Member Feature: Genesis Healthcare Partners

Genesis Healthcare Partners

Genesis Healthcare Partners is one of San Diego’s largest independent, private multi-specialty physician medical practices, working to diagnose and treat many types of cancer, urologic conditions and digestive health issues.

Genesis Healthcare Partners provides patients with multi-disciplinary healthcare services, bringing together Urologists, Radiation Oncology, Gastroenterologists, Prostate Cancer Center and Pathology Lab all under one umbrella.  Having a variety of specialty groups is a unique and progressive structure within the medical community and it has been very successful for Genesis, which now has 13 locations.

Genesis Healthcare Partners is known for their strong management team and solid leadership from their CEO, Urologist Dr. Edward Cohen.  The culture within the company has a family feel, with employees supporting and advocating for one another, just as they advocate for their patients.

Genesis Healthcare Partners offers unique services within their Prostate Cancer Center. Services at the Prostate Cancer Center include individualized diagnosis and treatment plans, including progressive approaches to fighting prostate cancer.  Each fall, Genesis Healthcare Partners serves as the official sponsor for the annual Zero the end of Prostate Cancer Run/Walk.  This will be the 4th year hosting the event in San Diego and patients and the general public are welcome to join in this most important fight to end Prostate Cancer.  Genesis Healthcare Partners is also a leader in patient education. With the help of the Genesis Healthcare Foundation Inc. GHP hosts educational patient symposiums each fall that provide education on the latest in treatment and other relevant health-related topics.   This educational symposium is open to the public.

To learn more about Genesis Healthcare Partners, visit at www.mygenesishealth.com.

Zero the End of Prostate Cancer, visit at zeroprostatecancerrun.org/sd

DFEH Will Survey Employers About Anti-Harassment and Diversity Policies

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) announced it will conduct a survey of California employers about their anti-harassment and diversity policies. The survey will be conducted through telephonic interviews with a random selection of California employers, and seeks to develop a portrait of how California employers manage diversity and harassment issues. It includes questions about employers’ policies on antidiscrimination, sexual harassment, and general anti-harassment policies. It will also ask employers about employer-sponsored trainings on harassment and diversity issues, recruiting programs for women and minorities and harassment complaint procedures. Company names will not be recorded on the surveys and only aggregate survey data will be released. “Knowing more about California employers’ harassment and diversity initiatives is key to the Department’s ongoing work to prevent workplace harassment and discrimination,” said DFEH Director Kevin Kish. “We expect the results of the survey to provide important insights for policy makers and the public alike.” The survey is an outgrowth of the Department’s Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace, which was formed in May 2016 to study the problem of sexual harassment in California, the effects of 10 years of harassment prevention training, and best practices to prevent harassment. The Task Force previously issued a workplace harassment guide for California employers.

Link to DFEH Press Release here.

Beware of the California Labor Agency Investigation

Investigation - Lady with Notepad

By Michael J. Nader, Ogletree Deakins

Beware the Bureau of Field Enforcement (BOFE) investigation in 2018. The California Labor Commissioner’s Office has ramped up investigations by its BOFE unit to enforce wage and hour compliance. The Bureau investigates complaints and takes enforcement actions that can include audits of a company’s payroll records and workers’ compensation insurance coverage, and the issuance of citations for violations of California Labor Code sections. From 2010 to 2016, the ratio of citations to inspections increased from 45 percent to 85 percent, and the assessed wages per inspection increased from around $2,400 to more than $15,000.

The Bureau conducts on-site inspections that usually include a review of a company’s overall compliance with minimum wage and overtime laws, and the laws governing the provision of meal periods and rest breaks. California Labor Code section 90 provides that the Labor Commissioner, including the Bureau, “shall have free access to all places of labor.” In the course of a BOFE investigation, the investigator will typically inspect the worksite for violations, interview employees and other workers, and inspect or excerpt employment records.

