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Are You Prepared for the April 15 Year-end Return Filing Deadline?

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Are you rushing to meet the April 15 deadline to file your personal income taxes? Well, good news for procrastinators as you might be in luck. If you haven’t started preparing your 2013 tax return, or maybe you have more to report than the income on a W-2 and a 1099, here’s an easy solution: File for an extension.

Filing for an extension doesn’t make you any more susceptible to be the target of an IRS audit, so if you need it, take it. It is better to be well prepared than rushed and disorganized. An extension can get you an additional six months to organize all your tax information.

In order to get the extension, you will have to file a Form 4868, “Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Tax Return”. You can file for an extension by sending a completed paper Form 4868 and postmarking it on or before the April 15, 2014 return filing deadline, or you can file for an extension electronically through the IRS website.

The process for electronically filing for an extension is simple: go to the IRS website and select the “Free File” service. You will set up a password-protected account and enter your personal information in the appropriate tax return form (e.g. Form 1040, Form 1040-EZ, etc.). Once your personal information is entered, select “File an Extension” from the options at top of the screen.  Follow the instructions for entering your estimated taxes and taxes paid, and pay any difference in the estimated tax owed.

If you haven’t already prepared your 2013 tax return, how do you determine what amount to pay without underpaying? Well, you’ll have to calculate a reasonable estimate of taxes you owe to submit with Form 4868.

Once you’ve paid part or all of your estimated income tax electronically your extension will automatically process. But remember: you must pay your tax liability due and either file for the extension or file your tax return by April 15; otherwise you will be subjected to IRS penalties and interest. To avoid the late payment penalty, which is five percent per month of the unpaid balance, you must pay at least 90 percent of the total tax amount you owe. By paying the full 100 percent owed, you can also avoid paying the three percent interest fee.

Please note that according to the IRS, there are additional special extension filing rules that apply if you are:

  • Living outside the U.S.,
  • Out of the country when your 6-month extension expires, or
  • Serving in a combat zone or a qualified hazardous duty area

To find out more information about filing for an extension, including the additional special rules above, you can go to Filing Information in IRS Publication 17.

The best way to avoid the stresses of filing your year-end tax return is to be prepared. There is still time left before the April 15 deadline hits. Here are some other helpful tax tips to get you ready:

  • Get Organized – Taxes can be confusing. Set time aside to get all your information together before you begin the process to avoid any unnecessary headaches.
  • File Online – You can file up until midnight on April 15. You can file online from anywhere; you don’t even have to get out of bed.
  • Reduce your tax bill even more – Did you give to a charity last year and have you claimed all credits available to you? Be sure to include everything available to you to reduce your tax bill.
  • File for free – FreeFile through the IRS and Turbo tax allow you to file your federal taxes for free if you meet the specified eligibility requirements.
  • File an amendment – If you make an error or forget to take a deduction when filing and you realize it later, here’s your solution: file an amendment.  Filing an amendment gives you three years to rectify your mistakes.

If the tax return deadline has crept up on you this year, don’t panic; an extension offers a simple solution. However, it is important that you still file for the extension by the April 15 deadline, and keep in mind you still have to submit a payment in addition to filing Form 4868.

 



Author Bio: Barclay has over 20 years of experience working as a consultant. He has worked in the consulting practices of accounting firms Ernst & Young and Causey Demgen & Moore. Barclay joined Paycom in 2011 and is currently a Tax Research Analyst. Robbie is a graduate of Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn.

6 Compliance Changes to Check in 2017

6 Compliance Changes to Check in 2017

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Compliance Deadlines and Issues to Watch in 2017

Employers can expect developments  in 2017 related to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) requirements and several other workplace regulations concerning compliance. Here’s a closer look.

 

  1. Fair Labor Standards Act

On Nov. 22, 2016, Judge Amos L. Mazzant III of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued an injunction delaying the effective date of the new overtime rule. The rule would have raised the minimum salary threshold for exempt executive, administrative and professional employees to $913 per week, from $455 per week and the minimum annual salary threshold for highly compensated employees to $134,004, from $100,000.

How long the injunction will remain in place – and the fate of the rule – is anyone’s guess. Meanwhile, employers should adhere to current FLSA requirements and keep an eye out for the outcome of the Department of Labor’s current appeal.

