Non-Compliance Can Be Costly
In order to stay compliant with federal and state labor laws, employers must display labor posters in a conspicuous place, easily visible to employees. Labor law posters notify employees—and in some cases, job applicants—of their employment rights, including:
Penalties for non-compliance can run into the thousands of dollars. For example, violation of the posting requirements prescribed under OSHA can run as high as $12,934.
So how often do need to update your labor law posters to avoid citations or expensive penalties?
Whenever federal or state labor law changes are made, you need to update your posters. However, those changes don’t always occur on January 1st. Government agencies may issue postings before or after the effective date of the regulatory update. Minimum wage changes may go into effect mid-year. So buying a new employment poster at the beginning of the year isn’t the answer.
An easy way to ensure your business remains compliant with federal and state labor laws is to enroll in a Labor Poster Subscription Program. Then, you will automatically be forwarded new labor posters when regulations change under federal law and/or for your specific state(s).
Ready to subscribe and save yourself the compliance hassle? If you have questions, please contact your Payroll Specialist.
Corporate Payroll Services Clients Will See Changes Reflected in
Payrolls Processed Beginning Monday, January 15, 2018
On January 11, the Internal Revenue Service released updated withholding tables for 2018 to reflect changes required by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into law last month. Employers should begin to use the new withholding tables as soon as possible, but no later than February 15, 2018, according to the January 11 news release. Clients of Corporate Payroll Services will see the withholding changes reflected in paychecks processed beginning Monday, January 15, 2018, a full month ahead of the IRS deadline.
The new tables take into account the changes in tax rates and brackets, the increase in the standard deduction and the repeal of personal exemptions. They are designed to work with the current W-4 forms that employees have filed with their employers to claim withholding allowances. No changes to the forms are required at this time.
However, the IRS indicated that it is working to revise the Form W-4 and provide a new online calculator by the end of February. The new form and calculator will take into account changes in itemized deductions, increases in the child tax credit, the new dependent credit and the repeal of dependent exemptions, with a goal of producing the correct amount of withholding and avoiding under- or over-withholding of income taxes.
The IRS also posted a Frequently Asked Questions document to clarify commonly asked questions about the withholding changes. Of course, as a Corporate Payroll Services client, if you have a question about your specific situation, please reach out to your local branch office and ask to speak to your Payroll Specialist.
Minimum wage rates are increasing in many states this year. Unless otherwise noted, the minimum wage rates in bold are updated rates effective January 1, 2018. States with no change in minimum wage rates are not bolded.
Social Security Maximum Taxable Earnings Updated…Again
Due to potential tax changes currently being considered in Congress, the IRS has indicated that guidance for the 2018 tax year, which includes the payroll tax tables, will be issued later than normal. Since both the House and Senate bills contain changes to income tax rates, personal exemptions and the standard deduction, which may be effective in 2018, it is anticipated that the withholding tables and Form W-4 will require extensive revisions.
Currently, the final bill is being negotiated in conference committee to reconcile the different tax reform bills passed by the House and the Senate. That final negotiated bill would have to be passed by both houses and signed into law by the President.
When and if a bill is signed into law, employers will continue to use 2017 withholding tables until the new 2018 tables are released. Even if the rates are effective January 1, 2018, the IRS will need time to incorporate changes required by the new law. The IRS acknowledged that payroll professionals will need time to program and test the updates, as well. Of course, Corporate Payroll Services will continue to monitor the changes and keep you updated as guidance is provided.
Social Security Earnings Limit Changes
The maximum earnings subject to the Social Security tax will increase to $128,400 in 2018 from $127,200 in 2017. The original increased amount was $128,700, but it was recalculated when the Social Security Administration received additional salary data after the deadline which was not included in the original calculation. The $1200 or 0.95 percent increase is based on the government’s estimate of inflation-adjusted wage growth. Employers may want to notify affected employees of the increase.
Employer-provided 401(k) plans are a very popular retirement savings vehicle. In fact, according to a 2015 study, 85% of employees who have access to a 401(k) plan participate in it.
While 401(k) plans typically offer a variety of investment options, one key factor is often overlooked by both employers and employees in deciding the funds to offer and invest in: plan fees.
Best Predictor of Fund Performance is...
Plan fees can run from well under 1% to over 2% of assets under management. While 1% or 2% might not seem like a lot, the fee will heavily impact the growth of savings toward retirement over time. According to Morningstar and Consumer Reports, the best predictor of fund performance is not the experience of the fund manager or the fund’s past performance. Instead, the best predictor of performance is...
If you received an email from "the boss" requesting a PDF of the 2016 W-2s and earnings summary of all staff for quick review, would you send it?
The Internal Revenue Service issued a News Release on January 25 warning about an email scam that uses a corporate officer’s name to request employee Forms W-2 from company payroll and human resources departments.
The IRS received notification that the scam, which first appeared in 2016, is making its way around the country again this year. The fraudulent email, which may contain the actual name of the CEO, requests employee W-2 information. Cybercriminals then file fraudulent returns for tax refunds.
For the IRS News Release about this alert, please check the Forms and Downloads page in the Customer Center.
If your company pays weekly or bi-weekly, will you have an extra check date this year? In other words, if your company pays weekly, will you pay your employees 52 times this year or 53? Likewise, if your company pays bi-weekly, will you pay your employees 26 times this year or 27? The 27th/53rd additional pay date occurs every 5 or 6 years if you pay weekly and every 11 years if you pay bi-weekly. The easiest way to understand why these additional pay dates occur is to review a calendar:
Combine the extra day left over year after year, coupled with the extra day from leap year every 4 years, and you have an issue to deal with every 5-6 years or every 11 years depending on your pay frequency.
The week of December 5-9 was National Tax Security Awareness Week. The IRS, along with payroll processors, tax return preparers and software firms provided tips to alert taxpayers to security threats, including identity theft and tax refund fraud.
The weeklong series of news releases, available in the Client Center, covered topics and suggestions including:
It's the Social Security Administration!
If you’ve received a “No-Match Letter” from the Social Security Administration (SSA), there’s no reason to say, “Good grief!”
It does mean that an employee’s name and social security number (SSN) do not match in the government’s system. However, it does not necessarily mean that you, or your employee, have done anything wrong. In all likelihood, it is the result of a clerical error.
When you receive the letter, please do not ignore it. You should take reasonable steps to resolve the mismatch and you must apply the steps uniformly across all of your employees. Of course, you should also document and date your attempts to resolve the mismatch.
Specifically, you should:
To verify all Social Security Numbers in our system for all of our customers, we send electronic files to the SSA. If there are any discrepancies, we forward a report of those inconsistencies to you. You can also verify the employee’s name and SSN match by going to the SSA website at http://www.ssa.gov/employer/ssnv.htm
We also offer E-Verify services, so you can check the SSN of your new hires and confirm that they’re eligible to work in the United States at the same time. You will have no “tricks,” just peace of mind knowing that you are in compliance with the law.
The Internal Revenue Service released a new Tax Tip about fake tax bill notices related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA.) The scam involves fraudulent versions of notice CP2000 for tax year 2015 and may be received via email, as an attachment, or by mail.
You’ll be able to tell if you receive one of these fraudulent notices if -
(CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE IRS NOTICE regarding the “Fake IRS Tax Bill Notices”)
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The Breakroom is the Corporate Payroll Services resource center for 'News You Can Use,' feature stories, holiday notices, regulatory updates, product announcements, commentary and more.