Understanding the Agency’s Process

Generally, investigators will seek to inspect a list of employees and their contact information, as well as time and payroll records and copies of the company’s workers’ compensation insurance policy. An investigator’s process will also typically include the following:

> interviews with employees to determine whether they have sufficient opportunities to take meal and rest breaks, and whether they take them;

> a review of the employer’s pay stubs to ensure that all California Labor Code section 226(a) requirements are met;

> a review of the time records showing when employees clock in and out from work, and when they take their meal periods;

> a review of payroll records to ensure that minimum wages are paid; and

> a review of the classification of workers as employees or independent contractors.

Based on the results of the investigation, the Labor Commissioner may issue administrative citations for certain violations of the California Labor Code. Specified procedures are provided for companies to appeal citations.

Transportation companies have been targets of BOFE investigations. In a recent report on the Bureau’s enforcement efforts, it listed one assessment for “$220,457 for multiple wage theft violations for illegally misclassifying drivers as independent contractors in San Francisco.”

Preparing for Trouble

So what can your company do to prepare for an investigation?

Self Audit. Consider conducting a self-audit to ensure compliance with California’s wage and hour laws. This audit would likely include a review of your pay stubs, meal and rest break policies, workers’ compensation insurance policies, and time and payroll records. Review your workplace to ensure that all required posters have been posted and are current and to identify workplace safety issues.

Designate a Representative. Consider designating a company representative with knowledge of the company’s wage and hour policies and practices to serve as the company’s primary point of contact for the investigator. The representative should acquire an understanding of the scope of the investigator’s inspection authority and know when to consult with counsel to address any questions about the investigator’s demands. The representative should also know where company policies, records, and information are located, and how to obtain them promptly in response to a request.

Educate Employees. Since a BOFE investigator will also want to interview employees, you may want to ensure that your employees are aware of your policies and in compliance with them. You may want to have managers and supervisors review the company’s meal and rest break policies with employees at regular meetings so that employees know their opportunities to take the breaks. Employees should also be reminded of any policy that strictly prohibits off-the-clock work and requires employees to report all time worked. Also consider implementing a process where, for every payroll period, employees attest that they took their meal and rest breaks and reported all of their time worked.

Be Nice. If an investigator appears unannounced at your workplace, your first interaction will usually set the tone for the rest of the investigation. Be professional, request identification, and consider rescheduling the inspection for a later time when you can have a principal for the company or legal counsel present. Depending on the volume of records involved, consider negotiating with the investigator over whether he or she will accept a sample of records for initial inspection. For employees selected for interviews, explain the process and make sure they understand it is important to be truthful; address any of their concerns; notify them that they are not required to sign anything; and provide a written reminder of the company’s policy that prohibits retaliation because of their participation in the investigation.

What California Employers Need to Know About Protecting Employee Health Information

Doctors stethescope

By Kelly S. Riggs and Chris Olmsted with Ogletree Deakins

Employers obtain employee health information in a number of ways-most commonly, in relation to a work-related injury or when an employee requests medical leave or a disability accommodation. Most employers understand that such information is “confidential,” but may not fully understand what that means or what they should do to protect it.

HIPAA Generally Does Not Apply to Employers

It is a common misconception that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) applies to employee health information. In fact, HIPAA generally does not apply to employee health information maintained by an employer.

HIPAA applies only to “covered entities,” which are defined as: (1) health plans; (2) healthcare clearinghouses; and (3) healthcare providers that electronically transmit certain health information (and certain “business associates” of covered entities). If an employer does not fall into one of those categories, HIPAA does not apply to it at all. Indeed, even if an employer is a “covered entity,” HIPAA still does not apply to health information contained “in employment records held by a covered entity in its role as an employer.” So even for those employers, although HIPAA may apply to health information they acquire in their capacities as covered entities, it does not apply to health information they acquire in their roles as employers.

