Negotiations to resolve the “fiscal cliff”—a package of tax increases and spending cuts—that will kick in on Jan. 1, 2013, are taking place at an excruciatingly slow pace. Unfortunately, key payroll issues are caught up in the fracas. Until the impasse is resolved, Payroll can’t begin implementing plans for 2013 operations.
If you’ve ever been unable to locate former employees who were owed 401(k) plan assets or final paychecks, you’ve probably used the IRS’ letter-forwarding program to try to contact them. No longer.
Question: We are a public employer. Since employees haven’t had pay raises in more than four years, we will soon be making cash distributions to them. Employees’ survivors will get separate distributions. Are these distributions taxable and how do we report payments made to survivors?
A federal appeals court has ruled that a bankrupt company’s severance payments qualified as FICA-free supplemental unemployment benefits—also known as SUB pay. Therefore, the court concluded, the company’s $1 million FICA refund claim was proper.
Commercials for holiday gifts have been running on TV since at least Halloween. So naturally, employees are making their lists and checking them twice. Perhaps they’re counting on a holiday bonus to pay for it all. If holiday bonuses are in your future, be sure to cover these bases.
Single employees earning more than $200,000 and joint filers earning more than $250,000 will pay an additional 0.9% in Medicare taxes in 2013. To avoid the additional tax, employees may take some extraordinary steps regarding their noncash compensation before the end of this month. That means additional payroll headaches for you.
Q: The company grosses up the fair market value of health benefits provided to employees’ same-sex domestic partners. One employee already had family coverage for his children before he enrolled his partner. How is the gross up calculated, if the cost of coverage doesn’t increase because the plan charges employees a flat amount for family coverage, regardless of the number of individuals covered?
Question: Our company makes interest-free loans to employees so they can buy home computers. The purpose of the loan program is to allow employees to hone their computer skills. Employees can take up to four years to repay their loans. Must we report the loans on their W-2 forms?
It would be great if you could wave a magic wand and convert some of employees’ taxable wages into nontaxable business reimbursements. But you can’t. A new revenue ruling reiterates that employees’ expenses must have a business connection before you can reimburse them tax-free.
A court has ruled that the IRS doesn’t have to return to defrauded clients a bankrupt payroll service bureau’s tax deposits that were collected from them but were used to make deposits for other clients. The defrauded clients, therefore, have paid twice …