Payroll and Payroll Taxes: A Few Quick Tips

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This post contains tax tips that have helped our business and are provided for informational purposes only. This post should not be construed as legal advice. Contact your attorney or tax professional to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem.

Payroll and Payroll Tax Tips

Do you have employees? Then I don’t have to tell you one of their top priorities is receiving a paycheck and receiving it on time.(for doing an excellent job of course!)

But what about you, the employer, are you using the best system to ensure on-time payments and do you know if your payroll taxes are being handled properly? Here are some tips to make sure you AND your employees have your priorities in line.

Consider these Third Party Providers

Are you a big company with a lot of employees, some cash to spare, and want everything under one roof? Check out PayChex PEO. They will handle your 401k, payroll, the filing of taxes, benefits and more.

Or are you a smaller company who wants the opportunity to offer your employees a reliable option, while maybe saving a few bucks? Check out Gusto, formerly Zenpayroll.They are affordable and still handle the withholding and payroll taxes while running your employees paychecks. They are a growing company, who will be offering the ability to manage the benefits piece down the line, but for now, they are the pros of payroll. Let me tell you from personal experience, I used to spend WAY too much time running payroll, now it is just a few clicks, and POW- done.

And just because a third party is handling this for you, don’t forget to keep payroll records on file. Timesheets, W2’s, and expense reports should be kept on hand for about four years (please look into your state requirements!) and don’t forget about I9’s. (Details about retaining I9’s can be found here: US Citizenship and Immigration Department.)

Each state has a unique tax code and filing requirements

Check out this excellent resource. (Also, another reason why I think Gusto is fabulous.) If you click on the link under “articles” next to the state where you have employees, it will take you step by step list of what is required for taxes and payroll purposes. Remember, without registering with the correct departments: income tax, unemployment tax, local taxes, withholding, and the list goes on…..YOU CAN NOT RUN PAYROLL. (no joke!)

Now, just because you use an outside payroll company to handle the job of figuring withholding as well as transferring funds to cover payroll taxes, doesn’t mean you should not verify everything is being paid correctly and on time. The employer (YOU!) is ultimately responsible!

  • Register with each of the states
  • Keep track of your username and passwords (LastPass is great if you could use some help remembering!)
  • Log in monthly to see everything is in order.

Each state is different, some require monthly filings, others quarterly or even annually. The few minutes it will take you to monitor this often can save big headaches in the end.

Oh! And don’t forget about a Workman’s Compensation policy, some states like Washington, require you to carry their state’s specific policy, but others will allow you just to go out and get your own. Either way, make sure you are covered.

Labor laws can affect wages, hours, and benefits

Whether you have one employee living and working in the state of your business or 20 employees who live and work in different states, review the US Department of Labor guidelines. It doesn’t end here, look into the employee’s states guidelines too. It may be California’s overtime laws, Oregon’s minimum wage law, or New York State’s mandatory disability benefits, you owe it to your company and employees to verify you are doing things the right way.

Most Importantly, get professional guidance before you are forced to

This article doesn’t replace professional guidance. Personal experience and expertise from the professionals help our company be prepared and make sure our payroll and tax trains are running on time and accurately.

Don’t wait until it is too late!

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