Year-End Legislation Includes Payroll Provisions.

Payroll provisions in the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 (H.R. 5771) extend transit benefit parity through 2014, establish a certification program for professional employer organizations, index information reporting penalties annually for inflation, and more. Payroll provisions in the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (H.R. 83) require the IRS to confirm employer address changes, create a limited overtime exemption for insurance adjusters, and more.

IRS Details Administrative Procedures for Forms 941, W-2 Following Enactment of Retroactive 2014 Transit Benefit Parity. Following enactment of the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014, which increased the monthly transit benefit exclusion from $130 to $250 for 2014, the IRS has issued guidance clarifying how the increase applies for 2014 and providing a special administrative procedure for employers to use in filing Form 941 for the fourth quarter of 2014 to reflect changes in the excludable amount for transit benefits provided in all quarters of 2014 and in filing Forms W-2. Notice 2015-2.

Business Standard Mileage Rate Increases to 57.5¢ in 2015. The rate for miles driven for medical or moving purposes decreases to 23¢ per mile, and the rate for operating a passenger car for charitable purposes (set by law) stays at 14¢ per mile. Notice 2014-79.

IRS Issues 2015 Forms W-2 and W-3, Instructions to Follow. The 2015 versions of Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, and Form W-3, Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements, have been posted on the APA website.

IRS Releases 2015 Publications 15 (Circular E), 15-A, and 15-B. The 2015 Circular E, Employer's Tax Guide (Publication 15), plus the supplements to Circular E – Employer's Supplemental Tax Guide (Publication 15-A) and Employer's Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits (Publication 15-B) have been posted on the APA website.

SSA Alert for Employers: Reminders and Changes for Tax Year 2014 Reporting. The Social Security Administration has posted an "Alert" on its employer website. Topics covered include AccuWage, Business Services Online (BSO) registrations, the opening of the filing season, and upcoming changes as a result of SSA's earnings redesign effort.

Supreme Court Rules Amazon Employees Don't Have to Be Paid for Security Screening Time. Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk.

SSA Encourages Use of 'my Social Security' Accounts. The Social Security Administration has published a series of articles describing the 'my Social Security' account feature for individuals.

IRS Announces Quarterly Interest Rates.

TIGTA Says Better Worker Identification Data Needed for VCSP. In a recently issued report, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration presented the results of a review of the IRS Voluntary Classification Settlement Program, which provides partial relief from federal employment tax penalties for eligible employers that agree to prospectively treat misclassified workers as employees. TIGTA Audit Report No. 2014-40-065.

Supreme Court Will Not Review Ruling That LAFD Dispatchers and Aeromedical Technicians Were Not Engaged in FLSA-Exempt Fire Protection Activities. Haro v. City of Los Angeles.

Think Tank Reports Wage Theft Cost Workers Almost a Billion Dollars in 2012. The Economic Policy Institute recently released an "issue brief" on the subject of wage theft. The brief reports that more than $933 million in wages earned but not paid was recovered in 2012 by the U.S. Department of Labor ($280 million from wage and hour violators), state departments of labor ($172 million), state attorneys general ($14 million), and private attorneys ($467 million). Examples of employer practices that can be considered wage theft are included. EPI Issue Brief No. 385.

Affirmed: School Mentor Was FLSA-Exempt Volunteer. Brown v. New York City Dept. of Ed.

State and Local News.
  • Colorado – creditor garnishment limits updated; minimum wage increased, tip credit unchanged
  • Illinois – withholding and supplemental wage tax rates decreased
  • Indiana – withholding and supplemental wage tax rates decreased
  • Missouri – minimum wage and tip credit increased
  • New Mexico – UI experience rating method changed; voluntary UI employer contributions no longer accepted
  • New York – annual pay rate notices no longer required; Yonkers supplemental wage tax rate decreased
  • North Carolina – supplemental wage tax rate reduced
  • Ohio – municipal income tax reform enacted
  • Pennsylvania – employer and employee UC contributions unchanged
  • Texas – state agencies required to use E-Verify

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