Employers should not forget, however, that HIPAA does apply to an employer’s request for health information from a covered entity. A covered entity may not disclose protected health information to an employer without the employee’s authorization or as otherwise allowed by law. This is true even where the employee is also a patient or member of the covered entity; information maintained in that capacity may not be shared with human resources or an employee’s managers, except as expressly authorized by the employee or applicable law.

California’s Version of HIPAA

California’s Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (CMIA) provides stronger privacy protections for medical information than HIPAA. Note that CMIA’s definition of provider of health care is much broader than under HIPAA. It includes contractors of health care providers and others. For example, a business that offers software such as a mobile app, that is designed to maintain medical information could be considered a provider of health care.

Most importantly, CMIA also requires employers who receive medical information to safeguard that information, and prohibits them from disclosing medical information without employee authorization (though there are exceptions). Outside of legal disutes or government official actions, disclosures must be authorized in writing by the employee.

Internally to the company, the information may be used only for the purpose of administering and maintaining employee benefit plans, including health care plans and plans providing short-term and long-term disability income, workers’ compensation and for determining eligibility for paid and unpaid leave from work for medical reasons.

Accordingly, in order to ensure compliance with these privacy requirements, employers in California should maintain all employee health information in separate, confidential medical files with restricted access, and should implement clear policies, safeguards, and training to help employees understand and comply with the requirements.

Protecting Employee Health Information

Even when HIPAA does not apply, employers still have other legal obligations to protect the confidentiality of employee health information in their possession.

For example, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers that obtain disability-related medical information about an employee to maintain it in a confidential medical file that is kept separate from the employee’s personnel file. Such information may be disclosed only in limited situations and to individuals specifically outlined in the regulations:

(1) supervisors and managers who need to know about necessary work restrictions or accommodations;

(2) first aid and safety personnel, if a disability might require emergency treatment;

(3) and government officials investigating compliance with the ADA.

Similarly, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) requires employers that acquire an employee’s genetic information (although they generally should not request it) to treat it as a confidential medical record in a separate medical file. It can be maintained in the same confidential medical file as disability-related information. However, different rules regarding when and to whom genetic information may be disclosed apply-which do not include supervisors, managers, or first aid or safety personnel, but do include others not on the list for disclosure of disability-related information.

Handling Requests for Employee Health Information

Notwithstanding the above, employers may disclose employee health information with an employee’s express authorization (which should be in writing). Employers also may, if certain legal requirements are met, disclose such information in response to subpoenas, court orders, or other legally authorized requests, but should examine such requests closely and limit disclosure of health information only to the extent specifically requested and authorized by the employee or applicable law.

SDEA Member Feature: Beef ‘n Bun

Beef n Bun Exterior Shot

San Diego natives know where to go for the best shake in the county.  Hands down, it’s Beef ‘n Bun. But what San Diegans may not know is that Beef ‘n Bun has a long history of serving up the best shakes, burgers and fries.  Beef ‘n Bun was founded in 1962 by Richard Grider, at the same location where it is found today: on Fletcher Parkway at Navajo Road in El Cajon.

Beef ‘n Bun offers only freshly made hamburgers, chicken, fish, onion rings and zucchini, and other delicious foods, all made to order and ready to go within three to five minutes of placing your order.  The fast food restaurant has always placed a high value on using fresh ingredients and making their food by hand, so the fish is hand-dipped and the onion rings are hand-battered. Fans of Beef ‘n Bun love that they offer a Burger and a Shake of the Month, providing something new to look forward to every month. No wonder it’s a San Diego destination!

Photo of Tom and Debi- Owners of Beef n Bun

Today, Beef ‘n Bun has about 20 employees and maintains its history of being family-owned and operated.  They offer outdoor seating, a drive-through, and indoor seating. Back 40 years ago, Debi started working there as a 16-year old, and ended up meeting the owner’s son, Tom. Today Debi and Tom are married and Debi is carrying on the family tradition by running Beef ‘n Bun. Employees love Beef ‘n Bun, and a number of their employees have been with the restaurant for six to twelve years.  It’s a San Diego favorite – if you haven’t been, be sure to stop by and try out one of their famous burgers and shakes today!

