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Payroll Legal Alert

For a long time, damages employees received under the FMLA weren’t considered payroll taxable because courts read the FMLA’s unique damages provision—which mandates damages equal to lost pay—as not being the same as taxable back pay. A federal trial court has now turned this reasoning on its head.

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There’s more to leasing employees than clients ­remitting their pay to the leasing company. While employees can be ­reimbursed 100% for their substantiated meal expenses, business deductions are limited to 50%. Normally, the employer is stuck with this deduction disallowance. But the involvement of the leasing company complicates matters.

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The Social Security Administration has announced that the 2013 taxable wage base for the Social Security portion of FICA increases to $113,700. That’s a 3.2% hike over the 2012 wage base of $110,100.

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While the legality of the Affordable Care Act health care reform law was pending before the Supreme Court, the IRS issued final regulations on the premium tax credit. Since the dust has settled, it’s time to take a closer look at the regs.

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Question: Does the Social Security Administration plan to improve the Business Services Online suite of services within W-2 Online?

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STATE WITHHOLDING RATES: Here’s a chart summarizing how states handle income tax withholding on supplemental wages. Note: To get the full story on state tax rates, visit your state tax department’s website.

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Whatever you do, don’t call a U.S. Department of Labor investigator an auditor. Auditors look for nickels and dimes. DOL investigators look for compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act.

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According to recent statistics, 70% of child support is collected through wage withholding. Even so, some deadbeat parents slip through the cracks. To catch them, the Office of Child Support Enforcement has formed an alliance with employers to implement its newest program—the Passport Denial Program.

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401(k) plans don’t have to allow employees to borrow from their vested account balances. But if they do, the news is grim. According to a recent survey, about 10% of employees who borrow from their 401(k) plans default. The default percentage skyrockets to 80% if employees terminate with outstanding loans.

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Ignoring the IRS won’t make a tax audit go away, advises a senior policy analyst at the IRS. In fact, the opposite is true—ignoring a notification of a payroll audit means that you give up your chance to tell your side of the story and set the record straight.

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