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Total Articles: 8

IRS Releases Proposed Form W-4 Redesign

On Friday, May 31, 2019, the IRS released a new proposed design of the IRS Form W-4 to be used starting in 2020. The goal is to make it easier for employees to calculate accurate withholdings under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Employees who already have completed a Form W-4 will not be required to submit a new Form W-4 simply due to the redesign. However, once finalized, the new Form will be required for employees hired on or after January 1, 2020. More information is available here.

DEDUCTIONS AND W-4S: EARLY 2018 RESPONSES TO TAX REFORM

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into law on December 22, 2017 is prompting some prudent early tax 2018 actions by both employers and employees related to employee benefits. Many employers are electing to make additional employer qualified plan contributions for the 2017 tax year when the employer’s tax rate may be higher and thereby yield a bigger tax benefit. C corporations, in particular, whose federal income tax rate in 2017 was as high as 35%, may find worthwhile to make further 2017 plan contributions, such as discretionary profit sharing contributions, if permitted under their 401(k) plans (up to the general defined contribution plan limit of 25% of compensation), rather than make the same contributions for 2018 when the company’s tax rate is a flat 21%.

It’s Tax Time – Alert Your HR and Payroll Teams About W2 Phishing Scams

Last February, the IRS issued a warning to all employers regarding the resurgence of a W-2 based cyber scam. The scam, which targets businesses during tax season, was also “spreading to other sectors, including school districts, tribal organizations and nonprofits.”

A Win for Boston Bruins: Tax Court Sides With Team in Clash Over De Minimis Fringe Benefits

In a recent, decision, the United States Tax Court determined that the pregame meals provided to Boston Bruins players and personnel at away games qualify as a de minimis fringe benefit under Section 274(n)(2)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code. Therefore, the cost of these meals is not subject to the 50-percent deduction limitation of Section 274(n)(l).

Everything Old Is New Again: Sharing Economy Companies Start Hiring W-2 Employees Instead Of Contractors

Gig companies – at least some – are discovering the upside to hiring W-2 employees.

It's W-2 Phishing Season: How to Stop, and Respond to, Tax-Related Identity Fraud Aimed at Your Organization's Employees

HR and payroll professionals nationwide have been, and will continue to be, targeted with e-mails apparently sent by a senior executive but actually sent by scammers who ask for a prompt reply with the 2016 W-2s for all of the organization’s employees. While reliable statistics are not yet available for the current tax season, the IRS revealed in 2016 that it had received more than 1,000 reports of tax-related phishing scams in January 2016 alone and that, in just the first half of last year’s tax season, it had already experienced a 400% year-over-year increase in these scams. In February 2017, the IRS issued an “urgent alert to all employers,” warning that the W-2 phishing scams have “evolved beyond the corporate world and [are] spreading to other sectors, including school districts, tribal organizations and nonprofits.”

Credit Monitoring Services Following Data Breach NOT Taxable Income to Employees, IRS Announces

When an employer is responding to a breach of their employees’ personal information, one of the last things they may think about is whether the value of the credit monitoring or other identity protection services they make available to affected employees should be considered taxable to the employees and reported as such. In Announcement 2015-22, the Internal Revenue Service clarified that it will not consider the value of such services provided by the employer to employees to be gross income or wages to the employees. The IRS also stated it will not take the position that the employees should include the value of such services as gross income on their personal income tax returns.

Untangling Healthcare Reform Form W-2 Reporting Requirements for PEOs

Executive Summary: With the re-election of President Obama and the Supreme Court's recent decision upholding portions of the Affordable Care Act (the "ACA"), health care reform is here to stay for the foreseeable future. Though limited challenges to the law are still pending, employers must prepare to comply with the many ACA requirements of 2013 and beyond.
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