Payroll Legal Alert

If you filed at least 250 W-2s for 2012, you’ll be on the hook for reporting the aggregate cost of employees’ health benefits on their 2013 W-2s. Here’s a chart listing health benefits and whether you must report them.

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The Affordable Care Act required you to provide employees with notices regarding the health insurance exchanges by Oct. 1. The DOL first posted an FAQ absolving employers that didn’t provide these notices from penalties. However, later clarifications by the DOL imply that this isn’t a consequence-free zone …

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Question: A nonexempt employee works for a company and its subsidiary. Each company has separate federal Employer Identification Numbers (EINs), workers’ compensation policies and state unemployment accounts. The two companies, however, share an HR department and some corporate officers. The employee completes two time sheets and has different managers. Is she entitled to overtime if she works longer than 40 hours between the two companies?

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Although employees who substantiate their business meal and entertainment expenses are usually reimbursed 100%, your corporate deduction for those expenses is limited to 50%. Final regulations assign this so-called deduction disallowance to the party—the employer, the employer’s agent or someone else—who actually bears the expense.

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The government shutdown means hundreds of thousands of federal employees aren’t at work, but it doesn’t mean employers are off the compliance hook.

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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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Question: An employee lives in New York, but commutes to our offices in Maryland every week. He returns home on Friday. We are contractually obligated to reimburse him for his weekly hotel/housing expenses. Are his reimbursements taxable, or do they qualify as tax-free local lodging expenses?

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A critical function of the individual health insurance exchanges is to verify that taxpayers are eligible for advance subsidies. But what’s to stop an em­­ployee who has access to affordable group coverage from gaming the system and getting those subsidies anyway? And how will you know?

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Fall is when most companies assess their fringe benefits programs, with an eye to making changes for the coming year. It’s also when Payroll begins to assess the damage (taxes, that is) from the current year’s offerings. How to sort everything out? Here’s some help.

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A federal appeals court recently ruled that personal liability for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act extends beyond corporate officers to individuals who exercise control over significant aspects of a company’s day-to-day functions.

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