PAYROLL

Rules allow employees to opt out of cafeteria plan coverage

10/23/2014
Cafeteria plans may, but aren’t required to, allow employees who experience a change in status (such as a change in marital status) to change or revoke their elections. The IRS has expanded the conditions under which cafeteria plans may allow employees to revoke their elections to participate in group health plans to account for individual coverage that’s available on the exchange, which may be a better deal for them.

Worker damaged truck then quit: Any recourse?

10/22/2014
Q. An employee driving a backhoe backed into a wall and tore the door off. We had to install a new door ($275), but the employee quit that same week. So we deducted $275 from his last check. Now he says he’s talking to a lawyer. Were we right?

FICA wage base increases to $118,500 for 2015

10/22/2014
The 2015 taxable wage base for the Social Security portion of FICA is $118,500, a 1.28% hike over the 2014 wage base. The 6.2% Social Security tax is payable by both employers and employees; in 2015, the maximum tax is $7,347.

SHOP 2015: Buying health insurance on the ACA exchanges

10/22/2014
Under final ACA regulations, open enrollment for the 2015 plan year begins Nov. 15, 2014, for small employers that buy group health plans through the federally run Small Business Health Options Program. State-based SHOPs can set their own open enrollment periods.

Holiday bonuses: Great for everyone's morale (but Payroll's)

10/21/2014
Holiday bonuses are a tradition at many companies. Employees usually receive their bonuses in December. But Payroll must begin planning for them now. Here’s what you need to know.

5 ways employers should respond to wage garnishments

10/20/2014
While the economy is finally waking up from the Great Recession, millions of Americans are still feeling the hangover in the form of wage garnishments. What if a lender wants a piece of your employee's paycheck? Here are five tips.

All large employers on the 2015 health care reporting hot seat

10/20/2014
Now is the time to make decisions regarding information reporting, since the first returns are due in 2016.

Take a bite out of corporate travel expenses with per diems

10/17/2014
How can you keep employees out on the road without busting the company’s travel budget? You can get more bang for your travel buck if you use the federal government’s per diem rates.

Bubble, bubble, toil and year-end trouble

10/15/2014
This time of year isn’t just about the Halloween treats. You can avoid a witch’s brew of nasty year-end tricks by having a plan. Here’s some help to get you started.

Health benefit reporting on 2014 Forms W-2

10/15/2014
Here's a downloadable breakdown of health benefits and whether you must report them. The IRS has clarified that even if a benefit isn’t reportable, you may voluntarily do so.

Enhanced pay report proposed for fed contractors

10/14/2014
The U.S. Department of Labor has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would require the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs to collect pay data from federal contractors.

Delinquent child support drives the most wage garnishments

10/13/2014
About 7% of U.S. employees had some portion of their wages garnished in 2013, most frequently because they had fallen behind making child-support payments. Delinquent student loan payments were the most common “other” reason.

Regs allow more options for 401(k) distributions

10/13/2014
Retirees can’t keep their 401(k) pretax contributions dammed up forever; eventually they must take taxable distributions. Two new sets of final regulations allow 401(k) plans to provide retirees with more options than just pulling out the cash.

Special benefits analysis: Many perks pack hidden wages

10/09/2014
A recent survey of small businesses revealed that only 12% of employees were satisfied with their benefits packages. HR will surely take up the challenge by offering all sorts of new and revised benefits. That means you’ll be playing peekaboo with perks that should be taxed as wages.

Paycard best practices: How to get it right the first time

10/08/2014
Employers’ stumbles over implementing paycard programs have received too much publicity and push-back from the federal and state governments recently. It doesn’t have to be that way.
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