Before you can start a new year off on the right foot, you must wrap up the current year and that includes plenty of tasks. Use this handy checklist to ensure you complete year-end procedures promptly and start the new year off setup for success.
Remind employees they need to fill out a new Form W-4 if their personal information, including their address, changed.
Check you’ve received W-9s for all independent contractors and verify data used to process 1099s.
Review Employee Information
Confirm the full legal name, Social Security number, and address of every employee and match to Social Security Records. Incorrect or incomplete information can lead to penalties.
Review Check Register
Ensure all paychecks, bonuses, and commissions are on the check register. Account for every number in the register, including voided, manual, and reversed checks.
Check Pay Rates, Benefits & Deductions
Verify the pay rate for each employee. Review each employee’s benefits and deductions, including wage garnishees. Verify qualified taxable fringe benefits and tax amounts withheld.
Confirm Third-Party Payments
Confirm short-term and long-term disability insurance and other third-party payments were included in employee wages with payroll and withholding taxes paid.
Review Vacation Days, Sick Days, & Authorized Time Off
Confirm the number of days taken and remaining for each employee. Either notify use-it or leave-it employees of remaining days and deadline for use, or if they’re permitted roll-over ask if they wish to do so, or cash out.
Order W-2, W-3, & Blank Checks
You’ll need the W-2s for employees and government agencies in the New Year. W-3 transmittal forms summarize W-2 data when you send information to state and federal agencies. Ensure you have an ample supply of checks for the New Year too.
Obtain Labor Law Posters
State and federal laws require appropriate posters. Contact your state officials and the U.S. Department of Labor poster advisor to determine which apply to the company.
Check Tax Rates
Local, state, and federal rates are usually changed annually. Review your income, unemployment, and Social Security and Medicare taxes.
Check Minimum Wage Requirements
Many local and state-run organizations have increased their minimum wage for employees that go into effect January 1st.
Employee Withholding Tax Review
Ask employees to indicate their withholding allowances on Form W-4. Employees may also need to complete a current state withholding allowance certificate.
Determine Federal & FICA Tax Deposit Schedule
Decide whether you’ll pay semi-weekly or monthly before the beginning of the next year.
Establish New Reporting Needs
Reporting requirements frequently change and your data collection methods must too. You may need to alter reports to stay in compliance for health insurance data, EEO-1 reporting, and more.
Update Wage Rates, Withholding Allowances, & Deductions
You need to update these before you run your first payroll in the New Year.
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