In December, the American Payroll Association (APA) loudly voiced its concerns on the GOP's "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" by penning a letter to lawmakers working on the final bill (H.R. 1). The letter enabled the APA to express concerns over the bill to a national audience and even influenced the final language of the bill.
The letter, co-signed by the APA's Mike O'Toole, Esq. and Alice Jacobsohn, Esq., expressed concern over H.R. 1's negative impact on the payroll withholding system and highlighted the "herculean task" that would be in store for payroll professionals in the new year. With the aid of the letter, the APA was able to impress upon Congress the need for a transition period for employers and payroll so there wouldn't be such a massive change from 2017. APA's proposal giving the IRS flexibility in setting withholding rules for 2018 made it into the final, approved bill.
In the days following release of the letter on December 11, the APA was able to share its concerns with millions of Americans via national media. Highlights of the APA's media coverage include:
- CNNMoney was the first media outlet to give coverage to the APA's letter. The resulting article quoted both the APA's letter and its Government Relations team and made it to the front homepage of both CNNMoney and CNN.
- The Wall Street Journal published an article featuring the APA's warning that there simply isn't enough time to figure out withholding by the beginning of 2018 if the bill passed in December.
- Fox Business and Fox News published three articles featuring quotes from the APA's letter and warning about the tax bill's impact on the payroll withholding system.
- Politico interviewed the APA several times throughout December and published multiple articles featuring quotes from both O'Toole and the APA's letter advising it will take employers time to adjust to the new law.
- PBS NewsHour shared the APA's letter during its live television segment and read quotes from the letter as analysts explored what individuals needed to know now that the bill has passed.
- The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC featured a prominent quote from O'Toole live on-air during a segment exploring how employers should implement the new tax laws.
- The Washington Post shared excerpts from APA's letter and featured quotes from APA member Stephanie Salavejus, CPP in their article covering the tax bill after it was passed by Congress.
The new bill was signed into law by President Trump on December 22 and will begin to impact payroll and employers in 2018. Stay tuned to the APA and Pay News Now as we continue to monitor what payroll needs to know to remain compliant in the New Year.