Payroll Today

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.

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.

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.

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, 2018, has forced the IRS to recalculate some key figures. Here’s the rundown. (Rev. Proc. 2018-18, IRB 2018-10)

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.

What, more tax legislation?

February 13, 2018

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?

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.

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.

Email W-2s? Not so fast

January 23, 2018

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).