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HomeArchived E-NewslettersDeluxe Payroll Newsletter – February 2013

Deluxe Payroll Newsletter – February 2013

August 24, 2017

Payroll Help Desk

Your W2 has been received and your taxed have been filed, now Where’s my refund?!

With today’s technology providing information quickly at your fingertips, now you can now check on the status of your tax refund! The IRS has provided taxpayers a place within to check when it will arrive in your bank account or mailbox. Sounds great having information without the worry of waiting weeks for your anticipated refund. Here are some tips before you visit the website to obtain your refund status:

  • Allow 24 hours after you have efiled your tax return before checking this website or 4 weeks after you have filed your paper return.
  • When checking your status have your social security number handy, your tax status (Example, Married filing 2 dependents) and your expected refund amount. These three items are crucial to obtaining your refund status online.
  • Visit the website during evenings or weekends for best response times to your request. The IRS updates the site daily therefore; do not check your status more than one time each day.
  • Efiling is the way to go rather than paper. The IRS expects a 21 day turnaround on refunds if filed by this method.

The Refund status link at IRS is: or you can go to and look for “Where’s My Refund” to follow the prompts.


Tax News & Notes

As you know the current federal unemployment rate (FUTA) is 6.0% on the first $7,000 paid to each employee. Employers can take a 5.4% credit, bringing the effective FUTA rate to 0.6% provided the state is not in loan to the federal government and/or the employer is current on paying their share of the unemployment tax to the state. If either of these situations is present, the 5.4 % credit will be reduced.

Since 1976 employers were also paying 0.2% surtax for Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA) to the federal government each year on the first $7,000 of wages paid to each employee until the surtax expired on June 30, 2011. The surtax was then removed lowering the amount of tax payable from 0.8% to the current 0.6% effective July 1, 2011. The good news is that the federal government has not raised the $7,000 taxable wage base like many states have had to do in order to recover funding for the large amounts paid out in unemployment wages over the past few years. In fact a state that has not repaid money it borrowed from the federal government to pay unemployment benefits within two years is known as a “FUTA credit reduction” state. As of December 31, 2012, there are currently 19 states still in credit reduction status. As an employer, having employees working in one or more of these 19 states you will be obligated to pay an additional amount to the state in order to help the state accelerate and repay its debt to the federal government. The credit reduction is 0.3% for each year the state has not repaid their loan.

This unexpected surtax can mean employers are obligated to pay larger sums of unemployment tax quarterly and annually. Listed are the states currently in credit reduction: Arkansas, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wisconsin, and the Virgin Islands.


Seasonal Items

Form W4 is what every employee should have submitted to their employer at the beginning of employment and should be updated as changes occur throughout the employment. Some examples below necessitates a change on form W4:

  • Change to marital status
  • Supporting new dependents as your family grows
  • Owing more taxes at the end of the year than expected withholding the prior year covers
  • Expecting an annual household income to exceed $200,000 (individual or combined with spouse)
  • Claiming EXEMPT from federal taxation a new form must be submitted by February 15th every year to your employer without exception in order to maintain this status. Note you may not claim EXEMPT status if your income exceed $950 in 2012, includes more than $300 of unearned income in 2012 and if you can be claimed as a dependent on another person’s tax return.


Did You Know?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced that it is expanding services to enable a personalized account for persons beginning their working years and continuing throughout the time they receive Social Security benefits. SSA began offering workers access to their earnings posted each year via reported wages and taxes paid according to employers statements provided annually to SSA. Every February employers or their agents are expected to file annual wage statements to SSA to post taxable wages and Social Security/Medicare taxes paid on behalf of each employee along with their valid social security number. Workers can expect to see prior year’s wages posted and, as they get closer to retirement, will be able to determine Social Security Income (SSI) benefits. This is yet another tool to aid workers age 18 and older to plan for retirement age benefits along with additional income which may be received through retirement planning over the years.

If you are at that age check out my Social Security at