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Category Archives: Payroll

How to choose a payroll partner: 5 key questions

As we prepare for the new year, many businesses are considering changing their payroll partner in 2023. Outsourcing your payroll services can offer some much-needed flexibility. That means you can focus on your customers while also providing the right attention and care for your employees.

Finding the right payroll partner means finding someone who will make sure several crucial tasks are done on time and in compliance with federal and state laws. These tasks include ensuring your employees get paid, collecting payroll taxes, and filing payroll tax forms.

As you search for a new payroll partner, it’s important to know the questions you need to ask.

Consider questions such as:

  1. How long does it take to set up my service and run the first payroll?
  2. What do you do to ensure my information is safe and secure?
  3. Are there additional fees for employee payroll when making additions or changes?
  4. Are there any additional fees for filing taxes in multiple states?
  5. If you make a mistake, are you liable, and how long would it take to fix that mistake?

There are various other tasks your payroll services partner can also tend to, from handling direct deposits to tracking employee time. And the more automated these services, the more efficient and more accurate they can be as they reduce the risk of human error entering the process.

If you’re considering changing your payroll services in 2023 or contemplating outsourcing them in the coming year, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at Padgett! Along with our preferred payroll provider, ADP, you can trust our nationwide network of CPAs, EAs and business advisors to manage your payroll needs, minimizing the risk of penalties and easing the process so you can keep your focus on your customers. Find an office near you today!

Spread holiday cheer (and save money doing it!)

Who doesn’t love opening a present this time of year? Spreading that holiday cheer through a gift to your employees and customers is a great way to get in a festive spirit and thank them for their hard work.

Remember that only certain types of gifts are tax deductible, so make sure you follow the rules to avoid feeling like a Grinch in tax filing season. Here’s a quick overview of some holiday gift options for your employees and customers: 

Employee Gifts:

The IRS doesn’t recognize the traditional ham, turkey, or other item of nominal value given at the holidays as taxable income, but rather as a de minimis fringe benefit (one in which the value and number of times it’s given is so small, accounting for it isn’t practical). But if an employer gives cash or a cash equivalent — like gift certificates, gift cards, or prepaid cards — then those employee gifts are taxable regardless of the amount and must be included in the employee’s wages. 

Customer Gifts:

Deductible business gifts are limited to $25 per recipient per year. There isn’t a limit on the number of people you can share a gift with, nor the amount you can spend. The limit is just  on the amount you’re able to deduct. The $25 limitation doesn’t include incidentals like gift wrapping, since it doesn’t add value to the gift and therefore wouldn’t be deductible. And don’t forget that married couples and partners of a partnership are each considered one recipient. 

Holiday Parties:

Office holiday parties are more likely to happen this year! Remember, the food at a holiday party is fully deductible only if you’re throwing the party for the benefit of employees and their families. Historically, if clients, independent contractors, or customers attend the holiday soirée, then entertainment rules apply and only 50% of the food and beverage costs associated with these partygoers are deductible (and this applies even if you hold the party virtually). Due to Covid-19 relief, an exception to the 50% rule applies for 2022 if you purchase food and beverages from a restaurant.But don’t get too lavish! The IRS always keeps an eye on business deductions and the costs associated with an extravagant event. 

Thinking of spreading holiday goodwill this year? Reach out to our trusted network of accountants, tax experts and business advisors at Padgett so we can make sure your employees and customers can benefit from a gift and you don’t get stuck with a lump of coal in return. Find an office near you today!

4 Tips To Avoid An Expensive Payroll Mistake

How to manage payroll with remote employees

The past few years have significantly changed the way many of us work. The U.S. census estimated that that the number of remote employees more than tripled between 2019 and 2021, and Upwork estimates that 36.2 million Americans will work remotely by 2025. 

It’s clear that remote employees are here to stay, and they have become key for many businesses to operate. But though remote work brings many benefits—including increased happiness, increased productivity, and decreased greenhouse gas emissions—it also brings some challenges for employers, specifically when it comes to managing payroll.  

The problem: 

When employees work in different states from the location of your place of business, payroll taxes can get a bit complicated. If you have remote employees doing significant work out-of-state, you may need to register your business in multiple states to withhold taxes for them.  

