New Tax Law Changes for 2018

By now we are all aware that there are new tax tables coming due to tax reform. While most everyone will see a difference in their paycheck by February 15, there are still some details that aren’t quite ready. As the tax law is written, there will be no personal exemptions for 2018. So, what are we supposed to do with those W-4 forms that we have from our employees?

The IRS recently released a notice with additional information regarding those W-4 forms. The notice extends the effective period of the current Forms W-4 until February 28, 2018 and does the following:

• Temporarily suspends the requirement that employees must furnish their employers new Forms W-4 within 10
of changes in status that reduce the withholding allowances they are entitled to claim;
• Extends the use of the 2017 W-4 Form until the 2018 W-4 Form is available;
• Provides that the withholding rate on supplemental wage payments is 22 percent for 2018 through 2025; and
• Provides that, for 2018, withholding on periodic payments when no withholding certificate is in effect is
based on treating the payee as a married individual claiming three withholding allowances.

Basically, it is going to take the IRS quite some time to redesign the W-4 so it reflects the changes in the new tax law, so to minimize the burden on employees and employers, the IRS and the Treasury Department designed the 2018 withholding tables to work with the Forms W-4 that employees have already furnished their employers. Once the newly designed 2018 Form W-4 is released employees will have 30 days to submit the new forms to their employers.

Paid Sick Leave

Sometimes employers need to be aware of the trends that are occurring in other states as well as their own.  The debate over paid sick leave laws is one of those trends that is picking up steam in more and more states.  There is no current federal law requiring employers to offer paid sick leave to employees, but eight states and the District of Columbia already have such laws in place.  Some cities and counties are even requiring private employers to provide paid sick leave to their employees.  If you have employees in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Oregon, Vermont or Washington, D.C. you are already aware of these laws.  If you have employees in North Carolina, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, or Pennsylvania you should know that sick pay laws are currently being debated.  Some forms of these laws have been passed or debated in 26 states.

Several organizations are offering model legislation for paid sick leave laws.  Most propose that employees should be able to earn 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 or 40 hours worked.  Most cap the amount of sick leave that can be accrued, usually between 40 to 56 hours. Some states pro-rate the cap based on company size. Many of them look at a threshold of 15 employees before an employer is covered by the law, but not all.

There is no Illinois law covering paid sick leave but Cook County recently passed a Paid Sick Leave law that became effective on July 1, 2017.  It can apply to employers with even one eligible employee, that is any employee who has worked at least 80 hours regardless of location for a Covered Employer in any 120-day period. Such employees accrue one hour of sick leave for every 40 hours that he or she works for the Covered Employer within the boundaries of Cook County.  Municipalities may exempt themselves and many have.  For the complete list see

With all the activity at the state level it is not surprising that the Federal Government would take notice.  The Healthy Families Act was first introduced at the Federal level in 2009 and was reintroduced this past March.  The Federal bill defines a covered employer as one that employs 15 or more employees for each working day during each of 20 or more calendar workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year. Employees would accrue 1 hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, to a cap of 56 hours in a calendar year.

This is an issue that will affect many employers over the coming years.  If you are designing a policy now, be aware of how the proposed laws are being written.  If you do not have a sick pay policy, make sure you are tracking your employees work days in such a way that you can determine whether your company would be covered based on current or pending legislation.  To track legislation at the federal level, see  For information at the state level see For specific information on Cook County see



Sage Alerts and Workflow can change your life

Sage Alerts & Workflow is a Sage add-on product that allows users to generate queries depending on the information that is being tracked. For example, if a user wanted a list of open invoices from clients that are over 30 days due and wants the list generated once every 15 days, Sage Alerts can generate the list and send it to one or multiple departments via email automatically. Users can also customize the categories that they wish to include in the query. For example, they can include the name or ID code of the sale representative of a specific transaction, the payment code method that was used for the transaction, and which pricelist was used, just to name a few.

Currently I am working with a client who uses Sage Alerts. One of the queries that they use includes all inventory items whose quantity on hand minus the quantity on any current sales order is less than or equal to 0. Another query, which is scheduled to run every Monday at 8AM, is to gather a list of clients who have open invoices that are over 30 days old. For this same client, I am currently trying to create a query that will compare sales from this current year to prior year based on a specified date range.  Then the query will identify those customers whose incoming sales revenue compared to the prior year is less than $3,500.00.

Sage Alerts & Workflow is also compatible with Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Human Resource Management Systems (HRMS), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, to name a few.

For more questions regarding the acceptance of credit cards through your Sage ERP software, contact your WAC Solution Partner for more information.

Written by Stephanie Piller, WAC Solution Partners- Midwest.

HR To Do List for November

If you are in Human Resources or upper management you have a busy month ahead of you.  You are probably in the middle of Open Enrollment, you are rgetting ready for your ACA reporting in January, and now you have to get the word out to affected employees that some of them are going to be paid hourly effective December 1, 2016.  Here is a little checklist to help you with that last one.

  • Review all exempt salaried employees who earn less than $47,476 per year or $913 per week.  Determine their new hourly rate.
  • Make sure that they are set up to record time the same way the rest of your hourly employees record time.  Set them up in the timeclock and get their badges ready.
  • Be sure that the managers of the affected employees sit down with them to discuss what will be changing.
  • Don’t assume that they know the rules they will need to follow.  Spell them out in a written communication as well and have them sign an acknowledgement.

Suzanne Lucas has provided an excellent letter example for Inc. Magazine.  Take a look at her example and it will help you with a tough communication.