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Tips & Resources For Navigating Your Payroll Needs

COMPLETING THE NEW W-4

With the new year comes a new Form W4. The form has not changed much, if at all since it had a complete overhaul in 2020. In 2020, because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), Form W4 was revamped to provide taxpayers with a more accurate method of determining their...

Joining The Effort to End Sexual Harassment

It will surely go down as one of the biggest news stories of the year. From the world of entertainment to Capitol Hill, allegations of sexual harassment have disrupted the status quo and made headlines at a remarkable rate. Meanwhile, on social media, the #MeToo...

New Tax Law Impacts Retirement Benefits

As you’re likely aware, Congress passed and the president signed into law a new tax bill in December. The technical name of the act is rather long and unwieldy, so it’s commonly referred to by an earlier and simpler title: the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). Naturally,...

3 Good Reasons to Conduct Background Checks When Hiring

Many employers use background checks as a regular part of their hiring processes. But “many” does not mean “all.” In fact, recent research conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management indicates smaller businesses tend to skip this important hiring step....

The Importance of Form I-9

    Completing Form I-9 is a requirement of all new employees.  In July 2017 the form was revised and employers are required to start using the new version of the form.  Below are some topics that can help you understand the importance of the form and what to do...

How Long Should You Retain Payroll Records?

Employers must exert a certain amount of time and resources to properly retaining their income tax records. But these aren’t the only documents you need to maintain. Retention of your organization’s payroll records is also important. Rule of thumb Most employers must...

Should you sail your 401(k) into a safe harbor?

Employers tend to feel like they have to offer a 401(k) retirement plan. But many organizations, particularly smaller ones, run into trouble with complex rules for discrimination testing. If all of this sounds familiar, you might consider adding a safe harbor feature...

Cost / Benefit Analysis of Electing S Corp Status

If you run a small business as a sole proprietor or partnership, you might be considering electing to be taxed as an S Corporation.  The major benefit to S Corp status can sometimes be a reduction in the self-employment tax you’re required to pay on your net...

When Small Employers Can Sign Up for SHOP Coverage

The Affordable Care Act allows small employers to make health coverage available to their employees through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP). Many of these organizations may wonder whether there are limits on when they can sign up for this coverage....

Employee or Independent Contractor?

Many employers find it easy to bring on new talent and classify them as independent contractors.  The ease of processing payment to independent contractor is so tempting that it’s hard to pass by.   No federal or state taxes to withhold, no payroll...

Flipping The Switch With An Employee Survey

Many employers operate in the dark. Not literally, of course; there is ample lighting in their workplaces. Rather, they labor along with little to no idea what their employees are really thinking or feeling about a variety of critical employment issues. One way to...

Catch on to the benefits of a formal onboarding process

Years ago, “onboarding” a new employee meant a quick tour of the workplace, brief introductions to a few co-workers and a stack of forms to fill out. But, today, many employers are catching on to the benefits of a well-planned and fully featured onboarding program....

Good meetings are well planned

“Let’s call a meeting!” This popular refrain echoes regularly through the offices and hallways of organizations everywhere. Problem is, said meetings are often hastily arranged and largely unproductive. Although emergency “huddles” are sometimes called for, good...

Reimbursing employees’ education expenses

Naturally, most employee training occurs in-house. But area colleges and trade schools can also help fulfill your employee education and professional development needs. And if you reimburse employees for their expenses at these institutions, you and your employees may...

Look to the competition when filling open positions

Even under the best of circumstances, hiring isn’t easy. You generally have to dedicate a substantial amount of time and resources just to gather a few strong candidates. Then you must execute an exhaustive interviewing process that leads to the right hire — you hope....

Buying Locally

Residents of Portland, Maine are regularly reminded of the benefits of buying from local independently owned businesses through the work of Portland Buy Local, a non-profit organization working to strengthen the local economy, preserve community character, and create...

Giving Uncle Sam a Free Loan?

Are your Federal and State income tax withholdings adequate? If you don’t have enough taxes withheld, you may be in for an unpleasant shock at tax time. On the other hand, if you received a large refund last year, you may have had too much money withheld at work, in...

That’s Not in My Job Description!

Remember your early working life? I bet that most everyone my age and older (I’m a very young baby-boomer and I’ll leave it at that) can recall the terror they experienced upon starting a first job. I won’t forget the shrilling first words out of my...

Payroll Tax Withholding

Tax Withholding: Put more money in your pocket now or prevent tax bills later It's not too late to adjust your 2012 tax withholding to avoid big tax refunds or tax bills when you file your tax return next year. You should act soon to adjust your tax withholding to...

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