How to simplify onboarding your freelancers

How much time are you spending setting up your freelancers?

If the answer is too much, it’s too long. Let PayReel handle on boarding projects so you can spend your time and energy on those creative project. PayReel can have your freelance workers onboarded and ready in no time flat.

 

So what’s the problem?

Worker classification: One of the most difficult things about setting up your workforce is worker classification. That’s why we cover the topic extensively on our blog. While you may be able to answer who’s a strong worker and who might need a little bit of help, the worker classification discussion brings a lot more to the table than a black-and-white answer—especially now with the Department of Labor cracking down on worker classification errors. If the words exempt, non-exempt, W-2, and 1099 make your head spin, we can help with that.

Paying accurately: Another trick that comes into play when hiring your workforce is making sure you’re paying them accurately (we’re looking at you, minimum wage and overtime!) and in a timely manner. Did you know that some states have strict pay deadlines for specific types of employees? We know, and our team works hard to stay on top of the ever-changing wage laws at the federal, state, and local levels.

Payroll taxes: If taxes only cross your mind on or around April 15th, do the IRS (and yourself) a favor, and stop. Did you know that, along with differing wage laws, some states and localities require a different taxation method than the federal government does? It’s true. Here’s where we stress (and the only time we stress), we got it. Our team stays well versed in local, state, and ever-changing federal tax methods and laws to make sure the employee is happy, you’re happy, and of course, the IRS is happy.

 

Enter PayReel

If one, two, or all three of the points above make you sweat, give us a call and we’ll be happy to help manage your events, employees, and all the behind-the-scenes paperwork that comes with it.

About PayReel

Producing multimedia content and executing live events is chaotic. When it comes to event payroll, payroll taxes, and so much more, PayReel makes your life easier. We make sure our clients are able to hire who they want, when they want and see that everyone is paid properly. Leave all payroll services and details up to the PayReel team so you can focus on pulling off a flawless production. Contact us anytime at 303-526-4900 or email us.

Relax. We got it.

About the author

Nat's notes

PayReel Customer Experience Manager Natalie “The Go Getter” McGinnis is an avid fan of sports and labor laws alike. Her experience in recruitment, customer service, and ongoing HR education give her the tools to provide laser-focused attention and assistance to the PayReel employees and clients who need it most. Click here to read more of Nat’s Notes then meet the rest of the PayReel team!

 

 

 

Is there something you need to tell us?

So you moved? Congratulations on the new place! Telemarketers kept calling and you changed your phone number? Do what you gotta do. Keep in mind though: It’s important to keep your profile with PayReel updated at all times so we can keep you paid.

 

How do I update my profile?

Submit any changes to your profile (address, tax status, direct deposit information, email address, phone number, oh my!) at any time. You can update your digits or submit nearly any change through your online portal, through the ‘Contact Us’ option on the website, or you can contact your account manager directly at 303-526-4900.

 

Where does my information go?

Don’t worry, your information won’t get lost in cyberspace—or worse, someone else’s hands. Our system is as secure as it is convenient. At PayReel, we pride ourselves on having that perfect mix of convenient automation and personal service from real, live humans. Excellent service from excellent humans.

Meet the whole team here (we’ll also be profiling them in upcoming newsletters so stay tuned!).

 

The bottom line

Keep us updated on life changes so we can keep you paid in the quick manner you’ve learned to expect from us. Help us help you.

 

About PayReel

At PayReel, we minimize the time and effort it takes to get you ready for your project, make sure you get paid quick and easy, and have customer service agents on call around the clock to answer your questions. All you have to do is call 303-526-4900 or email us. The PayReel team make event payroll easier, faster, and seamless.

The next time you work an event or a production, tell your supervisor you love working with the PayReel team!

 

 

Are you an independent contractor? Be sure you know your rights

Like many employers, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) has independent contractors (ICs) on the mind. And for good reason: They’re taking over the world! Or at least the world economy. ICs now make up 34% of the national economy and the trend is increasing internationally, too.

