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Payroll Legal Alert

The shutdown of the federal government earlier this autumn meant that the IRS was very late in releasing the 2014 personal exemption amount, which doubles as the annual withholding allowance amount. Also late, but now in the bag: the 2014 amounts for qualified transportation fringes.

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Under the Affordable Care Act, employees who don’t have access to affordable group health insurance that provides minimum value may obtain individual insurance through the exchanges. As part of their core responsibilities, exchanges determine whether employees qualify for advance premium tax credits and other cost-sharing reductions. Two sets of regulations relate to the concept of affordable health insurance.

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Good, bad or sluggish economy, there are valid reasons—mostly sustaining employee morale—to pay holiday bonuses. If your company will be doing so, now’s the time for Payroll to plan for them.

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The time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is a busy time for many companies. Questions regarding overtime, holiday pay and temporary hires often arise. You don’t have to play Scrooge this holiday season if you know the rules.

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Question: The company sent employees to a seminar. The hosting organization gave each attendee an iPad. Are the iPads company-provided gifts, which must be valued, taxed to employees and reported on their W-2 forms?

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States have their own W-2 e-filing thresholds and specifications. Here’s a chart summarizing those requirements. Note: Some states didn’t release their W-2 e-filing information before this article was published. To get full details, contact your state tax department.

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Question: Door prizes at our wellness fair included gift cards. We know that employees who receive gift cards are taxed on those amounts, but what about spouses—are gift cards taxable to employees and reportable on their W-2s if their spouses win prizes?

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Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays as observed in the District of Columbia are taken into account to determine due dates. Under the federal deposit rules, you’re allowed a deposit shortfall of the greater of $100 or 2% of your tax liability.

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Don’t forget to turn your clocks back one hour, to standard time, at 2 a.m., Sunday, Nov. 3.

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Uncle Sam has released new cost-of-living adjustments affecting Social Security tax withholding and retirement plans for 2014.

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