It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Year-End

Year End Preparation

I hope that 2016 has been a productive and successful year for you and your organization. It certainly has been an interesting one, and it looks like we can expect more of the same (“interesting-ness”) in 2017. If nothing else, I think that it would be wise for us to assume that we just don’t have any idea what next year will bring. I am optimistic, but uncertain. That said, there are some things that we can be certain about regarding payroll, payroll tax filing obligations and information that you should be considering as we head into the new year. I hope that you find this information to be helpful.

Year End Webinar for Clients

We will be holding a webinar for clients to review the all the necessary details, on Wednesday, December 14th at 11am. Click Here to register for the webinar.

Holiday Schedule

Our office will be closed on Friday, December 23rd, and closed Monday, December 26th, for Christmas. We will also be closing at noon on December 30th and closed all day on Monday, January 2nd, for New Year’s Day. We will be sending a separate email with the details on payroll submission requirements during those periods.   

Special payroll packaging during the holidays

If you need any special payroll packaging (i.e. paychecks sent to one address and reports sent to another) please let us know as soon as possible.

Will you be changing your office hours during the holidays?

If you are changing office hours during the holidays please let us know so that we can modify your scheduled payroll delivery accordingly.

Please note that our courier will be delivering on the 23rd. If we are sending your payroll out on the 22nd and your office will be closed the 23rd  please let us know so we can request delivery on the 27th instead.

Changing your payday during the holidays?

If your payday falls on a legal holiday we will, in accordance with the labor laws, automatically change your payday to the preceding business day. This should be a nonissue for most employers in 2016, since the bank holiday is on Monday, December 26th for Christmas and on Monday, January 2nd, for New Year’s Day.

If you are planning to change your payday during the holidays for any other reason please let us know as soon as possible, so we can schedule accordingly.

Year-End Bonuses

Do you plan to issue Christmas or Year-End bonus checks? If so, please complete and return a bonus checklist. Completion of this checklist helps insure that we process your bonuses the way that you want. Click here to download a copy of the Bonus checklist. 

Please notify us as soon as possible if you are planning to run a separate bonus payroll.

Payroll Adjustments

Are there any payroll adjustments you need to notify us of prior to your last scheduled payroll of 2016? If so, please complete and return a Payroll Adjustments Checklist.

Click here to download a copy of the Payroll Adjustments checklist.

The following are some common examples of payroll adjustments:

  • Voided checks
  • Manual paychecks written by you and not yet reported to Checkmate
  • Group Term Life Insurance coverage over $50,000
  • Personal use of a company vehicle
  • Third-Party Sick Pay benefits
  • Non-Cash compensation
  • S Corps: Annual Health Insurance premium paid on behalf of employee shareholders
  • Pension Plans: Any details associated with pension plans that do not run through payroll
If any adjustments/changes are required after we run your final scheduled payroll of 2016, additional fees will be charged.

W-2 (Statement of Earnings)

Employers must provide their employees with a completed W-2 by January 31, 2017. 

Checkmate must submit the final details of W2 wages paid to employees to the Social Security Administration, no later than January 31, 2017. 

PLEASE NOTE: In prior years, the deadline for submitting the final W2 details to the SSA was the last day of February. For 2016 W2s, this deadline has been advanced to January 31, 2017. This means that any changes that affect employee W2s, that are processed after January 20, 2017, will require us to produce and file a W2-C for the affected employee. 

For 2016 Year-End Processing, the following fees for additional services may apply:

 Employee Form W2 – Copy of Original  $6.00 per copy
 Employee Form W2 – Reprint of Original  $15.00 per W2
 Corrected W2 (Form W2-C)  $125 per hour ($35 minimum)
Checkmate will start the year-end process as soon as we process your last payroll for the year.

We must have any changes with your last scheduled payroll of the year. If you need more time, please let us know and we will adjust accordingly. If you do not notify us of these changes and year-end must be reprocessed, an additional processing fee will be charged.

  • We will begin distributing W-2’s to our clients by January 15, 2016.
  • Please verify addresses for current and terminated employees.
    • If you are using our Workforce Ready system, you can easily create an employee W-2 and Social Security verification report. 
Attend our Year-End Webinar on December 14th at 11am to see a demonstration on how to create your Employee W2 and Social Security Verification Report. Click Here to register for the webinar.
  •  Verify Social Security numbers.
    • If you question the validity of an employee’s Social Security number, please visit the following website:
    • This is the Social Security Number Verification Service website. Once registered you can easily do an on-line verification of your employee’s Social Security Number.
  •  Checkmate’s Embedded SSN Verification Tool
    • You can also use a tool that is embedded within our Workforce Ready system, in order to verify your employee’s SSN. There is a small cost of $0.25 per verification, for this service. If you would like to have this functionality turned on, please let your Client Account Manager know.
If Form W-2 does not contain the correct name and Social Security Number, the Internal Revenue Code provides that the employer may be penalized up to $50 for each incorrect Form W-2. 

Due to the processing time involved, there is a $15 charge to re-issue a lost W-2. You can pass this charge on to your employees. In order to request a re-issued W-2, please submit This Form.

Please note: Many of our clients (and your employees) have access to their W2s online, and you can produce an electronic copy of your W2, at no additional cost, from here. This electronic W2 is valid for e-filing with IRS. Some day, we won’t need to print W2s at all. In fact, you can offer your employees the option of not receiving a paper W2 at all.

If you want to provide employees with only online access (no printed copy) of Form W-2, certain procedures need to be followed. Let us know if you are interested in this.

W-4 (Employees Withholding)

IRS regulations require employers to remind employees to file an amended Form W-4 if their filing status, exemption allowances or exempt status has changed since their last filing of Form W-4.  This notice should be provided by December 1st of each year. A new W-4 is not required if the employee status does not change. 

Any employee claiming exempt, must file a new W-4 for 2017 to retain their exempt status

If a new W-4 is not received by February 15, 2016, you must switch the employee’s withholding to Single/Zero. Please let us know if this status needs to be changed. We will not automatically do this for you.

The Affordable Care Act

  • Employers that issued more than 250 W-2 forms in 2015 will be required to report health care coverage in Box 12 of the 2016 Form W-2 using code DD.
  • The employer responsibility provision will apply to employers with 50 or more full-time employees.
  • Applicable Large Employers are required to provide employees with a Form 1095-C. This form reports on a monthly basis, the health benefits provided to employees. 

For clients who are utilizing Checkmate’s ACA Manager and ACA Tax Filing Services

  • You will be receiving a separate communication with a description of what our service entails and guidance on items that we may need for you to review and update in our system in order to ensure that the 2016 ACA tax filings can be completed accurately and efficiently. Please be on the lookout for this email, within the next week or so.
Thank you for your business in 2016. We look forward to working with you in 2017 and beyond and continuing to assist with your payroll services and total workforce management needs.
Happy Holidays to you and your family. 
Josh Robinson
 287 South Main Street, Concord, NH 03301
(603) 225-2004  |