Five Tax-Time Employee Perks

Offering tax filing help can relieve workers’ stress and provide a unique advantage for out-recruiting the competition!

Everybody hates doing taxes.

Filing a tax return—whether state or federal—without some kind of help is stressful. More than half of U.S. adults who file tax returns (57%) find the do-it-yourself approach nerve-racking, according to a study conducted by The Harris Poll for Fast Company magazine. Hardly a surprising statistic to any of us!


What if employers helped their employees by providing some free tax prep benefits?

Employers can’t fill out tax returns for their workers, but they can lend some help. Easy and cost-free for the most part, here are some ways employers can score some brownie points toward making their company a great place to work!


1. Explain Your Own Company’s Financial Forms

One of the simplest things companies can do is help decipher the jargon and information that all employees see—the listing of taxes on their own paystubs. Here’s how to help:

Schedule an all-staff meeting to review what’s on a company paycheck stub and explain the various deductions. Just because workers have had years of paycheck stubs to look at doesn’t mean they understand where their hard-earned money is going!

Keep Employees informed about updates on tax deadlines, required documents and tax code changes. If you have older employees, those workers may need to obtain additional documents pertaining to Medicare and other services.

Educate employees about various tax documents, such as W-2s, W-4s and 1095-Bs. Remind employees that they were supposed to receive their W-2 forms by Jan. 31.

Encourage employees to file their federal taxes before the deadline (April 15, 2024) unless they obtain a filing extension.


2. Provide a Tax Awareness Campaign along with a Pretax Season Workshop

Employers could implement a January-to-April Tax Awareness Campaign, including emails, newsletters, and posters. This promotional “drip” communications campaign lets employees sort through complex tax information in a bite-sized, easily digestible way.

The Tax Awareness campaign should include a workplace session that reviews tax basics such as tax planning and deductions. This session can be led by your in-house accountant or enlist your bookkeeper or CPA to visit your workplace and share their expertise. You may also consider outsourcing your Tax Awareness program to a CPA, Bookkeeper, or other vendor.

Highlight tax advantages in your workshop—inform employees of tax-advantaged benefits, including retirement plans, flexible spending accounts (FSAs), health savings accounts (HSAs) and commuter perks. In some cases, these benefits can help employees decrease their taxable income.

End your Tax Awareness campaign with a special session on filling out this year’s tax forms, and be ready to hand out referrals and resources for additional filing help.


3. Offer Free Tax Prep Tech Tools

Considering that most U.S. residents file federal tax returns electronically, it makes sense for employers to share tech resources that can ease employees’ tax-filing burden.

Identify User-friendly tax software or apps that provide step-by-step guidance to make the process more manageable. Several free tax-filing software brands are available, including Cash App Taxes, FreeTaxUSA, TaxAct, TaxSlayer, and TurboTax Free Edition.

The IRS and AARP, among other organizations, offer free tax-filing assistance to eligible taxpayers.


4. Benefits Goodie: Pay for Tax Prep Services

Offering to pay for annual tax prep services is a unique way to enhance your recruiting efforts and stand out from your hiring competitors.

Contract with and pay for annual tax prep services or partner with tax preparers to provide filing discounts.

Offer monetary reimbursement for tax preparation services or purchase of software.


5. Implement a Financial Wellness Program

Empower and support employees on their financial journey by promoting financial wellness year-round. Providing financial education and tools helps retain workers and can enhance your recruiting efforts.

Aside from tax help, a financial wellness program could feature advice about creating a budget, managing debt, building emergency savings, and providing basic 401(k) education.



Cardinal Services Disclaimer
None of the information stated above is intended to be legal, tax, security, or financial advice. Consult your company’s legal counsel or financial professional for the latest state or federal tax information and filing requirements.