© 2022 American Payroll Institute, Inc. APA Continues to Pursue Federal Tax Levy Improvements In a letter to the IRS’s Small Business/Self-Employed Collection Office, the APA Government Relations Task Force Garnishments Subcommittee said that, ideally, payroll professionals would like the federal tax levy process to be entirely electronic. However, this would not change the need to verify employment prior to sending Form 668-W, Notice of Levy on Wages, Salary, and Other Income, to employers to withhold wages on behalf of employees. The letter was a follow-up to an October meeting between the APA and IRS on improving the process for federal tax levies. The October meeting was initiated through a previous letter to the IRS on federal tax levies (see “Inside Washington” for October 2022). In the meeting, APA said that 20% to 80% of Forms 668-W received by employers are for individuals who were never their employees or have left their employment. Receiving these levies for non-employees is inefficient for both the IRS and payroll departments. Proposed employment verification In its follow-up letter, APA suggested a simple process to verify employment for purposes of federal tax levies. “The IRS could provide by encrypted email or send a one-page official letter to the employer (address the same as if the IRS was sending the Form 668-W) with the employee’s name and social security number, asking to verify employment,” APA said. The IRS verification letter could include instructions for the employer’s designated contact to complete the bottom of the letter, along with a date for the employer to respond by, and where to send or fax the response. The bottom of the letter could include the name of the employee or employees with checkboxes for yes or no on whether the individual is an employee, and then a box or line to add the signature of the employer’s agent and the date. If possible, payroll professionals would prefer an electronic signature option, APA said. APA’s letter was not intended to provide specific language or employer instructions. Instead, it was intended to provide the IRS with a concept for a solution. The APA offered to work with the IRS on creation of employer instructions. The discussion with the IRS is part of an ongoing dialogue in which APA staff and members are working to improve federal employment tax processes and procedures. Government Relations Highlights Value, Issues During EIPC During APA’s 2022 Educational Institutions Payroll Conference (EIPC) in October, a general session highlighted advocacy trends with payroll impacts. Here is a summary of the presentation. Value of government relations The relationships that payroll professionals build with government entities can help to enhance efficiencies, improve the processes to deliver wages to employees, provide relief to communities during difficult situations, and support children and families through child support withholding. The APA Government Relations Task Force (GRTF) taps members to discuss their work to best position APA on proposed legislation and regulations. Child support compliance tools Payroll professionals continue to work with state child support directors and the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) to share information. Monthly virtual meetings have been arranged through the National Council of Child Support Directors. APA’s advocacy led to OCSE creating a new Communication Center with enhanced features. Until the Communication Center opened, employers were able to use the Child Support Portal for a limited number of functions, such as reporting lump-sum payments and terminations, updating information about their organization, or managing multi-state employer registration for new hire reporting. Contacting or securely exchanging information with state child support agencies or the OCSE outside of those parameters was not simple. Stakeholders, including APA, requested improvements to OCSE’s information exchange process. Based on these requests, OCSE enhanced its portal with a new Communication Center that allows employers to communicate with child support agencies, which will speed up payroll processing and simplify secure information exchange. To access the Child Support Portal, employers must be registered. New users can register online and can contact November 2022 A Supplement to Payroll Currently, Issue 11, Volume 30
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