Employer federal income tax withholding is intended to collect, throughout the year, the approximate the amount of the employee's tax for the year. The wage bracket and percentage methods are the primary methods for computing the amount to withhold, but sometimes they just don't seem to get the right result.
When supplemental wages are added to the equation, the prescribed aggregate method and optional flat rate method frequently result in too much or too little withholding. Payroll professionals sometimes experience a flood of revised W-4 Forms just before and after scheduled bonus payments. This creates additional work and opportunities for mistakes for the payroll department and may not affect the withholding in the way the employee expected.
The danger for employers and payroll professionals is that failure to withhold the correct amounts per employee W-4 parameters may result in penalties and possible personal liability for the amounts the employer failed to withhold imposed on individuals deemed responsible for correctly collecting and paying employee taxes.
This course will provide a knowledge of alternative methods to compute withholding under special circumstances. In some cases, these methods can be used in place of employee’s making multiple changes to Form W-4 to avoid over-withholding on supplemental or irregular wage payments, such as commissions or bonuses.
Patrick Haggerty is a tax practitioner, author, and educator. His work experience includes non-profit organization management, banking, manufacturing accounting, and tax practice. He began teaching accounting at the college level in 1988. He is licensed as an Enrolled Agent by the U. S. Treasury to represent taxpayers at all administrative levels of the IRS and is a Certified Management Accountant. He has written numerous articles and a monthly question and answer column for payroll publications. In addition, he regularly develops and presents webinars and presentations on a variety of topics including Payroll tax issues, FLSA compliance, information returns, and accounting.