In one recent case, a Virginia-based business was surprised with thousands of dollars in taxes, registration fees and penalties because an employee worked remotely in California and Texas without telling their employer. Because the CEO didn’t know to register his business in those states, he could face an estimated total cost of $500,000 and hours of accounting and HR difficulties.   

When making a mistake with out-of-state payroll could cost you a fortune, it’s crucial to get it right. Here are some tips: 

The solution: 

1. Communicate with your remote employees. 

Make sure you know what states (and countries) your employees work in, and make sure they understand how important it is for you to have accurate information. Employees may owe income taxes in both states where they live and states where they work, so it’s key to make sure you’re following withholding rules for any states involved so that neither you nor your employee is caught off guard. 

2. Know the state-by-state variables. 

In many cases, payroll may follow the rules of withholding in your business’s state. But some states have a reciprocity agreement, in which the states agree that the employees only owe income tax in states where they live. Without this agreement, employers may need to withhold partial amounts for both the remote employee’s home state and the business state.  

There are other variables as well, such as the threshold for income or time worked that would require taxes to be submitted in that state, as well as whether or not the employee is working remotely for convenience or as a necessity. 

3. Check with your state Tax or Revenue Department. 

With so many differences at the state level, it’s important to know what the rules are in your area. Make sure you’re familiar with what state websites to check for information. You can find a listing of relevant state sites regarding taxes and business information on  

4. Work with a tax professional, accountant and payroll provider. 

Payroll can be a challenging task in the simplest of situations with serious consequences for mistakes. When you add variables like remote employees doing multi-state work, it’s even more important to get it right. Rather than spending hours of your valuable time trying to find the answers and worrying about perfecting your withholding, consider working with professionals. Tax preparers, accountants and payroll providers will be more familiar with the complex laws and can help you stay in compliance while you focus on your business. 

Rather than needing to find a tax preparer, and an accountant and a payroll partner, consider working with a business who can provide all the services you need in one place. Padgett’s nationwide network of EAs and CPAs offer a suite of services including tax, accounting, payroll, and business advisory services. Find a location near you today!

When Should I Hire Contractors Or Employees?

If you’re thinking about hiring new staff ahead of the holiday rush, or you’re reworking existing staff, you’ve likely run into the issue of deciding whether you should treat them as a contractor or an employee. How do you choose what’s best for your business? 

The difference between a contractor and an employee 

First, it’s important to understand exactly what the differences are between contractors and employees. 

A contractor—who may also be known as a freelancer or a contract worker—is an independent worker hired to do a specific job or task. They may work for multiple companies simultaneously. They generally have more control over when and how they work. Unlike employees, contractors aren’t officially on the payroll and don’t receive a W-2 or benefits like a 401k or insurance. Instead, they are considered self-employed and may have their own business, such as an LLC or sole proprietorship.  Depending on their contract, they may be paid for their time or by project completion—such as a freelance writer being paid per article. 

An employee, on the other hand, is someone who performs services an employer controls and is paid an hourly wage or a salary. Employees also have certain rights, such as protection from discrimination and entitlement to leave under the Family Medical Leave Act. 

How to determine if someone is a contractor or an employee 

If you’re looking at hiring someone and aren’t sure whether to classify them as a contractor or an employee, there are some things to consider. Keep in mind, there are consequences for misclassification, including penalties, fines and possible legal trouble, so you need to get this right. 

The IRS looks at factors such as: 

  • How is the worker paid? Is it on a regular schedule such as weekly, or is it when a project is complete? 
  • How does the worker complete their tasks? Are they in an office or working from home? Do they use their own tools and technology? Do they have set hours? 
  • Is the work temporary or ongoing? Is the worker contributing to projects that have set end points, or is there an indefinite length to their work with you? 

They may also consider things such as travel, as employers generally pay for work-related travel for employees, and company training, not commonly provided to a contractor.  

The pros and cons 

Contractors offer business owners more flexibility than they can typically get with employees. A business can hire contractors to do a specific task or project. Contractors are also often more affordable than employees, especially as the employer is not required to offer benefits or pay payroll taxes. Businesses may also be able to save time and money on training, office space, and providing tools or technology by hiring a contractor. 

