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How to Prepare for Year-End and The New Year

Posted by Alexa Rivera on Dec 14, 2021 9:04:33 AM
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Surely you’ve been preparing for the Q4 Season all year long if you’re in HR. This time of year can be stressful from tax preparations and compliance to policy changes and New Year plans. If you’re a little late to the party and find yourself scrambling to get organized, we have some reminders to set you back on track.

Rules and regulations are constantly changing, so being on the ball with a year-end checklist is the perfect way to ensure a successful New Year and a smooth tax season.

End-of-Year Checklist

While a checklist is handy, we would be remiss not to break down the nuances together. Here are your essential considerations and why their important.

Payroll and Taxes

There’s more to worry about than the last payroll of the year from an admin perspective. To begin with, review all check dates to ensure that you are reporting in the proper year, especially seeing as though the first day of 2022 lands on a Saturday.

The end-of-year also comes with PTO considerations. Do extra days get carried over, or do they expire if not used? Do you still need to payout employees for their PTO? Evaluate your policy for PTO and act accordingly.

Audit Payroll Balances: Check on negative balances, reminders, and any carry-over practices this year.

The more intricate concerns are tax documents, especially with new policies amidst COVID-19. Reviewing any Social Security taxes deferred under the CARES Act is a wise idea. The first 50% will be due by the last day of 2021, while the remaining 50% is due at the end of 2022.

Additionally, it is standard to review and order tax documents such as W-2s, 1099s, and even W-4s. If you are a client of PeopleGuru, we provide a report to ensure employee data is correct; However, The Social Security Administration’s Business Services Online also offers a verification service.

The deadline for any, and all, adjustments is January 7th, 2022.

While the ACA reporting deadlines were extended in 2021, there is no extension for 2022. All 1095 forms must be delivered to employees by 01/31/2022.

Compliance

Review all federal and state laws for labor law compliance. This can pose a challenge when employers have a workforce spread across multiple states, but it is crucial to understand and maintain requirements.

Additionally, review insurance policies, benefits and coverage, and workers’ compensation yearly to adjust and determine all is sufficient and up to code. Finally, don’t forget to send notices and postings to employees when necessary regarding compliance.

Trainings are another requirement that may apply to your business. Make sure all safety, COVID-19 related, and sexual harassment trainings are complete in your workplace.

Finally, ensure that all employees are properly classified, especially with a more complex business model, and move all terminated personnel files to safe storage locations.

Company Policy and General HR

Is your employee handbook up-to-date? Review your handbook yearly to adjust for new laws and mandates as well as internal policy changes.

Some things to consider are attendance, procedures for new hires and terminations, social media, disciplinary policies, and emergency procedures.

Chances are, with a new year comes a new budget. This means HR is likely to be conducting their performance reviews and updating packages, benefits, and salaries as needed.

Comparing your employees’ salaries to market averages to stay competitive in your industry is an important consideration when allocating these resources. Additionally, consider any vacation or PTO adjustments when looking at the big picture here.

Finally, with a new year comes a new calendar! Develop and distribute your 2022 calendar with important dates, vacation time, paydays, deadlines, and holidays.

PeopleGuru is currently developing our own calendars and will have a 2022 compliance calendar early next month available for reference.

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This blog post was written by Alexa Rivera and may not be copied or published without PeopleGuru's express written consent.

Topics: Leadership, Employee Law, PTO, Workforce Management, HR

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