To that end, the US DOL has put out a list of resources for ICs. It covers on-the-job safety, benefits, workers’ rights, taxes, and more. This is especially helpful since best practices are constantly evolving and being defined/redefined.

Check out the site for more information on the following:

 

Questions about misclassification

As Uber’s tumultuous journey demonstrates, classification is a hot topic for everyone from the government to businesses. With their bottom line to watch out for and fines to protect themselves from, employers are wondering when and how to set up an independent contractor rather than an employee. For its part, the government has tax dollars on the line and workers to protect. And workers? Well they’re watching their pocketbooks, too. With that much at stake, no wonder it’s a hot topic. The DOL covers the topic in depth here.

 

Workers’ rights

Whether you’re wondering about safety on the job, health care and retirement benefits, or discrimination, you’ll find the deets here, too.

 

The bottom line

It’s a complicated subject, but whatever you’re wondering, the DOL is a good place to start. Still have questions? Follow our blog for more information on topics such as evolving labor lawscomplianceworker classification, and more. We’ll keep you up to date and equipped to avoid common pitfalls.

 

About PayReel

At PayReel, we minimize the time and effort it takes to get you ready for your project, make sure you get paid quick and easy, and have customer service agents on call around the clock to answer your questions. All you have to do is call 303-526-4900 or email us. The PayReel team make event payroll easier, faster, and seamless.

The next time you work an event or a production, tell your supervisor you love working with the PayReel team!

 

 

Our in-house HR specialist works hard to keep businesses compliant

Angie—our in-house HR specialist and newest member of the PayReel team—stays ahead of the game to ensure PayReel keeps our clients compliant. Keeping on top of the ins and outs of compliance is hard, time-consuming, high-stakes work. Isn’t it nice to know you have someone in your corner to keep your payroll services running smoothly and accurately?

 

Legal headaches handled

PayReel keeps up with ever-changing contractor/freelancer payment and compliance regulations. Angie makes sure our team knows the latest so they can keep our clients ahead of the game.

The benefits the PayReel team provides on the legal front are:

  • Mitigating compliance risks
  • Making sure we (both PayReel and our clients) are compliant
  • Educating clients on practices that could compromise them
  • Tracking benefits eligibility
  • Tracking changes in minimum wage and sick leave policies in each state
  • Answering questions, including whether or not you can pay once a month or fill timesheets out ahead of time. Hint: you can’t.

 

Quick and accurate payment

Beyond compliance, PayReel makes payroll services a breeze for clients. Payroll will be the easiest part of your day with PayReel’s full range of services:

  • Online management: Employees log hours and supervisors approve them—all online. No need for paperwork here.
  • Fast payment: Employees submit time cards by end of business on Monday,  the supervisor approves them, PayReel pays on Friday. It’s that easy.
  • Overtime tracking: PayReel keeps up with hours to make sure employees get paid accurately.
  • Education: PayReel supports clients in educating employees on overtime policies so they don’t make a habit of working overtime without getting prior approval.
  • Benefits eligibility: The PayReel team makes sure clients know when employees become eligible for benefits.

 

The bottom line

Everyone from Uber to Minor League Baseball is trying to figure out labor laws and fair pay. The gig economy and the worker classification challenges it brings to the forefront are top-of-mind topics for the government, employers, and employees alike.

Angie knows the biz and the people in the biz. If she hears about a possible change, she researches it and takes the necessary steps. She also reads forums like a boss—watching for changes on LegalWATCH and similar resources. Angie stays up to date on payroll regulations and works with the PayReel team to assist you in navigating the increasingly complicated waters of payroll services.

The PayReel team is on top of it—making sure we’re following all regulations, rules, and federal and state laws. For example, we carefully reviewed IC contracts when New York enacted its Freelance Isn’t Free Act.

In a nutshell: We stay ahead of the curve so our clients never even have to think about payroll services and compliance.

 

About PayReel

Producing multimedia content and executing live events is chaotic. When it comes to event payroll, payroll taxes, and so much more, PayReel makes your life easier. We make sure our clients are able to hire who they want, when they want and see that everyone is paid properly. Leave all payroll services and details up to the PayReel team so you can focus on pulling off a flawless production. Contact us anytime at 303-526-4900 or email us here.

