CAR Newsletter - February 2018

Newsletter Archive | Statewide Accounting Manual | Forms | State Comptroller


EmpowerHR Project Update

The EmpowerHR project team is pleased to announce the much anticipated Oracle Cloud System upgrade to Release 13 that has been scheduled for mid-February.  This upgrade (from Release 12) will include the configuration of functionality to address the 28-day and alternate work week overtime calculations.

Once the update to R13 has completed, regression testing will begin and could last up to eight weeks.

While awaiting this major milestone, the project team has been busy addressing and completing project activities that include the following:

  • CRP1 sessions have just completed for the Recruiting/Onboarding module.
  • LEARN, the Oracle-based learning management system, is on track and scheduled to go live by this summer.
  • Configuration and defect resolution activities of R12 in anticipation of the R13 upgrade.

The project team continues to complete tasks to ensure all agency concerns and requirements are addressed and the new system is configured to meet agency needs.

If you have not already done so, please consider joining our advisory council by emailing your full name and email address to  The advisory council serves a critical role in conveying agency needs during the implementation process. We hope to work closely with you to communicate key project information and solicit your comments and concerns to make sure we are connecting with all stakeholders who have human resources expertise.

If you are unable to join the advisory council but would still like to contribute, email questions or suggestions to You can also visit at any time for more information.

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Email Scam for W-2 Information

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and state tax agencies have once again renewed their warning about an email scam to request employee Forms W-2 from company payroll or human resources departments.

Agencies are urged to double check any executive-level or unusual requests for lists of Forms W-2 or Social Security numbers. Cybercriminals are tricking payroll and human resource officials by disguising emails to make it appear as if it is from an organization executive. An email is sent to an employee in the payroll or human resources departments, requesting a list of all employees and their Forms W-2. The thieves then attempt to file fraudulent tax returns for tax refunds.

The IRS is investigating phishing emails. If an agency receives an email of this type, please contact Lisa Raihl at 405-521-3258 or Jean Hayes at 405-522-6300 immediately.

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Employee IRS Form W-4

The IRS has not yet released the 2018 Form W-4.  The expected release date may not be until after Feb. 15.  As a result, several modifications to normal procedures and deadlines have been made:

  • Employers may continue using the 2017 Form W-4 that was in effect for existing 2017 income tax withholding exemptions until Feb. 28, 2018;
  • The deadline for employees to claim an exemption for 2018 has been extended to Feb. 28, 2018. 
  • Employees may claim an exemption for 2018 by submitting a 2017 Form W-4 until 30 days after the 2018 form is released.  

o   This must be a new 2017 form (as opposed to a continuation of the form used for 2017).
o   Exemptions filed after that date must use the 2018 form.
o   It is not necessary to replace the 2017 form with a 2018 form.

  • In order to use the 2017 form for a 2018 exemption, it must be done in one of the following ways:

  1. modifying the 2017 Form W-4 by striking “2017” in the text on Line 7 of the Form W-4 and entering “2018” in its place and signing the form in 2018;
  2. modifying the 2017 Form W-4 by entering “Exempt 2018” on Line 7 of the 2017 Form W-4 and signing the form in 2018;
  3. using the 2017 Form W-4 without modification and signing the form in 2018, provided that the employer establishes and communicates to employees a procedure under which an employee signs and furnishes the 2017 Form W-4 in 2018 to certify both that the employee incurred no income tax liability for 2017 and that the employee anticipates that he or she will incur no income tax liability for 2018 and thus claims exemption from withholding for 2018; or
  4. any method substantially similar to 1 – 3 that clearly conveys in writing an employee’s intent to certify his or her exemption from withholding for 2018. 

  • The requirement for employees to furnish a new Form W-4 within 10 days of changes that result in fewer allowances has been temporarily suspended. Employees are not required to furnish employers with a new Form W-4 until 30 days after the 2018 Form W-4 is released.

The IRS is also revising the withholding calculator on their website to reflect the changes of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Once released, employees can use the calculator to determine if they should update their Form W-4 in response to the Act or due to changes in personal circumstances for 2018.

Until the new Form W-4 is released, employers should continue to use the 2017 Form W-4. The IRS has stated that the 2018 withholding tables will work with existing Forms W-4 on file for employees. Employees do not have to submit a new Form W-4 unless they are claiming exemption or have any changes.

If you receive an exempt W-4 after Feb. 28, 2018, do not process a tax refund to the employee or submit one to OMES for processing. The W-4 will take effect on the next pay cycle; it is not retroactive to the beginning of the year.  The PeopleSoft HCM query: GO_PY_TAX_EXEMPT_STATUS - Fed or State Tax Exemption can be run by agencies to see who currently is claiming an exemption from income tax withholding.

