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Ready For Your Payroll Software Update? 105 105

SEWilco writes "A federal payroll tax reduction for two months is being pushed by the President. Paying less money to the government seems good, but if the law is changed it will change the payroll taxes in January and February. Many of us can well imagine what that will do to the many payroll systems which are already programmed with the 2012 tax rates."
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Ready For Your Payroll Software Update?

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  • Srsly? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @09:28AM (#38433358)

    They'll load a different tax rate table. I'm sure it's modular enough they can just change a table (or two, or three) and be done.

    Seems easy to me. But then I write software for a living, so what would I know.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @09:54AM (#38433644)

    As others have said, updating the rates in the tax tables is trivial. It actually takes us more time to go through change management process and get no less than 4 levels of approval to make the changes in the production payroll system.

  • by icebraining (1313345) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @10:13AM (#38433900) Homepage

    Actually they start at 0. And the "stupid reason" is simply because you don't seem to write informative, interesting or insightful posts, and funny doesn't give you karma.

  • Re:For two months? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @10:20AM (#38434002)
    Actually, I don't think that is it. My bet would be that most payroll systems are coded to assume that everyone who pays the payroll taxes (Social Security and Medicare) pay the same percentage up to the limit (you only pay these taxes up to a certain amount because you only collect based on income up to a certain amount). They are now introducing a system whereby those who earn less than a certain amount pay less than those who earn more than that (and the cutoff point is different from the amount which you don't pay this tax on the income above that amount--although you still pay for everything less than that amount that you earn).
  • Re:Srsly? (Score:4, Informative)

    by spudnic (32107) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @10:47AM (#38434330)

    This is exactly it. And almost every shop that processes payroll subscribes to a service that updates the tax tables for you as the laws change. is one.

    I'm sure they have the tax tables written up either way the vote goes so they can get it out the door.

  • by Slashdot Parent (995749) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @12:08PM (#38435610)

    Unless a program's tax table data structure isn't sufficiently fine-grained to deal with multiple tax tables that apply to different parts of a single year.

    I can't speak for all payroll software packages, but QuickBooks can definitely handle this. All rates are specified with arbitrary effective dates. I'd be shocked if any payroll system could not handle mid-year changes. Stuff changes mid-year all the time.

May Euell Gibbons eat your only copy of the manual!