Vision Payroll

October 30, 2011

IRS Releases 2011 Form 944

IRS Commissioner Douglas H. Shulman
IRS Commissioner Douglas H. Shulman
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released the 2011 Form 944, Employer’s ANNUAL Federal Tax Return, and related instructions. Form 944 is designed so the smallest employers (those whose annual liability for social security, Medicare, and withheld federal income taxes is $1,000 or less) will only file once a year instead of every quarter.

Several Changes Have Been Made To the 2011 Form 944

The 2011 Form 944 has several new items. The new items include the following:

Employee Tax for Social Security Cut To 4.2%

The employee tax rate for social security has been cut to 4.2%, although the employer rate remains at 6.2%. The Medicare tax rate remains at 1.45% for both employees and employers.

COBRA Premium Assistance Credit Continues

The credit for COBRA premium assistance payments applies to premiums paid for employees involuntarily terminated between September 1, 2008, and May 31, 2010, and to premiums paid for up to 15 months. The credit is claimed on line 9a.

Social Security Wage Base for 2011

Do not withhold or pay social security tax after an employee reaches $106,800 in social security wages for the year. There is no limit on the amount of wages subject to Medicare tax.

Advance Payment of Earned Income Credit (EIC)

The option of receiving advance payroll payments of EIC expired on December 31, 2010. Individuals eligible for EIC in 2011 can still claim the credit when they file their federal income tax return.

Electronic Deposit Requirement

Beginning January 1, 2011, you must deposit all depository taxes (such as employment tax, excise tax, and corporate income tax) electronically using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). Forms 8109 and 8109-B, Federal Tax Deposit Coupon, cannot be used after December 31, 2010.

Vision Payroll Will File Form 944 for Eligible Taxpayers

Contact Vision Payroll if you have further questions on Form 944.

January 16, 2011

2010 Form W-2 Tips, Part 10, Box 9 Advance EIC Payment

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , , — Vision @ 11:37 am

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 9, advance EIC payment.

Maximum EIC Advance Payment in 2010 Was $1,830

Box 9 shows the amount of any advance EIC (earned income credit) payment paid to the employee. Employees must meet four criteria and file Form W-5, Earned Income Credit Advance Payment Certificate in order to receive advance EIC payments. For 2010, the maximum advance EIC was $1,830. Employees entitled to additional EIC are eligible to receive it when filing Form 1040, US Individual Income Tax Return.

Box 10, Dependent Care Benefits Is the Next Topic

The next topic in this continuing series will be Box 10, dependent care benefits. Contact Vision Payroll with any questions on the 2010 Form W-2.

January 14, 2011

Question of the Week: What Are 10 Hot Items for Payroll in 2011?

What Are 10 Hot Items for Payroll in 2011?
What Are 10 Hot Items for Payroll in 2011?
This week’s question comes from Seth, a company controller. It seems as if there are many changes in payroll recently. What are 10 hot items for payroll in 2011? Answer: The payroll industry and payroll departments have seen many changes as Congress uses the payroll and payroll tax system as a means to implement desired changes in social policy. Many items are new or revamped for 2011.

10 Hot Payroll Items in 2011

  1. 2011 Withholding Table Changes: Because of the recently passed Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (2010 Tax Act), employers should implement the 2011 withholding tables as soon as possible, but not later than January 31, 2011.
  2. Reduced Social Security Tax Rate for Employees: For 2011, the employee tax rate for Social Security is 4.2%, down from 6.2% in 2010. The employer rate remains at 6.2%.
  3. Expiration of Making Work Pay Credit: The Making Work Pay credit expired on December 31, 2010, resulting in higher federal withholding from many employees in 2011.
  4. Extension of COBRA Premium Assistance Credit: The credit for COBRA premium assistance payments has been extended to include premiums paid for employees involuntarily terminated between September 1, 2008, and May 31, 2010, and to premiums paid for up to 15 months.
  5. Advance Payment of Earned Income Credit (EIC) Discontinued: The option to receive advance payroll payments of EIC expired on December 31, 2010.
  6. Federal Tax Payments Must Be Made by Electronic Funds Transfer: With the discontinuation of Forms 8109 and 8109-B, most federal tax payments must now be made by electronic funds transfer.
  7. FUTA Tax Rate Scheduled to Decrease: Under current law, the FUTA tax rate will decrease from 6.2% to 6.0%, effective July 1, 2011.
  8. Withholding Allowance Amount Set at $3,700: For 2011, the amount for one withholding allowance on an annual basis is $3,700, up from $3,650 for 2009 and 2010.
  9. Aggregate Form 940 and Form 941 Filers Must File Schedule R: Agents must complete the appropriate Schedule R when filling an aggregate Form 940 or Form 941.
  10. Choose to File Form 941 Instead of Form 944: Employers notified that they should file Form 944, but who want to file Form 941 instead, may notify the IRS and request to file Form 941.