7 Ways to Incent Employees to Feel and Act As Owners

By Martin Zwilling, Founder and CEO, Startup Professionals, published in Inc. Magazine

One of the lessons I have learned over the years as a business executive, and now as a mentor to entrepreneurs, is that if you really want employees who enthusiastically take ownership of their work, you have to start treating them like owners, not renters.

Owners feel they have skin in the game, and benefit from improved effort and results, rather than just getting blamed for problems.

Unfortunately, according to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report, only about one-third of employees feel like owners.

Another 50 percent are “job renters,” bringing only their hands, but not their hearts to work. They show up every day, keep a low profile, and collect a paycheck. The remainder are actively disengaged, and passively block or actively sabotage forward progress.

It’s a growing challenge, since we now have four generations of workers together — Matures, Boomers, Gen X, and Millennials (Gen Y), all with different ideas of how an owner should act.

I was impressed to see some real guidance on this subject in a new book, Counter Mentor Leadership, by Kelly and Robby Riggs, a father-son coaching team that spans the age spectrum.

These authors helped me validate my own recommendations on how business leaders and entrepreneurs can incent their own team members and employees to move a bit closer to the owner mentality. These include the following:

1. Clearly communicate the big picture, and current reality.
Be accessible, talk often to the team about the business, and be specific in communicating a vision and goals.

Don’t hide the current reality of challenges and shortfalls. Employees can’t be owners if they don’t understand the business targets and realities. They will revert to renters, at best.

2. Give every employee the necessary degrees of freedom.
Remember, one of the key drivers of ownership is a sense of autonomy. By definition, the freedom box is different for every owner.

Some are super-capable and deserve a lot of decision making flexibility, while others are new or less experienced, so their box must be a bit smaller.

3. Make them owners with stock options and actions.
Ownership can be financial or psychological. Steve Jobs was a master of having team members own their work, with small things like developer names molded in the plastic cover of the Macintosh.

Many companies now have employees put names on quality control tags, or sign their work.

4. Give advancement priority to initiative versus experience.
“Time-in-grade” and years of long hours are not qualifications to become an owner. Hiring, recognition, and promotion must foster a culture of focus on job results, commitment, and growth. This is the key leveler between the multiple age generations in the workplace.

5. Provide employee feedback and coaching in real time.
In this context you can describe specific behaviors that must change, and provide your actual examples so the team member can “step into” the past scenarios.

Avoid any hearsay or anonymous sources, since these are likely not entirely accurate, and will provoke emotional debates.

6. Flatten the hierarchical management structure.
Every owner reports to someone (Board of Directors), but every level inserted reduces autonomy and the sense of ownership. Minimize traditional organizational charts, and special perks, like corner offices and fancy furniture.

This allows employees to feel more equal, and interact with leaders and role models for better communication, recognition, and mentoring.

7. Fix mismatches and commitment problems quickly.
Make your expectations clear before hiring, including your ownership culture. Then, some companies, including Amazon and Zappos, offer employees up to $5000 to leave, if either side doesn’t feel an ongoing commitment to the business. No commitment is a big job performance problem.

I’m still convinced that the best advice I can give to anyone starting their career, or starting their company, is to find something that drives you to work as hard as you can, and still enjoy it. Stay humble, but don’t be afraid to take a risk and own it.

As a business owner, if you want people to take ownership with you, treat them like owners. That’s how you get where you want to go.

Link to original article here.

