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Tax time!

Here is my payroll year-end pet peeve.....

It happens at least once every January.....

An employee calls (late in the month, but always before the W-2 deadline of Jan 31). He has at H&R Block, Liberty Tax, Jackson Hewitt, wherever to get his taxes done, but he hasn't received his W-2. Can you please fax/email, etc it over to him?

Sure, I've got nothing better to do than to reprint something that is technically not even late yet, just because you can't wait to get your tax refund!



  • jadegurljadegurl ✭✭✭

    I got a change of address from someone on last night around 5:30
    I also had a voicemail from someone claiming to be a former employees wife and can I email her his W2 because they have an appointment on Wednesday to file their taxes? umm no...

  • David WarrenDavid Warren ✭✭✭✭

    The wife is not the employee, so no. Ideally you want something in writing from the EMPLOYEE. Have the employee fax you something.

    Lack of planning on your employee's part does not constitute an emergency on your part.

  • David WarrenDavid Warren ✭✭✭✭

    Regarding the change of address, was it in writing? Are they trying to change the check address only, or all addresses the company has for all purposes? (And yes, I have had employees argue after the fact that we ****ed thing ups by doing exactly what they told us to do.) And is it the employee who wants the address changed?

  • David WarrenDavid Warren ✭✭✭✭

    One last thing on addresses. One size fits all address forms cause problems. If I have an employee working in CA who changes his address to FL, what does that actually mean? CA does not care about where people live so people who thinks this someone magically turns off their CA taxes are going to be disappointed (BTDT). But does your address change mean that they are trying to change their mailing address or instead they live in a different state now. Do your benefit providers have their forms that need to be filed out. And if you have a temp-du-jour or very junior staff handling the data entry, do they understand the possible nuances?

  • Another W-2 twist... We were notified by the estate of an employee who passed away in 2017 that we need to e-mail them his 2017 W-2 immediately. This was yesterday and we had no confirmation they were next of kin or had any binding power of attorney. When they finally do get the W-2 I'm sure we'll be told we taxed the final earnings incorrectly. GOOD TIMES!!

  • David WarrenDavid Warren ✭✭✭✭

    Unfortunately this is very state specific, and states often have rules not requiring POAs and things at a certain dollar amount. The keys are:

    • Are you sure the employee died?
    • Everything paid prior to death is vanilla W-2. Everything after death is complicated, I am thinking 1099 and "Estate of ,,," being the payee, and maybe FICA turning off at some point. IRS pub 15 spells out the federal rules, but the states are all over the place.
    • Nothing said over the phone counts. If you are going to give a W2 or 1099 to anyone, make them sign for it. Spell out that they are are claiming that they are the lawful recipient of the form. Even if someone else later says the form should have gone to them, you can prove that you made a good faith effort.
  • 1099-MISC goes to who ever was sent the check for wages paid after the date of the employee's death - The wages paid are reported in box 3 as other income. No income tax should be withheld. Only wages paid prior to the date of death are included in box 1 of the W-2. However, all wages paid during the calendar year the employee died are included in the Social Security and Medicare wages and tips including those paid to the estate or other beneficiary after the date of death and Social Security and Medicare taxes should be withheld.

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