Payroll Legal Alert

Your payroll department won’t become audit bait if you file a Form 941-X to correct a previously filed Form 941, keep good records, file returns on time and respond to IRS notices, according to an IRS senior program analyst for employment tax policy. What does put you in the audit hot seat?

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The two key percentages you need to know to avoid free-rider penalties under the health care reform law are 60% and 9.5%. Your health plan must offer minimum value by picking up at least 40% of the cost (i.e., full-time employees can’t pay more than 60% out-of-pocket) and be affordable (i.e., employees’ premiums can’t exceed 9.5% of their household income).

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Q: How do we record this work shift: Our workweek begins and ends at midnight on Sunday. An employee works eight hours Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., for 40 hours, and then works an additional shift from 6:00 p.m. Saturday to 3:00 a.m. on Sunday?

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Metrics can add value to the Payroll department, said Linda Obertin, vice president at Fidelity Investments, at the American Payroll Association’s Annual Congress. To implement a metrics program, Obertin highlighted these six steps:

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If your business is moving, be sure to file Form 8822-B with the IRS. Failure to notify the IRS of a change of address recently prevented a taxpayer from contesting a lien for unpaid taxes.

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With colleagues away on vacation, now’s a great time for Payroll to prep for some year-end tasks and perform general payroll maintenance.

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Employers that use the standard mileage rate (56.5 cents a mile in 2013) to value employees’ personal use of company vehicles are restricted to supplying vehicles of modest value …

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The U.S. Supreme Court on June 26 ruled that Section 3 of the federal Defense of ­Marriage Act—the section that limits marriage to heterosexual couples for federal benefits—unconstitutionally denies legally married same-sex couples equal protection. The Court specifically mentioned the taxability of health benefits for same-sex spouses, an issue the IRS must now address.

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Here’s a chart summarizing states’ paid and unpaid short-term leave laws. In most cases, leave is unpaid, but employees may substitute paid leave. States that don’t have laws aren’t listed.

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The Affordable Care Act health care reform law requires you to provide all current and new employees with a notice regarding health insurance coverage by Oct. 1, 2013. For 2014, new hires must receive notice within 14 days of their start date. The DOL also updated its FAQs and the summary of benefits and coverage (SBC) template for the second year of coverage.

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