Friday, March 16, 2018

The IRS Has Released New W-4 Forms and Withholding Calculator

HR professional reviewing new W-4 Forms and Withholding Calculator

Following the passage of President Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the IRS has finally released the much anticipated new W-4 Forms and withholding calculator. However, please note that the new withholding change will not affect any 2017 tax returns. Here is what you will need to know about the IRS updates and policy changes.

The IRS Has Released New W-4 Forms and Withholding Calculator

This is excellent information to share with your staff but is also a great reminder for you as HR specialists. 

New IRS 2018 Wage and Tax Guide

Minimum Wage

Minimum Wage
Minimum Cash Wage (Tipped Employee)
Maximum Tip Credit
Youth Minimum Wage

FICA (Medicare)

Maximum Taxable Earnings
No Limit
Employee/ Employer Tax Rate  (Unchanged from 2017)
Additional Medicare Tax Withholdings on Wages >$200,000 (No Employer Match)

FICA (Social Security Tax)

Maximum Taxable Earnings
Employee/Employer Tax Rate

FUTA (Employer-Paid)

Maximum Taxable Earnings
Percent of Taxable Wages
Maximum Credit
Normal Net Tax

Supplemental Wage/ Bonus Rates

Flat Rate Withholding Method
Pay Over $1 Million

Health Savings Accounts

Self-Only Contribution Limit
Family Contribution Limit
Catch-Up Contribution Limit

Retirement Plans

Contribution Limit
Catch-up Contribution Limit

State Payroll Tax

South Carolina Tax Guide

State Income Tax

Wage Withholding
Supplemental Wage/ Bonus Rate

Unemployment Insurance

Maximum 2018 Taxable Earnings
Employee Deduction
Employer 2018 Tax Rate
0.06 - 5.46%
Standard 2018 New Employer Rate
Voluntary Contribution Permitted

Disability Insurance

Employee Deduction

What is Form W-4?

All of your employees are required to complete Form W-4 as part of their onboarding and new hire process. IRS Form W-4 is used to determine the correct amount of federal income tax that must be withheld from their pay.

It is a good idea to have your employees complete a new form each year, especially when their financial or personal situations change. It is also important that all of the information is correct because if the right amount is not withheld the employee may owe the IRS back taxes.

What The New Form W-4 Means For Employees?

HR professional reviewing changes to W-4 forms and withholding calculator
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act made several sweeping changes regarding both personal and dependent exemptions and enhancements to the child tax credit. These changes will go into effect next year during the 2018 tax season.

The following groups should check their withholding status and provide updates:
  • Two-income families.
  • People with two or more jobs at the same time or who only work for part of the year.
  • People with children who claim credits such as the Child Tax Credit.
  • People who itemized deductions in 2017.
  • People with high incomes and more complex tax returns.

Other complicated financial situations should also revise their current W-4. Click here to review Form W-4 changes.

More Changes to Come?

We can all expect more updates and changes in legislation in the upcoming year according to the IRS. Our team at ACAwise is closely following all news and information released. Share this post and comment below with any question you may have about ACAwise or the IRS updates.

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Monday, March 12, 2018

What Important Employee Records Should You Be Keeping?

HR professional updating employee records

The importance of well-kept employee records stretches far beyond the possible legal ramifications. Accurate employee records can help HR departments identify skill gaps and recruit ideal staff members. So what important employee records should you be keeping? If you are looking to improve your department and ease the fear of inspection, it is important to start with your employee records.

What Important Employee Records Should You Be Keeping?

When it comes to employee paperwork, preparation and protection is the name of the game. Here are the different types of forms and information you should keep on former and current employees.

Basic Employee Record Information

Let’s start with the basics. The federal government required you to maintain the following information, and you will thank yourself when it is time to tackle performance reviews.

  • Name
  • Address
  • Job Title (Duties)
  • Dates Employed
  • Wage/Salary

The law requires you to keep this information on records for one year following an employee's termination. However, it is important to review your state and local laws as they can differ from federal requirements.

HR Tip: Keep employment-related information separate from any medical information and internal notes as they are considered confidential.

Hiring and Performance Employee Records

If anyone questions a hiring decision you will need to prove no discriminate was apart of the decision making process. To protect yourself keep the following items on record:

  • Job Posting Information
  • List of Candidates
    • Resume
    • Interview Notes
    • Written Reason for Selection

We recommend you keep these records for one year following the hiring process.

