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Frequently Asked Questions
Symmetry Software offers both hosted and software development kit options for employees to prepare Federal, State and Local Withholding Form preparation.


Q. What is an Electronic Withholding Certificate?

A. An Electronic Withholding Certificate is an electronic version of the paper forms used traditionally when someone is hired or makes a change to their withholding.

Q. What electronic withholding products does Symmetry Software offer?

A. There are two levels offered to automate the preparation of the Withholding Forms:

  • Symmetry Payroll Forms hosted version is a web-based hosted application that automates withholding form preparation for employee self-service.
  • Symmetry Payroll Forms on-premise version is a web application archive that resides on your servers. As part of your Employee Self-Service, it integrates your existing data into the Forms and updates your Payroll and HR systems with the transaction data when a form is submitted.
Q. Is it legal to use an electronic process?

A. Symmetry Software has performed extensive research, retained a specialty law firm and asked for specific rulings from some states. Symmetry Payroll Forms is regulatory compliant and auditable for all tax jurisdictions.

Q. What about an employee that lives in one state and works in another?

A. The Multi-State Library helps determine which forms need to be prepared. This Library has all state to state reciprocity agreements built in, as well as rules relating to which forms are required based on the employee’s settings and the company’s nexus settings.

Q. Don’t I have to keep a hard copy of each form?

A. IRS guidance is that forms generated by an electronic process are the same as a paper form. You do not need to keep a paper version. States accept electronic versions, and you can always print a paper version from Symmetry Payroll Forms.

Q. What happens when a withholding form changes?
A. Symmetry maintains all the state, federal, and local forms contained in Symmetry Payroll Forms and updates the forms when changes occur.
Q. What about the security of employee information?
A. Since the on-premise version resides within your servers, your internal security standards and login process would apply. The hosted version is handled under SSL, with credentialed access to retrieve completed transactions.
Q. Do I have to archive old forms when a state makes a change?
A. Symmetry Payroll Forms always generates a completed PDF form in the Results of a transaction, which reflects the form that was active at the time of submission. No old version archiving is required.
Q. What do the employees need to use Symmetry Payroll Forms?
A. All you need is a browser. Symmetry Payroll Forms works on all browsers and devices.
Q. If I’m using the on-premise version, how do I develop the interfaces?
A. Your developers use XML to pre-fill employee values into the Forms and to load the Results back into your system. Symmetry also works with third party developers that provide the definition and building of interfaces and business rules.
Q. What technical environments can the on-premise version use?
A.Symmetry Payroll forms is browser based, you can use any operating system (Windows or Linux).
Q. What happens if an employee wants to change their withholdings months after submitting their forms?
A. The employee accesses the Symmetry Payroll Forms and would make any changes and submit.
Q. How often can an employee change their Withholding Certificate?
A. The employee can change as often as your policies allow.
Q.Does Symmetry Payroll Forms fulfill the regulations regarding electronic signature?
A. IRS Publication 15-A 31.3402(f)(5)-1 and Treasury Decision 9196 describes the federal regulation regarding signature for the W-4 form. Many states also have electronic signature regulations. Symmetry Payroll Forms meets these regulations.
Q. What happens if an auditor needs copies of forms from previous years?
A. Auditors will likely look at your withholding form process for consistency and at the form for details. The Symmetry Payroll Forms application generates a completed PDF form and the supporting data file contains all facets of the transaction – data passed in and data entered.
Q. Are there forms that aren’t included in Symmetry Payroll Forms?
A. Symmetry has built over 142 forms in Symmetry Payroll Forms. If a federal, state, or local jurisdiction has a form that sets a withholding parameter needed by your payroll system, it will likely be in the application. Symmetry will also add other forms over time to Symmetry Payroll Forms, and all Symmetry Payroll Forms customers would receive them.
Q. Do I have to pre-fill the forms with employee data?
A. No, this is an option. You could display the blank form and require the employee to fill their values.
Q. Is any validation done on the information entered?
A. The Forms process validates that mandatory data is entered, as well as validates at the field level for proper data type and entry.
Q. What happens if the employee puts in a different address than what we have on the Master File?
A. You can lock the withholding forms to only display master file data or build an error checking routine into your application and initiate your internal business process on how to handle an update.
Q. If an employee has allowances greater than what the state allows or declares as exempt, what happens?
A. All the federal and state regulations that require a paper copy to be filed are built into Symmetry Payroll Forms. A flag is set in the tax parameter section that indicates a follow-up action.
Q. Do I have to change my internal procedures to use Symmetry Payroll Forms?
A. The hosted version requires almost no change in procedures. It is very simple to integrate and utilize, without changing your business processes. The on-premise version uses your business processes, rather than making you adapt.
Q. How much space do I need for data storage/How big are the files?
A. The largest state form data string is about 3K in size. A completed form with data is about 100K.
Q. How do I get more information?
A. Click on the Request info link at the top of the page or click here.
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