Relax. We got it.

 

About Angie:

Angie Aragon, PayReel’s in-house HR specialist, joined the PayReel team in early 2017. Her experience in human resources, risk management, and compliance gives her the tools to provide laser-focused attention and assistance to the PayReel employees who need it most. Meet the rest of the PayReel team by clicking here!

 

Introducing Angie: Our in-house HR specialist

Working live events can be chaotic and challenging. It’s nice to know you have someone in your corner. Angie, our in-house HR specialist and the newest member of the PayReel team helps us ensure our employees (like you!) get paid timely and accurately.

Quick and accurate payment

You submit timecards by end of business on Monday; your supervisor approves them; you get paid on Friday. It’s that easy.

And, of course, if you work overtime—you get paid for overtime. The PayReel team also makes sure you know when you become eligible for benefits.

No legal loopholes here

We’re not looking for a way around paying our employees fairly. We want you to get what you’ve earned. That’s why PayReel takes a proactive approach to staying on top of changing rules and regulations on both state and federal levels. Our in-house HR specialist Angie stays on top of industry news and changes to ensure compliance. At the first hint of a change, Angie works with the rest of the PayReel team to make the necessary adjustments quickly—with no extra work needed from you.

PayReel keeps up with ever-changing contractor and freelancer payment and compliance regulations with both internal conversations and external practices. You never even have to think about it.

The bottom line

Everyone from Uber to minor league baseball is trying to figure out labor laws and fair pay. The gig economy and the worker classification challenges it brings to the forefront are top-of-mind topics for the government, employers, and employees alike.

Our HR specialist Angie stays up to date on payroll regulations and works with the PayReel team to assist you in navigating the increasingly complicated waters of payroll.

About PayReel

At PayReel, we minimize the time and effort it takes to get you ready for your project, make sure you get paid quick and easy, and have customer service agents on call around the clock to answer your questions. All you have to do is call 303-526-4900 or email us here. Angie and the PayReel team make event payroll easier, faster, and seamless.

The next time you work an event or a production, tell your supervisor you love working with the PayReel team!

About Angie: 

Angie Aragon, PayReel’s in-house HR specialist, joined the PayReel team in early 2017. Her experience in human resources, risk management, and compliance gives her the tools to provide laser-focused attention and assistance to the PayReel employees who need it most. Meet the rest of the PayReel team by clicking here!

When America’s pastime and labor laws collide

Unpaid training. Unpaid overtime. A $25 stipend for an entire day spent in a city you don’t live in. If that sounds great to you and you know your way around a baseball diamond, head on over to your city’s minor league baseball team. You’d be a great fit.

We’re not talking about the guys in the majors whom you watch on TV. They make six figures per year on average. We’re talking about Minor League Baseball (MiLB) players who forego payment for training, overtime, and even mandatory events—often making under the IRS-defined poverty line of $12,060/year for a one person household.

 

Hold up. How is this happening?

If you’re having trouble believing me, you’re not alone.

In a piece for ESPN advocating for higher wages, Tony Blengino, a former assistant to the GM for the Mariners, says a first-year professional can expect to make a little over $1,000 pre tax every month. While other industries may point to thin profit margins as an excuse for low wages, professional baseball doesn’t fit the bill. Recent evaluation puts the average major league team’s worth at $1.54 billion.

That’s why a group of former minor leaguers are waging a class action lawsuit against Major League Baseball, who maintains that MiLB players are akin to hourly workers. The suit cites unfair wages and unjust labor practices according to the Fair Labor Standards Act. Of the 2,200 players currently involved in the class action lawsuit, most are inactive. Kyle Johnson, one of the few active members, said players fear being blackballed and unable to get a gig in the future.

The Major League Baseball Player’s Association (MLBPA) protects major league players against low salaries and unfair labor standards. However, this protection only applies to players currently on the team’s 40-man roster. Until MiLB players unionize, many keep quiet and hope they make it to the majors quickly. They choose to endure rather than potentially lose a shot at their dream.

