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Payroll Legal Alert

The bottom line for you to avoid free-rider penalties under the Affordable Care Act is not to have employees obtain health insurance on the individual exchange and qualify for premium tax credits or other cost sharing reductions.

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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. Semiweekly and monthly deposits are for the deposits of FICA and withheld income taxes due on wages paid during the time periods indicated.

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The federal government has been busy adding to its regulatory agenda. Here’s the latest news from the regulations front about the new Form I-9, proposed regs on truncated TINs and proposed regs on payroll agents.

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The automatic federal budget cuts that took effect on March 1, known as the sequester, reduce the refundable portion of 501(c) tax-exempt organizations’ health care tax credit by 8.7%, according to the IRS.

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Most employees ditched paper checks in favor of direct deposit decades ago. So your job is done, right? Wrong. Some employees remain wary of direct deposit. How can you eliminate those pesky paper checks once and for all?

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Tax season just came to a close for most taxpayers. Exception: A late-season update to the IRS’ website informs employees who had more than $125 a month withheld for qualified mass transit benefits during 2012 on how to claim a refund for their excess income and FICA taxes.

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The IRS and the Department of Health and Human Services have released a raft of proposed and final regulations that implement the Affordable Care Act health care reform law, which becomes fully operational in nine months.

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Enforcement. That was the word from John ­­Tuzynski, the IRS’ chief of employment tax policy, when he spoke at the American Payroll Asso­­cia­­tion’s mid-year Capital summit, held in Wash­­ing­­ton, D.C., March 10-14.

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State laws usually require that employees voluntarily participate in direct deposit or paycard programs. States may also allow paycard vendors to charge em­ployees fees, beginning with the second transaction. Here’s a chart that summarizes the states’ direct deposit/paycard rules.

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Q: An employee who’s in line for a quarterly bonus has presented Payroll with a form that requires us to treat the bonus as regular wages and withhold accordingly. It’s our policy to use the 25% flat withholding method on all supplemental pay. We’ve never seen a form like this before. Must we honor it?

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