However, you’ll have less control over how and when the work is done. They won’t be on your payroll, so you’ll have to account for their pay differently and you may lose out on some tax benefits. And once their contract ends, they may not be available the next time you need help. 

Hiring an employee may be more challenging and expensive with training, payroll taxes, and benefits, but ideally, there is a greater sense of loyalty. Unlike a contractor who may be working for other companies and is thinking about getting their next gig, a well-treated employee can become a valuable, trusted member of your team long term. 

What’s best for my business? 

Whether contractors or employees are the right approach for your business will depend on factors like the type of work you need and your budget. If you’re still not sure what’s right for you or want to avoid costly misclassification mistakes, Padgett’s nationwide network of CPAs and EAs are here to help! With our decades of tax, payroll and accounting experience, we can help you find the solution your business needs. Find a location near you today! 

Padgett announces partnership with payroll provider ADP

Athens, GA — Padgett, an accounting and tax planning and preparation franchise with hundreds of locations across the U.S., announced their revised partnership with ADP, a national payroll and human resources management software company.

“Our new partnership with ADP brings a lot of benefit to our franchisees, and through them, to our small business clients,” Padgett’s Chief Operating Officer Amanda Aguillard said. “Our hope is that this partnership will allow our franchisees to more easily provide expanded payroll services to their clients and better meet their needs.”

Established in 1949, ADP has spent over 70 years establishing themselves as the leading provider of human capital management (HCM) solutions, including payroll, human resources, time, talent, tax and benefits administration. Their cloud-based software, next day direct deposit and decades of payroll management experience makes the platform a trusted source for businesses worldwide.

“ADP pays, on average, one in every six Americans,” Greg Grant, Strategic Alliance Executive for ADP’s small business services division, said. “There are millions of people who rely on us for managing their payroll, and there’s a reason for that. We understand that many small businesses don’t have the resources to handle a lot of payroll and HR tasks alone. We keep the focus on the people and allow them to maximize their time so they can do more with less.”

The new partnership with ADP is Padgett’s latest step towards building an industry-leading approach to technology for their network of individually-owned firms across North America. Following their partnership with CPA Site Solutions to launch new websites for every location, their attention has turned to strengthening their technology offerings for back-end operations.

“We’ve been working hard on building a really solid tech stack for our franchisees, with tested and proven software that provides a lot of value,” Aguillard said. “ADP is a key foundational piece of our ecosystem.”

About Padgett

Through a network of hundreds of individually owned firms, Padgett provides tax, accounting, payroll and consulting services to tens of thousands of small businesses across the U.S. and Canada. With an entrepreneurial spirit and more than 50 years of experience, Padgett aims to serve as trusted advisors and empower business owners to pursue their financial and personal goals. Learn more

About ADP

Designing better ways to work through cutting-edge products, premium services and exceptional experiences that enable people to reach their full potential. HR, Talent, Time Management, Benefits and Payroll. Informed by data and designed for people. Learn more

Making it work when working with family

Anyone who has had family members on their staff likely knows working with relatives comes with plenty of pros and cons—for both your relationships and your payroll taxes. We talked to Sam Pelner, EA and vice president of Padgett Lakeville, who has worked with his father, Steve, for years. Here’s his advice for making it work when working with family:

Keep good records

Remember that family members still need to be treated like regular employees—even if they’re under 18. “I started working for my dad when I was in grade school, doing janitorial services,” Sam says. “If you’re hiring kids, like my dad did, you have to make sure you’re documenting how often they’re working and what they’re doing.”

Even if you’re working with siblings, a spouse, or other relatives, it’s important to have those records to protect your business from audits, Sam warns. “If an audit comes up, it’s important to have that documentation in place to prove that your family members are doing actual work and aren’t just on your payroll for tax cuts.”

Know the benefits

Even when paying your relatives like regular employees, there are some benefits available. If you’re hiring your children as a sole proprietorship or a partnership where both partners are parents, “you can pay your kids under 18 without being subject to social security and Medicare taxes,” Sam says. Up to age 21, your child is also not subject to Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) taxes.

“And when you’re paying your kids, they’re subject to the same standard deductions that everyone else is,” Sam reminds business owners, so think about how you can make the most of your child’s income. “For example, when my dad was paying us as kids, he would put some of our pay into a Roth IRA to help build up some savings for us.”