 

So what does it all mean?

Baseball is only one of many industries figuring out labor laws and fair pay. Uber’s recent struggles show the gig economy and the worker classification challenges it brings to the forefront are top-of-mind topics for the government and employers alike. While some workers wait for the government to adjust labor laws and employers to fall in line, others (like the minor leaguers involved in current litigation) take the matter into their own hands. Stay in tune with the conversation to know your rights and navigate the increasingly complicated waters of the American economy.

 

About PayReel

Producing multimedia content and executing live events is chaotic—and working them is even more so! At PayReel, we minimize the time and effort it takes to get you ready for your project, make sure you get paid quick and easy, and have customer service agents on call around the clock to answer your questions at 303-526-4900 or by emailing us here.

 

The next time you work an event or a production, tell your supervisor you love working with the PayReel team!

 

Nat's notes

About the author

PayReel Customer Experience Manager Natalie “The Go Getter” McGinnis is an avid sports and labor law fan alike. Her experience in recruitment, customer service, and ongoing HR education give her the tools to provide laser-focused attention and assistance to the PayReel employees and clients who need it most. Click here to read more of Nat’s Notes and meet the rest of the PayReel team by clicking here!

 

The gig economy: How to pay contractors and navigate benefits

The gig economy offers benefits to workers and companies alike. While those benefits do include flexibility for workers and lower costs to employers, they don’t cover things we’ve grown used to such as built-in 401K plans, health insurance options, and worker’s compensation. For many independent contractors, that’s a problem. And as the gig economy’s slice of the economic pie grows, so does the problem. Currently, there is no roadmap telling you how to pay contractors fairly while keeping costs down. The good news is that we at PayReel have been on this road long enough to learn how to pay contractors legally and ethically.

 

Start with worker classification

First things first: classify workers correctly from the outset. A worker’s classification (whether they’re an employee or an independent contractor) guides what freelance benefits they’re entitled to by law. The rise of the gig economy has brought with it the rise of confusion over who is an employee and who is a contractor. Wherever gray areas and money meet, you will find lawsuits. True to form, legal disputes over worker classification have plagued everyone from Uber to FedEx. Following the rules and classifying correctly from the beginning saves time and potential legal troubles.

 

Stay aware of potential legal changes

From workers to legislators, people are thinking about how to manage the evolving landscape. Some envision an entirely new system with changing guidelines that suit changing times. Such a system might include “portable benefits” that travel with workers from company to company.

According to this article from the Pew Charitable Trusts, one bill proposes to:

“require people or companies that find work for and transfer payments to independent contractors — Uber, say, or a middleman who works with farm laborers — to contribute to a pool of money managed by an independent nonprofit. The broker might do that by charging consumers extra or by taking the money out of workers’ pay.

Contributions would be made at least monthly and would have to amount to either $6 per hour worked or 25 percent of the sum charged to the consumer, whichever is smaller. The money could be spent on paid time off, health insurance or other qualified benefits.”

We can only guess how things will change, but we do expect them to change. It behooves company leaders to stay in tune with these kinds of conversations and legal considerations.

 

Consider more than the bottom line

Some companies aren’t waiting for a legal mandate to make changes. Instead, they are voluntarily providing freelance benefits beyond their legal requirements. Care.com, for example, adds a small fee to each transaction, which converts to “benefits bucks” that service providers may use for expenses such as transportation. This kind of perk goes beyond the money in a worker’s pocket. Workers who feel valued are more loyal and do better work.  

 

Protect yourself

If you can’t (or just don’t want to) keep up with the rules and developments surrounding the on-demand economy, PayReel can keep up for you. Check out this handy guide to see if you might benefit from hiring a payroll services company. Not only does our team manage worker classification, payroll, and payroll taxes; as the employer of record we even take on all risk associated with a variable workforce. Going above and beyond in the ethics department isn’t just a warm and fuzzy notion. It’s a sound business decision, too.

