ASK THE EXPERTS. Customer Service

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1 Ask the Experts If you ve got payroll and tax filing questions, we ve got answers! Read through our list of frequently asked questions below or if you can t find what you re looking for, please send your question via to and we ll respond with the information you need as soon as possible. When do I need to submit my payroll? When your account is first set up with Advantage, our New Accounts Department will contact you to determine what day you would like to process your payroll. They will also inform you of any cut-off times by which you need to submit your payroll. If you have any questions or are unsure of these times, simply contact your local Advantage Client Service Representative to verify any information. What should I do if I make a mistake on my payroll? Contact your local Advantage office and speak to your Client Service Representative. In most circumstances, a correction can be made right away directly into our system. What should I do if I receive a penalty notice from a tax agency? If you are a Full Tax Filing client of Advantage and were on our service for the tax period in question, you can be assured that we will research and respond to the notice. Please contact your local Advantage Client Service Representative regarding the notice. You will be asked to forward the notice to the local office. If you are a Non-Tax Filing client of Advantage and receive a notice, contact your local Advantage Client Service Representative regarding the notice. What should I do if I discover one of my employees W-2s is incorrect? You will need to contact your local Advantage Client Service Representative. We will initiate the correction and an amended W-2 will be forwarded to your office for the employee(s) involved. In some cases your quarterly returns will need to be adjusted as well. In these instances amended returns will also be forwarded to your business when the correction is completed. I have received my W-2s and discovered there is one missing what should I do? Contact your Advantage Client Service Representative as soon as possible. He/she will then look into why you did not receive a W-2 for the particular employee. If the employee had wages during the calendar year, the W-2 can then be reprinted and forwarded to your office. My employee contacted me because his Direct Deposit did not post to his bank account what should I do? Contact your Advantage Client Service Representative. Be sure to have the employee s direct deposit authorization form including a copy of the employee s voided check (deposit slips are not an acceptable form of account number verification). The CSR will work with you and our Banking Department to resolve the situation. Each bank has different posting procedures so it is a good idea to have your employee check with the receiving bank to see if the funds are there, but have not yet been posted to the account, before contacting your local Advantage office.

2 What should I do if I need a copy of my previous payroll reports? Contact your Advantage Client Service Representative and indicate which report you need reproduced. The report can be reproduced and then forwarded to your office. If you subscribe to our online reporting service, you may be able to download your report by visiting Can my accounting professional get copies of my quarterlies and reports? Yes, just instruct your Advantage Client Service Representative as to where you would like your quarterly returns sent. We will enter the information into our system and the copies will be forwarded to the accounting professional or designee of your choice. I have changed the structure of my business now what should I do? Contact your Advantage Client Service Representative as soon as you know the change is going to occur. You should also consult your accountant, as you may need to apply for a new Federal and State ID number. If you are using a new Federal and State ID number, your previous ID numbers will need to be finalized with the tax agencies. Advantage will handle this for you if you are a Full Tax-Filing client of Advantage. Otherwise, you will need to contact the IRS and State Agencies to notify them of the change. Advantage will need to set your business up under a new client number and start processing your payroll under the new company structure. Contracts for your new client number will be forwarded to you for completion. You will need to complete them and return them to your local Advantage Office. I have changed the name of my business but am still using the same Federal and State ID numbers what do I need to do? Consult with your Accountant for the agencies you need to notify of the name change. You may need to apply to the state in which your business is located for the name change; the state will send you a form to mark the approval of your name change. You will also need to change your name with the IRS. Contact your Advantage Client Service Representative and let him/her know about your name change. We will request proof that the name was changed with the IRS before our system can be updated. (A copy of an official IRS document showing the correct name is required). I have a new payroll contact person what do I need to do? You will need to contact your Advantage Client Service Representative as soon as you know of the change. He/she will immediately change our system to reflect the correct contact person. Due to the confidential information contained in your payroll, we are only authorized to talk to the owner of the business or designated contact person shown in our system regarding your account. What should I do if I receive a notice of Audit? You should contact your Accountant immediately informing him/her of the notice. Your Accountant will work with you and the tax agency involved to provide the information the agency needs. If you find you are missing copies of returns or payroll information that is required for the audit, you will need to contact your Advantage Client Service Representative to request copies of the missing information.

