Payroll Legal Alert

Odds are your company has a website. If you’re thinking of enhancing that website, say, with employee-written blogs, be careful. A federal trial court provided a stark reminder of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s rule that nonexempts can’t volunteer any time to their employers when it ruled that a nonexempt who volunteered to write a company blog can pursue her claim for unpaid overtime.

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The IRS is a prodigious publisher. Here are digests of two Legal Memoranda.

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Groundhogs scurry back home after they see their shadows. You have no such luxury. Paper W-2s are due to the Social Security Administration by the end of the month; e-filed forms are due by March 31. This checklist applies to e-filers who are using the SSA’s EFW2 filing specs.

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The IRS has released guidance covering an assortment of issues under the Affordable Care Act, including how certain cafeteria plan flex contributions affect affordability, adjustments to the affordability safe harbors and penalty relief for failing to file correct Forms 1095-C/1094-C or 1095-B/1094-B.

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An employer that failed to prove it filed its Forms W-2/W-3 with the Social Security Administration was, nevertheless, not liable for a tax penalty for intentionally disregarding the filing requirement. This may be a comfort if you’re filing paper W-2s/W-3, which are due to the SSA by the end of the month.

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Here’s your monthly guide to critical payroll due dates.

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Employers with more than 50, but fewer than 100, full-time employees during 2014 didn’t have to comply with the Affordable Care Act’s play-or-pay provisions this year, although they must still file Forms 1095-C and 1094-C. This transition relief ends Dec. 31, 2015. Beginning with the 2016 plan year (next month for calendar year plans), these employers are fully covered under the law. Ensure that these critical actions have been taken before the end of the month. If you’re missing an action item, do it now.

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The U.S. Supreme Court has turned down an appeal brought by the trustee of a bankrupt payroll service bureau who sought the return of $28 million, which the service bureau collected from its clients as payroll deposits, but which its principals stole. These clients now have no recovery and may have to pay the IRS again for the taxes the service bureau should have deposited.

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Each state has its own W-2 e-filing thresholds and specifications. This chart summarizes those requirements.

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Winter presents unique challenges to the non-SUV-owning public, who become absolutely mortified when a glance in the rear view mirror reveals one of those behemoths staring down their bumpers. It’s equally challenging for Payroll to construct viable pay policies when employees leave early, arrive late or just bag it due to snow or other weather emergencies.

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