Just over a week into 2018, Paychex has released its annual list of top regulatory issues small businesses should be watching out for. Not surprisingly, the top two spots are related to taxes, they are Tax Reform and how States React to Federal Tax Reform.
This year Paychex’s list is even more relevant as the Trump presidency continues to get rid of more of the regulatory hurdles slowing down small businesses. The executive orders  Trump has signed to cut regulations have been welcomed by small business owners. And Congress is also paying more attention to the challenges these businesses are facing .
2018 Small Business Regulatory Issues
This is because the second largest problem facing small businesses is unreasonable government regulations, according to National Federation of Independent Business’ Small Business Problems and Priorities (PDF) report .
With all the upcoming changes, the ‘Top 10 Regulatory Issues Expected to Impact Small Businesses in 2018’ report couldn’t have been timelier. On the company page , Martin Mucci, president and CEO of Paychex, explains the current environment by saying, “With so many regulatory changes and legislative reforms either proposed or slated to take effect in the coming months, it can be challenging for busy small business owners to keep up with where things stand.”
The goal, Mucci added, is to, “Help small business owners understand how new regulations will affect their businesses in 2018.”
As Mucci rightly stated, keeping up with regulatory changes can be difficult, at best, for many small businesses.
Top Five Changes With the Biggest Impact on Small Business
Tax Reform – This is the biggest change to the tax code in 30 years, and when the provisions go into effect in 2018, small businesses have to assess what it means to them. There are going to be withholding changes, deductions, and complex requirements as the new policy is implemented and evolves.
State Reaction to Federal Tax Reform – The changes to the federal tax code means states will also be affected. States follow the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) or do so to some extent. Find out how your state is going to adopt the new changes to make sure you are filing your taxes properly.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) – Tax reform negates the individual mandate penalty by lowering it to zero dollars by 2019. However, there are some provisions that remain unchanged, so employers have to be aware of their new obligations when preparing for current year ACA filing.
Paid Leave Laws – If you are a private employer operating in one of the more than 40 states which passed paid sick leave, make sure you are aware of your responsibilities. The laws vary greatly from state to state, but essentially your employees will have more rights when it comes to family leave time.
Employee Verification – The verification process when hiring someone is a challenge for small businesses. For this year, Form I-9 has been revised along with instructions for new employees. The Legal Workforce Act will, if it passes, make it mandatory for private employers to use the E-verify system.
The remaining five regulations cover overtime, pay equity, privacy, state and municipality retirement plans and payment evolution.
Keeping Pace with New Regulations
Juanita Duggan, President and CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), responded to Trump’s executive orders by saying , “The President’s order is a good first step on the long road toward eliminating ball-and-chain regulations so small businesses can create jobs and expand the economy.”
No matter how you feel about the regulations, you have to follow them to the letter because the alternative is very costly. Contact your local chamber of commerce and other associations in your industry to find out the regulations that will affect your business.