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Organizations with employees in multiple states are facing an increasingly complex task of managing payroll taxes. The adoption of remote and hybrid work models in recent years has added to the challenge, as companies now have to navigate through intricate and constantly evolving tax regulations in many jurisdictions. Healthcare organizations, in particular, face heightened compliance risks when it comes to accurately withholding taxes and filing them for their clinical and administrative staff.

Moving forward into 2024, these risks and challenges will persist for organizations. The normalization of remote work is leading to an expansion of payroll tax obligations. Meanwhile, there are ongoing changes in requirements because of legislative changes at both the state and federal levels. Healthcare organizations must stay ahead of regulatory changes while also catering to the flexible work arrangements that their employees demand.

Remote and Hybrid Work Trends Continue to Expand Compliance Obligations

It’s well known that remote and hybrid work setups have become the norm for many companies in the last couple of years. The ability to offer flexibility in terms of location is essential in attracting and keeping talented individuals in clinical and administrative roles. However, the wide-scale acceptance of remote employment also entails many and sometimes unexpected ramifications of adhering to payroll tax regulations.

Keep in mind that when an employee works in a particular state, it creates responsibilities for payroll tax withholding and filing in that specific area. Healthcare companies with employees nationwide must navigate a complex and expanding network of tax regulations in each location where their workers are based. Accurately managing those withholdings is of utmost importance to avoid future penalties or audits.

The compliance impact of remote work has been further expanded by several trends.

  • The rise in remote positions not directly related to patient care has enabled clinical staff to move and still continue their jobs. Properly addressing the tax treatment for these mobile employees adds an extra layer of complexity.
  • The emergence of hybrid work arrangements, in which employees divide their time between the office and remote work, has led to the need for monitoring in-state workdays for tax-related reasons. Even slight mistakes in withholding calculations can lead to significant negative outcomes.
  • Younger individuals in the healthcare field are increasingly choosing flexible roles that enable them to work from anywhere. Remote employment will continue to rise, along with the corresponding tax responsibilities.

Because of the ongoing evolution of remote work, healthcare organizations must upgrade their tax compliance strategies to steer through this new reality. Not doing this increases the chances of non-compliance and the penalties that come with it.

Ongoing Regulatory Changes Require Vigilance

Besides the challenges of complying with remote work trends, payroll professionals also face the added complexity of ongoing changes to tax laws and regulations at both the federal and state levels. Staying updated with new requirements is a job on its own. However, not adhering to regulations because of a lack of awareness is not a valid defense and can still result in substantial fines and outstanding tax liabilities.

It is important to pay close attention to several important regulatory changes that are expected for 2024. Proposed changes to overtime exemptions and independent contractor definitions at the federal level could disrupt payroll structures and processes. These changes increase worker protections, but healthcare organizations will need to review compensation plans and carefully evaluate job classifications to stay compliant.

Payroll professionals must also monitor temporary emergency policies enacted during the pandemic. While deadline extensions and relaxed enforcement have ended, tax agencies are now concentrating on auditing payroll filings and payments. Some common issues that have been closely examined include:

  • Incorrect documentation of paid time off hours or salaries.
  • Missed state income tax withholdings for remote employees
  • Inadequate record-keeping can undermine the effectiveness of audit defenses.

To ensure they meet evolving requirements, healthcare payroll professionals can use cloud migration to stay informed on regulatory updates and partner with a specialized provider to navigate this dynamic period of transformation with confidence.

Partnering with Expert Providers for Reliable Compliance

In light of the swiftly changing regulatory landscape and the rise of remote work, the exclusive reliance on internal resources to handle intricate payroll tax obligations exposes organizations to escalating risks of non-compliance. Reliable partners are crucial for healthcare organizations to navigate and thrive in this constantly changing environment.

Opting for expert third-party providers like Resourcing Edge brings several advantages over attempting to handle everything in-house or relying on generic payroll processing support. Some of these benefits include:

  • With deep expertise in federal and state-specific requirements, dedicated payroll tax specialists can provide guidance and research assistance on emerging issues.
  • Integrated cloud-based solutions for multi-state payroll tax management, featuring automated withholding calculations for remote employees and tax form e-filing in all jurisdictions.
  • Constantly monitoring legislation and proactively communicating regulatory changes to prevent organizations from being caught off guard.
  • Established relationships with tax agencies that facilitate issue resolution, such as responding to audit inquiries or negotiating penalty abatement, saving valuable time and resources.

By relying on a specialized provider like Resourcing Edge, healthcare companies can confidently delegate their tax responsibilities, enabling them to prioritize patient care. When freed from one administrative burden, executives and managers can dedicate more time and attention to overseeing the provision of quality care. And staff can provide better patient care when tax compliance distractions no longer burden them.

In short, when professionals handle tax-related tasks accurately and promptly, the entire organization can dedicate all its efforts to improving health outcomes.

Ensuring Compliance in 2024 and Beyond

With the start of the new year, healthcare organizations need to embrace a proactive and strategic approach to handle the growing complexity of payroll tax responsibilities. Given the dynamic nature of compliance these days, relying on reactive and outdated approaches is no longer a practical choice.

Gain confidence and peace of mind by teaming up with Resourcing Edge to address tax obligations accurately and in accordance with all requirements. With this, organizations can optimize internal resources and prioritize delivering top-notch patient care. Don’t hesitate, reach out to us today and get started.

Timothy Newhouse
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