Payroll Today

“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.

On May 4, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act of 2017. The AHCA repeals major provisions of the Affordable Care Act, and we’ve written about that before. Now the bill moves to the Senate. Here’s what’s new …

If Payroll were to give an orientation session to new employees, it might sound like this …

Legislation enacted in 2015 requires the IRS to farm out uncollected individual tax accounts to private debt collectors. The IRS said that private debt collection began earlier this month. The problem: For years, the threat of phone scams has led to this standard advice: Never trust anyone who calls saying they’re from the IRS and that you owe taxes. Now, private debt collectors will be legitimately calling taxpayers regarding their accounts.

Everyone counts on Social Security benefits being there when they retire. But not many employees know how it all works. The Social Security Administration (SSA) wants to remedy that …

As predictably as the sun will rise tomorrow, every April 15 the local news will show people lined up at post offices frantically getting their 1040s in the mail before midnight. For your colleagues down the hall in the Payroll Department, there are many tax days every year—one for each monthly or semiweekly deposit, as well as a quarterly reckoning with the IRS. That means that Payroll is anything but simple, requiring regular communication with HR.

It’s hard enough having a hearing problem, as everyone who attended a Who concert in the ’70s can attest. (Pete Townsend’s ears are still ringing and so are mine). The IRS is now reporting that identity thieves are using video relay services (VRS) to try to scam individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. When is enough enough with scammers?