The standard mileage rate, which employers may use to reimburse employees who drive their own cars on business, remains 55.5 cents a mile for 2012. You can also use the standard mileage rate to value employees’ personal use of moderately priced company cars.
Darn that groundhog! If it knew what payroll administrators know about looming W-2 deadlines, it would never come out of its den. Paper W-2s are due to the Social Security Administration by the end of the month; e-filed forms are due by April 2.
You couldn’t have direct deposit or online banking without the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network. Unfortunately, online banking through the ACH network has generated a new cyber crime—ACH fraud. Payroll, which uses the ACH network for direct deposits and other transactions, is particularly vulnerable.
To offset the cost of three new free-trade agreements, the Trade Adjustment Assistance Extension Act of 2011 requires states to beef up their unemployment and new-hire reporting laws. Both provisions will affect your payroll operations.
Employees must be paid for their pre-shift or post-shift activities, if those activities are integral and indispensable to the performance of their principal jobs. That can stretch a workday and possibly require you to pay for employees’ commuting time. But not all pre-shift or post-shift work is the same.
If you use an accrual method of accounting and allocate money to a bonus pool, you can breathe a sigh of tax deductible relief. The IRS has concluded that employers can take a current tax deduction for a fixed amount of bonuses that will be paid to employees during the next year.
Payroll doesn’t have time to shake off any lingering holiday blues, since it’s down-to-the-wire time for W-2s. Here are two tax questions about gift cards and staff discounts:
According to the IRS, the same rules that apply to employees’ tax-free use of cellphones and smartphones also apply to tablets, such as iPads.
The time to confirm employees’ Social Security numbers is when they’re hired, not when you’re slapped with a lawsuit for unpaid overtime and minimum wage violations. A federal trial court has ruled that an employer was out of bounds in requesting this information.
It’s not quite time to declare victory over year-end 2011. By Jan. 31, employees must receive their W-2s, and the IRS must receive your fourth-quarter Form 941, and Forms 940 and 945. Here’s what Payroll must do now: