Form W-4 and 2022 Withholding: Compliance Training for Payroll and HR

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The W-4 use to be a simple half page. Now it looks like a tax return … and employees have to do the math!

Even after two years of this new W-4 format, the new withholding rules are still sparking tons of questions and head scratching from both employees and Payroll/HR professionals. Employees, who may not have had to complete a new W-4 in years, are now making costly mistakes and they’re blaming you.

This revamped W-4 is a big change … no pay period withholding and no withholding allowances for employees to claim. And the IRS just keeps piling it on. To deal with the two withholding systems—one based on the old withholding allowances and the other based on the new W-4 and no withholding allowances—the IRS has created a “computational bridge” that will complicate your process further upfront, but which may ease your compliance burdens down the line.

Is your W-4 process in compliance? What other withholding tasks do you need to clean up before the end of 2021? Discover the new rules for employee withholding and get all of your questions answered. And remember, even if you farm out payroll to a third party, the IRS will always hold YOU responsible for any mistakes—so it's your job to guarantee compliance.

Agenda for Form W-4 and 2022 Withholding: Compliance Training for Payroll and HR:

  • What’s new about the W-4 process ... and how to quickly get your company into compliance.
  • What those W-4 worksheets are about and how they affect withholding. For years the IRS included worksheets along with the form. Most employees ignored them. Now they can't.
  • How to help employees use the IRS' withholding estimator. Employees who've used the estimator are getting their withholding wrong. You can help.
  • How to explain these changes to employees. When employees need (or choose) to update their W-4s, don't just hand them the confusing new form. Instead, create a communication plan to help employees fill out the form.
  • What do we do if employees don't file a new W-4? Since most employees don't refile their W-4s, and the IRS says it can't make them refile, your payroll system must now account for two radically different W-4 forms and withholding methods. But don't worry—the IRS has a solution for this! And it works … sort of.
  • Are all those old W-4s still valid? To prevent IRS penalties, learn the three circumstances that require employees to absolutely file new W-4s. Plus, discover the five situations in which you should immediately reject a W-4, and what to do when the IRS sends you a letter voiding an employee's W-4.
  • Are your withholding processes correct? Computer programs and vendors are only as good as the data you've supplied. Best practice: Figure your own withholding at least once a year. (Doing so this year is a necessity!) We'll decipher the IRS' step-by-step instructions that let you do just that.
  • What’s the impact of the pandemic? Employees you rehire (as opposed to those you furlough and call back) must file the new form.
  • How do you handle supplemental pay? You'll also be able to spot the 12 different types of supplemental pay (including noncash payments) and to apply the seven key rules for withholding on supplemental pay.
  • Plus, get answers to your own withholding questions from attorney Alice Gilman, editor of Payroll Legal Alert, a true payroll expert!
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Alice Gilman, Esq., is an expert in payroll and tax compliance who has covered payroll issues for more than 26 years. She's written and edited several leading payroll publications, including Payroll Legal Alert, the Research Institute of America's Payroll Guide, the American Payroll Association's Basic Guide to Payroll and the Payroll Manager's Letter.

Alice Gilman
Alice Gilman esquire and author
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