Tax season can be a stressful time of the year especially if you’re dealing with large amounts of reporting data and numerous investments, but it helps to know that your company’s human resources department may be the ones best-suited to ease the trials of taxes.
With access to informative educational resources and experience with reporting, your HR reps may be able to offer some practical resources and informative insights to get you and your team through this arduous time.
Let’s take a look at how companies are leaning on their HR department in order to help employees balance their budgets, get their reporting done and move their taxes across the finish line in the most efficient, accurate and painless way possible!
Your Best Educational Resources
The process of recording financial status and documenting your income on several forms can seem complicated right from the get-go, but with a bit of instruction and education, you should be able to file all the right forms and keep your finances in line.
While your HR department may not be able to legally advise you about the numbers you report or the deductions you claim, they should be able to steer you in the right direction with regards to the documents you need, important deadlines to hit and how involved your accounting department will be when reporting your income.
When it comes to work-related tax write-offs, your HR department might be able to help you identify purchases you’ve made toward work-related items and areas where you should be eligible for tax deductions. It’s important to note that your HR reps will not be able to tell you how to file your forms or give specific directions about the numbers you plan to document, but they can provide more general insights as it relates to the process.
HR employees might also be able to point you in the direction of some employee discounts with a local professional or an accounting firm if you’re interested in hiring an expert to complete your taxes for you. Providing any type of educational resource related to taxes can be a helpful amenity for employees that they’ll likely appreciate during this time of year.
Tip for Business Owners
One way business owners can maximize the impact of their HR departments during tax season is to organize scheduled meetings with HR reps and other employees so that employees can have their questions answered and feel more comfortable with the reporting process.
Whether you’re introducing new skills or providing some helpful tax tips, setting aside time to answer questions and concerns can make a big difference for employees. VP of Marketing and Merchandising at Hausera Wesley Ward says, “‘Lunch and learns’ can be a great way to provide your team with educational resources and information that might help them succeed in their personal and professional lives.”
Tax season can cause some stress and a simple meeting with the focus of tax reporting can make a big impact on employee morale and show your employees that you’re invested in helping them prosper.
Financial Security for Employers and Employees
The more your employees have on their plate, the less attention they may have to focus on completing projects and improving in their roles. Ensuring that employees are financially secure is not a new notion in business management.
Although your company’s HR department may already be available, sometimes your employees don’t know how to best utilize the department’s capabilities. Offering tax information and support to your employees is a simple way to convey your interest in your employees’ success and might even help keep your employee retention numbers at healthy levels.
Some employers conduct background and credit checks on employees to gain insights into their employees’ money management skills and employers can help provide a sense of financial security by rolling out helpful tax resources and support.
Helpful Tax Tips
With all of the paperwork and reporting that goes into tax season, organization and proactivity are key to ensuring correct reporting and being able to keep the money you’ve earned. Here are a few tips that might lead you from any confusion you may be feeling toward a greater sense of confidence as you take on your tax reporting.
Before you begin reporting your income for taxes, it’s imperative that you review your payroll processing for any mistakes that may have been made throughout the year. While it helps to keep track of any payroll errors as you go, many people don’t tally payroll errors leaving them with more work to do when it comes time to file income. By keeping close tabs on payroll and the money you’re owed, you’re ensuring accurate payment for the work you’ve done while paying the most reasonable amount of taxes.
It’s also very important for employees to be aware of their withholdings, benefits and potentially new forms they’ll encounter during tax season. This is an area where your HR department might be able to help as they can advise you regarding what forms to expect as policy changes such as new healthcare forms. One particular change involves the opportunity for employees who didn’t withhold enough money from last year to avoid penalties if they pay a bit more money into an HSA account.
The IRS also recently released a new W-4 form aimed at making reporting more accurate for those employees claiming withholdings. Changes like this can be fairly off-putting to taxpayers with a lot on their plate, which is why a companies’ HR departments are in a position to affect positive change for their employees and their companies if they can ease the transition.
When employees feel supported by their companies in their professional and personal lives, there’s a good chance they’ll be more productive on the job and produce greater results for the company, which is why tax season can be a critical time for HR reps to make a difference for the organization.
Part of the reason why tax season can seem like such a daunting time is that many professionals with busy schedules feel like they’re in it alone, but by offering your HR department as an accessible resource during taxes, you can help your employees maintain the confidence and financial security they need to complete their taxes and succeed in their roles.