Vision Payroll

December 28, 2010

2010 Form W-2 Tips, Part 2, Box 1 Wages, Tips, Other Compensation

2010 Form W-2 Tips, Part 2, Box 1 Wages, Tips, Other Compensation
2010 Form W-2 Tips, Part 2, Box 1 Wages, Tips, Other Compensation
This is one in a continuing series on the 2010 Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, which employers must generally furnish to employees no later than January 31, 2011. Forms mailed on the due date are considered furnished if properly addressed. Employers unable to meet that deadline may file a request for extension of time to furnish the forms. Today we review Box 1, wages, tips, other compensation.

Box 1 May Include Several Adjustments To Gross Wages

Box 1 shows the amount employees must enter on line 7 of Form 1040, US Individual Income Tax Return. It may be, but is not necessarily, equal to gross wages. Common adjustments that increase or decrease gross wages include the following:

  • Employee elective deferral to qualified retirement plans such as §401(k) plans, SIMPLE plans, and §403(b) plans (decrease).
  • Amounts withheld for non-taxable benefits elected under §125 plans (decrease).
  • Taxable non-cash fringe benefits, such as personal use of company automobile (increase).
  • Certain clergy housing allowances (decrease).
  • Reported tips (increase).
  • Expense reimbursements paid under a non-accountable plan (increase).
  • Accident and health insurance premiums for so-called 2% S corporation shareholders (increase).
  • Cost of group-term life insurance in excess of $50,000 (increase).

Box 2, Federal Income Tax Withheld Is the Next Topic

The next topic in this continuing series will be Box 2, federal income tax withheld. Contact Vision Payroll with any questions on the 2010 Form W-2.

December 28, 2009

2009 Form W-2 Tips, Part 2, Box 1 Wages, Tips, Other Compensation

This is one in a continuing series on the 2009 Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, which employers must generally furnish to employees no later than February 1, 2010. Forms mailed on the due date are considered furnished if properly addressed. Employers unable to meet that deadline may file a request for extension of time to furnish the forms. Today we review Box 1, wages, tips, other compensation.

Box 1 shows the amount employees must enter on line 7 of Form 1040, US Individual Income Tax Return. It may be, but is not necessarily, equal to gross wages. Common adjustments that increase or decrease gross wages include the following:

  • Employee elective deferral to qualified retirement plans such as §401(k) plans, SIMPLE plans, and §403(b) plans (decrease).
  • Amounts withheld for non-taxable benefits elected under §125 plans (decrease).
  • Taxable non-cash fringe benefits, such as personal use of company automobile (increase).
  • Certain clergy housing allowances (decrease).
  • Reported tips (increase).
  • Expense reimbursements paid under a non-accountable plan (increase).
  • Accident and health insurance premiums for so-called 2% S corporation shareholders (increase).
  • Cost of group-term life insurance in excess of $50,000 (increase).

The next topic in this continuing series will be Box 2, federal income tax withheld. Contact Vision Payroll with any questions on the 2009 Form W-2.

December 21, 2008

2008 Form W-2 Tips, Part 2, Box 1 Wages, Tips, Other Compensation

This is one in a continuing series on the 2008 Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, which employers must generally furnish to employees no later than February 2, 2009. Forms mailed on the due date are considered furnished if properly addressed. Employers unable to meet that deadline may file a request for extension of time to furnish the forms. Today we review Box 1, wages, tips, other compensation.

Box 1 shows the amount employees must enter on line 7 of Form 1040, US Individual Income Tax Return. It may be, but is not necessarily, equal to gross wages. Common adjustments that increase or decrease gross wages include the following:

  • Employee elective deferral to qualified retirement plans such as §401(k) plans, SIMPLE plans, and §403(b) plans (decrease).
  • Amounts withheld for non-taxable benefits elected under §125 plans (decrease).
  • Taxable non-cash fringe benefits, such as personal use of company automobile (increase).
  • Certain clergy housing allowances (decrease).
  • Reported tips (increase).
  • Expense reimbursements paid under a non-accountable plan (increase).
  • Accident and health insurance premiums for so-called 2% S corporation shareholders (increase).
  • Cost of group-term life insurance in excess of $50,000 (increase).

The next topic in this continuing series will be Box 2, federal income tax withheld. Contact Vision Payroll with any questions on 2008 Form W-2.

November 24, 2008

IRS Issues Fact Sheet on S Corporation Officer Compensation

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued Fact Sheet FS-2008-25, which discusses S corporation officer compensation. Corporate officers, whether in S corporations or C corporations, are generally considered employees of the corporation. Officers who perform only minor services or no services and are not entitled to and do not receive compensation are not considered employees.

As an employee, officers who are also shareholders must receive a reasonable salary to the extent that distributions or other payments are made to the officer-shareholder. Factors considered when determining when compensation was reasonable have included the following:

  • Training and experience
  • Duties and responsibilities
  • Time and effort devoted to the business
  • Dividend history
  • Payments to non-shareholder employees
  • Timing and manner of paying bonuses to key people
  • What comparable businesses pay for similar services
  • Compensation agreements
  • The use of a formula to determine compensation

The S corporation should deduct as fringe benefits any health and accident insurance premiums paid for so-called “2% shareholders”. The amount of the premiums is taxable to these shareholders for income tax purposes, but not for FICA or FUTA.

Pursuant to IRS Notice 2008-1, a medical plan is “established by the S corporation” even if the plan is in the name of the shareholder as long as the S corporation pays the premium or reimburses the shareholder for the premium payment.

Box 14 on the Form W-2 may be used to provide the shareholder with the amount of the premiums paid, but the income should only be reported on Form W-2 and not on either Form 1099 or Schedule K-1. Contact Vision Payroll if you have any questions on Fact Sheet FS-2008-25.

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