Payroll Legal Alert

As if you didn’t have enough on your plate, you now need to worry about state sales tax. One tax court has slammed an employer with $2.6 million in unpaid sales taxes on the value of parking employees paid for with pretax deductions.

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The ACA allows you to use the look-back/stability measurement method to determine whether employees are full-time employees. You set the length of your periods, provided they’re equal and aren’t longer than 12 months. Although it’s clear that you can’t restart the measurement clock when employees transfer, it’s less clear how you apply the periods once a transfer occurs. The IRS has proposed rules that clarify how differing periods apply to transfers.

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Q: An employee worked for us during 2013, left the company last year, got married and changed her name. So her 2013 W-2 form was issued in her maiden name. She now wants us to reissue her a new W-2 in her married name. Do we have to do this?

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Here’s your monthly guide to critical payroll due dates. This time around, you can also download our full, free Payroll Checklist to guide you through the entire year.

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Seven states are on the 2014 FUTA credit reduction hit list. Employers will have their maximum FUTA credit reduced on their 2014 Form 940 because their states haven’t repaid loans they took out to shore up their state unemployment trust funds.

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Q: The company offers stock to employees, which becomes taxable at a later date. Employees who terminate during the year are still eligible for the stock, but, since there are no longer wages from which we can withhold, we gross up the FICA taxes. On their W-2s, we make entries in Boxes 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6. Management is questioning why, if we’re only paying the FICA taxes, all of those boxes are increased. Now we’re not so sure if we’ve been doing this right. Who’s correct?

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Employees can take a lot of the guesswork out of their 2015 income tax liability by ensuring that their W-4s are accurate. Here are the 2015 standard deduction amounts.

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Q: An employee’s Social Security card lists her first name as “Michelle.” She says this is a mistake, and her name is really spelled “Mechelle.” When I told her that she needed to get a replacement Social Security card, she said that the Social Security Administration told her that she would need to first have her name changed in court before a replacement card could be issued. This sounds fishy to us. Does the SSA care about first names?

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The IRS made quite a splash when it concluded in an Affordable Care Act FAQ that all employers, regardless of size, that didn’t have a group health plan, and that instead reimbursed employees for their costs to buy health insurance either on or off the individual health exchange, would be liable for $36,500 in self-assessed excise taxes. We’ve taken some time to sort this all out.

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Whether the scare-mongers are right in predicting that the flu will decimate workplaces this winter is anyone’s guess. Nevertheless, the Fair Labor Standards Act has a lot to say about your sick-time policies.

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