EMPLOYMENT TAX CHANGES 2018

The filing deadline for 2017 W-2s is 1/31/18. This due date applies to both the employee copy and Social Security Administration copy.

The 1/31/18 deadline also applies to the filing of 2017 Form 1099-Misc with amounts reported in Box 7 (nonemployee compensation).  If there is no amount in Box 7, the filing deadline remains 2/28/18 for paper filings and 4/2/18 for electronic filings.

Forms 1095-B or 1095-C reporting 2017 health insurance coverage must be filed by employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees and all self-insured plans.  The forms are required to be mailed to the recipients by 1/31/18 and e-filed with the IRS by 4/2/18. If filing less than 250 forms, paper forms may be submitted to the IRS by 2/28/18.

The Social Security wage base limit increased to $128,400 for 2018.  The Social Security tax rate is 6.2% and the Medicare tax rate is 1.45% each for the employee and employer.  The Medicare tax applies to all wages.

Employers must withhold “Additional Medicare Tax” of 0.9% from wages in excess of $200,000 during 2018.  There is no employer match of the Additional Medicare Tax.

New income tax withholding tables will be issued for wages paid after 12/31/17.  QuickBooks users should install updates timely as directed by the program to ensure tax tables are current. Other accounting software packages should also be updated for new releases that incorporate the payroll tax changes prior to processing 2018 payrolls.

The 401(k)-contribution limit increased to $18,500 for 2018.  Participants who will be 50 years old on or before 12/31/18 can contribute an additional $6,000 for a total contribution of $24,500.  The Department of Labor requires that 401(k) deferrals withheld from employees be deposited as soon as possible.  We strongly suggest 401(k) deposits be made no later than five days after being withheld.

The SIMPLE IRA plan deferral limit remains unchanged at $12,500 for 2018.  Participants who will be 50 years old on or before 12/31/18 can contribute an additional $3,000 to their SIMPLE IRA for a total contribution of $15,500.

The IRS will notify you as to whether you should deposit payroll taxes monthly or semi-weekly in 2018.  You must deposit any single payroll tax deposit of $100,000 or more by the next banking day.  Federal tax deposits must be made by electronic funds transfer using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS).  Employers not required to make Form 941 tax deposits (generally those with a tax liability of less than $2,500 per quarter) may submit payment with Form 941.

The taxable wage base for federal unemployment tax (FUTA) remains at $7,000 per employee for 2018. The FUTA rate is .6% (.006). An electronic tax deposit is required in any quarter that your cumulative FUTA tax liability exceeds $500. The taxable wage base for Tennessee state unemployment tax (SUTA) remains at $8,000 per employee for 2018.

If you have any questions regarding the above, please do not hesitate to call our office.