The Payroll Report: Feb. 26 to March 2


Here is a roundup of recently covered payroll issues:


The 2018 Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, was released Feb. 27 by the IRS and applies the same general approach to determining withholding allowances as did the 2017 form, despite the elimination of personal exemptions under the new law.

The 2018 Form W-4 is four pages, compared with two in 2017. The form retains the personal allowances worksheet used in the 2017 form because the 2018 federal income tax withholding tables already account for changes made under the 2017 tax code overhaul (Pub. L. 115-97), an IRS official said March 1 during a monthly teleconference with payroll professionals.

An updated withholding calculator for use with the 2018 Form W-4 was released Feb. 28 by the IRS. The calculator helps employees ensure that an adequate amount of tax is withheld from paychecks each pay period and fill out a new Form W-4 if necessary, the IRS said.

The agency also released the 2018 Publication 15-A, Employer’s Supplemental Tax Guide (Supplement to Publication 15, Employer’s Tax Guide); the 2018 Form 941, Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return, and instructions; and Form 941, Schedule R, Allocation Schedule for Aggregate Form 941 Filers (Rev. January 2018).


North Dakota released new withholding tables Feb. 26, to be used for wages paid in 2018. Employers do not need to adjust withholding on any wages paid before Feb. 26, the state tax commissioner’s office said in a release.

Michigan restored its personal exemption as it existed before the tax code overhaul under a bill signed Feb. 28 by Gov. Rick Snyder (R). The measure would preserve the state’s personal exemption by removing language in the state’s income tax law that links the amount of exemptions claimed at the state level to the amount claimed on an individual’s federal W-4, the governor’s office said in a news release.


Private employers in Austin, Texas, must provide workers with paid sick leave and safe-leave time under an ordinance signed Feb. 26 by Mayor Steve Adler (D).

The ordinance takes effect Oct. 1, 2018, for employers with at least five employees. For employers with up to five employees, the ordinance takes effect Oct. 1, 2020.

The ordinance requires all private employers in the city with at least 15 employees to provide workers with up to 64 hours, or eight work days, of paid leave, at the rate of one hour accrued for every 30 worked.

Employers with fewer than 15 employees must provide up to 48 hours, or six work days, of leave.

The city joins more than 40 other cities and states that have paid leave laws, including Seattle, San Francisco, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, and Vermont.

By Jamie Rathjen

Take a free trial of Bloomberg BNA’s Payroll Decision Support Network , your one-stop resource for reliable, up-to-date guidance and analysis in every area of payroll administration and compliance. 

Follow Bloomberg BNA on Twitter @BloombergBNA and join the Bloomberg BNA U.S. and Global Payroll group on LinkedIn .