CPA Practice Advisor

AUG 2018

Today's Technology for Tomorrow's Firm.

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24 AUGUST 2018 ■ THE PAYROLL CHANNEL Big Changes for the New W-4 Form By James Paille, Thomson Reuters The pre-draft 2019 W-4 has been released, and it’s a major change from previous versions of the W-4. The new W-4 doesn’t have a way to number allowances — instead, four new boxes that instruct the taxpayer to predict income and deductions replace the old exemption numbers. The lines are as follows: Filing status: Line 3 is used to indicate the employee’s tax filing status. The draft 2019 Form W-4 has checkboxes to indicate that the filer is single or married filing separately, married filing jointly, or head of household. The number of default allowances will be calculated automatically in single tables based on the filing status that is checked — 2 if single or married filing separately, and 3 if married filing jointly or head of household. Lines 5-8. Lines 5-8 are new and completely optional to the taxpayer. These lines mimic a 1040 filing and the IRS indicates that completing them will provide more accurate withholding information. • Line 5 is for nonwage income not subject to withholding • Line 6 is for itemized and other deductions (other than the standard deduction) • Line 7 is for applicable tax credits • Line 8 is for the total pay of lower paying jobs and is only used when employees have more than one job or are married filing jointly and both spouses work Completing these lines requires information that employees may not want to share. To avoid completing all lines individually, the IRS recommends using the IRS Withholding Calculator or IRS Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax. Also, line 9 has additional withholding per paycheck. The IRS has two draft instructions for calculating withholding — a short instruction with the 2019 W-4 for simple filers and an 11-page instruction guide for more complicated returns (i.e. stock ownership, dividend, and self-employment income). The IRS has indicated that it will advise employers to make the 11-page W-4 instruction booklet available to all employees. Note: Several states have not adopted the new TCJA rules — the current list and chart are available at Furthermore, many states allow taxpayers to use the federal W-4 for state withholding. It’s expected that this will no longer work for 2019 W-4s and most states (exception: PA) will need to come up with their own state version for withholding. Look for an update on this later in the year. The federal government will allow taxpayers to continue to use their old W-4 status with no need to file a new W-4 — however, the federal government is suggesting all taxpayers review their withholding and see if they need to file a new 2019 W-4 (when it becomes available) for 2019 wages. All new employees hired as of January 1, 2019, and all employees that want to make W-4 changes after January 1, 2019 will be required to use the 2019 W-4. A second draft is expected sometime in the late summer of 2018 with a final version later this year. We will be watching for updates and potential changes. ■ James Paille CPP is the Director of Operations for Thomson Reuters myPay Solutions. He has been an executive manager in the payroll service industry for more than 30 years, specializing in managing multi-location offices. Jim is President of the American Payroll Association as well as a member of the National Speakers Bureau and chair of the CPP Certification Review Panel. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY. LATEST PAYROLL NEWS Majority of Workers Say Their Job Makes Them Fat. 57 percent of the nation’s workforce believe they are overweight, and 45 percent believe they’ve gained weight at their present job. 3 Ways to Stop Competing on Pay for Top Talent. One of the top challenges business executives face today is finding and retaining the best and brightest employees in their industry. Is Unlimited PTO Right for Your Client Businesses? PTO programs that allow employees to roll over and bank unused time can result in a huge expense for the company. An unlimited PTO program eliminates this problem. 44% Say They’d Quit for a Bigger Paycheck. Money really does talk, suggests new research from staffing firm OfficeTeam. More than two in five workers (44 percent) said they’d leave their job for one with better pay. Financial Advice for Generation Z. The oldest members of Generation Z, the group immediately behind Millennials, have recently left college and entered the workforce. THIS MONTH'S TOP PAYROLL SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS ■ Do Unlimited Vacation Policies Work? Todd Wassermann on the ADP Spark blog. ■ Payroll Mistakes that Can Hurt a Business. The Paychex Worx blog. ■ How to Conduct a Payroll Audit. By Kalee DeWitt on the Patriot Software blog. ■ Should Your Company Have a Marijuana Policy? By Danny Speros on the Zenefits blog. ■ Burned Out at Work? 7 Symptoms. By Tina Collins on the Landrum HR blog.

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