More Changes Expected Throughout 2011

Check VisionPayroll.com regularly as the only certain thing about payroll and payroll taxes for 2011 is that many more changes can be expected.

December 1, 2010

Tip of the Week: IRS Releases 2010 Form 944

IRS Commissioner Douglas H. Shulman
IRS Commissioner Douglas H. Shulman
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released the 2010 Form 944, Employer’s ANNUAL Federal Tax Return, and related instructions. Form 944 is designed so the smallest employers (those whose annual liability for social security, Medicare, and withheld federal income taxes is $1,000 or less) will only file once a year instead of every quarter.

Several Changes Have Been Made To the 2010 Form 944

The 2010 Form 944 has several new items. The new items include the following:

Qualified Employer’s Social Security Tax Exemption

Qualified employers are allowed an exemption for their share (6.2%) of social security tax on wages/tips paid to qualified employees after March 31, 2010, and before January 1, 2011.

Qualified Employer’s Social Security Tax Credit

Qualified employers are allowed a credit for their share (6.2%) of social security tax on wages/tips paid to qualified employees after March 18, 2010, and before April 1, 2010.

COBRA Premium Assistance Credit Extended

The credit for COBRA premium assistance payments applies to premiums paid for employees involuntarily terminated between September 1, 2008, and May 31, 2010, and to premiums paid for up to 15 months.

Social Security Wage Base for 2010 and 2011

Do not withhold or pay social security tax after an employee reaches $106,800 in social security wages for the year. There is no limit on the amount of wages subject to Medicare tax.

Advance Payment of Earned Income Credit (EIC)

The option of receiving advance payroll payments of EIC expires on December 31, 2010. Individuals eligible for EIC in 2011 can still claim the credit when they file their federal income tax return. Individuals who receive advance payments of EIC in 2010 must file a 2010 federal income tax return.

Electronic Deposit Requirement

The IRS has issued proposed regulations under §6302 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 which provide that beginning January 1, 2011, you must deposit all depository taxes (such as employment tax, excise tax, and corporate income tax) electronically using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). Under these proposed regulations, which are expected to be finalized by December 31, 2010, Forms 8109 and 8109-B, Federal Tax Deposit Coupon, cannot be used after December 31, 2010.

Vision Payroll Will File Form 944 for Eligible Taxpayers

Contact Vision Payroll if you have further questions on Form 944.

October 18, 2010

IRS Releases Draft 2011 Form W-2

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , — Vision @ 6:36 pm
IRS Releases Draft 2011 Form W-2
IRS Releases Draft 2011 Form W-2
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently released a draft Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement for 2011.

Box 9 Is not Applicable for 2011 Form

Box 9, which formerly showed the amount of any Advance Earned Income Credit (EIC) payment, is not applicable for 2011 since it was repealed. The credit will now be claimed on the taxpayer’s individual income tax return, when filed.

Code DD Added to Box 12

The reporting in Box 12, using Code DD, of the cost of employer-sponsored health coverage is for information only. This reporting will be optional for 2011 and required starting for 2012 tax year reporting.

Contact Vision Payroll if you have further questions on the 2011 draft Form W-2.

August 29, 2010

Advance Earned Income Credit Is Repealed Starting in 2011

President Barack Obama
President Barack Obama
President Barack Obama recently signed the Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act of 2010 (HR 1586) into law. As part of the legislation, the advance earned income credit, claimed by eligible employees by filing 2010 Form W-5, Earned Income Credit Advance Payment Certificate, is repealed for 2011 and thereafter.

Non-Refundable Portion Still Available by Adjusting Withholding

Eligible taxpayers will be able to claim the refundable portion of their credit on their individual income tax returns and can claim the non-refundable portion either on their individual income tax returns or by adjusting their federal income tax withholding on Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate or its Spanish equivalent, 2010 Formulario W-4(SP), Certificado de Exención de la Retención del Empleado.

