Given the escalating cost of employee health care benefits, your business may be interested in providing some of these benefits through an employer-sponsored Health Savings Account (HSA). For eligible individuals, HSAs offer a tax-advantaged way to set aside funds (or have their employers do so) to meet future medical needs.
If you own a company filing an S Corporation tax return, you should be reporting reasonable compensation. Think of "reasonable compensation" as being what you would have to pay somebody else to do the same job you are doing. Many company owners want to pay themselves less, to reduce their payroll tax bill. However, the IRS has successfully argued that business owners should pay themselves more, and assessed tax to business owners many, many times. The following article discusses one of the times the IRS has gone to court over this issue.
In the past few months, many businesses and employers nationwide have received “no-match” letters from the Social Security Administration (SSA). The purpose of these letters is to alert employers if there’s a discrepancy between the agency’s files and data reported on W-2 forms, which are given to employees and filed with the IRS. Specifically, they point out that an employee’s name and Social Security number (SSN) don’t match the government’s records.
If federal income tax and employment taxes (including Social Security) are withheld from employees’ paychecks and not handed over to the IRS, a harsh penalty can be imposed. To make matters worse, the penalty can be assessed personally against a “responsible individual.”
If a business makes payroll tax payments late, there are escalating penalties. And if an employer fails to make them, the IRS will crack down hard. With the “Trust Fund Recovery Penalty,” also known as the “100% Penalty,” the IRS can assess the entire unpaid amount against a responsible person who willfully fails to comply with the law.
Many employers prefer to classify workers as independent contractors to lower costs, even if it means having less control over a worker’s day-to-day activities. But the government is on the lookout for businesses that classify workers as independent contractors simply to reduce taxes or avoid their employee benefit obligations.
The holiday season is a great time for businesses to show their appreciation for employees and customers by giving them gifts or hosting holiday parties. Before you begin shopping or sending out invitations, though, it’s a good idea to find out whether the expense is tax deductible and whether it’s taxable to the recipient. Here’s a brief review of the rules.
As the year winds to a close, most businesses see employees taking a lot of vacation time. After all, it’s the holiday season, and workers want to enjoy it. Some businesses, however, find themselves particularly short-staffed in December because they don’t allow unused paid time off (PTO) to be rolled over to the new year, or they allow only very limited rollovers.
There are good business reasons to limit PTO rollovers. Fortunately, there’s a way to reduce the year-end PTO vortex without having to allow unlimited rollovers: a PTO contribution arrangement.
It is with mixed emotions that Next Step Advisors announces the departure of Josh Emett. He has accepted a position with a firm in North Carolina, and will be moving his young family across the country. Josh has been an important piece of our team, and replacing him will not be easy. We will miss him, but we are excited for his new adventure. We wish him the best of luck in this move, and with his new firm on the East coast!
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act changed the way tax is calculated. The IRS encourages everyone to perform a “paycheck checkup” to see if you have the right amount of tax withheld for your personal situation.
Among the groups who should check their withholding are:
Among many other changes, the recently passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act increased the standard deduction, removed personal exemptions, increased the child tax credit, limited or discontinued certain deductions, and changed the tax rates and brackets. To help account for these new changes to the individual income tax the Internal Revenue Service has issued a new 2018 Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate.
The IRS explained that certain taxpayers would be more likely to have a change in their tax situation necessitating filing a new Form W-4 with their employers, including two-income families, taxpayers with two or more jobs or who work only part of the year, taxpayers with children who will claim credits such as the child tax credit, and taxpayers who itemized deductions in 2017.
Next Step Blog
Our blog is intended as a tool to keep people informed about relevant tax and accounting issues. If you have a question or an idea for a post, let us know!