Please refer to the Guidance on Withholding Rules, Notice 2018-14 on the IRS website.

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Calculation of Wages Exempt from a Federal Tax Levy

The IRS released the 2018 Publication 1494, Tables for Figuring Amount Exempt from Levy on Wages, Salary, and Other Income, which has changed due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

  • The weekly exempt amount will be the total of $4,150 multiplied by the number of the taxpayer’s dependents for the taxable year plus the standard deduction, divided by 52.
  • Another change due to the Act is the exemption amount if an employee doesn’t submit a completed Part 3 of Form 668-W stating the number of dependents. If not stated, the exemption will be determined as if the employee is a married individual filing separate with no dependents.

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Compensation to Employees and Former Employees, Including Settlements

All compensation to employees and former employees, no matter what form, constitutes wages unless specifically excluded by the Internal Revenue Code. This includes stipends, allowances, employee lawsuits and settlements, gifts, prizes, awards and fringe benefits to name just a few. Before compensation is given to employees or former employees, agencies must determine the correct method of payment (payroll vs accounts payable) and reporting required (W-2, 1099, or none). In an audit, the Internal Revenue Service will focus on the reason for the payment.

If the payment settles a lawsuit, the auditor will focus on the basis of the lawsuit. The IRS has a recorded webinar that provides valuable information for the taxability of lawsuits and settlements. Agency payroll, finance, human resources and legal departments should obtain the knowledge needed to accurately process compensation to employees or former employees. Agencies are responsible for complying with IRS requirements for withholding and reporting.

If an agency has a settlement agreement that requires the payment be processed through accounts payable instead of the payroll system to expedite processing, and the payment is reportable as compensation, then applicable federal, state and FICA taxes must be remitted to OMES on the same day the item is processed/provided to the individual. If taxes are not withheld on the payment, the agency must gross up the amount and pay both the employee and employer share of taxes. The employee’s record will be updated for year-end reporting. If additional guidance is needed, please contact Lisa Raihl at 405-521-3258 or

NOTE: The Internal Revenue Service has determined that Oklahoma public school teachers receiving payments from a state agency are to be treated as employees of the state. As such, any payments to teachers need to be evaluated to see if the payments should be considered wages. If so, the amounts must be paid through the payroll system, not accounts payable, to be reported on Form W-2 by the paying agency.

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Reporting Requirements for Repayments of Prior Year Wage Amounts

Repayments from employees made in the current year (2018) that are for overpayments of wages in a prior year (2017 or before) must be repaid at the gross overpayment amount in accordance with Internal Revenue Service regulations. A W-2C is required to be completed and sent to OMES. Only Social Security and Medicare wages and taxes are corrected on the W-2C. The employee must sign an IRS Form 843 in order for us to request a refund of employee FICA taxes.  If the employee will be seeking the refund themselves, the Form 843 is not required. DO NOT adjust Federal or State taxable wages or income taxes. The employee received and had use of the funds during the year of overpayment and, the amounts are taxable for federal and state purposes. The employee may be entitled to a credit on their current year (2018) Form 1040. Please advise the employee to speak to a tax accountant. Additional instructions for Form W2-C are available on the IRS website. For assistance, contact Lisa Raihl at 405-521-3258, or Jean Hayes at 405-522-6300,

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Reduction of Annual Leave Hours for Overpayments

When an employee chooses to reimburse an overpayment using annual leave, the amount of annual leave reduced should equal the gross amount of the overpayment. In the past there have been instances where agencies have incorrectly reduced the annual leave by the net amount of the overpayment. 

If an employee reimburses an overpayment using terminal leave, an OMES Form 94P must be submitted to correct the retirement amounts reported on the check which included the overpayment. Terminal leave is not included in retirement wage calculations; therefore, a payroll earnings adjustment is required.

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Affordable Care Act (ACA) 1095-C Form Reminders

By this time agencies should have printed the forms by now from the CD received from OMES. Employers are required to provide Form 1095-C to ACA full-time employees. Employees that had an ACA eligibility status other than ‘Eligible’ are not required to be reported and will not have a form. The last agency on record at the end of 2017 will have received the 1095-C form for the employee with information for the entire year related to the employee’s status.

