Vision Payroll

November 27, 2011

IRS Revamps Schedule A for 2011

IRS Revamps Schedule A for 2011
IRS Revamps Schedule A for 2011
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued a revamped Schedule A for Form 940 for 2011. The revised Schedule A includes a line for every state as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands.

Revamped Form Necessitated by Increase in Number of Credit Reduction States

A revision to Schedule A was required since the number of states and territories subject to a credit reduction increased from three in 2010 to twenty-one in 2011.

Each State Is Listed with the Relevant Rate

The individual lines for each state, DC, PR and VI are listed with the applicable credit reduction rate. Taxpayers should simply enter the wages paid in each state and multiply by that state’s rate. Wages should be entered even for states that have a zero credit reduction rate.

Not All Taxpayers Must File Schedule A

Not every taxpayer that is required to file Form 940 is required to file Schedule A. Taxpayers that pay wages in more than one state or taxpayers that pay wages in a credit reduction state must complete and file Schedule A. Taxpayers that pay wages only in a single state that is not a credit reduction state need not complete or file Schedule A.

Rely on Vision Payroll for Your Schedule A

Vision Payroll will complete and electronically file Schedule A for all tax pay and file clients. Employers will be able to download a copy of Schedule A for their records.

November 26, 2011

IRS Releases 2011 Form 940

US Virgin Islands and Twenty States Have a Credit Reduction in 2011
US Virgin Islands and Twenty States Have a Credit Reduction in 2011
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released the 2011 Form 940, Employer’s Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return, and accompanying instructions. Employers use Form 940 to report their annual Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) tax.

Twenty Credit Reduction States for 2011

There are twenty credit reduction states for 2011: Michigan, Indiana, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Wisconsin as well as the US Virgin Islands. The credit reduction for most Michigan employers is 0.9% and for most Indiana employers it’s 0.6%. Most employers in the other credit reduction states and the US Virgin Islands have a credit reduction of 0.3%.

2011 FUTA Rate Decreased as of July 1, 2011

The FUTA tax rate decreased to 6.0% (before SUTA credits) on July 1, 2011. The rate for the first six months of 2011 was 6.2%. Under current law, the rate will remain at 6.0% throughout 2012. The 2011 Form 940 contains lines to report wages paid before July 1, 2011 and wages paid after June 30, 2011.

Vision Payroll to File Form 940 Electronically

Vision Payroll will file Form 940 for its clients electronically with the IRS and will not submit the paper version. Employers will be able to download a copy of Form 940 for their records.

November 25, 2011

Question of the Week: What Are the Credit Reduction States for 2011?

What Are the Credit Reduction States for 2011?
What Are the Credit Reduction States for 2011?
This week’s question comes from Victoria, a corporate controller.

Victoria asks:

I read that California is going to be a credit reduction state for 2011, but heard that they be more credit reduction states. What are the credit reduction states for 2011?

Answer: The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released a list of credit reduction states for 2011. There are a total of twenty states and one territory.

Standard Credit Rates Is 5.4% for 2011

Generally, employers who pay their state unemployment tax by the due date for filing Form 940, Employer’s Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return, receive a credit 5.4% against their Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) tax. This credit is claimed on Form 940. Federal law provides for a reduction in the FUTA tax credit when a state has outstanding federal loans for two years. The credit reduction is calculated on Schedule A of Form 940.

Michigan Is a 0.9% Credit Reduction States

Since this is Michigan’s third consecutive year as a credit reduction state, the credit reduction for Michigan is 0.9% for 2011.

Indiana Is a 0.6% Credit Reduction States

Since this is Indiana’s second consecutive year as a credit reduction state, the credit reduction for Indiana is 0.6% for 2011. South Carolina, which was a first-year state for 2010, has paid off its loans and is not a credit reduction state for 2011.

Eighteen New Credit Reduction States for 2011

There are eighteen new credit reduction states for 2011. These states will have a credit reduction of 0.3% for 2011. The states are Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Additionally, the US Virgin Islands also has a credit reduction of 0.3%.

Contact Vision Payroll Today

For more information on the credit reduction states in 2011, be sure to contact Vision Payroll today.