SDEA Trainer Feature: Olga Sanchez de la Vega

Olga Sanchez de la Vega

San Diego Employers Association is known as the go-to resource for HR professionals and business owners in San Diego, helping people stay informed about changing employment laws, HR news, and making professional development opportunities available to employers of all sizes.
To meet the unique training needs of your company, SDEA offers a variety of classes taught by one of our expert instructors, Olga Sanchez de la Vega.  Olga is fluent in both English and Spanish, and conducts trainings in either language.  Her trainings are known for their lasting impact and their ability to inspire, motivate, and educate participants.  Olga’s approach is one in which all people feel seen and heard, elevating the quality and impact of her classes whether they are conducted in English or Spanish.
Olga’s classes cover a wide array of subject areas including Communication, Managing Conflict, Time Management and Delegation, Performance Management, Becoming a Confident Leader and more.  Her instruction is known for its positive, measurable impact on people’s sense of confidence and efficacy in their role.  Recently Olga created and delivered a customized training at Helix Environmental Planning.  Shanna Brown, Director of Human Resources at Helix,  said, “Olga was fabulous!  She built a great rapport with our employees, had them fully engaged and really knew her stuff.”
Olga possesses over a decade worth of experience as a trainer for AT&T University’s Talent and Development department.  She has taught classes and trained thousands of people across the nation, from Puerto Rico to Hawaii. Her areas of expertise include Leadership, Systems Training, Communication, Sales and Finance, Operations, Customer Service and more.
If you would like to learn more about the professional development classes taught by Olga, please email us at info@sdeahr.org or call 858-505-0024.  You may also meet Olga in person at SDEA’s upcoming Roundtables, taking place on March 22nd (Finding Legal Ways to Tackle Employee Attendance Problems) and April 5th, 2018 (Tax and Regulatory Update).  Come by and enjoy the class and lunch, and discuss what may be possible for your company with a custom training taught by Olga Sanchez de la Vega.

Invitation to Participate in the 2018 San Diego Salary and Benefits Survey!

Pen and Paper Image

2018 marks Nyhart’s 29th year conducting this comprehensive Salary and Benefits Survey on behalf of San Diego HR practitioners and employers, which includes private, publicly-owned, government and non-profit organizations!

  • Survey Data Effective Date – April 1, 2018
  • Participant Submission Deadline – Wednesday April 25, 2018

Survey Results Publication – Mid-July 2018

Submission Instructions

1. Download the Submission Questionnaire using the link below.
2.  Fill out the Submission Questionnaire.
3.    Email completed Submission Questionnaire to sandiegosurvey@nyhart.com by Wednesday April 25th.

Click Here to Participate!

Why Participate?

Premier San Diego Salary & Benefit Survey
Conducted by a local company for HR practitioners and employers who need local competitive market data
Reliable Market Data for 200+ Positions
Executives, Senior Management, Middle Management, Professional, Technical, and Support positions
Data Breakouts
For Profit, Non-Profit, Industry Type, Employee Size, and Revenue/Budget Size
Reliable Market Practices Data
Salary Increase Budgets, Attraction/Retention Strategies, Shift and Lead Differentials, etc.
Employee Benefits Data
25+ key areas (Time-off Practices, Medical Benefits, Retirement Benefits, etc.)
Affordable Survey Pricing
Participant vs. Non-Participant Pricing

2018 Survey Pricing

To participate in this year’s Survey, please e-mail the completed survey submission questionnaire by Wednesday, April 25, 2018 to: sandiegosurvey@nyhart.com

Survey Participant (and survey sponsor member)
Survey Participant (all others)Non-Participant (and survey sponsor member)
Non-Participant (all others)
$295.00
$395.00
$595.00
$695.00
If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact:

STEVE ROSENBERG
(619) 239-0831
steve.rosenberg@nyhart.com

Former Google Recruiter: This Is How To Improve Your Interviews

Interview - Outside pic

 

By Kevin Grice, Fast Company

I worked in recruitment at Google for six years, and like all companies we wanted the best talent. We believed that we were only as good as our next hire. But we also realized that our next hire was only as good as our interview process. That’s something that most companies might understand, yet neglect to put a formal procedure in place to make sure it happens. Maybe they hope that they’ll just magically recruit top talent.