 

  1. Affordable Care Act

Although the leadership in the House of Representatives currently is attempting to repeal ACA, for now, employers still remain responsible for all ACA tracking and reporting requirements. The deadline for issuing ACA forms 1095-B and -C to employees has been extended from Jan. 31, 2017 to March 2, 2017. However, the due date for filing ACA forms with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is unchanged. For 2016 tax year, applicable large employers must:

  • Submit paper forms 1094-B and -C and 1095-B and -C by Feb. 28, 2017

 

  • Submit electronic forms 1094-B and -C and 1095-B and -C by March 31, 2017

 

The IRS has extended the “good faith effort” penalty waiver to 2017. Employers who submit inaccurate or incomplete reporting information may be relieved from penalties, as long as they can show they made a “good faith effort” to comply with the ACA’s requirements.

Note that although the 40-percent “Cadillac” tax on high-cost employer health plans has been delayed until 2020, employers should consider assessing the impact of the tax on future business goals now. Once the impact is understood, a feasible strategy can be put in place.

 

  1. Equal Employment Opportunity Reporting

The EEOC has revised the Employer Information Report (EEO-1) to include collecting pay data from employers, including federal contractors, with over 100 employees.

Under the original proposal, employers would submit their annual EEO-1 report – which would include W-2 pay data and hours worked – to the Joint Reporting Committee by September 30 of each year. However, the EEOC has issued an updated proposal that would move the due date for the 2017 report from Sept. 30, 2017 to March 31, 2018. In subsequent years, the deadline will be March 31.

Be sure to monitor the revisions to the EEO-1 report, and prepare a strategy for implementation in case the changes are enacted.

 

  1. Citizenship and Immigration Services Reporting

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recently updated Form I-9. After Jan. 21, 2017, employers must start using the new form.

 

  1. Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave

Many states, cities and counties have approved minimum wage increases and mandatory paid sick leave, some of which will take effect in 2017.

 

  1. Federal Contract Workers

The minimum wage for federal contract workers increases to $10.20 per hour Jan. 1, 2017. Certain federal contractors also must provide their employees with up to seven days of paid sick leave per year.

Staying ahead of potential and actual regulatory changes is easy with an HR and payroll system that generates the necessary forms and enables electronic filing to simplify reporting. It’s also important to partner with an HR technology provider who stays abreast of tentative regulatory matters and quickly updates their system accordingly, so that you have the right tools for any changes.

 

DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this blog is for general informational purposes only. Accordingly, Paycom and the writer of the above content do not warrant the completeness or accuracy of the above information. It does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services, or professional consulting. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional tax, accounting, legal or other professional services.


hlively

by Heidi Lively


Author Bio: Heidi Lively serves as Paycom’s Additional Business Manager, where she focuses on the compliance and service of additional business products. Previously, she served customers in the Paycom Service Department where she quickly rose through the ranks to earn a team leader position. Having performed in a leadership position for a number of years, Heidi has been able to cultivate and influence others through Paycom’s leadership initiatives. Heidi earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Oklahoma.

The Increasing Responsibility of CHROs Proving Strategic Value

The Increasing Responsibility of CHROS: Proving Strategic Value

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The Increasing Responsibility of CHROS: Proving Strategic Value

Much has been written about HR’s emerging role as strategic business partner. But, a study involving over 100 directors reveal that executives still view HR as a highly transactional support function that usually does a great job with compensation and benefits – but not as an influential strategic player in the boardroom. Consequently, chief human resources officers (CHROs) must often demonstrate their value as a true strategic partner.

Executive Perceptions of HR and CHROs

According to the Harvard Business Review, research shows that although CEOs worldwide view HR as a top challenge, they rank HR as the eighth or ninth most critical aspect of an organization. A survey by People + Strategy and the National Association of Corporate Directors concluded that 71 percent of directors rank the CHRO as an excellent or good leader of the HR function. But, less than 31 percent reported that the CHRO has a good or great amount of influence on board decisions.

Interestingly, the CHRO is reportedly one of the top earners in the C-suite. The Harvard Business Review reported in 2014 that CEOs and COOs are the highest-paid executives. CHROs are next, earning an average annual base salary of $574,000. If salary ranking is any indication, the CHRO is an important aspect of operations.

Redefining the CHRO’s Role

The CFO’s role is defined by the board, external auditors, regulators and investment communities. This is not the case for CHROs, whose role typically is defined by the CEO. Therefore, CHROs must ensure that the CEO has a clear view of potential contributions this C-suite position is capable of making, such as:

  • Improving business outcomes through strategic HR management

Organizational performance largely depends on the fit between individuals and jobs. A poor fit can severely damage the bottom line, which the CHRO can prevent by identifying gaps in skills or behavior. A consistent collaboration with the CFO can ensure that assigned jobs, key performance indicators and budgets will produce desired results. Of particular value is a CHRO who is able to make meaningful predictions about the competition by examining established and potential competitors.

