Quick Guide: 2016-2017 School Financial Reporting

2016 calendar

The start of the calendar year is upon us, and Harris School Solutions (HSS) knows it’s a hectic time for everyone who works at a K-12 school.

The stakes, however, may be highest for our School Financial Accountant and CSFO friends, given the burdens of tax season.

With that in mind, we wanted to help organize some priorities to make the entire process a little simpler, especially since, this year, some of the deadlines have changed.

So, here are HSS’s tips for school-accounting success this tax season!

Affordable Care Act (ACA) 1095 Reporting

When is it due?

1095-B and 1095-C to individuals — 3/2/17
1094-B, 1094-C, 1095-B, and 1095-C paper-form filing with the IRS — 2/28/17
1094-B, 1094-C, 1095-B, and 1095-C electronic filing with the IRS — 3/31/17
Smart Tips

If you’re doing your ACA prep all at once — whether you were too busy to this point or doing it all in one shot just works better for you — here are some tips to help make sure you get your ACA reporting finished on time and accurately.

  • Your 2015 eServices account is maintained for the 2016 year. There is increased security this year, which involves logging in and receiving a PIN number via text or email, so be sure to log in early to give yourself enough time.
  • You do not have to call the IRS as long as your test file was successfully uploaded to the IRS last tax season.
  • For HSS clients: if you are brand new to the Harris ACA Module and have over 250 employees, please allow yourself plenty of time to sign up for eServices and apply for a TCC Code. We recommend giving it at least 2 weeks to receive your eServices PIN through the USPS.
  • Be sure to get 1095s to your employees as soon as possible so that you’ll be able to correct any mistakes prior to filing.
In the Future
  • We recommend preparing this on a monthly basis, not only because smaller amounts of data are less stressful in general, but also because you’ll be more likely to catch any errors since your work will be a month’s worth instead of an entire year’s worth through which you have to sift. Obviously, not everyone is able to do it that way (for any number of reasons) but if possible, we definitely recommend monthly reviews.


1099-MISC Reporting

When is it due?

*Assuming you are reporting non-employee compensation payments in Box 7*

1099-MISC to recipients/vendors: 1/31/17
1099-MISC paper-form filing with the IRS: 1/31/17
1099-MISC electronic filing with the IRS: 1/31/17

For the due dates of 1099-MISC forms that don’t have non-employee compensation payments to report in Box 7, and due dates for other 1099 forms, click here to visit the IRS website.

Smart Tips
  • Run totals-based reports to determine who meets the minimum. That will help reduce your workload right off the bat so you can focus on what you really need to focus on.
  • Read the 2016 General Instructions for 1099 filing. This seems obvious, but it’s easy to overlook. Double check that you’re working from the most up-to-date regulations, rules, and guidelines, as you never know which details and minutiae are subject to change from year to year. Like with compiling your data on a monthly basis, a tiny bit of leg work in advance could save you a ton of time and headaches down the road.
In the Future
  • Evaluate vendors to ensure they are classified correctly. This needs to be done regularly, as not only are the IRS’ rules subject to change, but also your school’s or district’s deals and vendor relationships also may change during the year. Bottom line: make sure you’re going into your 1099 prep with the right information.
  • Keep track of 1099 totals as you post them throughout the year. The logic here is the same as with the ACA reporting. Smaller data sets generally mean less stress and fewer errors. Win-win.


W-2 Reporting

When is it due?

W-2s to employees — 1/31/17
W-2 (and W-3) paper-form filing with the SSA– 1/31/17
W-2 (and W-3) electronic filing with the SSA — 1/31/17
Smart Tip
  • We encourage you to get the W-2 forms to your employees as early in January as possible and to report your W-2 information to the SSA as close to the January 31 deadline as possible. Catching mistakes before filling with the SSA can help you to avoid W-2C filings.
In the Future

Guess what we always encourage our clients to do…

That’s right! Balance your taxes and deposits each quarter when you file your 941. Or, better yet, balance each month. This helps catch any potential errors before the W-2 is ever printed.


A Final Word of Advice

Obviously, this article covers federal reporting, but most of our advice can be applied to state-level reporting as well.

The main takeaway here, for both state and federal reporting, is to make sure you start early and invest the necessary work up front. It’ll save time down the road and keep you from falling into a cycle where you have to focus on fixing a mistake, which then can cause a host of other mistakes to crop up.

Whatever your approach to this tax season’s school financial reporting requirements, feel free to use this article as your go-to guide and continually check back with us to remind yourself of important due dates and other details that sometimes go overlooked.

Want a school financial accounting solution that makes filing a breeze?

Click here to find out how we can help with your tax-season reporting!


Current HSS clients can click below to contact Support.


Please note: since the IRS’ regulations are subject to change, always be sure to check their website for the most up-to-date, accurate information.