The 2021 Year-End Checklist For US Small Businesses

Year-end can be a bit stressful, so we’ve created this checklist for you to review within your Wagepoint account to ensure a smooth and compliant year-end for your small business or accounting/bookkeeping firm. 

Pro Tip: Run through the year-end checklist in November (or ASAP) so that you can spot any potential red flags with enough time to make corrections and avoid last-minute headaches.

1.  Finalize at least two (2) payrolls within Wagepoint in the 2021 calendar year.

If you want Wagepoint to prepare and submit Form W-2 and 1099 on your behalf, this is a must. 

  • Wages processed for a pay date of Friday, December 24 or Friday, December 31 will be reported on the Form W2 / Form 1099 for 2021.

  • Wages processed for a pay date of Monday, January 3, 2022 will be reported on the Form W-2 / Form 1099 for 2022, even if the pay period dates fall in 2021.

2. Double check your auto-submit status in Wagepoint.

Head over to Account settings > Settings and double check your settings. 

  • If you want Wagepoint to automatically file year-end W-2 Forms and 1099 Forms with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on your behalf, set your auto-submit status to "Yes".
  • If you prefer to submit your own tax forms to the government, and your employees, set your auto-submit status to "No".

Please note that you won't be able to change your auto-submit settings during the submission period: January 7, 2022 from 8:01 pm ET until 11:59 pm ET on January 31, 2022.

3. Review your reports and payroll data.

Skip the year-end headaches and review your payroll data to ensure everything is good to go for year-end.

  • Use the Year-to-date report (Reports > More > Year to date report) to see all your workers’ year-end data up to the latest pay run. You can use this to do checks throughout the year so you know what to expect at year-end, as well as a final review in November or December.
    • If you started with Wagepoint in Q4 2021, double check all mid-quarter and prior quarter values for accurate year-end reports.
    • As per the IRS, the year-end reporting period only looks at pay dates that fall within the calendar year — January to December 2021. Any pay dates processed outside of Wagepoint need to be run through the system in order for the wages and taxes to be included in the year-end reports.
  • Double check that the total amounts reported on all Forms 941 or 944 (if annually) for the year should match the sum of the same data fields shown in W-2/W-3 totals and the payroll history report.
  • Verify all the amounts for pre-tax and after-tax deductions are included and correctly coded in Wagepoint to be subtracted from gross payroll to arrive at total Medicare, Social Security, and federal income tax wage amounts.

Related: Don't be haunted by payroll errors this year-end.

4. Verify employee details.

Keep your year-end smooth and verify details for all active and terminated employees. Check for things like:

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Social insurance number (SIN)
  • Address
  • Tax settings

Please know that Wagepoint will only generate a Form W2 or Form 1099 for an employee or contractor who was paid or had prior payrolls entered through the Wagepoint software.

5. Review your business address and verify your tax ID numbers.

If you wish for Wagepoint to run your reports, be sure to add your tax ID account number within 30 days of using the app and by December 31.

  • If you don't have your tax ID account number in Wagepoint after 30 days, a fee of $125 is charged every 30 days. Please also know, we can't file or pay any taxes if the account ID is not correct or still indicates APPLIED.  
  • If you don't have your tax ID account number and rate in Wagepoint by December 31, you'll need to file outside of Wagepoint.
  • Some states also require clients to give us tax agency access. If this applies to you, this must be done before Wagepoint can file for you.  Please note that tax agencies normally reject any filings if the required access has not been granted.

5. Report qualified COVID-19 wages on W-2 Forms.

If you're a Wagepoint client, please know:

  • We'll include COVID-19 Sick and Family Leave wages in box 14 that were paid via Wagepoint.
  • If this this applies to you, you'll also receive advance notifications of these tax deposits in December 2021 to plan accordingly.
  • COVID-19 Sick and Family Leave tax credits end effective November 30, 2021.
  • COVID-19 Employee Retention Tax credits will end December 31, 2021.
  • COVID-19 Deferred Tax Payments from 2020 will come due on December 31, 2021 and December 31, 2022.

6. Process any Off-Cycle payrolls.

To ensure a smooth process for year-end, please process any off-cycle payrolls before December 31, 2021 for:

We're here to help.

The best way to reach us is by submitting a ticket from within Wagepoint. You can also reach us by email at

Want to learn more? 

Access other important year-end goodies in your Year-End Survival KIT:

About the Author

Mel Ly

Mel is a Brand, Content and Communications Lead at Wagepoint with a keen interest in Wellness, People & Culture and the Employee Experience. When she isn't writing, she spends her time dog mom-ing, sipping on lattes and researching into different personality frameworks.

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