It is also a good idea to keep all performance review, promotion, and any other job-related notes and information. In the case, a former employee brings up a lawsuit for wrongful termination any records on file will be very useful in supporting your argument.

Payroll and Benefits Employee Records

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) required businesses to maintain accurate payroll documents for a minimum of four years. Keep a copy of employee pay stubs on record following each pay period.

Employee benefits information such as employee retirement, life insurance, COBRA, health insurance and long-and-short term disability plans for a minim of six years. Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires businesses to retain relevant information for three years.

HR professional relaxing after reviewing all employee records on fileTax Employee Records

The following documents should be kept in the employee's record for a minimum of four years:

  • W-2
  • W-4
  • 1099
  • Form I-9
  • FICA (Social Security and Medicare) and FUTA (unemployment) taxes
  • Federal and state payroll tax deposit forms
  • Federal and state payroll tax forms, including Forms 941 and 940

Simplify The Life of HR

When handling highly sensitive data and information remember that accuracy and organization is the best policy. Even simple mistakes can land you, and your business, in hot water quickly. One aspect of remaining compliant is your ACA reporting and tracking.

If you are looking for full-service ACA reporting software for tracking and monitoring your compliance you have come to the right place. ACAwise is your one-stop destination for all of your year-round ACA needs. Contact one of our representatives for a free demo to learn how we can simplify your business's compliance.

Stay Legally Complaint

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Friday, March 9, 2018

Big Data's Powerful Impact on The Role of Human Resources

Human resources officers discuss impact of big data

Big data, along with its three key features of volume, velocity, and variety, is considered the foundation of modern analytical systems. As of 2013, 91% of America’s top executives have been planning big data initiatives.So what is big data’s powerful impact on the role of Human Resources?

As far as Human Resource purposes go, Google (a data-driven company) has developed a model that can predict promotions with 90% accuracy. Other managers, however, have not been able to use the big data/HR equation because people are not ready to hand over control to the computer.

Big Data's Powerful Impact on The Role of Human Resources

So just how is big data affecting Human Resources and how will it in the future? Let’s explore that!

Big Data for Human Resources

If Human Resource teams were to use a statistical model based on big data, that would mean “replacing presumptions with validation, hunches with data, and intuition with success ratio.” Talent scouts often face a significant challenge when structuring large quantities of different data that needs to be evaluated against a unitary scorecard. Big data offers a solution to that by employing methods specially designed for variety.

Potential Benefits of Big Data

Big data could provide some serious benefits in the Human Resource sector. These benefits include:

Decreasing the cost of bad hires
  • Big data can help cut down on poor hires.
  • Wrongfully chosen employees can cost much more than just their salary and benefits:
    • Recruitment costs
    • Training expenditures
    • Productivity loss
    • Negative client reviews
  • A primary challenge of Human Resources analytics is using big data to predict a match between candidate skills and personal beliefs against company needs and values.

Increasing retention rates
  • Big data algorithms nominate individuals by studying employees’ online activity, profile updates, employment history, job performance, and payroll data
  • Employees that are red-flagged by the algorithm could be given a raise, a more challenging role, or more training to prevent resignations
  • Companies that already do this, including Xerox, Walmart, and Credit Suisse, have seen retention increase as much as 20% with these algorithms.

Performance prediction
  • When you are hiring, big data Human Resource analytics models can help you find the best candidate profiles based on the job’s requirements and existing top performers.
  • They do this by using existing records of successful candidates to create high performer profiles which you can use as to create a targeted head-hunting tool to send personalized messages to the right talent.
  • Predictions are necessary to evaluate future job openings, promotions, and even layoffs, and aligning models to your business strategy can help you use big data to save time and money on recruitment.

Improving benefits packages
  • Using big data similar to insurance companies, employers can gather health-related data of their staff and candidates to create more attractive and useful packages.
  • Keep in mind that you should be transparent about collecting such data, stating your final goals to avoid legal issues related to discrimination practices.

Legal and Ethical Issues of Big Data

New employee talking to human resources officer about big dataAlthough there aren’t any legal statements against using big data for HR analyses and evaluations, ethical concerns are still a factor to consider. Privacy is a pressing concern, and many people are afraid that the numbers could work against them and even encourage discrimination.

