Payroll Today

Cutting employees’ travel expenses without raising their ire can be like trying to buy dinner using change found in the sofa. In other words, it’s difficult. The federal government wants to help. If you use the fed’s per diem rates, employees can travel without having to book rooms at the Bates Motel. With per diems, you pay employees a predetermined flat, daily amount for their hotel, meals and incidental expenses, instead of reimbursing them for the full cost.

It’s crunch time for health care information reporting. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), all large employers—employers with at least 50 full-time employees, including full-time equivalent employees (FTEs)—must report offers of health coverage to full-time employees on Form 1095-C and file those forms, along with the transmittal, Form 1094-C, with the IRS.

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) you must offer full-time employees affordable group health benefits that provide minimum value, in other words, play, or pay a free-rider penalty if even one employee buys insurance on the individual exchange and qualifies for a premium tax credit. In my last blog post, we sketched out who qualifies as full-time employees. This week, I’m outlining the affordable coverage/minimum value mandates for group health plans.

My last blog post looked at how to determine whether you’re an applicable large employer, and, therefore, subject to the Affordable Care Act’s employer play-or-pay provisions. Under ACA’s play-or-pay provisions, you must offer full-time employees group health benefits, in other words, play, or pay a free-rider penalty if even one employee buys insurance on the individual exchange and qualifies for a premium tax credit. In this blog post, we’ll determine who those full-time employees are.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is here to stay. At its core, ACA compliance requires you to take four significant steps.

Employers must withhold the 0.9% additional Medicare tax once an employee’s wages exceed $200,000. Problem: While liability for the tax is based on employees’ marital status, you must withhold as if employees were unmarried. Upshot: Employees may be underwitheld or overwithheld at the end of the year, depending on their marital and filing status. Bad news: Spouses and registered domestic partners who live in community property states may need to do some extra math.

When you take a day off, Congress takes a week off; when you take a week off, Congress takes a month off. Nice to be them, huh? And they don’t worry about the work left behind. Well, Congress is on its month-long get-out-of-DC-because-it’s-too-uncomfortable recess. And they’ve left a pile of payroll-related work to do when they get back, after they take a week off for Labor Day, of course.

At last count, 23 states, plus the District of Columbia, allow medical marijuana; four states, including Colorado and Washington, allow recreational use. So pot is big business and growing all the time. Problem: While all businesses must deposit their payroll taxes electronically, banks don’t allow pot-related businesses to open accounts, because pot is still a Schedule 1 controlled substance. This basically guarantees failure-to-deposit penalties.

Now that you’ve had some time to mull over the Department of Labor’s (DOL) proposed regulations that increase the salary level employees must earn to be exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act, it’s time to chime in. As part of this rulemaking project, the DOL is soliciting comments on a wide range of subjects covering exempts. You have until Sept. 4 to comment.

The end of July means quarterly filing deadlines with the IRS. In addition, the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement’s (OCSE) grace period for the new Income Withholding Order, or IWO for short, will run out on July 31.