3 I fired an employee and need a check right away what should I do? Contact your Advantage Client Service Representative as soon as you are aware of the termination. Some states require payment to the employee upon termination, while others allow you to pay the wages on the next regular schedule for your payroll. There are a couple of ways that this can be handled to accommodate you. We can calculate the check for you giving you the gross to net amount. You can then write a check in your office and we ll post it in our system as a manual check. Or, because of the special circumstance, we could process the check that day and make arrangements for expedited delivery. In this case, we would need the information as early as possible to allow time for the check to be processed and printed. What are my payroll delivery options? Please contact your local Advantage Client Service Representative for your options, as we ll work closely with you to determine the method that best meets your needs. Some commonly used options are for us to hold your payroll at our office for pick-up, or delivery via US Mail, courier, Federal Express or UPS. What is included in Advantage s Full Tax Filing Service? Advantage handles payment of all payroll related taxes, both employer and employee. We also take full responsibility for filing all of your payroll tax returns. Is Direct Deposit safe? Direct deposit the paperless way to pay your employees is one of the safest and most effective ways to pay your employees. The risk of fraud is nearly obsolete, so you don't have to worry about lost or stolen checks. Are there any benefits as an employer to offering Direct Deposit to my employees? Yes. Employers enjoy freedom from check reconciliation and bank transactional fees. Plus, you don't need to be in the office to sign anddistribute paychecks on payday. How does Direct Deposit benefit my employees? Direct deposit funds are available to your employees in their bank accounts on payday; many people enjoy this freedom from having to go to the bank to deposit their paycheck. In addition, many financial institutions offer special programs for customers who choose direct deposit from free or reduced fee checking to reduced loan rates. What is New Hire Reporting? The federal Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) welfare reform act of 1996 requires every employer, regardless of size or number of employees, to report certain information on each newly hired or rehired employee by a specific deadline to a state agency that has been set up to receive that information. The original goal of the legislation was to support child advocacy. However, the program has evolved to also allow the personnel information gathered to be shared with other government agencies. It s part of an effort to reduce unemployment insurance and workers compensation fraud that can result in increased premium rates and depletion of an employer s reserve UI account.

4 How does Advantage Payroll Services help employers with New Hire Reporting? At Advantage, we offer our clients new hire reporting capabilities as a value-added service saving them the effort of keeping up with changing state statutes, meeting filing deadlines or hiring an extra employee who specializes in new hire reporting. Each week we generate a new hire report for our clients that includes their new hires reported that week (non-weekly payroll clients should call-in new hires between pay periods to ensure compliance with individual state regulations). These reports are forwarded directly to the appropriate state agencies. Who is a Household Employee? Any individual such as a maid, housekeeper, babysitter or caretaker that works in your home under your supervision and control is considered a household employee. Will I have to pay employment taxes on my household employees? If you pay cash wages of $1,400 or more to any individual for 2005, you must withhold and match FICA tax (Social Security and Medicare). If you pay cash wages of $1,000 or more in any calendar quarter, you must pay Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA) on the first $7,000 each individual earns in a calendar year. You are not required to withhold Federal Income Tax, although you may agree to do so as a courtesy to your employee. Each state handles domestic employees differently in terms of unemployment tax, withholding tax and workers compensation. You should check with your state tax agencies for details. How do I pay employment taxes for household employees? Payments for social security, Medicare, FUTA, as well as Federal Income Tax Withheld are made to the IRS via personal income tax. For the most part, state taxes are paid as employment taxes due and payable each month or quarter. What forms must I file to pay employment taxes for household employees? You ll need to attach a Schedule H form to your federal personal income tax return, and you must give each domestic employee a W-2. Also be sure to check with your state tax agency, as most states require submission of quarterly wage reports and unemployment reports as well as some record of payment of withheld taxes. How will Advantage Payroll Services help me manage my household employees? Advantage will: 1. Withhold proper tax liabilities based on client and employee setup. 2. Prepare returns and remit all state withholding and state unemployment taxes as required. 3. Send quarterly reports to you summarizing quarterly and year-to-date activity. 4. Prepare employee W-2s for you to distribute. 5. File all agency copies of W-2s on your behalf. 6. Prepare Schedule H for you to attach to your Form Credit your bank account for collected federal tax liabilities just prior to your due date of estimated tax deposits.

5 Who are Exempt and Nonexempt Employees? When human resources and payroll staff members speak of an exempt or nonexempt employee, they are referring to the employee s status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Exempt employees are those who do not have to be paid the required minimum wage or overtime payments, and the employer does not have to keep certain records detailing their work. A common misconception by many employers is that a salaried employee is exempt from overtime pay. The FLSA provides for specific exemptions from overtime for certain types of employees. How are family members that work for me taxed if I m a Sole Proprietor? Family employees have the following special tax exemptions: Spouse: Exempt from FUTA (SUTA in many states) Parent: Exempt from FUTA (SUTA in many states) Child: Exempt from FICA until 18 years old; FUTA until 21 years old; and in some states SUTA for certain ages What is an LLC? It is a business that legally fits somewhere between the sole-proprietorship (one owner) or partnership and a corporation. Like a sole proprietor or a partnership, LLC owners are taxed on business profits each year on their individual tax returns. In other words, the LLC itself is not a separate tax entity. Like a corporation, however, all owners are protected from personal liability for business debts and claims. A lawsuit would be claimed against LLC assets, not the personal assets of the owners. Many believe it combines the best features of both the partnership and corporate business forms.

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