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Happy New Year! Ring in 2018 by closing out 2017 payroll

Posted 4 months ago in Xero news by Patricia Miller
Posted by Patricia Miller

Hope you all had a great holiday and a Happy New Year! Whether we like it or not, year-end is here. For some, this can be a stressful time of year, but no need to worry, we’re here to help you through the process. Here are a few tips to make sure things go smoothly.

Distribute W-2s to employees

Employees will be requesting their W-2s so they can get their tax refunds. You’ll need to print the W-2 and distribute to employees directly. They will print one copy per page. If you fold the pages in half, you could use Staples W-2 Easy Close Envelopes to mail these.

It’s not too late to sign up for Xero’s free federal electronic filing and payment. You’ll be able to submit the W-2s and W3s with one simple click. Please register no later than January 19, 2018 as it takes a few days for the IRS to get this processed. Once e-file and e-pay is active, you’ll need to submit the W-2s and W-3s by January 29, 2018 for timely filing. Remember if you elect to file the W-2s and W-3 outside of Xero, we don’t provide Copy A of the W-2s.

Review Q4

Don’t wait to review the Q4 941. Line 7 variances that aren’t between -5.00 and 5.00 will stop the form from being submitted or marked as filed. The most common reason is an employee’s pay history was incorrectly entered or the tax exemptions have been changed under the employee’s taxes tab. Please contact Xero Support and provide as many details as possible. By checking the box ‘Invite Xero Support into my organization’, this will allow us to research the issue.

To file Form 940, you’ll be prompted to recalculate the tax form. You’ll need to click the button and let the magic happen. Once the system has completed the process your form will be ready to view and file.

Get up-to-speed on changes

A few changes this year that our government has made that might interest you:

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has increased the maximum amount of wages in 2018 subject to the 6.2% Social Security tax (old age, survivor, and disability insurance) from $127,200 to $128,400.

The IRS has changed the following retirement contribution limits for 2018:

To help 2018 payroll run smoothly a few more items to check:

  1. You might have received your new state unemployment tax rate. Update the state unemployment insurance rate in the Taxes tab of Payroll settings. Please note the change will apply to future Pay Runs only. Also, if you’re entering a percentage that is less than 1% you’ll need to enter it with a leading zero (ie enter .5% as 0.5). If a 2018 Pay Run has been processed before the rate has been changed in Xero, please contact Xero Support before processing further payrolls. By checking the box ‘Invite Xero Support into my organization’, this will allow us to research the issue.
  2. If the box has been checked for Tax Exemptions for any tax in the Employees Taxes tab and the employee isn’t exempt for the entire year, please contact Xero Support before processing further payrolls or unchecking the box. Provide the employee’s name and time period affected. By checking the box ‘Invite Xero Support into my organization’ this will allow us to research the issue.

If you need help with any of this, please reach out to support sooner than later. Wishing you all the best for 2018! 

For more information, head to the Help Center and take a look at our Payroll End-of-Year guide.

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