The rules are different f your business is a corporation, estate, or partnership with including someone who is not the child’s parent, or for parents employed by their children, so check out the website and talk to your tax advisor about the regulations for your business.

Focus on the trust

Having family members as employees can be a challenge, not just for payroll but also for your personal relationships. It can be harder to be objective when working with relatives and people you’re close to. “One of the biggest challenges can be differences of opinion, especially when it comes to a partnership situation,” Sam says. “When a lot of people all have strong opinions, it can clash.”

“On the flipside,” he says, working with a family member can also provide a mentor and a friend. “Having someone that you can trust and know who to go to makes a huge difference, rather than having to figure it out on your own.”

Even if you don’t have family working with you, having a trusted advisor is key. If you need a partner you can rely on, Padgett’s nationwide network of EAs and CPAs are here to help! Find a location near you today.


Meet Sam Pelner, Enrolled Agent and Vice President of Padgett Lakeville

Sam joined Padgett in 2020 after 6 years in commercial real estate accounting. His passion is assisting small business owners succeed by helping them navigate the complexities of tax and compliance. He has earned a BS in accounting from Saint John’s University and his Enrolled Agents certification. His hobbies include running, golf, and spending time with family and friends.

What should you do when seasonal employees leave?

Whether your summertime employees are leaving or you’re thinking ahead to hiring extra help for the holiday season, it’s important to make sure you have a proper plan in place for when your seasonal workers say goodbye.  

Check in with your accountant or tax professional. 

It’s a good idea to meet with your accountant or tax advisor regularly, but especially when dealing with a significant change to your business. If you have seasonal employees, you may have different filing requirements for certain payroll tax forms, so it’s important to make sure you have correctly filed the necessary forms and kept good records.  

You may also want to re-evaluate your budget and cash flow projections both before hiring seasonal employees and again after they leave when you’re no longer paying those seasonal wages. Working with your accountant or advisor can help you make sure you’re allocating funds appropriately. 

Perform an exit interview.  

While you already know why a seasonal employee is leaving at the end of their term, performing an exit interview can still provide you with useful information. Try to learn more about their experience working with you, what went well and what didn’t, and what you can do to make your business a better workplace for full-time employees and future seasonal staff. 

Leave a good impression. 

While an exit interview is too late to change your employees’ overall experience, there’re still some steps you can take to end the season on a good note. Remember that these are the people who helped you during your busiest times. Seasonal revenue is key to your overall profitability, and these employees were instrumental in making that happen. Be sure to thank them for their time with you and thank them for sharing feedback if they participated in an exit interview. You can even consider hosting a going-away party for your seasonal staff or have seasonal awards to show your gratitude. 

Providing a letter of recommendation can also go a long way towards building a good relationship with your former employees. If you want to show your thanks, be sure to volunteer to write a recommendation rather than waiting for them to ask. You can also leave a recommendation on their LinkedIn profile.  

Consider making it a permanent position. 

Not everyone will be able to stay, but if your employees were excellent, you may even consider inviting them to stay on year-round. Again, this is a situation where you would need to review your budget and consider the tax implications of adding another regular employee, so a meeting with your advisor may be in order. But if it works for your business, seasonal employees can become loyal members of your regular staff!  

If you need a business advisor to work with you on your payroll processes, taxes, cash flow, or other business tasks, Padgett’s nationwide network of EAs and CPAs are here to help! Find a location near you today. 

How To Hire Kids For The Summer (Including Your Own!)

Each June, millions of teenagers begin their search for a summer job. Before hiring any summertime help, it’s a good idea to be aware of the Federal and State laws governing youth in the workplace. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) youth employment provisions are designed to protect young workers by limiting the types of jobs and the number of hours they may work, based on the age of the minor. The following provisions apply to nonagricultural occupations:

18 Years of Age: Once a youth reaches 18, the Federal child labor provisions no longer apply to them — they can work any job for any number of hours.

16 & 17 Years of Age: Under the FLSA 16- and 17-year olds may work on any day for any number of hours. However, individual states may limit the hours or the times of day that anyone under the age of 18 may work. Also, all youth under the age of 18 are prohibited from working any non-farm jobs deemed hazardous.

