The final payroll run of 2017 is rapidly approaching. You’ve made it through another 12 months of sweating paycheck calculations, dealing with compliance issues, and submitting payroll taxes and filings. Can you breathe a sigh of relief now?
Unfortunately, not yet. You may still have some unfinished business where payroll is concerned. If you want to be prepared to start fresh when you return to the office after the New Year, ask yourself these 10 questions:
- Do your employees want to start the new tax year with a different number of allowances and/or extra withholding? Your employees may not even remember what they entered on their W-4 forms. Ask them to verify that everything on those critical documents is correct – including their Social Security numbers. If they got a large refund or, conversely, had to pay in too much when they filed their 2016 taxes, you might ask them to rethink their withholding status.
- Have you ordered W-2, W-3, and 1099 forms? If you’re using an online payroll application, these forms may be prepared for you automatically. If not, be sure you’ll be ready to send them out in January. You can get these from the IRS website or even an office supply store.
- Did you issue all bonus checks? If not, get them on the 2017 books as quickly as possible.
- What is the status of your employees’ vacation and sick pay? Tally all the PTO used in 2017 by all employees. Whether unused hours are rolled over or lost, notify staff of your findings so they can plan accordingly.
- Have you reconciled your payroll bank account? You may not have a separate account for payroll, but if you do, go through the reconciliation process before your first payroll run of 2018. This should be a monthly task for you. You don’t want IRS payments or employee paychecks to bounce.
- How are your year-end payroll reports coming along? If you’re using QuickBooks, this is easy. The application offers several reports, including Payroll Summary, Payroll Transaction Detail, and Employee Withholding.
- Have you classified employees and independent contractors correctly? This is a critical distinction that the IRS doesn’t take lightly. Talk to us if you’re at all unsure.
- Are you caught up with payroll taxes? You’re probably been tracking these regularly. Even if you have, check your work.
- Do you need to work ahead on 2017’s last payroll to account for holiday days off? Depending on your payroll schedule, you may need to get on this early, since there will probably be days when the office is empty.
- Have you verified that you have the most current IRS Forms 940, 941, 944, and 945? You can find these forms and their instructions on the IRS website.
Still doing payroll manually? Connect with us in the New Year about better, faster, more accurate approaches. We can get you set up with a payroll application – or even take over this complex task ourselves. For more information contact your MarksNelson professional at 816-743-7700.