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Payroll Legal Alert

NOTE: 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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The IRS has made several permanent and temporary changes to its Voluntary Classification Settlement Program. Under VCSP, you can voluntarily reclassify independent contractors as employees for future tax periods on favorable tax terms. You’ll be liable for just over 10% of the wages paid to those reclassified workers for the past year; no penalties or interest will be due.

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Final regulations issued by the Department of Labor implement the FMLA’s military exigency and caregiver leave provisions and make some additional clarifying changes to the FMLA regs in general.

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Under the federal sequester, a federal contractor may be forced to rejigger its workforce through reduced hours or furloughs. The problem: Under the FLSA, exempts must receive a full week’s pay if they do any work during the week. You have three options.

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Weather-wise, it’s hard to say exactly when spring arrives. What’s not subject to debate is the fact that your first-quarter 941 form is due shortly. Here’s help.

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The Affordable Care Act requires employers of 50 or more full-time em­­ployees to offer them affordable health benefits—or pay free-rider penalties. Benefits are affordable if employees’ contributions don’t exceed 9.5% of their household income and employers pay at least 60%. The IRS has created three optional affordability safe harbors.

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Q: An employee had pretax deductions made from her pay for mass transit passes. She terminated in the middle of January with a balance in her account, which she now wants refunded. Can we do this? If we can, how do we tax the refund?

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The health care reform law required employers to begin notifying employees on March 1 about the availability of state-based exchanges as an option for buying health insurance. But acknowledging the obvious—that the state exchanges are nowhere near ready to go live—the Department of Labor has temporarily rescinded the notice requirement.

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The next 2,000 Forms 941 to audit as part of the IRS’ National Research Project (NRP) have been selected and all audits are open, said Faris Fink, commissioner of the IRS’ Small Business/Self-Employed Division. Fink said the Payroll NRP has shown high rates of compliance, but problems have become evident—notably, problems involving company cars.

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The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has denied the IRS’ request to rehear its decision in U.S. v. Quality Stores, Inc. Having run the gamut at the appellate level, it’s likely that the IRS will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. A petition to the Supreme Court is due April 4.

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