Here is a roundup of payroll issues covered in the past week:
A draft of the 2019 Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, released June 6, reflected changes under the federal tax code overhaul (Pub. L. 115-97). Payroll professionals had anticipated that the elimination of personal exemptions would require the refiling of Forms W-4 by employees and changes to payroll systems. Draft forms are not final forms and are not to be filed by taxpayers.
Previous versions of the federal W-4 that are on file with employers may be used despite the removal of references to withholding allowances in the 2019 draft version of the form, an Internal Revenue Service official said June 7.
Ensuring that employees would not be required to refile Forms W-4 as part of the transition to the new withholding method was one of the IRS’s goals for the 2019 form’s final design, said an official in the agency’s forms and publications department.
A separate 11-page set of draft instructions was released June 7. Previously, instructions for W-4s were included with the form.
Employers should ensure that prior-year W-4 data conform to the new withholding method for 2019, the instructions said. To achieve this, employers should keep the number of withholding allowances and additional withholding the same as on prior-year W-4s, and assume Lines 5, 6, 7, and 8 are zero. The withholding tables and formulas were adjusted to take older Forms W-4 into account, the instructions said.
Continued compatibility with older Forms W-4 was not expected to be a temporary measure, said an official in the Treasury Department’s tax policy department.
The state-allowance instructions that Idaho employees are to use to calculate withholding were adjusted in revised withholding guidance issued May 31.
A new form to be used by employees to claim exemption from Kentucky withholding was issued May 31 on the state revenue department’s website.
A measure signed June 5 by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) extended the allowable time period by which workers paid using a monthly pay period must be paid.
Effective for the third quarter of 2018, New Hampshire’s range of unemployment tax rates for experienced employers and the rate for new employers are unchanged, the state employment security agency said on its website June 1.
Under two measures recently signed by New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R), the time period in which wages must be paid to workers is adjusted and certain camp workers are to be exempt from state day-of-rest and Sunday work requirements.
The village of Amelia, Ohio, is to initiate a local income tax at the rate of 1 percent, effective July 1, 2018, the Regional Income Tax Agency said June 1 on its website.
Final revisions to administrative rules to implement Seattle’s Paid Sick and Safe Time ordinance and a proposed rule to make its hourly compensation definition conform to the state’s definition were issued June 4 by the Seattle Office of Labor Standards.
By Jazlyn Williams
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