14 & 15 Years of Age: 14 and 15-year-olds may work:

  • Non-school hours
  • 3 hours on a school day
  • 18 hours in a school week
  • 8 hours on non-school day
  • 40 hours in a non-school week
  • Between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (except June 1-Labor Day when hours are extended to 9 p.m.)

Alert to Parents who Hire their Children

There’s a lot to be said for hiring family members to work in your business. Hiring your children won’t only provide them with spending money…your business may obtain a deduction for their wages as well.

Since there’s no specific exception from income tax withholding for wages you pay to family members, you’ll generally have to withhold income taxes from the wages you pay them. However, you’ll be relieved from some FICA taxes and federal (and perhaps even state) unemployment taxes, depending on the type of entity and ownership makeup.

Keep in mind, the Social Security Administration (SSA) may question the validity of wages if the recipient is on record as a young child. Unless you can provide acceptable detail such as date of birth and job responsibilities, your child may not be given credit for the correct amount of wages.

In fact, the information obtained may be given to the IRS or the Department of Justice for investigating and prosecuting violations of the Social Security Act. Matching programs compare the SSA’s records with those of other Federal, State, and local agencies, which are often used to find or prove that a person qualifies for benefits paid by the Federal government.

Rule of thumb: Put your child on the payroll only if there is a legitimate job offering with responsibilities that are within the child’s capability…and then, make sure that your child does the work!

If you are about to hire a teen or your own child, a Padgett business advisor can help you make sure you’re following the regulations for their schedule and making the most of available tax deductions. Find a location near you today!

Kevin Garibaldi found the recipe for success with Padgett

Throughout his varied career, making good food has been a constant for Kevin Garibaldi, owner of Garibaldi’s Catering and its companion restaurant, Garibaldi’s New Orleans Cuisine.  

Kevin began his career with a restaurant apprenticeship in Monterey, California. He was trained by chefs of the Monterey Bay Chefs’ Association in the 1980s at the Sardine Factory and The Rogue. At the time, he didn’t plan on becoming a business owner. In fact, after working his way up from pantry man, prep cook and finally to chef, Kevin decided to pursue a degree in political science, planning for a career change to law. 

“I was so tired of cooking, and I felt like I wanted to go back to school,” Kevin says. “So, I then quit my job and went full-time in college, thinking I wanted to be a lawyer.” But after working as a paralegal, Kevin felt unsatisfied, and changed careers again.  

“One of my professors told me I would be an outstanding teacher,” he says, “so I went back to get my credential in social science. I taught world history, geography and economics in high school for eight years.” When teaching history, Kevin liked to use food as a tool to help his students learn about other places and cultures. “It was like, we’re talking about Saudi Arabia today, and this is what they eat. Or if we’re talking about Russia, here’s what the Russian people eat. It’s the hook. That’s what gets the kids interested.” 

By the time he retired from teaching, Kevin was already catering 10 weddings a year, just based on word-of-mouth advertising. At that point, he decided to seek funding for his business and opened Garibaldi’s Catering.  

Through word-of-mouth, TV commercials, and biannual visits to a local bridal show, Kevin’s business was catering 25 weddings a year — until COVID-19 hit. “I looked around at our community, and we had Thai restaurants and Mexican and Italian and so on,” he says. “So, I opened up Garibaldi’s New Orleans Cuisine with my mom’s recipes.” 

After adding restaurant ownership to his plate, Kevin’s Padgett partnership became even more important. “I was a small business and having trouble handling payroll employees,” he says. “It was a pain to try and keep track of everybody’s hours and benefits. When we opened the restaurant, it became even more work to handle payroll, so that’s when I turned to Piper and John. They’ve been doing my payroll and deposits, and they take care of it for me.”  

As well as assisting with Kevin’s payroll and taxes, Piper and John of Padgett Business Services Chico helped him take advantage of the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) and other benefits.  

“They give me a lot of business advice,” Kevin says, “and during COVID, they helped me find support when I didn’t have a lot of business. John has been amazing at helping me find things that I didn’t even know were offered. I got a lot of money in 2020 because of John. He’s my man. He helped me through the business while I was teaching and my wife was a nurse, so he helped me learn how to grow as my business grew.” 

