In this week’s Best Money Moves roundup, we take a look at news stories and new research studies that may impact employee benefits and HR issues. We hope you find this news roundup helpful, and we’d love your feedback.

Your employees’ financial stress is on the rise, and it could be caused by tax season.

Although few of the tax provisions of last year’s Tax Reform Act take place for 2017’s tax year, confusion over filing taxes abounds and your employees might be quietly suffering from unpreparedness and confusion about filing taxes. A recent study shows that because Millennials are relatively new to the workforce, they often feel under-knowledgeable and unprepared when it comes to filing their federal and state income tax forms.

Tax forms are confusing, rife with accounting jargon and terminology that even experienced tax filers don’t always understand. Helping your employees to know what they don’t know is the first step in building employee financial wellness, reducing financial stress and building a more financially secure and confident workforce. Did you know that your employees earning less than $66,000 in household income can file their federal income tax returns for for free? Let your employees know this option is available (the IRS will direct deposit any refunds owed right into their checking account) and help reduce their financial stress as the filing deadline nears.

Providing answers for your employees’ tax questions can be tricky. Check out one of Best Money Moves’ most popular tax-related articles below, for help:

Are Your Employees Asking These Questions About Filing Tax Returns?

Will tax reform boost financial wellness? According to Employee Benefits News, the average American worker (earning around $35,000) will see an estimated increase in their take home pay of $70 per paycheck, or $2,000 a year (at least until the Tax Reform Act provisions expire). Experts say most Americans will immediately absorb tax reform’s extra money as part of their normal spending.

Instead, help your employees understand that there are options to make these extra dollars work harder and last longer, such as investing in the company’s retirement plan or opening a Roth IRA. Making those sorts of Best Money Moves will reduce employee financial stress and boost long-term financial wellness.

How to help workers boost financial health with increased take-home pay

Is your small business ready for tax season? All employers have numerous payroll tax withholding and payment obligations. An employer’s federal payroll tax responsibilities include withholding from an employee’s compensation and paying an employer’s contribution for Social Security and Medicare taxes under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). Here is your comprehensive explanation of an employer’s tax obligations.

Employers’ Responsibility for FICA Payroll Taxes

Are you regularly evaluating the market for your company’s benefits contracts? Failing to do so can be costly for employers, causing you to spend too much for benefits that employees don’t value. However, re-bidding annually may lead your vendors to view your contract as a short-term commitment rather than a relationship in which they should invest. Here’s what you can do to ensure you’re receiving the best deal for the best contract that best fits your employees’ needs.

It’s Probably Time to Re-Bid Your Benefits Contracts

Has tax reform hindered your ability to bring in out-of-state job candidates? It looks like your nationwide hiring processes may have gotten much harder. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act may create added financial burden for workers living in high-tax states. Businesses will have to change how they pursue long-distance talent and families may now be in the position of choosing to move out of state – looking for greener grass and lower taxes.

High-Tax States Could Struggle to Lure Out-of-State Workers

Do you owe money to the IRS? Tax season and its refunds can be a financial lifeline for many. But, tax season poses challenges for those who owe money to the IRS. In September of 2014, over 18 million Americans owed money to the IRS. Meanwhile, an estimated 10 million face tax penalties each year, according to IRS data. Here are 3 tips to help you handle your tax debt this season.

Derailed by Tax Debt? Use These Tips to Get Back on Track

The new tax plan will make subtle, yet significant changes to your retirement funds. The key to successful retirement planning is to look at the long term, not just the coming year’s tax savings. The new, lower tax rates won’t last forever. With that in mind, here are six moves to consider making in preparation for what tax reform will bring to your 2018 bill and beyond:

6 Ways to Prepare for How Tax Reform Will Impact Your Retirement

Have you noticed? Economic inequality is on the rise. Social mobility is moving backwards, meaning traditional modes of escaping poverty like education and skills training are mattering less and less. While social efforts abound, decision makers seem to be missing the point: Minority entrepreneurs are the key group that has the ability to catalyze economic empowerment and upward mobility within the communities of greatest need.

Promote Economic Empowerment by Investing in Minority Entrepreneurs

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