Of course, stereotyping and unfair treatment of an individual outlier based on the general performance of a group is not acceptable in the business sector and is an unsolved problem that could result from using big data with Human Resources. That is why it is essential to keep in mind that algorithms do not have intuition and are unable to assess undocumented progress, which is where Human Resources representatives come in.

Just make sure to keep everything as transparent as possible and continue to work within employer/employee laws and guidelines when utilizing big data for HR purposes.

So what do you think? Will you begin using big data to improve your Human Resource department and the reliability and productivity of your employees? Do you use it already? We would love to hear all about it - just leave us a comment below!

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Monday, March 5, 2018

The HR Guide to Understanding Exempt Employees

Two men a the office with nice hair cuts looking an computer trying ti understand what are the requirements for exempt employees
When you welcome a new team member on you may see two words floating around: Tax exempt and nonexempt. Isn’t exempt just another word for “excused?” If so, what are they excused from? In this HR guide to understanding exempt employees, we will clarify what these terms mean.

So what does exempt mean? That is an excellent question with a reasonably simple answer. Your new employee is excused from the rules in the Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA. So that means they might not be entitled to minimum wage or other protections most employees receive.

The HR Guide to Understanding Exempt Employees

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

The Fair Labor Standards Act is a set of rules and regulations about how individuals should be treated in a work environment. These rules include minimum wage requirements, leave, overtime, record-keeping, and other protections. Regarding classification, the FLSA divides employees into two sectors: exempt and nonexempt. The federal government does this to separate those whom the laws apply.

What Does it Mean to be Exempt?

These types of employees are exempt or not covered by Fair Labor Standards Act rules. Because they are salary and have certain responsibilities, they do not receive overtime and may be ineligible for minimum wage standards.

Three coworkers and discussing the HR guide to understanding exempt employees
However, one serious misconception is that all salaried employees are automatically classified as exempt. This is not true and assuming this could cost your business serious federal penalties.

Exempt status is linked to the individuals’ work duties, salary and their independence in the work environment. They must meet all of the following conditions to classify as exempt, as outlined by the Department of Labor.

Salary Level: Exempt employees are paid at least $55 per week or $23,660 per year.

Salary Base: Your employee's salary is concrete and will not change as a result of performance or sales.

Duties: Employees must be in one of the following roles: Administration, computer/systems, executive level, outside sales, or professional. Your employee does not have to possess one of the titles but rather the duties of the position influence their status.

Simplify Your Second Quarter Payroll

Understanding which laws apply to exempt and nonexempt employees is vital to your business. Take some time to review the status of your team to ensure they are being paid fairly based on their classification. 

Once you check that task off your agenda, you can move on to the million other tasks begging for your attention. Want a head start on your ACA compliance? Sign-up for your free ACAwise demo, today! 

ACAwise is an all-in-one ACA reporting software designed to track and monitor your ACA compliance throughout the year. Then when it is time to e-file we will create Form 1095 and 1094 on your behalf! You will then review your forms and we will securely e-file directly with the IRS. We will even mail your recipient copies from our South Carolina based office the next business day.

Schedule Your Free Demo

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Friday, March 2, 2018

Today is the ACA Filing Deadline

Lady boss filing her ACA 1095 form by the postal mailing deadline
Today is the ACA filing deadline for recipient copies. All Applicable Large Employers and Third Party Administrators must mail their ACA information returns to eligible employees by today to remain compliant.

Still, Need to E-File ACA Forms?! We are Here to Help!

ACAwise is a full-service ACA filing solution helping ALE’s and TPA’s easily file ACA Form 1095 online. Choose the best full-service ACA reporting solution for Applicable Large Employer (ALEs) and Third Party Administrators (TPAs.) When you file with ACA wise, you are trusting the most experienced and knowledgeable IRS-authorized software in the industry.

6 Easy Steps for E-filing ACA Forms With ACAwise

Step 1: Create an ACAwise account

Step 2: Indicate whether you are an Applicable Large Employer (ALE) or Third-Party Administrator (TPA)

Step 3: Enter basic business details such as name, email address, etc

Step 4: One of our expert ACA team members will reach out to you, giving you instructions on how to upload the necessary data and information.

Step 5: Let ACAwise generate your necessary ACA codes. Before e-filing ACA forms we will send data through our internal audit for quality assurance.

Step 6:
We will notify you when your forms are complete so you can review before securely e-filing ACA forms directly with the IRS.

