When you’re running a business, there’s a lot that happens at the end of the year. Navigating the landscape of payroll, compliance, taxes, and other complexities is not an easy task for anyone — especially when you’re thinking about holiday gatherings, travel, and performance reviews.
If you’re a Justworks customer, our goal is to make company payroll tax returns as smooth as possible. I’d like to attempt to provide some pointers towards employers that can help you out.
Help Us Help You
Here are four tips you can take as a manager to ensure your end-of-year filings go smoothly.
1. INFORM EMPLOYEES EARLY
We know, it’s tempting to wait until the last minute. The last thing you want to do is a year-end task. But if you cross these to-dos off your list early, you’ll save yourself headaches down the road — and it’s one less thing to worry about.
As a PEO, Justworks files in the aggregate for all of our customers. This means making post-deadline changes for an individual employee or company is close to impossible once our filing deadline has arrived.
Like you, our Customer Success teams will undoubtedly get very busy as we approach filing deadlines. Encourage your team to avoid requesting an extension when filing or encountering errors by doing the following:
Check Personal Details in Justworks - The name, address, social security number, and withholding allowances listed in the platform are exactly what we use to file. Double check to ensure everything is up to date so your Form W-2 is accurate. You and your employees should verify this information.
Double Check W-2s and 1099s - Once Justworks provides Forms W-2s and 1099s, you and your employees should check them early and let us know if anything is incorrect so we can correct them well before the IRS’s filing deadlines.
2. REVIEW YOUR PAYROLL HISTORY EARLY
If you’re managing your Justworks accounts, a lot of different elements can impact the tax documents we provide. Take some time to ask yourself the following and let us know if anything is amiss.
Check for Outside Payments - Justworks discourages outside payments such as checks, stocks options and grants, and cash bonuses because we don’t have information about these payments and therefore, cannot report them for you. If you did make payments to an employee without using Justworks, let us know right away so we can process taxes in the system and provide accurate Forms W-2.
Ensure Contractor Payments Are Recorded in the System - Justworks doesn’t require contractor payments to be made in the system because these payments don’t have the same withholding and employment tax obligations. However, if you would like us to provide a Form 1099 to contractors (more on this next), you should inform us of these payments in our system. There’s a ‘prepaid in 2017’ field that you can populate with any non-Justworks contractor payments. If you don’t want us to file Forms 1099 for some or all of your contractors, make sure they are marked as ‘do not file’ in the app.
Check for Vendor Payments, Too - Make sure all vendor payments are recorded in Justworks. If you have additional payments outside of the system, let us know how much the payment was for and the type of vendor payment by the first week of December so we can input them on the backend.
Look at FICA and FUTA Exemptions - If you have employees who are FICA and/or FUTA exempt, make sure we know and have set them as exempt.
Other payments - Have custom or complicated payments you’d like help with? Let us know. We can help you process one-off 401(k) contributions, stock options and grants, gift cards, cash bonus, etc. Schedule your end-of-year bonuses as early as you can, and make sure your entity type is correct in Justworks.
3. FIND OUT MORE WITH OUR RESOURCES
If you still have questions, we have plenty of resources to guide you through the process. Those include:
- Answers to Your Questions About Reimbursed Expenses for Employees
- Employee Fringe Benefits - What Are They, Exactly?
We also have an end-of-year resource center in the app, which you can access here.
4. SIT BACK AND RELAX
Once you check off those little tasks, we can take care of the big tasks. Justworks will file the following on your behalf: Form W-3/Form 941 Forms 1096 Forms 1095-C (if applicable) EEO-1 (if applicable) Justworks will also issue the following on your behalf: Forms W-2 Forms 1099 Getting a headstart on these items will make your end-of-year experience go more smoothly.
Please be mindful of phishing schemes that are more common at this time of year. As your PEO, we’ll be collecting a lot of information from you for the purpose of payroll and tax filing.
There are a few things you can do to protect your and your employees' information:
- Set a strong, unique password for your account (that you don't use for anything else) and don’t share your password with others. Hint: Justworks will never ask for this information from you.
- Enable 2-factor authentication, and encourage your employees to do the same.
- Be mindful of phishing schemes that are more common at this time of year. You can hover over hyperlinks in emails to check that the URL is related to the company that appears to be writing you.
- Be careful about what you share via email. Hint: Justworks will never ask you to send Social Security Numbers or other sensitive information over email.
This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.