Contact Vision Payroll if you have further questions on the advance earned income credit.

January 16, 2010

2009 Form W-2 Tips, Part 10, Box 9 Advance EIC Payment

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , , — Vision @ 5:01 pm

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 9, advance EIC payment.

Box 9 shows the amount of any advance EIC (earned income credit) payment paid to the employee. Employees must meet four criteria and file Form W-5, Earned Income Credit Advance Payment Certificate in order to receive advance EIC payments. For 2009, the maximum advance EIC was $1,826. Employees entitled to additional EIC are eligible to receive it when filing Form 1040, US Individual Income Tax Return.

The next topic in this continuing series will be Box 10, dependent care benefits. Contact Vision Payroll with any questions on the 2009 Form W-2.

January 24, 2009

2008 Form W-2 Tips, Part 10, Box 9 Advance EIC Payment

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , , — Vision @ 2:33 pm

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 9, advance EIC payment.

Box 9 shows the amount of any advance EIC (earned income credit) payment paid to the employee. Employees must meet four criteria and file Form W-5, Earned Income Credit Advance Payment Certificate in order to receive advance EIC payments. For 2008, the maximum advance EIC was $1,750. Employees entitled to additional EIC are eligible to receive it when filing Form 1040, US Individual Income Tax Return.

The next topic in this continuing series will be Box 10, dependent care benefits. Contact Vision Payroll with any questions on the 2008 Form W-2.

January 23, 2009

Question of the Week: Why Did My FIT Withheld Go Down?

This week’s question comes from Greg, a part-time accounts payable clerk. I made almost the same amount of money in 2008 as I did in 2007, but the amount of my federal income tax (FIT) withheld is significantly lower. Why did my FIT withheld go down? There are several reasons why your FIT withheld could be significantly lower, even though your income was almost the same.

  1. Inflation creep. Each year, as inflation reduces the value of the dollar, tax tables in Publication 15 (Circular E) are adjusted so that less tax would be withheld on the same amount of income. This is to adjust for the reduced buying power of the same dollar amount of income.
  2. Reduced income. At certain low-income levels, no tax is withheld if the withholding allowances claimed are greater than zero. Even FIT withholding of a few dollars each week can add up to a few hundred-dollar difference at year-end compared to no withholding at certain low-income levels.
  3. Increased withholding allowances. Many employees file a revised Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate or Formulario W-4(SP), Certificado de Exención de la Retención del Empleado. If the number of withholding allowances claimed increases, the amount of FIT withheld will decrease. Instead of receiving a big refund when a Form 1040 is filed, the employee receives a small net pay increase each week. Some employees also file Form W-4 claiming exemption from all FIT withholding.
  4. Claiming Earned Income Credit. Many employees file a new or revised Form W-5, Earned Income Credit Advance Payment Certificate. As in the case of increased withholding allowances, claiming an advance EIC payment will increase net pay received each week, but could reduce the amount of FIT withheld.
  5. Increase in pre-tax deductions. Employees who increase the amount of a §125 election or elect to contribute more money to a pre-tax retirement plan such as a SIMPLE plan or §401(k) plan, could have a significantly reduced amount of FIT withheld on the same amount of gross pay. Since those amounts are deducted before FIT withholding is calculated, the FIT deduction should be reduced.

Employees should work with their CPA to project their FIT liability for the current year then assess their progress toward meeting that liability each quarter. If the projected FIT withholding be less than the annualized projected liability a revised Form W-4 or Form W-5 should be filed or the need to pay quarterly estimated tax payments using Form 1040-ES should be considered. Employers should update the allowances claimed by logging in to their company file or providing Vision Payroll with the updated information.

December 27, 2008

IRS Releases Publication 15 for 2009

The Internal Revenue Service recently released an updated version of Publication 15, (Circular E) Employer’s Tax Guide. In addition to providing information on classifying employees, determining which types of payments are considered wages for federal employment tax purposes, and depositing taxes, Circular E also provides updated tables for use in calculating the amount of federal income tax to be withheld using either the percentage method or the wage bracket method. Tables for both the percentage method and the wage bracket method of calculating the amount of any Advance Earned Income Credit Payment are also provided. Vision Payroll has already incorporated the updated tables into its tax calculations for paychecks and will begin using the updated tables for all wages paid during 2009. Contact Vision Payroll if you any questions on Publication 15.

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