On certain media channels, it’s practically impossible to avoid hearing or seeing advertisements for services that specialize in helping those with large delinquent tax bills. If you don’t owe back taxes, you probably only half-listen to such ads, if you listen at all. But to the extent that you pay attention, you would probably assume that those who need such services owe income taxes. If so, you would be right…but only partially so.
The fact is that many business owners who find themselves in trouble with the IRS don’t owe income taxes; they owe payroll taxes and income tax withholding. The IRS, needless to say, takes this sort of thing very seriously, and failing to properly withhold, report, and pay employee income taxes and the employee and employer shares of FICA and Medicare taxes is a quick path to penalties, interest, collection efforts, tax liens, and the rest.
So Many Pitfalls
Being pursued by the IRS for back taxes is an extreme case of the payroll blues, but it’s easy to end up with a more minor case in so many ways. You might continue to file quarterly 941s when you’ve crossed the threshold requiring you to file and pay with each payroll cycle. You might throw up your hands in frustration when it’s time to generate and issue W-2s at year end. You might do business in a jurisdiction that has not just federal but also state and local income taxes. The list is long, but you get the idea.
Oh, and by the way—you’re aware of your state’s new hire reporting requirements, right? Most states require that new hires be reported shortly after starting work. The information is used to check on child support obligations, along with aiding the prevention of fraud in unemployment and public assistance systems as well as worker’s compensation disability payments.
You’re also screening new hires for eligibility under the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), aren’t you? This program was extended by President Obama until December 31, 2019. There are no penalties for failing to use this program, but you’re potentially leaving money on the table if you don’t screen for eligibility—the tax credits range from $1,200 to $9,600 per employee.
Another challenge is the business that has enough employees to make payroll complex but not enough to keep an employee dedicated to payroll busy 40 hours every week. Small businesses also tend to find it difficult to provide things that employees have come to expect, like Direct Deposit.
The Solution Is Easier than You Think
Intuit, the publisher of the QuickBooks family of accounting software, offers Intuit Full Service Payroll. This service handles all of your payroll needs, from calculating pay and providing free Direct Deposit to calculating, reporting, and paying all payroll taxes. Intuit’s payroll system is so advanced that they guarantee to resolve any payroll tax issue that arises while you’re their client. They also take care of new hire reporting and W-2s.
The only thing required from your business is the entry of employee hours each pay cycle. This is a task easily accomplished by your department heads, unit managers, accounting staff, or even you as the owner. Better yet, you don’t need to be in front of a computer to enter hours—you can do so just as easily from your smartphone or tablet. You also don’t have to be a QuickBooks user to take advantage of this service.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be relieved of all the responsibilities that accompany payroll processing? There’s more good news, though: Intuit Full Service Payroll costs less per month than you would pay a typical payroll clerk for one day of work. It’s also accompanied by a 60-day money-back guarantee, so if for some reason the service isn’t for you, you can walk away from the subscription at no cost. We doubt, however, that you’ll have any reason to do so.
Paying employees is fraught with all sorts of potential traps, the worst of which can have you calling that 800 number for the tax debt relief service. Give how easy and inexpensive it is to avoid those traps, there is no reason you should wait to learn more about Intuit Full Service Payroll.