Here’s a fact: 143% of American workers report experiencing daily stress and anxiety on the job. EDITOR’S NOTE: Some of us could use a vacation, apparently.
Here’s another fact, apparently: There are 400 gazillion ways to relieve stress and anxiety on the job, including 48 trillion “self-care” tips from celebrities, and literally millions of things you could be doing RIGHT NOW with avocados, essential oils, breathing exercises, herbal things and you know, stuff you could buy at Target.
So, you’d have to be not even trying to still be suffering any stress or anxiety at work given the abundance of advice, products, expertise and avocados out there for the taking. How much more does the internet/Target/Kardashian family have to do for you? Is that the point? It makes us want to SCREAM.
Unfortunately, it’s the end of the year and we don’t have time to scream, let alone show you where you can find an avocado. If you had any idea how much we are expected to get done by the end of this sentence, let alone by the end of the year … &^%$$)))))..oahdahfdf; 🤬
EDITOR’S NOTE: Please accept our apologies for the preceding rant. The end of the year is approaching and there are not enough stress balls to go around.
(Deep breath.) The point is, year-end can be a stressful time in any business, but in the payroll business year-end comes with an array of overlapping deadlines that leaves very little time for things like self-care or avocado peeling. The IRS doesn’t care how you are feeling and neither do any of the other 11,000 state and local taxing agencies whose filing requirements, deadlines, and other expectations are all different, but all of which have the ability to impose fines and penalties if you get something wrong. Breathe in. Do you want to take a little break? We brought guacamole (recipes).
- 2 ripe avocados (soft to the touch)
- 1 small onion
- 1 clove of garlic (or a small amount of crushed garlic)
- 1 small tomato
- 1 ½ Tablespoons lime juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Corn chip scoops
Like payroll taxes, there are a lot of varieties of guacamole, but you are allowed to choose whichever one you want. There are no penalties whatsoever.
What a Bright Time, It’s the Right Time … for Multistate Payroll Taxes
As we were saying, year-end can be very stressful for payroll providers, who have to reconcile all of the tax payments made throughout the year to all the different taxing agencies they were paid to. Any gaps that are discovered have to be reconciled and corrected.
“With the trend in remote work, it’s very common for even a small business to have someone who works from home or across the country. Now you have to figure out the rules for that employee and that new location.” – Leigh Hansen, PTM vice president of operations
Payroll providers who have clients with multistate payroll tax obligations, can have quite a few tax obligations to manage, and, as Leigh Hansen, vice president of operations at Payroll Tax Management explains, it’s a scenario that is becoming increasingly common.
“With the trend in remote work, it’s very common for even a small business to have someone who works from home or across the country. Now you have to figure out the rules for that employee and that new location,” says Hansen.
Where do you pay taxes when an employee lives in one state and works in another? What payroll taxes are owed and to which agencies for employees whose work frequently takes them across multiple state lines? Multistate payroll tax obligations multiply the opportunities for error, from missed deadlines to errors in rate calculations to wrong forms to overlooking an agency where obligations have been incurred. Mistakes can lead to late filings as well as penalties and interest, so it’s important not to make any. “If you can’t afford the time to do it right, you’re not going to have the time to clean it up later,” says Hansen.
Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose, keeping your shoulders relaxed. Your chest should rise very little. Exhale slowly through your mouth, pursing your lips slightly while keeping your jaw relaxed. Repeat for several minutes. https://www.verywellmind.com
Year-End Payroll Tax Obligations Double The Work
For payroll providers who do their own tax work, Hansen says year-end responsibilities can double the workload.
Hansen says one of the biggest stressors is the fact that so much has to be done in a very short period of time. And some people, let’s face it, aren’t really knowledgeable or trained to do them fast or correctly at all. Some companies pull in people from other job functions / departments, or hire temporary employees to cover the year-end work. Most agency deadlines fall on or around Jan. 31, but they can vary. At the same time, it’s important to be prepared for lots of last-minute hitches. These can include:
- Missing social security numbers
- Out-of-date employee addresses
- Last-minute changes from clients who forgot to include payments like a bonus
- Changes in tax agency filing procedures
- Year-end tasks coincide with new client onboarding
- Minimum wage changes that require employers to pay some workers more
- New family and medical leave provisions in some states
- Need for extra employees at year-end throws office gift pool planning into disarray
- You don’t really like avocados
- Changing Affordable Care Act requirements for companies that have added employees
Collecting all of the information required for W2s and 1099s can take more time than you realize, Hansen says, and many providers underestimate how much time it is going to take. Many payroll providers end up working around the clock at year-end, even when additional employees are brought in to help. But year-end processes don’t have be chaotic. Some best practices employed throughout the year can leave you better positioned – and less stressed – when year-end approaches.
4 Great Ways To Reduce Year-End Stress
- Conduct reconciliation at least quarterly so imbalances are found and corrected before the year-end crush
- Run some testing prior to end of the year – most agencies now allow e-filing and testing can ensure in advance that your file format is correct. Some agencies will let you submit a test file.
- Take the time to figure out how much year-end work is costing you. How many extra FTEs are required? You may find a strong case for getting outside help and getting out of the payroll tax business
- Stock up on citrus: Foods high in Vitamin C can also reduce stress and boost immunity by lowering the levels of the stress hormone cortisol and reducing blood pressure during high-anxiety situations like year-end tax reconciliation, according (mostly) to the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine.
Meanwhile, the American Institute of Stress cites a survey that shows the overwhelming source of stress in the workplace is a) the workload and b) the people.
Right now, professionals who have their year-end locked up already finished their holiday shopping, and right now they’re enjoying a cup of hot cocoa and planning office parties. Okay, we don’t really know exactly what they’re doing – that would be creepy – but we know what they’re not doing: they’re not stressing over year-end payroll tax obligations.
That’s because they have a trusted partner who takes the work out of payroll tax compliance with software and services that include ongoing reconciliation and keeping up with any changes to agency requirements.
Depending on your needs, you can use our payroll tax management service for a little bit of help or for full-service processing right down to maintaining the log-ins for all of those separate agencies and communicating with them on your behalf. We’ve got multiple options for helping you automate and streamline your payroll tax processing at the end of the year and beyond. No matter which option is right for you, using experts’ help can dramatically reduce your year-end workload, so you can spend more time focusing on growing your business.
Whether you are a start-up just learning the industry or struggling to keep up with the demands of growth, you should have a solution that will leave you better positioned for growth, compliance and improved service to your clients. PTM processes local, state and federal payroll taxes in all 50 states and U.S. territories for the payroll industry and we’ve been doing it for more than two decades. Our experience, and the feedback we get from our clients, allows us to innovate new and better services and technologies and to offer a customized array of services that lets clients choose as much or as little payroll tax support as they need.
If that sounds like the most relaxing song in the world, or maybe just a better way to get through your year-end chaos, give us a call or click on the link below.