Payroll Legal Alert

The Fair Labor Standards Act and the IRS can throw kinks into your holiday plans. Watch out for these lumps of coal: four rules on holiday pay, two rules for holiday work, requirements for holiday hiring.

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Regardless of what you call it, tips are amounts customers willingly determine and leave of their own accord; service charges are added to the bill. According to a new IRS revenue ruling, service charges are immediately taxable as wages; tips are taxable when employees report them to you.

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This year, completing W-2 forms will be even more challenging for employers that must report employees’ health benefits. Here’s the scoop on what you need to know to get W-2s right the first time.

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Question: How do we report an employee’s health benefits if he transferred between two divisions of the same company, and each division has its own Employer Identification Number? Must each division report separately, or can we combine this information and report it on one W-2?

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As you’re feasting on your Thanksgiving dinner this year, don’t let year-end responsibilities eat you up. You can ease year-end Payroll concerns by ticking off some key tasks now.

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Year-end Payroll duties can keep you from enjoying this holiday season. But it doesn’t have to be that way, if you get through these year-end duties.

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An S corp couldn’t get away with paying its sole shareholder-employee $24,000 a year in FICA-taxable salary, while also paying him large FICA-free dividends. According to a recent federal appeals court ruling, such an arrangement isn’t reasonable.

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The W-2 year-end process is burdensome enough. The last thing you need to worry about is back-up withholding from payments made to independent contractors and filing Form 1099-MISC. Here’s what you need to know for the 2012 filing season.

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Next year is shaping up to be complicated for the IRS. The question: Should the IRS issue the withholding tables based on what the law says is supposed to happen on Jan. 1—the expiration of most income tax rates—or keep the rates the same, and assume that Congress will come to some agreement about the rate structure?

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States have their own W-2 e-filing thresholds and specifications. Note: To date, some states haven’t released their W-2 e-filing information. In addition, states can change their e-filing requirements at any time. To get the full story, contact your state tax department.

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