Proposed Changes in W-2 Reporting

Form W-2 - canstockphoto5639900 - Cropped & ResizedThe Treasury Department has made several proposals that may affect how and when businesses issue W-2s to government agencies, specifically the IRS.  This effort is to attempt to curb the increasing threat of identity theft [Read more…]

Can an employee qualify for unemployment for being absent too much?

It IS possible for an employee to qualify for unemployment in the state of Georgia if it is not clear to the employee that attendance might cause them to lose their job. The relevant portion of the state code comes from O.C.G.A. § 34-8-194 (2)(B)(iv). An employee shall not be disqualified from unemployment if:

The discharge occurred as a violation of the employer’s rule of which the claimant was not informed by having been made aware thereof by the employer or through common knowledge. Consistency of prior enforcement shall be taken into account as to the reasonableness or existence of the rule and such rule must be lawful and reasonably related to the job environment and job performance…

Employers should have an attendance policy that is clearly written and states that those that violate the policy may result in the loss of unemployment benefits. This policy should be given to new-hires during orientation and a copy given to current employees if any changes are made.

Do You Have a Household Employee?

1.18_Household_EmployeesEmployee or Self-Employed Worker?

You have a household employee if you hired someone to do household work and that worker is your employee. The worker is your employee if you can control not only what work is done, but how it is done. If the worker is your employee, it does not matter whether the work is full time or part time or that you hired the worker through an agency or from a list provided by an agency or association. It also does not matter whether you pay the worker on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis, or by the job.

Household work is work done in or around your home like babysitters, cleaning people, domestic workers, nannies, and others.

If only the worker can control how the work is done, the worker is not your employee but is self-employed. A self-employed worker usually provides his or her own tools and offers services to the general public in an independent business.

A worker who performs child care services for you in his or her home generally is not your employee. If an agency provides the worker and controls what work is done and how it is done, the worker is not your employee.

Do You Need To Pay Employment Taxes?

If you have a household employee, you may need to withhold and pay social security and Medicare taxes, pay federal unemployment tax, or both.

[Read more…]

Tips or Service Charge? Guidance for restaurant owners and servers

There’s new guidance out on whether a payment by a diner is a tip or a service charge.  (For a primer on how to handle the taxes on tip income for servers, take a look here.)

In the new guidance, the IRS attempts to clarify the difference between a tip and a service charge.  A service charge is to be treated as wages, not tips.  Service charges are not to be included in any calculation that arrives at an hourly tip rate, a tip rate calculated on percentage of sales, or any other rate determination method.

Here are the criteria for how the IRS views tips:

1. The payment must be made free from compulsion

2. The customer must have the unrestricted right to determine the amount

3. The payment should not be the subject of negotiation or dictated by employer policy

4. Generally, the customer has the right to determine who receives the payment

So, for example, if a restaurant has a policy that automatically adds a gratuity of 18% for all parties over 8 people, and the money is split among the servers and bussers, then that would be a service charge.  If a restaurant leaves the tip line blank on a bill, but the restaurant shows sample tip calculations of 15%, 18%, and 20%, then the amount filled in by the customer would be treated as a tip.

 

 

Payroll reports are due 7/31

Just a quick reminder to everyone that is in charge of a payroll that the quarterly reports for the second quarter are due at the end of the month.

Typically this involves the 941 for the IRS, and then a report for your state’s Department of Revenue for your withholding for the 2nd quarter, and then another report for your state’s Department of Labor for your unemployment payment for the 2nd quarter wages.  Obviously, depending on your situation, your reports may vary.

QuickBooks Enhanced payroll has the reports as a built in functionality of that subscription, so that makes it quick and easy.  Or, if you use a payroll service like Paychex or ADP, they can handle the reports for you.

It’s a good idea to keep a copy of the reports filed for your records as well as the backup support.  The Payroll Summary report from QuickBooks usually gives good detail as backup.  I also like running the Employee Earnings Summary report and I keep that on file as backup too.

If you are in charge of payroll and have questions, feel free to leave a comment in the box below and we’ll try to give you a tip or two!  Or, please give our office a call at 770-478-7424 no matter where you are in the country, and we can set something up to assist you.

What the Affordable Care Act means for your taxes….

Here at Loggins, we know that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA or ObamaCare) has quite a bit of uncertainty surrounding it.   We are preparing as if the law will go into effect as written.  We’re writing this post because we want to help inform you with some of the basics of the law that we feel will affect the majority of people.  The points below just focus on the taxes in the Act, and even then, we’re only focusing on the taxes that we feel will affect the majority of our clients.  This post doesn’t deal with the health insurance costs or avenues that people can use to find insurance coverage.  For a more complete list of provisions in the act, take a look at this page from the IRS.

 

The Individual Mandate [Read more…]

Family and Medical Leave Act Basics

FMLA Employee GuideHere are some quick pointers on the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).  The FMLA provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave if you qualify.  For more information, click on the booklet, “Need Time?” shown to the right.

 

Do I qualify?

  • Private employers with at least 50 employees are covered by the law.  If your employer has fewer than 50 employees, they may be covered by a similar state law. [Read more…]

Attention employers! Medicare withholding tax going up (maybe)….

Don’tcha just love the uncertainty in the title?  Here you are, trying to grow your business and you need to worry about a .9% payroll tax that may or may not happen just 6 months from now.

Use this article as a heads up — this may be coming down the road in 2013, and so you need to be aware of the additional 0.9% Medicare tax that is scheduled to go into effect in 2013.

(I love how they make it 0.9%  It reminds me of a car salesman trying to sell you a car for under $50K when the price tag is $49,999.) [Read more…]

Act before 6/19 to get tax credit for hiring vets

Employers that hired unemployed veterans during late 2011 and early 2012 have an expanded period to request the required certification for claiming the expanded Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC). That expanded period ends on Tuesday, June 19.

The IRS is reminding employers that for eligible veterans hired on or after Nov. 22, 2011 and before May 22, 2012, they have until June 19 to file certification forms with state workforce agencies.

Here are some important points to know about the credit and upcoming deadline: [Read more…]

Meals Furnished to Employees

The rules for what is and is not deductible for businesses can be very tricky — and none more so than in the area of meals provided for your employees.  Are those meals deductible for the employer?  Are the meals considered income for the employee?  Are the meals a fringe benefit of the employment?  Can’t I just buy someone a sandwich without the IRS getting its nose in to it?? [Read more…]