 

About PayReel

When it comes to payroll taxes and so much more, PayReel makes your life easier. Producing multimedia content and executing live events is chaotic. At PayReel, we make sure our clients are able to hire who they want, when they want and that everyone is paid properly. Leave all payroll services and details up to the PayReel team so you can focus on pulling off a flawless production. Contact us anytime at 303-526-4900 or by emailing us here.

Relax. We got it.

 

IRS mistakes cost big (even when they’re not your fault)

 

A case involving embezzlement, tax liability, and good intentions added up to a nightmare for one man. Dr. Robert McClendon’s story proves there’s no amount of caution too intense when it comes to payroll tax liability.

 

The road to hell is paved with good intentions

In a sobering case reported in Forbes, a man who loaned $100,000 to a struggling business was fined $4.3 million for said company’s payroll tax liability. When you dig into the details, it’s not as unfair as it may seem at first blush, but that doesn’t make the situation any less painful for Dr. McClendon—the defendant and a legally-deemed responsible party. As the Forbes article states, “You can be ‘willful’ under the tax law even if you didn’t have a bad motive or evil intent.”

So what was the kiss of death for Dr. McClendon?

 

Responsible & willful: A match made in IRS hell

Dr. McClendon owned the business to which he loaned the money and the cash went toward the seemingly noble goal of paying employees to prevent shuttering the doors altogether. While it was an employee who’d embezzled the funds earmarked for payroll taxes, the case against Dr. McClendon was strong enough to prove him responsible and willful. He wasn’t responsible for the embezzlement but he was responsible for choosing to pay employees instead of the payroll taxes, which by that time, he knew about. The case against Dr. McClendon withstood the legal tests and left the doc to nurse his own wounds. Ouch.

 

How to protect yourself

Either learn the rules of payroll taxes and precisely follow them or hire a qualified company to do it for you. The Forbes article suggests that one benefit to hiring a payroll service is that “the employer doesn’t have discretion to use the money to pay vendors or for anything else.” It’s sort of like a much higher stakes version of a 401K: If you can’t access the money when the temptation for an out-of-reach car comes up, you’ll still have it when you need it for less sexy reasons. Additionally, hiring a payroll service takes the burden of having to understand all of the rules and make heavy decisions off the company leadership.  The payroll service takes on the liability and frees up the small business to focus on business.

 

The bottom line:

There are too many ways to get in trouble with the IRS to choose ignorance. With fines and possible jail time on the line, legitimate small businesses must take payroll taxes seriously. The government sure does.

 

About PayReel

When it comes to payroll taxes and so much more, PayReel makes your life easier. Producing multimedia content and executing live events is chaotic. At PayReel, we make sure our clients are able to hire who they want, when they want and that everyone is paid properly. Leave all payroll services and details up to the PayReel team so you can focus on pulling off a flawless production. Contact us anytime at 303-526-4900 or by emailing us here.

Relax. We got it.

 

Four ways going freelance could land you your dream job

Considering quitting your day job but concerned about the long-term effects on your future prospects? It’s time to think differently. Here are four ways freelancing could actually boost your career in the long run:

 

Get paid to find—or sharpen—your passion

People pay a boatload of money to refine their skills at college. Freelancers get paid to do it! In Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell shares the theory that it takes roughly ten thousand hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field. We can’t vouch for this particular number, but it is a tried-and-true, oft-repeated principle that practice makes perfect. As a freelancer, you get to bid for jobs that seem exciting to you and decline ones that don’t. As you go, you’ll hone in on where your lane is and have the freedom to develop it to the point of mastery. Then you can either keep running in that lane as a freelancer or take those finely tuned skills you’ve developed to your next full-time job. Highly skilled workers with a shorter learning curve have a leg up on the competition.

 

It’s like a paid audition

Freelancing gets your foot in the door at multiple companies without any commitment. If you love a business’s culture or brand, you may want to make their next project a priority. If you don’t like the experience, you don’t even have to bid for the job the next time around. You get to develop your clientele with companies and people you enjoy and then have a built-in connection for future opportunities. If you do well enough on your audition, you’ll get job offers—either for more freelance work or for full-time gigs. From there, it’s up to you to decide whether you want to accept an opportunity with a company or keep working for yourself. The power is in your hands.

