The new year brings new reporting requirements and filing deadlines and a number of other important HR-related tasks that employers need to take care of. To help, our Propel Pros have put together a checklist of some of the most important tasks for first quarter, related to HR, payroll and taxes, benefits, and compliance.
PAYROLL & TAX
File FICA and FUTA. IRS (FICA) Form 941 for Q4 and federal unemployment tax (FUTA) Form 940 are due Jan. 31, 2022. However, if you deposited all FUTA tax when due, you have until Feb. 10, 2022, to file.
File Forms W-2 and W-3. The deadline for filing 2021 Forms W-2 and W-3 with the Social Security Administration is Jan. 31, 2022, for filing both paper and electronically. Employers must distribute Form W-2 to employees by Feb. 1, 2022.
File Nonemployee Compensation Tax Forms. By Feb. 1, 2022, employers must distribute appropriate tax forms to individuals who received cash payments during 2021, including wages, nonemployee compensation, dividends, royalties, and profit-sharing distributions. Additional copies must be submitted to the Social Security Administration at the same time. Employers have until Feb. 28, 2022, to send corresponding copies to the IRS if filing by paper, and March 31, 2022, if filing electronically.
Prepare ACA Reporting. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the responsibility for affordable healthcare coverage is on the employer, and reporting requirements depend on the number of full-time equivalent employees (FTEs). Employers with 50 or more FTEs last year are considered an Applicable Large Employer (ALE) for the current year. If your company is an ALE, verify that your health plan meets all ACA requirements for coverage and affordability.
The deadline for applicable employers to distribute Form 1095-C to employees is March 2, 2022. For the calendar tax year, Forms 1094-C, employee coversheet, and 1095-C must be filed by Feb. 28, 2022, if filing by paper, and March 31, 2022, if filing electronically. Also, check with your benefits broker for any changes in reporting and that required annual notices are distributed to employees, such as Medicare Part D, HIPPA, and CHIPRA.
File Form M-1. Information regarding a multiple employer welfare arrangement (MEWA) and any entity claiming exception (ECE) must be filed by March 1, 2022. Because each state regulates MEWAs differently, employers should understand their specific responsibilities.
Review Deferred Tax Responsibilities Under the CARES Act. If you took advantage of the CARES Act’s employer Social Security tax deferral for 2020, you were required to pay the first 50 percent of your deferred taxes by Dec. 31, 2021. The remaining 50 percent is due Dec. 31, 2022.
Prepare and File OSHA Form 300A. Applicable employers, with 10 or more employees, are required to file a completed OSHA Form 300A, a summary of workplace injuries and illnesses, to OSHA for the previous calendar year by March 2, 2022. Note that the employee count includes employees at all business locations combined. Applicable businesses are also required to post Form 300A every year from Feb. 1 until April 1.
Review OSHA ETS Updates. Created to minimize the risk of Covid-19 transmission in the workplace, OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) outlines requirements to protect unvaccinated employees of large private employers, 100 or more employees, from the risk of contracting. Covid-19. Recently, OSHA suspended activities related to the implementation and enforcement of the ETS pending future developments. The announcement results from the Fifth Circuit’s opinion, which continues the stay of the ETS. As the future of the ETS currently remains uncertain, it’s important to stay up to date with the latest developments and understand how it may impact your business.
Check Independent Contractor Classifications. Review IRS guidelines for classifying independent contractor relationships. If your business hires or contracts with other individuals to provide services, you must determine if the individuals providing the services are classified as employees or independent contractors. Misclassification in this area may result in significant penalties and fines.
Monitor State Law Requirements. State laws can vary. If your business has locations in multiple states, be sure to stay up to date on any state-specific changes which may impact your organization, such as minimum wage increases, expanded leave provisions, and posting requirements.
Prepare ERISA Plan Report. Applicable employers are required to file an employee benefits plan report, Form 5500, with the Department of Labor (DOL) if, on the first day of an ERISA plan year (which is different than the policy year), 100 or more participants are enrolled in coverage. In addition, health and life insurance and retirement plans require employers to provide enrollment figures and balances before the end of the year.
▶️ Read More: How to Attract Great Employees When No One Wants to Work
Medicare Part D Disclosure. Employers providing prescription drug coverage to Medicare-eligible individuals must also disclose to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) whether the coverage is creditable or non-creditable. This annual disclosure must be made no more than 60 days after the beginning of each plan year.
Audit Form I-9 files. Review Form I-9 binders and update documents following the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) guidelines. Also, stay up to date on compliance requirements related to Form I-9 and Employment Eligibility Verification due to Covid-19.
Conduct an Equity Audit. An equity audit accesses your company’s policies and behaviors and allows you to determine if any barriers exist for employees. The new year is a good time to conduct an audit of all compensation components to ensure there is no unintended disparity in wages.
Plan Ahead for Employee Appreciation Day. An annual holiday observed on the first Friday in March, Employee Appreciation Day recognizes employees for their commitment and hard work. On Friday, March 4, 2022, make plans to celebrate your most valuable asset - your employees.
We Can Help. Depending on the type of business and industry, your HR Checklist may be different and even more complex. If so, just contact us. By partnering with a certified PEO (CPEO), like Propel HR, you gain access to a team of HR experts to help you navigate the complexities of your business as well as stay compliant.
Please Note: This information is for general reference purposes only. Because laws, regulations, and filing deadlines are likely to change, please check with the appropriate organizations or government agencies for the latest information and consult your employment attorney and/or benefits advisor regarding your responsibilities. In addition, your business may be exempt from certain requirements and/or be subject to different requirements under the laws of your state. (Updated Dec. 15, 2021)
About Propel HR. Propel HR is an IRS-certified PEO that has been a leading provider of human resources and payroll solutions for more than 25 years. Propel partners with small to midsized businesses to manage payroll, employee benefits, compliance and risks, and other HR functions in a way that maximizes efficiency and reduces costs. Visit our new website at www.propelhr.com.