IRS Delaying 2018 Updates

In case you hadn’t heard Congress is working on a tax bill!  Yes, a bit snarky there.  But this new tax bill does have a direct effect on payroll, especially our year end and year beginning updates.  Normally by now we would have received the Notice that gives us the 2018 tax charts, the Form W-4 would have been finalized etc.  But we were notified in the monthly IRS payroll industry phone conference call, on Thursday Dec. 7,  that these items are on hold until the tax bill is passed or abandoned.  Now since it is unlikely this bill will just be abandoned, the massive changes to tax charts, taxing of fringe benefits etc. is going to require extensive updates for the IRS to incorporate.  So even if the bill is effective January 1, 2018, which it is indicated to be, don’t expect the new charts immediately.  The IRS needs time to “review and implement” the required changes.  So what will probably happen is that we will have an “implementation period” as we did in 2009, when new tax legislation was passed.  Employers will continue to use the 2017 charts and guidance until the info is received.  This may pose a problem as many of the fringe benefits that we currently offer such as transportation passes, educational assistance and relocation may have tax status changes from nontaxable to taxable. So be sure to track these payments or benefits so they can properly taxed if need be when the final bill is implemented.

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