 

Build your network

Once you’ve achieved mastery in an area, the world really starts to open up. When you do great work, people talk about you. After all, being able to refer someone reliable and easy to work with makes them look good, too. Talented freelancers organically build a robust network that includes both decision makers and people in related fields who will send work their way.

 

P.S. There are tax benefits

So maybe it’s not a direct boost to your long-term career options, but the tax benefits are a pretty enticing bonus. There are mountains of deductions available to independent contractors (home office, business miles, office supplies, and more). You just need to make sure you keep careful records in order to take advantage of them. Under Trump’s proposed tax code overhaul, some independent contractors could have even lower taxes in the near future. Keep in mind, though, that freelancers are on the hook for their own self-employment tax, health insurance, vacation days, and retirement plans.

 

The bottom line:

Many factors determine whether freelancing is the right fit for your life. Managing your own schedule, finances, and other complex aspects of your career isn’t easy and it’s not for everyone. For some, it may be exactly the thing that allows them to live the life they want to live while doing the work they love to do. For others, it might be the right thing, but only for a season. After a foray into freelance, they may want to take all their experience back into a company job. Whether freelancing is a stepping stone to your full-time dream position or the long-term career path you didn’t even know you wanted, it might just be time to go for it.  

 


 

About PayReel

Producing multimedia content and executing live events is chaotic—and working them is even more so! At PayReel, we minimize the time and effort it takes to get you ready for your project, make sure you get paid quick and easy, and have customer service agents on call around the clock to answer you questions. The next time you work an event or a production, tell your supervisor you love working with the PayReel team. Contact us anytime at 303-526-4900 or by emailing us here.

Relax. We got you!

Considering freelancing? Trump’s tax changes might convince you to take the leap.

The freedom that comes with being an independent contractor often comes at a price. Being in the driver’s seat means managing your own schedule, finances, and a lot of other complex aspects of your career. Independent contractors must pay their own self-employment tax, pay for health insurance out of pocket, and don’t have paid time off or employer matching on retirement contributions. In addition, while there are multiple opportunities for deductions and credits on the tax front, keeping careful records is essential to being able to take advantage of them.  

While many people enjoy the relative stability of a full-time job, some crave the freedom and control of being an independent contractor. President Trump’s proposals for tax changes are far from guaranteed, but they may be enough to push some people off the fence and into freelance. 

So what do small business owners and potential small business owners need to know?

 

Trump’s plan includes lower tax rates for small business

Under Trump’s proposed tax code overhaul, some businesses would be subject to lower tax rates topping out at 15 percent instead of the current 35 percent. Such businesses include Subchapter S corporations and, in some cases, limited liability companies or partnerships. According to this New York Times article, that includes “those in which income and deductions accrue directly to the owners and are reported on their personal tax returns.” Lower tax rates increase the incentive for full-time employees to approach employers about working as an independent contractor instead. 

 

It’s still hypothetical

Like everything in government, this tax code overhaul will be up for debate. One major concern includes that such a reduction in tax revenues could mean an increase in national debt. Legislators will be sure to contribute their own opinions and carry out negotiations before anything actually changes. According to Trump, though, the plan is “very well finalized” and will become a focus after the ACA repeal efforts. One way or another, we’ll have some time before we see how things play out. 

 

The bottom line:

Don’t quit your day job. Well, at least not yet. Tax laws are always subject to change (so much so that even the original link on the Trump Administration’s website now leads to an error page). As such, tax considerations alone shouldn’t be the foundation for a decision as big as becoming an independent contractor. The bigger question is whether freelancing is the right fit for your life. If it is, then go ahead and get behind the driver’s seat. Enjoy the ride and be sure to track those business miles—they’re deductible!

 


 

About PayReel

Producing multimedia content and executing live events is chaotic. At PayReel, we make sure our clients are able to hire who they want, when they want and that everyone is paid properly. Leave all payroll services and details (even managing your independent contractors!) up to the PayReel team so you can focus on pulling off a flawless production. Contact us anytime at 303-526-4900 or by emailing us here.

Relax. We got it.