Corrections for Form 1095-C must be submitted to OMES/HCM Division by Feb. 23, 2018.  Please send the original form, a copy of the corrected form, and a memo explaining why the correction is needed. Please send corrections to the attention of: Kristin Elsenbeck, Human Resources Coordinator, 405-521-6030. Any corrections needed after this date should still be sent to OMES for us to notify the IRS.  This will ensure reporting is as accurate and complete as possible.

If a form was not created for an employee and should have been, the agency must manually create one, provide the employee a copy, and submit a copy to OMES/HCM for inclusion on the IRS file.

For correcting a 1095-C after providing the original to the employee and before the file is submitted to the IRS, correct the form as needed and write, type, or print CORRECTED somewhere on the new 1095-C furnished to the employee.

ONLY enter an “X” in the CORRECTED box after the file has been submitted to the IRS (this won’t be done until after the Feb. 23, 2018 correction deadline).

In addition to the form corrections, please ensure the data entered on the ACA Employee Eligibility (0674) page in the HCM system is correct.  The data entered on this page is critical to correct reporting of an employee’s offer and periods of coverage.

For additional information or questions related to ACA reporting, please contact Kristin Elsenbeck, Human Resources Coordinator: 405-521-6030;

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Higher Education Entities

PFT Processing for Cancellations and Adjustments

As a reminder, when an MWC or EWC is submitted to cancel a payroll warrant, a corresponding PFT Reversal file must be submitted to remove the funds from the 789 class-funding and place them back in the originating class-funding.  The amount in the PFT reversal file should be the gross to net amount and employer share of taxes and benefits that processed on the original warrant.

The PFT Reversal process is also used to process amounts in or out of the 789 fund based on business needs. This includes:

  • processing of taxes which were not processed through the normal 500Misc/PFT process but must be submitted through the ACES system;
  • corrections necessary for overpayment refunds; and
  • correction of items improperly reported or omitted from the original PFT submitted.

Additional information on processing PFT Reversal files can be found on the CIO website.

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1099 M Corrections

All 1099 corrections for 2017 or for previous years must be submitted to OMES and we will report the corrections to the IRS.  If you should have any 1099s that are returned by the vendor requiring changes, please issue a ‘corrected 1099’ to the vendor using the blank forms provided with the original 1099s or you may contact OMES to print them for you.  Send copies of the incorrect 1099 and the correct 1099 along with any documentation to support the change to OMES.  Please contact Beth Brox with any questions at 405-522-1099 or

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New Policy and Procedures

The State of Oklahoma Policy & Procedures for Purchase Card and Online Booking Tool has been updated and is available online.  Effective date is Feb. 1, 2018. 

A new Training registration form is available on the website with a revision date of February 2018.  All previous versions are obsolete.

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Purchases from Amazon

In January 2018, the state entered into a contract with Amazon Business Services as an approved supplier to the state of Oklahoma.  The contract provides negotiated terms and conditions that are more favorable to state customers than the click through terms for typical customers.

The new Amazon contract supersedes any individual Amazon account established previous to the Amazon Business Account set up by the State of Oklahoma in order to protect the State of Oklahoma’s interest.  The state Amazon account will replace any other Amazon related membership of a state agency and should not be duplicated with an individual agency’s membership.

The Amazon Business Prime model falls within the Buying Club Direct Account referenced in Chapter 50 of the State Wide Accounting manual; however, if the state purchases an Amazon Business Prime membership to benefit state agencies, agencies may make an otherwise permissible acquisition through the Prime program by use of a purchase card rather than utilizing a purchase order.

Utilization of the state Amazon contract and corresponding Business Prime membership continues to be subject to the rules promulgated under OAC 260:115; applicable Purchase Card procedures and applicable state law including but not limited to requirements under Title 74 and Title 62.   As a reminder, the use of the Amazon state contract does not supersede any mandatory statewide contract and the P-card user will still be held accountable to ensure compliance with the State Use program as well as Oklahoma Correctional Industries.

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Authority Orders

In the past the Statewide Accounting Manual and Central Purchasing Procurement Information Memorandum 10-02 have provided inconsistent guidance on the appropriate use of authority orders.  This is being remedied in the upcoming revision of the Statewide Accounting Manual and the PIM has been removed from the Central Purchasing website.  The new guidance is outlined below and should be considered official in advance of the release of the revised Statewide Accounting Manual.

