Preparing Payroll for Year End

October 18, 2017 Tom Jegou

We know that as fall sets in, preparing for year-end can give even the most fearless among us a fright. Let SmartLinx help trade your year-end fright for a few helpful tricks, along with a treat we’ve cooked up just for you — the Year-end 2017 checklist:

Year-end Checklist

Our 2017 Year-end Checklist includes key deadlines to help you prepare for year end and 2018. While some tasks are specifically related to the SmartLinx Payroll application, you’ll find many useful deadlines here:

Download the Year-End Checklist

AccuWage Update
AccuWage is a tool for validating your electronic W-2 files before submitting them to the Social Security Administration. Beginning with the 2017 tax year, the SSA will no longer offer AccuWage as a downloadable application. Users will need access to the Business Services Online (BSO) website to access the online version of AccuWage. If you do not already have a BSO account, you must register to access to AccuWage. 

W-2 Filing Deadlines

In 2016, the deadline for electronically filing W-2s was moved to Jan. 31. Since then, many States have followed suit by adjusting their deadlines. For tax year 2017, both electronic and paper wage reports must be filed with the Social Security Administration by Jan. 31, 2018. Make sure to check with your state to verify the deadline for state W-2 reporting.

State Unemployment Rates and Limits

Each year, payroll vendors update their software for changes to State Unemployment Insurance Wage Limits. Make sure to be on the lookout for State Unemployment Insurance rate change notices. In most states, these changes are company specific, so you’ll need to make sure you share the rate changes with your Payroll Vendor. Updating these rates after the fact can be a challenge, so make sure to provide these to your payroll vendor as soon as you receive them.

Benefit Deduction Limits

The IRS annually updates the withholding limits on specific deductions that impact an employee’s taxable wages. This is common for retirement benefits such as 401k, 403B, etc., and Health Savings Account (HAS) and Flexible Spending Account (FSA) plans. Be aware of upcoming benefit deduction limit changes and reach out to your payroll vendor to make sure any necessary updates are processed

The above tips are designed to ensure you won’t have any major surprises as you prepare your payroll for year end.

Find out how the SmartLinx Payroll solution can help you take the pain out of payroll processing at year end and all year round.

About the Author

Tom Jegou

As Compliance Expert at SmartLinx, Tom Jegou oversees SmartLinx innovations in our payroll and compliance systems. Tom is focused on transforming client needs into leading-edge products. Tom leads cross-functional teams from a product's conception through to its launch. Tom led the design of the 1095-C and Payroll-Based Journal reporting features in the WorkLinx<sup style="font-size: 60%;">TM</sup> suite. Since 1996, Tom has worked with every aspect of Human Capital Management Systems. He has defined, supported, implemented and managed Payroll, Time and Labor and HR systems. Tom is a Certified Payroll Professional through American Payroll Association.

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