But just like candidates have to do their homework if they want to land a great job, companies also need to make sure their recruitment processes are set up for success. Here are a few tips I’ve learned throughout my 10 years in recruiting.

Recognize Your Unconscious Biases

A name on a resume, an address, a university: Any of these small things can trigger our unconscious biases. They may be hidden, but these biases have a powerful effect on the hiring process.

For example, in Europe, where candidates frequently include a photo on their application, researchers found that employers were less likely to hire a woman who was wearing a headscarf, even if her qualifications were identical to other applicants.

A little closer to home, Canadian researchers found that applicants with Chinese, Indian, or Pakistani-sounding names were 28% less likely to get invited to an interview than those with an English-sounding one.

You’re never going to eliminate your biases, but you should be aware of them when drawing conclusions about a candidate’s fit for the role and the company.

Don’t Look For Your Doppelganger

We tend to hire people who remind us of ourselves.

As well as making for an unfair recruitment process, this approach poses a longer-term risk to companies. If we hire in our own image, we end up with no diversity. That’s important, because there’s extensive research that suggests diverse companies are more innovative, achieve above-average financial returns, and have an easier time recruiting talented people.

We want to hire people we will enjoy working with, so it’s important you have a good feeling about a candidate. But make sure you’re not unfairly disadvantaging candidates who could be great for the job just because they haven’t followed the same cultural, educational, or professional journeys as yours.

Be Present

Interviews are already nerve-racking affairs. Now imagine the interviewer typing on their laptop, checking their phone, or generally giving off a distracted vibe.

We’ve all got busy schedules, but if you’re in a room with a candidate, make sure you’re really there. (Here’s an added bonus: Learning to be more present could also make you a better leader.)

Show Some Consistency

Researchers have found that one way to make the recruitment process as fair and unbiased as possible is to use structured interviews. That means applying some consistency to the questions you’re putting to candidates and the order in which you’re asking them.

Of course, you don’t want your interview panel to feel like they’re on autopilot. Instead, pull together a repository of questions they can draw on, and suggest they use the same ones when interviewing different people for a particular role. Not only will this give each candidate an equal opportunity to shine, but it will be much easier for you to make a fair comparison between them all.

Avoid Groupthink

You’ve just wrapped up a great interview with a candidate who has everything you’re looking for. You’re sure your colleague who carried out the second interview is thinking exactly the same thing, and you’re desperate to talk to them about it.

This reflex makes sense. After all, as the saying goes, two minds are better than one, and research suggests there’s wisdom in crowds. But if you discuss your thoughts before someone else has had the time to process their own, the hive mind quickly becomes groupthink, and your biases (positive or negative) risk influencing theirs. Take the time to digest what just happened, write down your feedback, and only then, sit down and share your thoughts with others.

Link to original article here.

Updated Withholding Calculator, Form W-4 Released; Calculator Helps Taxpayers Review Withholding Following New Tax Law

Calculator and Paper

WASHINGTON –The Internal Revenue Service today released an updated Withholding Calculator on IRS.gov and a new version of Form W-4 to help taxpayers check their 2018 tax withholding following passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December.

The IRS urges taxpayers to use these tools to make sure they have the right amount of tax taken out of their paychecks.

“Following the major changes in the tax law, the IRS encourages employees to check their paychecks to help ensure they’re having the right amount of tax withheld for their personal situation,” said Acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act made changes to the tax law, including increasing the standard deduction, removing personal exemptions, increasing the child tax credit, limiting or discontinuing certain deductions and changing the tax rates and brackets.

If changes to withholding should be made, the Withholding Calculator gives employees the information they need to fill out a new Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate. Employees will submit the completed W-4 to their employer.

“Withholding issues can be complicated, and the calculator is designed to help employees make changes based on their personal financial situation,” Kautter said. “Taking a few minutes can help taxpayers ensure they don’t have too little – or too much – withheld from their paycheck.”

