent contractors.
According to the Department of Labor in an opinion letter to an inquiring employer, you can require employees to take unpaid FMLA leave, even if they’d rather use paid sick leave.
In the past, employers used to prenote, which entailed sending a blank file to employees’ banks before the first live direct deposit transaction. Snag: Prenoting has fallen out of favor.
Payroll has moved to center stage at the IRS. Here are changes to watch for this year.
The standard deduction amounts are now one of the main drivers for determining whether employees will have enough income taxes withheld from their pay. On the other hand, low-income employees may be able to claim the earned income credit. Here’s the basic information they’ll need to make this determination.
The IRS has released the 2020 version of Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Certificate.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2020, the minimum hourly wage for nonexempts who work on or in connection with new federal contracts or replacements for expiring contracts increases 20¢, to $10.80 an hour.