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2015 W-2s cast their last shadows

Groundhogs scurry back home after they see their shadows. You have no such luxury. Paper W-2s are due to the Social Security Administration by the end of the month; e-filed forms are due by March 31. This checklist applies to e-filers who are using the SSA’s EFW2 filing specs.

In the mailbag this month …


Payroll’s Super Bowl, also known as year-end, is done. Congratulations. Now it’s time to tackle what’s piled up during the last several months.

Payroll odds and ends: Uniforms and third-party signatures

The IRS is a prodigious publisher. Here are digests of two Legal Memoranda.

February 2016: Employer’s business tax calendar

Here’s your monthly guide to critical payroll due dates.

Employer not liable for failing to file W-2s/W-3

An employer that failed to prove it filed its Forms W-2/W-3 with the Social Security Administration was, nevertheless, not liable for a tax penalty for intentionally disregarding the filing requirement. This may be a comfort if you’re filing paper W-2s/W-3, which are due to the SSA by the end of the month.

A list of the Social Security Administration’s Employer Service Liaison Officers

Contact the Social Security Administration’s Employer Service Liaison Officers with questions about e-filing or submitting paper Copy A to the SSA. This chart shows all the contact information you need.

PATH Act throws obstacles in Payroll’s way

Congress has enacted the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015, or PATH Act, which is the tax extenders bill, and an omnibus spending bill. The PATH Act accelerates the filing date for both paper and electronic Forms W-2s and 1099-MISC to Jan. 31, beginning with forms filed in 2017. It also extended several key payroll ­provisions.

DOL addresses retirement options for small employers

California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon and Washington are on the front line of facilitating retirement plans for small employers. Although each state takes a different approach, all have been hemmed in by the possibility that ERISA, the federal benefits law, will pre-empt their efforts.

Employees allege employer cut hours to avoid ACA liability

Can you zero out the Affordable Care Act’s mandate to provide 95% of full-time employees—those who work at least 30 hours a week—with group health benefits by cutting their work hours, so that they’re no longer considered full-time employees? One employer that allegedly did so is now defending itself against a class action lawsuit.

January 2016: Employer’s business tax calendar

Here’s your monthly guide to critical payroll due dates.