Payroll

Eligible Paycheck Protection Program expenses now deductible

WASHINGTON – The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service issued guidance today allowing deductions for the payments of eligible expenses when such payments would result (or be expected to result) in the forgiveness of a loan (covered loan) under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

Today’s guidance, Revenue Ruling 2021-02, reflects changes to law contained in the COVID-related Tax Relief Act of 2020, enacted as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (Act), Public Law 116-260, which was signed into law on Dec. 27, 2020.

The COVID-related Tax Relief Act of 2020 amended the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to say that no deduction is denied, no tax attribute is reduced, and no basis increase is denied by reason of the exclusion from gross income of the forgiveness of an eligible recipient’s covered loan. This change applies for taxable years ending after March 27, 2020.

Revenue Ruling 2021-02 obsoletes Notice 2020-32 and Revenue Ruling 2020-27. This obsoleted guidance disallowed deductions for the payment of eligible expenses when the payments resulted (or could be expected to result) in forgiveness of a covered loan.

For more information about this, the COVID-related Tax Relief Act of 2020, and other tax changes, visit IRS.gov.

 

February 1 is the deadline for employers to issue and file wage statements

Employers must file Form W-2 and other wage statements by Monday, February 1, 2021. This is also the date Form W-2s are due to employees.

By law, employers are required to file copies of their Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, and Form W-3, Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements, with the Social Security Administration by January 31. However, since January 31 falls on a Sunday in 2021, the deadline is the next business day, Monday, February 1.

Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income and Form 1099-NEC, Nonemployee Compensation, are also due to recipients on February 1, 2021, with some exceptions. Other due dates related to Form 1099 are listed in the instructions for these forms.

Timely filing helps prevent fraud.
Filing wage statements on time and without errors is beneficial to employers and the IRS. The employer avoids penalties, and the IRS has time to verify income taxpayers report on their tax returns, which helps prevent fraud.

E-file is the quickest, most accurate and convenient way to file these forms. The law requires certain filers who file 250 or more information returns for any calendar year to file electronically.

Employers should plan and prepare early.
Good preparation now can help employers avoid problems later. For instance, employers can start by verifying or updating employee information, such as:
• Names
• Addresses
• Social Security numbers
• Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers

Employers should be sure their account information is current and active with the Social Security Administration as soon as possible. Lastly, employers should order paper Form W-2s, if needed.

Automatic extensions of time to file Form W-2s are not available. The IRS will only grant extensions for very specific reasons. For details, employers should read the instructions for Form 8809, Application for Extension of Time to File Information Returns.

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Helpful information for taxpayers on backup withholding

Taxpayers who receive certain types of income may have backup withholding deducted from these payments. Backup withholding can apply to most payments reported on certain Forms 1099 and W-2G.

Here are some facts to help taxpayers understand backup withholding.

Backup withholding is required on certain non-payroll amounts when certain conditions apply.

The payer making such payments to the payee doesn’t generally withhold taxes, and the payees report and pay taxes on this income when they file their federal tax returns. There are, however, situations when the payer is required to withhold a certain percentage of tax to make sure the IRS receives the tax due on this income.

Backup withholding is set at a specific percentage.

The current percentage is 24 percent.

Payments subject to backup withholding include:

• Interest payments
• Dividends
• Payment card and third-party network transactions
• Patronage dividends, but only if at least half the payment is in money
• Rents, profits or other gains
• Commissions, fees or other payments for work done as an independent contractor
• Payments by brokers
• Barter exchanges
• Payments by fishing boat operators, but only the part that is paid in actual money and that represents a share of the proceeds of the catch
• Royalty payments
• Gambling winnings, if not subject to gambling withholding
• Taxable grants
• Agriculture payments

Examples when the payer must deduct backup withholding:

• If a payee has not provided the payer a Taxpayer Identification Number.
– A TIN specifically identifies the payee.
– TINs include Social Security numbers, Employer Identification Numbers, Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers and Adoption Taxpayer Identification Numbers.

• If the IRS notified the payer that the payee provided an incorrect TIN; that is the TIN does not match the name in IRS records. Payees should make sure that the payer has their correct name and TIN to avoid backup withholding.

