Year-End Guide 2020

We’re here to help you prepare for year-end

Holiday Delivery Times

UPS and FedEx experience delivery delays during the holiday season and are not providing delivery guarantees. Please consider submitting your payroll early to avoid delays.

We also have Paycard options in lieu of issuing paper checks for employees. Email your Client Service Representative (CSR) at if interested in learning more.

Electronic W2 Delivery

Employees may choose to receive their W2s electronically in lieu of a paper copy. To offer this feature to your employees, have them follow these easy steps within their Self Service.

Employees who provide Electronic Consent may view and print their W2s directly from their Self Service, just as they would their pay statement today. PayNorthwest will print and mail W2s for you to distribute to employees who do not provide electronic consent. 


PayNorthwest Holiday Season Schedule

We will be closed on December 25th and January 1st to spend time with our families.

Please remember that we need 2 business days to process direct deposit files. If your check date falls just after December 25th or January 1st you may need to process earlier than normal. Your CSR will notify you directly if you are impacted.

December 24th Early Payroll Processing Schedule

If you are scheduled to process payroll on Thursday, December 24th, please note payroll needs to be submitted no later than 12:00 noon to ensure timely processing.

We will be closing our offices at 3:00 p.m. to spend time with our families.

Payroll Adjustments and Special Items

The deadline for reporting fourth quarter and year-end payroll related information and/or an adjustment is Thursday, December 31, 2020. If adjustments are required after the deadline, we can reprocess your tax returns for an additional fee.

Reminder of Standard Payroll Processing Schedule

As a reminder, the standard payroll processing schedule is to submit payroll to us by 1:00 pm, 2 business banking days prior to your check date. Payrolls submitted later are subject to rush processing fees. Please reach out to your CSR with questions.

Please do the following before your final payroll of the year:

Report Third-Party Sick Pay (Disability Payments)
  • By law, insurance companies have until Friday, January 15, 2021 to inform you of any disability benefits paid to your employee’s during 2020.
  • If you were notified of benefits paid received throughout the year, please contact your CSR no later than Thursday, December 31, 2020.
  • If you are notified about this type of payment after reporting your last payroll of the year, contact your CSR as soon as possible.
  • In addition, if you have not already done so, please inform your insurance company that we will include third-party sick pay on Forms W2 that we prepare for you.
Review and update all employee-related information for accuracy including:
  • Employee Social Security numbers and addresses
  • Employee Name should be formatted to match their Social Security card
Report any remaining 2020 payroll-related information and/or adjustments including:
  • In-house checks
  • Voided checks
  • Fringe benefits (S-Corp Insurance for owners, Personal Use of Company Car, Group Term Life in excess of $50K, etc.)
  • Deferred Comp



Important Tax Agency Notices for 2021

UI and L&I Rate Change Notices

State Unemployment and Washington Labor and Industries (L&I) will mail 2021 rate change notices starting this month directly to your business. Some agencies will notify you to obtain it online if they are only available electronically. Please forward them to your CSR. We need the rate(s) to properly calculate your tax and returns correctly in 2021.

Washington Paid Family Leave

Employment Security will mail status notices detailing if you are eligible to pay the employer share of the premiums in 2021. The letters will have a subject of Annual Business Size Calculation. Please forward them to your CSR. We need the letters to properly calculate your tax and returns correctly in 2021.

State IDs and Social Security Numbers (SSNs)

With many states reducing staff during COVID-19, paper return processing has slowed down or temporarily halted. As a result, it is more important than ever to make sure you’ve reported the following information for your business so PayNorthwest can electronically file your returns:

  • All state and local agency IDs
  • All employee SSNs – many states will not accept quarterly state unemployment insurance (SUI) statements without SSNs

Important PayNorthwest Policy Changes for 2021

Payroll-related policy changes

Alterations to company policies that will affect 2021 payrolls should be submitted 2 weeks prior to payroll processing. This will give our team time to set up and test the changes.

Submissions may include but not limited to:

  • Pay Frequencies
  • Insurance benefit rate changes
  • Time off accrual policies
  • 401(k) plan changes
Changes to reporting contractor wages – Form 1099

Effective with 2020 reporting, the IRS wants Non-Employee Compensation (Independent Contractors) reported on a separate form 1099-NEC instead of prior used form 1099-MISC. All processed compensation will be moved to the new 1099-NEC form on your behalf. The IRS now requires 1099-MISC to be used for other forms of compensation such as rent payments, prizes, attorney payments, etc. Should those alternative compensations apply to you, please reach out to your CSR for adjustments. Please refer to the updated IRS Instructions for 1099 for further details.

2021 Minimum Wage Increases

Effective January 1, 2021, the Washington state minimum wage rate will increase to $13.69 an hour.

Please note: Seattle, Tacoma, and the City of SeaTac have higher minimum wage rates for 2021. For employers in those areas, the local minimum wage rate will apply as long as it is higher than the state minimum. Please ensure you are using the correct wage rate for your employees.

It is your responsibility to ensure employee rates are updated. PayNorthwest will not intentionally change employee’s rate of pay without a request from the employer. Please contact your CSR for further questions or assistance.

Thank you for your business. From all of us at PayNorthwest, we wish you and your family a happy and safe holiday season!