The withholding changes do not affect 2017 tax returns due this April. However, having a completed 2017 tax return can help taxpayers work with the Withholding Calculator to determine their proper withholding for 2018 and avoid issues when they file next year.

Steps to Help Taxpayers: Do a “Paycheck Checkup”

The IRS encourages employees to use the Withholding Calculator to perform a quick “paycheck checkup.” An employee checking their withholding can help protect against having too little tax withheld and facing an unexpected tax bill or penalty at tax time in 2019. It can also prevent employees from having too much tax withheld; with the average refund topping $2,800, some taxpayers might prefer to have less tax withheld up front and receive more in their paychecks.

The Withholding Calculator can be used by taxpayers who want to update their withholding in response to the new law or who start a new job or have other changes in their personal circumstances in 2018.

As a first step to reflect the tax law changes, the IRS released new withholding tables in January. These tables were designed to produce the correct amount of tax withholding — avoiding under- and over-withholding of tax — for those with simple tax situations. This means that people with simple situations might not need to make any changes. Simple situations include singles and married couples with only one job, who have no dependents, and who have not claimed itemized deductions, adjustments to income or tax credits.

People with more complicated financial situations might need to revise their W-4. With the new tax law changes, it’s especially important for these people to use the Withholding Calculator on IRS.gov to make sure they have the right amount of withholding.

Among the groups who should check their withholding are:

  • Two-income families.
  • People with two or more jobs at the same time or who only work for part of the year.
  • People with children who claim credits such as the Child Tax Credit.
  • People who itemized deductions in 2017.
  • People with high incomes and more complex tax returns.

Taxpayers with more complex situations might need to use Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax, expected to be available on IRS.gov in early spring, instead of the Withholding Calculator. This includes those who owe self-employment tax, the alternative minimum tax, or tax on unearned income from dependents, and people who have capital gains and dividends.

Plan Ahead: Tips for Using the Withholding Calculator

The Withholding Calculator asks taxpayers to estimate their 2018 income and other items that affect their taxes, including the number of children claimed for the Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit and other items.

Take a few minutes and plan ahead to make using the calculator on IRS.gov as easy as possible. Here are some tips:

  • Gather your most recent pay stub from work. Check to make sure it reflects the amount of Federal income tax that you have had withheld so far in 2018.
  • Have a completed copy of your 2017 (or possibly 2016) tax return handy. Information on that return can help you estimate income and other items for 2018.  However, note that the new tax law made significant changes to itemized deductions.
  • Keep in mind the Withholding Calculator results are only as accurate as the information entered. If your circumstances change during the year, come back to the calculator to make sure your withholding is still correct.
  • The Withholding Calculator does not request personally-identifiable information such as name, Social Security number, address or bank account numbers. The IRS does not save or record the information entered on the calculator. As always, watch out for tax scams, especially via email or phone calls and be especially alert to cybercriminals impersonating the IRS. The IRS does not send emails related to the calculator or the information entered.
  • Use the results from the Withholding Calculator to determine if you should complete a new Form W-4 and, if so, what information to put on a new Form W-4. There is no need to complete the worksheets that accompany Form W-4 if the calculator is used.
  • As a general rule, the fewer withholding allowances you enter on the Form W-4 the higher your tax withholding will be. Entering “0” or “1” on line 5 of the W-4 means more tax will be withheld. Entering a bigger number means less tax withholding, resulting in a smaller tax refund or potentially a tax bill or penalty.
  • If you complete a new Form W-4, you should submit it to your employer as soon as possible. With withholding occurring throughout the year, it’s better to take this step early on.

More information

This spring and throughout the year, the IRS will be working closely with businesses as well as the tax and payroll communities to help educate the public about the new withholding guidelines and the Withholding Calculator.

For 2019, the IRS plans to make further changes involving withholding. The agency will work with businesses and the tax and payroll communities to explain and implement these additional changes.

More information is available in the special Withholding Calculator Frequently Asked Questions.