Ask the Payroll Expert: How to Perform a Paycheck Checkup

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In our latest Q&A session, we were asked why the IRS is urging everyone to perform a “paycheck checkup” and how to perform this check. Bill Stephens, Axcet HR Solutions senior payroll administrator, provides expert advice. Bill is a Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) and is the founder and former president of the American Payroll Association (APA) Sooner Chapter.  

WHAT IS A "PAYCHECK CHECKUP?"

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was passed by the Trump administration and went into effect on January 1, 2018. This Act made sweeping changes to the Internal Revenue Code, affecting income tax brackets as well as allowable personal tax deductions. For these reasons, the IRS has released multiple news bulletins calling for all employees to perform a "paycheck checkup" to ensure proper withholding by the end of this year. The amount of income tax withheld from paychecks depends on the amount of income earned and the information provided on your Form W-4. 

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WHAT DO I NEED TO DO?

Contact your tax professional to ensure your withholding is accurate. However, if you don't have a professional, you can use the IRS Withholding Calculator. This tool helps identify what your   proper tax withholding should be throughout the year. Withholding the right amount can help protect against having too little withheld, resulting in an unexpected tax bill. On the flip side, the IRS reports the average tax refund tops $2,800, so adjusting withholding may help some take home more on their paychecks. 

FOR EMPLOYEES OF AXCET CLIENTS ONLY

If you are an employee of an Axcet HR Solutions client, our "Instant Axcet" Self-Service portal has all the information needed to review current tax withholding AND make any adjustments. Below is a step-by-step tutorial to perform your “paycheck checkup”. Remember, any changes are immediate and will affect your following check. We're always here to help our clients and their employees! For questions regarding your Employee Self Service, please contact your Axcet payroll administrator.

1.  Sign in at prisme.axcethr.com/phree/cmd/login.  If you have not yet registered, click "Register" and fill in the required information.

2.  Under the Payroll menu, select Payroll Inquiry. This information will give you your year-to-date figures, including taxes already withheld.

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3.  Adjust your tax withholdings under My Tax Settings. Simply select your marital status, change your exemptions or additional withholding, and hit Save.

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For more information check out How the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Affects Businesses. 

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Bill Stephens

Written by Bill Stephens