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Choosing a trustworthy payroll service provider can protect employers from fraud

When hiring a company to handle payroll and payroll tax, employers should carefully choose their payroll service provider. This can help a business avoid missed deposits for employment taxes and other unpaid bills.

Most of these businesses provide quality service but there are some who don’t have their clients’ best interests in mind. Each year, there are a few payroll service providers who don’t submit their client’s payroll taxes and closedown abruptly. The damage hits their unsuspecting clients hard.

Typically, these clients remain legally responsible for paying the taxes due, even if the employer sent funds to the payroll service provider for required deposits or payments.

Employers should understand their payroll and employment tax responsibilities and choose a trusted payroll service to handle this important job. Here are two options:

• A certified professional employer organization. Typically, CPEOs are solely liable for paying the customer’s employment taxes, filing returns, and making deposits and payments for the taxes reported related to wages and other compensation.
• Reporting agent. This is a payroll service provider that informs the IRS of its relationship with a client using Form 8655, Reporting Agent Authorization, which is signed by the client. Reporting agents must deposit a client’s taxes using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System and can exchange information with the IRS on behalf of a client, such as to resolve an issue. They are also required to provide clients a written statement reminding the employer that it, not the reporting agent, is ultimately responsible for the timely filing of returns and payment of taxes.

IRS encourages employers to enroll in EFTPS and make sure its payroll service provider uses EFTPS to make tax deposits. It’s free and it gives employers safe and easy online access to their payment history when deposits are made under their Employer Identification Number, enabling them to monitor whether their payroll service provider is meeting its tax deposit responsibilities.

Employers should contact the IRS about any bills or notices received, especially payments managed by a third party. Call the number on the bill, write to the IRS office that sent the bill, contact the IRS business tax hotline at 800-829-4933, or visit a local IRS office.

Accounting Services of York is a Reporting Agent.

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Tips for taxpayers who need to file a new W-4

All taxpayers should review their withholding annually. They can use the IRS Tax Withholding Estimator to check and make sure they’re not having too little or too much federal tax withheld. This tool offers workers, retirees and self-employed individuals a step-by-step method to help figure out if they should adjust their withholding.

Those who need to adjust their withholding should submit a new Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Certificate to their employer.

People who should check their withholding include those:

• who are part of two-income families
• working two or more jobs or who only work for part of the year
• with children who claim credits such as the child tax credit
• with older dependents, including children age 17 or older
• who itemized deductions on their 2019 tax return
• with high incomes and more complex tax returns
• with large tax refunds or large tax bills for 2019
• who received unemployment at any time during the year

The IRS Tax Withholding Estimator can help taxpayers check their withholding.

• This tool will help determine if they should complete a new Form W-4.
• It will also help users determine what information to put on a new Form W-4.
• It will save them time because they don’t need to complete the form worksheets. The Estimator does the worksheet calculations.

Taxpayers who complete a new Form W-4 should submit it to their employer as soon as possible. With withholding occurring throughout the year, it’s better to take this step sooner, rather than later.

People should generally increase withholding if they hold more than one job at a time or have income from sources not subject to withholding. If adjustments aren’t made for these situations, they will likely owe additional tax and possibly penalties when filing their tax return.

On the other hand, people should generally decrease their withholding if they are eligible for income tax credits or deductions other than the basic standard deduction.

Having the most recent pay statements, information for other income sources and the most recent income tax return can help taxpayers use the Withholding Estimator to figure out their correct withholding.

They might also need to adjust their state or local withholding. They can contact their state’s department of revenue to learn more.

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Local IRS Offices

York
2670 Industrial Hwy, York, PA 17402
Monday-Friday 8:30am - 4:30pm
(Closed for lunch 12:30pm - 1:30pm)
(717) 757-4977

Harrisburg
228 Walnut St, Harrisburg, PA 17101
Monday-Friday 8:30am - 4:30pm
(Closed for lunch 12:30pm - 1:00pm) (717) 777-9650

Lancaster
1720 Hempstead Rd, Lancaster, PA 17601
Monday-Friday 8:30am - 4:30pm
(Closed for lunch 12:30pm - 1:00pm)
(717) 291-1994










NATP

National Association of Tax Professionals