Approved Uses for Authority Orders

While vendor-specific POs are recommended, AFP’s have been authorized by the Director of OMES for the following uses:

  • Regulated utilities or regulated services;
  • Purchases from another state agency;
  • To establish an encumbrance for low-dollar purchases made throughout the year not to exceed $5,000 to any one payee over the course of the year.

o   The AFP may not be used to avoid a statewide or state use contract.  Statewide contracts should not be paid through an authority order except for emergency payments;
o   The AFP may be used to cover non-travel employee reimbursements (under $5,000);

  • Acquisitions specifically exempt from the Oklahoma Central Purchasing Act;
  • Multiple-payee encumbrances; examples include:

o   stipends (ie. teachers, real estate agents, etc.);
o   grant and scholarship recipients;
o   voter registration commission payments to tag agencies;

  • To encumber amounts for bank charges;
  • To encumber amounts to be paid through a purchase-card, under the limitations for p-card use;
  • Structured, court-ordered, settlement agreements;
  • To encumber amounts for payroll.

Agencies under the purview of the Central Purchasing Act are required to request approval of the State Purchasing Director to utilize an authority order for any other type of acquisition not specifically authorized above.

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Single Audit

Due to issues that have recently come to light involving the Oklahoma State Department of Health, the auditors have informed us that there are now additional federal programs that must be audited as part of the 2017 State of Oklahoma Single Audit.  Because of this additional audit work, the audit will not be completed by the deadline.  Auditors anticipate issuing this audit on or before June 30, 2018.  Federal agencies are being notified.

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Volume 28, Number 8
Fiscal Year-2018
February 12, 2018

In This Issue ...


Form I-9 and E-Verify Webinars

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Multiple Webinar Choices and Dates:

Form I-9: an overview of the Form I-9 process, including step by step instructions on how to complete each section, retention and storage.

E-Verify Overview:  an overview of the E-Verify Program, including how the program works, key features, how to enroll, employer responsibilities, program highlights, and a demonstration of the program.

E-Verify for Existing Users: a detailed overview of the E-Verify Program specifically for existing users. Topics include Form I-9, user roles, case alerts, how to handle a TNC, and common user mistakes.

For more information on the webinars, please visit the USCIS website.

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American Payroll Association: PayTrain Courses

Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC)

PayTrain Level I
Feb. 6 to March 15, 2018
6 to 8 p.m.
Tuesdays and Thursdays

PayTrain Level II
Dates TBA

For more information, please visit the OCCC website

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Northeastern OK Chapter American Payroll Association Monthly Lunch & Learn Chapter Meetings

NE OK American Payroll Association
Monthly Lunch & Learn Chapter Meetings

2018 IRS Tax Law Updates
Thursday February 15, 2018
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For more information, please visit the NE OK APA website

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OKC Chapter American Payroll Association Monthly Lunch & Learn Chapter Meetings

OKC American Payroll Association
Monthly Lunch & Learn Chapter Meetings

Time Management for 2018
Friday, Feb. 16, 2018
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For more information, please visit the OKC APA website

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PeopleSoft HCM Suite Training

Presented by OMES/Enterprise Business Service

Please contact your agency's nominating official to enroll.

Dates: Feb. 26 - March 1, 2018
Location: OMES/CAR Computer training room
5005 N. Lincoln Blvd., Oklahoma City

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OKFMA Quarterly Meeting

Mark your calendars for the next Oklahoma Financial Managers Association quarterly meeting on Thursday, March 15, 2018.   In an effort to cut down costs and continue providing these seminars free of charge we ask that participants print their own copies of available documents from the website.  To ensure that an adequate number of refreshments are available, please register at:

Date:   March 15, 2018
Time:   1:30 - 4 p.m.
Place:   Business Conference Center Auditorium
MetroTech Springlake Campus
1900 Springlake Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73111

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Payroll Law 2018

April 16, 2018 - Oklahoma City
Presented by Fred Pryor Seminars

1-Day Seminar cost - $149
For groups of 5 or more - $139 each

For more information, please visit their website

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State Comptroller:
Lynne Bajema, CPA

OMES Services CAR Accounting:
Jennie Pratt, CPA, CGFM

Agency Business Services/Deputy State Comptroller:
Steve Funck, CPA, CGFM 

Financial Reporting Unit:
Matt Clarkson, CPA

Transaction Processing Manager:
Steve Wilson

Statewide Accounts Payable:
Courtney Cowart

Replacement Warrants:

Voucher Processing:

Payroll Transaction Processing:
Elsa Kunnel

Payroll Reporting:
Lisa Raihl, CPA

Purchase Cards and Travel (Online Booking) Assistance:
Linda Powell

Vendor Registration:
Victoria Baker

Vendor File Maintenance:

Vendor Remittance Updates:
Updates to remittance contact for vendor payment notification.

OMES Service Desk:
405-521-2444 or toll-free 866-521-2444