10.14.14 |
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Avoiding the Sprint to the Finish Line: Year-End Filing Tips

Hour Glass

The end of the year, for many, is a time to relax and enjoy some much-needed time off. For tax professionals, however, year-end can be one of the busiest, most frantic times of the year.

With Form W2 filings, employment wage reporting and many other tax-related reports due at the end of each year, tax professionals often end up stressed and cutting it close on important deadlines, which can open companies up to unnecessary risk. Many of these issues can be mitigated or even avoided by following a few easy but crucial best practice tips for filing and reporting year-end results.

For starters, procrastination can only add to the overall burden of tasks. To get a jump on filing annual figures, it is helpful to stay up-to-date on all quarterly filings. Falling behind on a quarterly filing can hold up filing annual figures and ultimately lead to delayed reporting and results. In addition, it is helpful to cross-reference quarterly results with annual results to help ensure accuracy across the figures being reported. While comparing these figures, it is important to note that total taxes should never amount to more than total wages.

Preparing annual reports should also be viewed as a process throughout the entire year – not something that happens during the last few days of December. In other words, be sure to take initiative to resolve all billing discrepancies as they arise, rather than waiting until year-end.  This includes any notices received throughout the year, whether it’s a Social Security Administration notice, 941 notice or any other type, it is important to put a hold on the account immediately and begin looking into possible reasons behind the notice.

Other causes of erroneous filings could be due to inaccuracies when e-filing. Basic information like identification numbers and payment methods should be kept up-to-date and as accurate as possible when e-filing in order to avoid notices or penalties. E-filing is meant to be faster and more efficient than filing manually, but if information is not kept current, the delays could lead to an even more drawn-out year-end filing process.

One of the most common causes of rejections or errors when processing year-end results is the inaccuracy of Social Security information. An invalid Social Security number can result in rejected filings, which can ultimately slow down the process as a whole and potentially lead to penalties. Using the Social Security Number Verification System (SSNVS) while processing each new hire can help tax professionals stay on top of these details.

By following these tips, year-end filing can be a smooth, streamlined process, rather than a last-minute scramble. Of course, there are still unforeseen issues that can occur, but by remaining diligent and proactive throughout the year, the year-end filing process can be much easier to handle.

For more information on how to help improve your annual filing processes, click here to view ADP’s Year-End webinar and the Top 10 Tips for a Successful Year End.



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