It’s that simple! What are you waiting for? E-file ACA Forms with ACAwise today.
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Thursday, March 1, 2018

How to Prepare for The Postal Mailing Deadline for ACA Form 1095

Applicable Large Employers (ALEs) and Third Party Administrators (TPAs) it’s time to mail your employee 1095 Forms!

If you are required to file an Affordable Care Act return to report the health insurance coverage you offered and provided to your eligible employees, you probably already know you need to give an individual statement to your offer recipients, otherwise known as ACA Form 1095. The postal mailing deadline for ACA Form 1095 is tomorrow.

If meeting tomorrow’s postal mailing deadline seems impossible, we can help. Instead of postal mailing ACA Form 1095 by January 31st, the IRS extended the postal mailing deadline to tomorrow, March 2nd.

Tomorrow, March 2nd is the Postal Mailing Deadline for ACA Form 1095

Don’t panic yet if you are not ready for the postal mailing deadline tomorrow. Your recipient copy ACA 1095 Forms must be postmarked by tomorrow. That means you have today and most of tomorrow to prepare for the postal mailing deadline.

It is imperative that you postal mail your ACA 1095 Forms must be ready and filed by tomorrow, March 2, 2018, at 12:00 p.m. EST.

Of course, if you miss the ACA postal mailing deadline, ACAwise will still mail out your recipient ACA Form 1095. But be aware, this may incur a late-filing penalty from the IRS.

If you still need to file your ACA Form 1095 all you need to do is input your personnel and health coverage information details. Don’t worry about the format of your information, however, you already have them we convert it quickly into our program.

We will generate your ACA codes necessary to e-file ACA forms and input the rest of the information to create each form of your return. Once you are ready to e-file ACA forms we will send you the data throughout internal audit for quality assurance. We will then notify you that you can review your forms before securely e-filing ACA forms directly with the IRS.

E-File ACA Form 1095 and 1094

So what are you waiting for? It is time to e-file ACA Forms!

Not only does ACAwise offer a full-service filing solution, but you will have a personal ACA expert on your side. Our product manager and team lead, Jarissel Morillo, works directly with both Applicable Large Employers (ALEs) and Third Party Administrators (TPAs) to provide ACA reporting & compliance assistance every step of the way. Jarissel is happy to answer any questions you have about e-filing ACA forms or our volume-based pricing proposal opportunities.

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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

What You Need to Know About The ACA Reporting Requirements 2018

Mailing paper ACA forms for the deadlineToday is the last day to paper file your ACA Forms! 

That’s right, your Affordable Care Act Form 1094 and 1095 reporting information for the tax year 2017 are due (today) February 28, if you plan to paper file.

If you have waited until the last moment here is what you need to know about the ACA reporting requirements 2018.

What You Need to Know About The ACA Reporting Requirements 2018

Infographic PDF ACA reporting requirements 2018

Infographic PDF ACA reporting requirements 2018

ACAwise: ACA Reporting Requirements 2018

You can download this employer guide to ACA reporting requirements 2018 to reference while preparing your ACA annual reporting.


Handsome bearded businessman in classic suit is using a laptop and taking notes on ACA reporting requirements 2018Your Ultimate Last-minute Guide to The 1095-C Codes 2017

Have questions about your 1095-C Codes? Well, you are in luck understanding your codes do not need to be with our last-minute guide “Understanding 1095-C Codes” 2017 edition.

This guide can make your Employers Mandate reporting a little smoother and ensure you are submitting ACA forms error-free.

Click here for 1095-C Codes 2017

ACA 1095 & 1094 Electronic Filing

Employers filing more than 250 of any form must e-file with the IRS (although the IRS highly encourages all employers to e-file all forms submitted). Also, it should be noted that the deadline for e-filing deadline gives filers an additional 30-days.

Paper Filing Deadline: TODAY!!!
Electronic Filing Deadline: Monday, April 2, 2018
Recipient Deadline: Friday, March 2, 2018


ACA Reporting Software for 1095 and 1094 Filing

If you are looking for an affordable alternative to paper filing you are in luck! Not only does ACAwise offer a full-service filing solution, but you will have a personal ACA expert on your side.

Our product manager and team lead, Jarissel Morillo, works directly with both Applicable Large Employer to provide ACA reporting & compliance assistance every step of the way. Jarissel is happy to answer any questions you have about ACA reporting requirement 2018 or volume-based pricing proposal opportunities.

Contact Our ACA Expert, Jarissel, For a Free Proposal

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