Whenever tax season rolls around, you know your employees are likely dreading having to file their forms. Dealing with changes in the tax code and understanding the different tax implications of their benefits is a challenge. There’s just no question that tax season can be stressful.
The good news is that your employees have an amazing resource in their workplace that can provide ongoing support — you. As an employer, you can play a huge role in helping tax season go smoothly for your team. From offering training on how to do your taxes with the last pay stub to providing general information, you can make your employees’ lives easier by using the tips listed below.
1. Distribute or publish a tax timeline.
First, make sure your employees know when various tax-related tasks need to be handled. You can provide them with a timeline of important tax milestones. This can include information about when your team will receive their W-2 forms, when their taxes must be paid, and the deadlines for applying for an extension to file their taxes.
Include recommendations about when your employees should start getting their receipts together. During tax season, send out suggested times to schedule a meeting with a tax pro. This is especially helpful if your employees don’t plan to handle their taxes on their own.
2. Create focused communication for older and younger employees.
Filing taxes isn’t something anyone enjoys. Some younger workers, however, may be doing this for the first time. You can help ease them into the process by providing FAQs and online resources. This can help younger taxpayers learn the right way to approach their tax situation.
On the other hand, taxes grow more and more complex for your employees nearing retirement. For example, your older team members may have new options to consider. These could include withdrawing funds from their 401(k) after age 59½ with no penalties. They may also have new complications to deal with. One example would be figuring out the right time to take their Social Security benefit and make the transition to Medicare.
Sometimes, tax-related information can be lost when it’s included with other information about retirement. It’s probably a good idea for you to use tax season as the chance to provide more focused information on getting near retirement. Offer examples of how it might impact each team member’s tax situation.
3. Offer access to third-party tax resources.
Some organizations don’t want to take on the role of a tax adviser. If this is the case, you can hire an external consultant who can address your employees’ needs. They can conduct training and educational seminars. During tax season, they can even provide one-on-one consultations with employees about their specific tax concerns.
Bringing in on-site assistance might not work for your business or team. If so, then you might work with a tax service to negotiate a lower price for your employees. Usually, employees want to file taxes on their own. Offering lower costs for tax software could be a great, hands-off method of providing tax season support.
Also, when you provide outside resources, you can reframe the situation. You can take what’s considered a stressful time for your workforce into a more positive experience.
Communicate the provision of assistance as a proactive step. Doing so will reduce all the stress and tension that comes with cramming on taxes at the last minute. Assure your team that you are there to provide help and support. You want to ensure this time of year moves along as smoothly as possible.
4. Utilize your current vendors.
If you are like many businesses, you probably already have contracts with various third-party vendors. Some of these might be experts in financial planning and investments. Your team could access them through employee assistance programs and learning management systems.
These vendors might also be able to provide services and websites that will help increase your team’s financial knowledge. Now is the time to take advantage of these services and solutions. Remember, you are already paying for services from these vendors. Be sure to get the most of your money by utilizing all the services they provide.
Help Your Employees Not Dread Tax Season
Providing assistance, information, and resources about tax time can be invaluable when it comes to supporting your team members. Use the tips above to show your team you are there to help support them during this often stressful time!