Now, business has picked back up, and Kevin’s reputation has grown as a local favorite. He’s found support from community members, the North Valley Community Foundation, and even Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. “We’re hanging in there because of local community help, and I love what I’m doing and cooking for people with my mama’s cooking,” Kevin says. 

Giving back to the community that supported him is important to Kevin, so he often supports local high schools and college scholarship funds. When he’s not helping out at the restaurant, catering lunches three times a week, or working as a “celebrity chef” with the local Salvation Army, he likes to teach jiu jitsu, work in his garden and travel with his family. 

“One of the lessons I learned is that you’ve got to try and take some time and sit down and meditate and recharge,” he says. “Some people think they’ll start a business and just get to kick back but really you’ve got to work. You get what you put into it. But you’re not here to work yourself to death. You work hard, but you’ve got to take time to enjoy it once in a while too. It’s okay to ask for help from someone who knows what they’re talking about, and it’s okay to take a break sometimes.” 

Having a partner who can help take care of his payroll and taxes helps Kevin find the time to take his well-earned breaks.  

“I think that you’ve got to find someone you trust, like I trust Piper and John and Padgett Business Services. They’re not just people who help me out with my business, but they’re friends. I’m a chef and I want to cook, and I hated all the paperwork. If you can afford it — and I think it’s pretty affordable — I think it’s good to get someone else to handle your paperwork and you just enjoy what you’re doing.” 

Whether you own a restaurant like Kevin, or you run another kind of business, Padgett has the experience to help you succeed. Find your local office today!

Erik Gledhill Is Blazing New Trails With His Padgett Partners

As a social worker, Erik Gledhill didn’t originally plan on being a business owner. His journey to owning a pet store in Chico, California began at home — with his own dog.

After noticing his dog’s dry skin issues, joint pain, and fatigue, Erik first turned to vets for help, but couldn’t get the answers to his problem. One day, while shopping at a local pet store, the shop owner suggested Erik try a new diet for his dog which dramatically improved the pet’s health. When the store later closed, Erik decided to step up and fill their shoes. He opened Trailblazer Pet Supply, with a special emphasis on excellent animal nutrition and helping other pet owners care for their furry friends. 

Erik originally had a different tax partner, but later discovered his taxes weren’t handled correctly and had used the wrong accounting method. “I was really stressed out when I learned he had been doing my taxes incorrectly,” Erik says.

Instead, he turned to John and Piper at Padgett Business Services of Chico. Padgett had handled the accounting for the original pet store, so Erik knew they would have the experience to help his new business succeed. “I thought, you guys know where this place was going well, and you can help steer me towards a good, successful business. And their advice was always really solid, so our perspective on finances is the same. Piper handled payroll, and John was the accounting and tax guy, so no matter where my question fell, I could ask them and they could help me.”

As a business owner with a day job at Child Protective Services, Erik has a lot on his plate day-to-day. “There was a time when I worked just ridiculous amounts of hours because I didn’t have the staff or the budget to hire people,” he says. Now, he leans heavily on his staff and managers.

“Finding the right staff is super important,” he says. “Don’t skimp on your people. You can’t put a price tag on it. The people that are working for you – that’s the number one key thing. You really need to make sure your brand is strong. Your customers are out there, they just need to find out you’re there.”

Erik has learned the importance of balancing brand values and financial decisions, and Padgett has been able to help him find that equilibrium. “I know I can trust them,” Erik says. “They were able to look at my finances and I could talk to them about my particular goals, and they could help me adjust my financial goals to match. John is able to really understand that my brand is excellent customer service, so maybe I’ll spend a bit more on my employees and making sure that they spend some time becoming knowledgeable in nutrition. John and Piper are able to help me account for those expenses and encourage me when I get nervous.”

No matter what his question is, Erik’s Padgett partners are always just a phone call away. “I have a day job, too, so it was really important to me that I could have somebody that could answer when I had a minute to pick up the phone,” Erik said. “I get these two people in my local office — I can go over there, I’ve been to their house, all that stuff — but they also have the backing of this big organization so the information they get, the training they get, there’s this economy of scale that I get to benefit from.”

If you have a business and need a partner you can trust, Padgett is here! For tax and accounting support as well as personalized advice, find an office near you today.

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