Inova Payroll Blog

Pennsylvania Employment Tax Tutorial

Posted by Grace Ferguson on Nov 22, 2016

Update November 29, 2016: The Pennsylvania New Jersey tax reciprocity agreement will remain in effect after December 31. See the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue announcement for more details.

Employers in Pennsylvania are subject to some of the country’s most complex payroll tax laws. Pennsylvania is one of 43 states that have a state income tax and one of 14 states that have local taxes. In addition to withholding state and local income tax from employees’ wages, Pennsylvania employers must also comply with special tax rules.

For example, Pennsylvania is one of the few states that requires state unemployment tax withholding and does not fully follow federal law on pretax deductions. Pennsylvania has also established reciprocal agreements with six other states – which adds another layer of complexity to state withholding.

Here’s an overview of the unique withholding requirements in Pennsylvania and tips for remitting and reporting taxes.

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Topics: Payroll

Year-end Payroll Processing Cheat Sheet

Posted by Grace Ferguson on Oct 18, 2016

Q4 has arrived and that means it’s time to begin preparing for year-end. Waiting until December to complete all of your year-end tasks is not an option this year. Along with satisfying the typical payroll obligations, this year employers must adhere to fresh rules – including new overtime guidelines and an earlier W-2 filing date. With the flurry of activity surrounding payroll at year-end, starting early and having a checklist of key tasks is vital to gaining direction and reducing stress. Here’s how you can prepare now for a successful year-end.

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Topics: Payroll

2016 ACA Reporting: Are You Prepared?

Posted by Grace Ferguson on Sep 29, 2016

After years of debate, employers are coming to terms with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). But, the act is a work in progress, so changes are a given. For starters, the IRS extended the reporting deadlines for tax year 2015, but an extension is not expected to be granted for tax year 2016. Also, good faith efforts may no longer prevent fines for noncompliance.

Six years after being passed, the ACA remains one of the biggest challenges for employers to overcome. So, how do you navigate the complexities and minimize any negative financial impact? The answer lies in learning from past mistakes and preparing for what’s ahead.

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Topics: Affordable Care Act

Essentials to Earning Work Opportunity Tax Credits

Posted by Grace Ferguson on Aug 17, 2016

Despite the declining unemployment rate, many veterans struggle to find jobs matching their education, skills and experience. In an effort to hire veterans and other individuals facing barriers to employment, the federal government established the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) program – which rewards employers with a tax credit for each eligible new hire. Employers can reduce federal income tax by up to $9,600 per eligible hired employee, so it’s a good idea for employers to understand how the WOTC applies to their business.

In this Q & A, you will find relevant WOTC information, including target groups, eligibility requirements, how to calculate and claim credits, plus tips for getting the most out of the program.

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Topics: Employer Basics

Payroll Tax Rules for Employers

Posted by Grace Ferguson on Aug 10, 2016

The mazelike world of payroll taxes can be perplexing for employers. The key to breaking through the initial confusion is to identify the two categories of payroll taxes: employee taxes, which are withheld from employees’ wages; and employer taxes, which are the employer’s portion of taxes. Employee and employer taxes are imposed on federal, state and local levels – knowing which ones pertain to your business is an essential element of staying in compliance and avoiding payroll tax penalties.

This handy guide provides a basic understanding of payroll taxes, including withholding, remittance and reporting guidelines, plus important tips for employers who outsource payroll duties.

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Topics: Payroll, Small Business, Employer Basics

Top 5 Ways to Keep Your Payroll Data Secure

Posted by Grace Ferguson on Jun 2, 2016

In 2014 payroll fraud comprised 10.2 percent of global occupational fraud cases, with organizations suffering a median loss of $50,000 per year.

Social Security numbers, addresses, wages, and bank account numbers are just some of the sensitive data you will find in a payroll department. Breaches in this data can be detrimental to your company’s reputation and financial standing; small businesses, especially, may never recover.

While you cannot stop criminals from attempting to steal your data, you can thwart their efforts by following these best practices for payroll data security.

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Topics: Payroll, Small Business

Preparation Strategies for Upcoming DOL Overtime Rule

Posted by Grace Ferguson on May 5, 2016

Update May 18, 2016: The new overtime rule was announced today and takes effect December 1. The threshold is $47,476 and will be updated every three years. Incentive pay like bonuses can account for up to 10% of the threshold amount.

Update November 23, 2016: A preliminary injunction issued by a federal judge has delayed the new FLSA overtime rule that was set to take effect December 1. With the delay in the rule, employers are not required to meet the rule's increased salary threshold of $47,476 for exempt status starting December 1. The rule will continue to be reviewed by the court and a final decision will be issued at a later date.

On March 14, 2014, President Barack Obama signed a memorandum, directing the U.S. Department of Labor to revise the Fair Labor Standards Act overtime protection rules. The DOL subsequently issued a proposed rule that would raise the annual salary for the overtime exemption from $23,660 to $50,440. The final rule is expected within days and the general consensus is that employers should start preparing for the change now as they may have 60 days to comply.

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Topics: Payroll, Employer News

New Hire Packet Essentials

Posted by Inova Payroll on Apr 12, 2016

New employees want to feel like part of the team. What better way to welcome them than with a complete new hire packet that offers all the information employees need to get started with the company?

An essential onboarding item, your new hire packet will set expectations by covering your obligations as an employer and your new hire’s responsibilities as an employee. The contents of your new hire packet will vary depending on your state, number of employees, and industry.

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Topics: Small Business, Employer Basics

Tip Reporting Cheat Sheet

Posted by Inova Payroll on Mar 24, 2016

Tip income represents special payroll and reporting challenges for restaurant employers. Underreporting of tip income triggers a two-fold effect: inadequate withholding of the employee’s share of taxes and underpayment of the employer’s portion. Still, that’s just one side of the tip reporting coin. On the other side are requirements you must meet, such as minimum wage, tax withholding and tip allocation.

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Topics: Payroll, Employer Basics

Magic numbers: Employee counts and federal employer reporting

Posted by Melanie Crow on Feb 17, 2016

Growing your business means you’ve got a to-do list that multiplies, seemingly overnight. Let’s knock a few things off that list, with simple employer reporting guidelines based on employee counts and helpful links to corresponding forms. 

1+ employee(s) and payroll tax reporting

Congratulations! You’re on your way. Here are all the basic federal payroll tax forms you’ll need to file if you have one or more employees. You can also review the 2016 IRS document “Employer’s Tax Guide” – if you dare.

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Topics: Employer Basics

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Thank you for visiting our blog. Please note that we do our best to fully research the blog topics you see here and present accurate and up-to-date information. We believe the information to be accurate but make no claims as such. We also want to share with you that we do not provide professional accounting, financial, legal or tax advice and we recommend contacting a licensed accounting, financial, legal or tax advisor for business advice. For any comments related to the blog, please email us at info@inovapayroll.com.