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Payroll Legal Alert

A federal appeals court has ruled that an employee-tax protester can’t sue his employer and individual employees for withholding taxes. The court also rejected the employee’s Title VII claim that he was unlawfully terminated for complaining about the withholding.

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Under proposed regulations, staffing agencies that send health care workers into clients’ homes would be fully covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act. In-home health care workers who are employed by families would retain their FLSA exemption.

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Here are digests of recent benefits rulings that will affect your Payroll operations: 1. Payroll off the hook for CLASS Act withholding. 2. Compliance with summary of benefits and coverage rules postponed. 3. HRA reporting under the Medicare-as-secondary-payer rule.

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Employers that use the standard mileage rate to value employees’ personal use of company vehicles are restricted to supplying them with vehicles of modest value. For 2012, the value of company cars that qualify for the standard mileage valuation method is $15,900.

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If em­­ployees attend a business convention in Europe, you can’t reimburse their business expenses on a tax-free basis unless they demonstrate that the convention’s location satisfies heightened standards of reasonableness. But employees who attend business conventions in North America need only establish the familiar elements of the accountable plan rules for their reimbursements to be tax-free …

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Beginning with 2012 W-2 forms, you must report the value of employees’ health benefits (Box 12, with Code DD). Reporting on Form W-3 isn’t ­necessary. Good news: Under new IRS guidance, W-2 reporting is excused in more instances.

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The earlier employers fix errors on 2011 W-2s, the less likely it is they’ll be penalized by the IRS. E-filers have until the April 2 to file original W-2s, but even those few extra weeks may not be enough to get off the W-2c hook for mistakes that come to your attention after e-filing.

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Under the Affordable Care Act health care reform law, doctors and nurses whose student loans are forgiven under state programs that reward those who work in underserved areas don’t have income in the amount of the debt that’s forgiven.

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Whether accrued vacation pay is due to an employee upon termination is determined by state law. This chart summarizes state vacation pay laws. Some states have no laws on this issue, which means that company policy should prevail.

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Daylight saving time begins at 2 a.m., March 11. Graveyard-shift workers, therefore, will work only seven hours that day. If you pay those employees for a standard eight-hour shift, don’t include the extra hour’s pay when calculating their regular rates to determine overtime.

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