The Payroll Report: May 18 to May 25


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Federal 

The Internal Revenue Service wants tax professionals and attorneys to help implement the tax code overhaul (Pub. L. No. 115-97), acting Commissioner David Kautter said May 18. 

The agency expects to “probably hire 1,700" full-time workers ahead of the next filing season, with 1,000 of the new employees being brought on specifically for that time period, Kautter said at the American Payroll Association Congress in National Harbor, Md. 

Tax-form development and revision is a focus for the implementation process. More than 400 forms, instructions, and publications need updating in 2018. 

So far, new drafts have been made of forms that needed changes, Kautter said. By the end of May, the drafting of instructions for these forms should be completed, he said.

The goal is to provide these drafts to the public for comment by July, Kautter said.

Also underway are efforts to modify the inflexible software applications that the agency uses to operate the 140 systems that process individual and business returns, Kautter said.

State

Maryland’s maximum standard tax deduction is increased and the state splits from the federal government in retaining personal exemptions under legislation signed by Gov. Larry Hogan (R), his office said in a May 15 news release. 

Under one bill (S.B. 318), the maximum individual deduction for Maryland income taxes increases to $2,250 from $2,000, and the deduction is to be annually adjusted for inflation. 

A separate bill (S.B. 184) preserves state personal exemptions by removing language tying state exemptions to the number of federal personal exemptions claimed by the taxpayer. The value of the state exemption, which is $3,200, was not changed under the new law.

Both bills were signed May 15 and take effect July 1 for tax years 2018 and later.

New Hampshire’s unemployment tax rates are to decrease for the fourth quarter of 2018, a spokesman for the state employment security agency told Bloomberg Tax in an email May 24. 

Tax rates are to be lowered by 0.5 percent from those in effect for the second quarter of 2018 because the state unemployment trust fund balance is projected to exceed $300 million on each day of the fourth quarter, the spokesman said.

By Jazlyn Williams

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