Payroll taxes are a significant business expense, requiring proper management to avoid financial difficulties. This involves submitting new W-4s to have the correct amounts withheld from paychecks, staying up-to-date with federal and state payroll tax regulations, and taking advantage of 401(k) contributions, medical expenses, and tax loss harvesting strategies.
Automate Your Payroll Processes
When it comes to payroll, every business faces the same fundamental challenges. Gathering the correct data, calculating payments, and determining deduction rates takes time. Manual processes are also far more susceptible to errors — which can lead to costly fines.
Businesses can automate their calculations and filings to reduce the risk of miscalculations and missed payments through the use of the experts like ADP pay calculator. This eliminates the need for a human workforce and frees time to focus on more strategic tasks.
Additionally, automation can help companies comply with constantly changing regulations across states and countries. As a result, they can avoid fines and penalties for failing to observe policies.
Moreover, companies that use a centralized payroll system can easily track the tax status of workers. They can ensure that exempt and non-exempt employees are correctly classified for overtime pay and that their benefits are calculated accurately. They can also track their leave records and reimbursement forms.
To avoid expensive mistakes, supervisors should audit their payroll regularly. This can help them catch ghost employees, ensure that deductions and benefits are correct, and identify any missing or inaccurate payments. In addition, they should encourage their team members to sign up for direct deposit – this way, they can avoid the hassle of managing paper checks and pay stubs that can get lost or stolen.
Take Advantage of Tax Credits and Deductions
Taking advantage of tax credits and deductions is one of the best ways to minimize your payroll tax bill. While these breaks have eligibility requirements based on income, filing status, and other factors, they can significantly reduce your tax liability or increase your refund.
Tax credits are much more valuable than deductions because they reduce your tax liability directly. For example, if you claim a $1,000 credit and are in the 22% tax bracket, you save $220 in federal taxes. Conversely, deductions reduce your taxable income, but you still pay taxes on the reduced income.
Many deductions and credits are available to individuals, but some are also available to businesses. A tax adviser can help determine which deductions and credits are available to your business.
When it comes to managing your payroll taxes, record-keeping is critical. A well-developed accounting system will enable you to track your earnings and expenses throughout the year and identify discrepancies before filing. It’s essential to use an accrual-based accounting method (revenue is recorded as soon as it’s earned, and expenses are recorded as they’re incurred) rather than a cash-basis accounting method.
Another way to maximize your tax savings is to make strategic purchases during the year to take advantage of tax deductions. Purchasing capital assets such as equipment, machinery, and property may allow you to deduct a portion of the cost over several years, which can reduce your tax burden in future years. Similarly, you can harvest unrealized losses on your investments by selling lost value assets and using the proceeds to offset capital gains.
Offer Tax-Advantaged Employee Benefits
One of the most effective ways to maximize tax savings is to offer employee benefits that are not taxable. These nontaxable fringe benefits include dependent care assistance, student loan principal, and interest payment reimbursement. These deductions do not show up on an employee’s taxable income, and they are also not subject to Social Security or Medicare taxes, creating immediate tax savings for both the employer and the employee. However, these benefit plans come with specific IRS guidelines and can be difficult for some organizations to manage.
Other tax-advantaged benefits that can be offered include health savings accounts and flexible spending arrangements. These allow employees to set aside a certain amount of money from their paychecks before taxes are applied, and they can invest these funds to grow them over time. This type of benefit not only lowers an employee’s current tax bill but can also help them save for future expenses that may be incurred.
Managing payroll taxes is essential to running a business, but it can be complex. A cloud-based payroll solution like Rippling can simplify the entire process, from collecting employee information to tracking time worked and money owed. By doing so, you can ensure that your business operates within federal regulations and avoids expensive penalties.
Harvest Unrealized Losses on Your Investments
For investors with taxable accounts, tax loss harvesting can help reduce taxes. It involves selling stocks that have declined in value, which can offset taxable gains and ordinary income on the federal tax return. This can help clients in higher tax brackets lower their overall tax liability more effectively.
For example, let’s say that John invested in industrial stocks and a mutual fund that declined significantly over the past six months. By selling these investments, he could realize a capital loss of $15,000, which would substantially decrease his tax liability. However, if he repurchased the same securities within 30 days of selling them, he would avoid the CRA’s “superficial loss” 30-day rule. He wouldn’t be able to take advantage of this potential benefit.
If the losses are large enough, an investor can use them to offset the total capital gains they report in that year. They can also use them to offset up to $3,000 in ordinary annual income (or $1,500 each if married filing separately). Losses that exceed this limit may be carried forward for tax purposes.
A customizable separately managed account, such as an Aperio TD Direct Index SMA, can maximize tax efficiency by implementing a tax loss harvesting strategy combined with a flexible asset allocation strategy. Then, the tax savings from these strategies can be reinvested to grow your after-tax returns even further.