Advice

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If employees are nonexempt, their work-related emailing, texting or other use of electronic devices can leave you liable for a surprise overtime bill. A recent court decision points out that this isn’t always the case.
Employees often have one question for you upon being told that they’ll receive bonuses: Can I avoid income tax withholding? Opinions vary about whether you should answer at all, since it’s received wisdom that you shouldn’t give tax advice. But is that all there is to it? Maybe not.
When thoughts turn to holiday shopping, you know it’s time to gear up for year-end. You can go to the mall worry-free if you accomplish these crucial year-end tasks now.

While holiday bonuses are traditionally distributed in December, planning for them begins now. Whether or not you’re an old hand at this, here’s what Payroll needs to consider.

Yes, it is possible to beat the IRS in court—and make it pay your attorneys’ fees, as well. The Tax Court ruled that an employee who proved in court that she wasn’t responsible for 100% of her company’s unpaid payroll taxes was able to collect attorneys’ fees from the IRS.
We’ve published all the crucial 2018 inflation-adjusted figures you need, including the FICA wage base and the pretax 401(k) deferral amount, as well as other 401(k)-related figures.

1099 This! This! And this!

October 26, 2017

The W-2 year-end process is burdensome enough. The last thing you need to worry about is filing Forms 1099-MISC for your independent contractors. Good news: The IRS has yet to issue final regulations restricting the circumstances under which you may apply for an extension of time to file.

Big happenings in Payroll

September 28, 2017

As this issue of Payroll Legal Alert goes to press, the Social Security Administration is days away from releasing the 2018 Social Security taxable wage base. Except for tax-free fringe benefits, all wages are subject to the Medicare portion of FICA, since there’s no wage base.

The Social Security Administration has announced that the taxable wage base for the Social Security portion of FICA will increase to $128,700 in 2018. The amount employees can contribute to 401(k) and 403(b) retirement accounts will increase to $18,500 for 2018.

Health plans and health plan options change every plan year. That means employees will have questions every fall when open enrollment for benefits rolls around. A little employee outreach by you during open enrollment can make employees savvier about their health plan purchases, which, in turn, will lead to healthier employees.
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