  • Evaluating problems

The CHRO is in a unique position to detect why the organization may not be meeting objectives or performance goals. Instead of hiring outside consultants, the CHRO, CEO and CFO should work together to examine underlying external factors – such as economic slumps or falling interest rates. The CHRO can link external factors data to the company’s social system – that is, how employees are behaving or how they’re working together – to uncover areas causing unnecessary friction.

More Transformational, Less Transactional

To reshape their board’s traditional view of HR, CHROs must become increasingly involved in planning efforts, for example:

  • Leverage technology to engage your people. By measuring performance and providing feedback, you can empower your colleagues with information and give them the opportunity to accomplish tasks.

 

  • Listen to your people and be prepared to develop strategies with the board that take action and resolve key problems. Surveying your people is a great method to show your employees that 1) you are listening and 2) you care.  However, if you are going to listen, be prepared to take action.

 

  • The CEO and C-suite succession process – from identifying and developing candidates, to choosing successors, to supporting the new executives.

 

Studies show that most CHROs have some work to do before their board views them as the top influential strategic partner. But, CHROs can make headway by exhibiting their value to the CEO and becoming advisors to the board.


craymond

by Chad Raymond


Author Bio: With over 19 years of experience in employee engagement, benefits administration and government compliance, Chad has unparalleled knowledge in the fields of leadership and human resources. Chad has worked in several different capacities with Paycom including leading our product development team and HCM initiatives as well as the former director of Paycom’s service department. Chad’s vision and execution helped empower executives and their teams to reach their full potential, ultimately leading to his new role as Paycom’s vice president of HR.

Three Must-have Conversations for the New Year

Three Must-have Conversations for the New Year

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Three Must-have Conversations for the New Year

Everyone should consider having the following three conversations over the course of the next few weeks. Taking this time with your direct reports, yourself and your spouse will only improve the beginning of your new year.

  1. Speak With Your Squad

As for your direct reports, many individuals– especially millennials – need these types of exchanges in order to grow. This conversation with each team member should help set clear expectations for the next 12 months. Consider discussing the following with each of your employees:

  • What went well?
  • What were the pitfalls of your 2016?
  • What would have made 2016 more successful?
  • What are the new goals for 2017?
  • How can I help you be successful moving forward?

 

This isn’t a casual exchange, but a crucial one, for both you and your employees; so, bring notes, take notes and mentally prepare yourself to receive constructive feedback. In the words of Greek philosopher Epictetus, “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” Each person involved in this conversation should make this dialogue matter.

As a manager, your role is not to predict the future, but to enable it so both you and your team can look forward to a successful trip around the sun.

  1. Talk to the Person in the Mirror

Your second conversation is with someone you know better than anyone else: yourself. Be sure to set aside some time for introspection, grab a coffee and your laptop and hold this self-interview with these eight questions.

  • What went well at work?
  • What went well at home?
  • What are my personal and professional 2017 goals?
  • How is my health, and is there room to improve?
  • How can I impact my local community positively?
  • Do I call my mom enough?

 

According to Albert Ellis, an American psychologist, the best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your challenges are your own. You do not place blame; but realize that you alone control your destiny.

  1. Consult Your Other Half

Our personal relationships have an effect on our work and it’s up to you whether or not your relationship is a positive or negative influence on your career. Once the kids are asleep, consider calling up these seven questions on your mobile device to help drive meaningful dialogue.

  • What are our 2017 emotional goals?
  • What are our 2017 financial goals?
  • What are our 2017 career goals?
  • What can I do to help support your career?
  • Here is what I need from you in terms of support for my career.
  • What changes should we make together in order to achieve our goals?
  • Are you happy? Am I happy? If not, what changes do we need to make?

 

The important takeaway is that you have an open, honest discussion with each other about your livelihoods. Are you pursing lofty aspirations and hobbies while your spouse pays all the bills, disciplines the kids and preps dinner every night? Is this a successful long-term plan?

In Conclusion

To paraphrase Aristotle, we simply are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit. By taking the time to plan and reflect on these year-end conversations, you quickly will gain an education from 2016’s experiences and can use what you learn to change your habits in the coming year for the better.



Author Bio: A writer, speaker and young business leader, Jason has been the communications pulse for a number of organizations, including Paycom. A featured writer on human capital management technology, leadership and the Affordable Care Act, Jason launched Paycom’s blog and social media channels, helping empower organizations around the nation. Jason is attuned to the needs of businesses and recently helped develop a tool to aid organizations in their pursuit to comply with the ACA; one of the largest changes in healthcare the country has seen. While working in athletics for ESPN and FoxSports, Jason learned the importance of hard work and branding. In his free time he enjoys adventuring with his family, reading and exploring new areas to strengthen his business acumen.

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