October 17, 2011

Florida Minimum Wage Increases to $7.67 Effective January 1, 2012

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , — Vision @ 5:25 pm
Florida Minimum Wage Increases to $7.67 Effective January 1, 2012
Florida Minimum Wage Increases to $7.67 Effective January 1, 2012
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity announced recently that pursuant to the Florida Constitution, the minimum wage for the state of Florida would increase from $7.31 per hour to $7.67 effective January 1, 2012.

Adjustment Must Be Calculated Annually

The law requires an adjustment to the minimum wage that must be calculated each year. The adjustment is tied to the US Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) in the South Region for the 12 months ending in August. Since the CPI-W increased 4.9% from the previous year, an adjustment of $0.36 will be made to the minimum wage.

Find Out the Minimum Wage for All States by Visiting the Vision Payroll Minimum Wage Chart Page

Contact Vision Payroll if you have any questions on the Florida minimum wage or visit our Minimum Wage Chart.

July 10, 2011

Farmers Insurance Agrees to Pay $1.5 Million in Back Wages

Farmers Insurance Agrees to Pay $1.5 Million in Back Wages
Farmers Insurance Agrees to Pay $1.5 Million in Back Wages
Los Angeles-based Farmers Insurance Inc. (Farmers) has agreed to pay $1,520,705 in overtime back wages to 3,459 employees following an investigation by the US Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division that disclosed significant and systemic violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) overtime and record-keeping provisions. Violations occurred at 11 customer service call centers located in Florida, Kansas, Michigan, Oklahoma, Oregon and Texas.

Pre-Shift and Post-Shift Work Must Be Compensated

“Failing to properly compensate employees for pre- or post-shift work is a violation of federal law,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “The Labor Department is committed to ensuring that employers abide by the law so that workers are protected against exploitation, and law-abiding employers are not placed at a competitive disadvantage.”

Farmers Did Not Pay for Pre-Shift Work

Through interviews with employees and a review of the company’s timekeeping and payroll systems, investigators found that the company did not account for time employees spent performing pre-shift work activities. Employees routinely performed an average of thirty minutes of unrecorded and uncompensated work — such as turning on work stations, logging into the company phone system and initiating certain software applications necessary to begin their call center duties — per week.

Farmers Agrees to Maintain Future Compliance with FLSA

Because employees’ pre-shift work times were excluded from official time and payroll records, they were not paid for all hours and are owed compensation at time and one-half their regular rates for hours that exceeded forty per week. Farmers Insurance has agreed to pay back wages, as well as to maintain future compliance with the FLSA by properly recording and compensating all hours worked by its employees.

Call Center Employees Across the Country Are Affected

The agreement affects call center employees who worked between Jan. 1, 2009, and May 10, 2010, at Farmers’ HelpPoint facilities in Olathe, Kansas; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Lake Mary, Florida; and Grand Rapids, Michigan. It also affects workers employed at a former location in Overland Park, Kansas, between Jan. 1, 2009, and Jan. 10, 2010. Additionally, it affects employees who worked between Jan. 1, 2009, and Feb. 1, 2010, at Farmers’ ServicePoint and commercial facilities in Austin, Texas; a ServicePoint facility in Grand Rapids, Michigan; a ServicePoint facility in Olathe, Kansas; and ServicePoint and commercial facilities in Hillsboro, Oregon.

FLSA Also Requires Overtime for Hours Worked in Excess of 40

The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid for pre-shift and post-shift job duties, and for attending required meetings. Employees must be paid time and one-half their regular rates, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond forty per week. Employers must pay at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 for all hours worked, and maintain accurate time and payroll records.

March 4, 2011

Question of the Week: What Is a Taxable Wage Base?

What Is a Taxable Wage Base?
What Is a Taxable Wage Base?
This week’s question comes from April, an office manager. I’ve read that the taxable wage base has increased in New Hampshire for 2011, but I’m not sure of the impact. What is a taxable wage base? Answer: The taxable wage base is the amount of income that will be taxed in a particular year.

New Hampshire Taxable Wage Base Is $12,000

For 2011, the New Hampshire taxable wage base is $12,000. Therefore, all subject wages earned during 2011 by an employee up to $12,000 will be taxed for New Hampshire unemployment purposes. Once $12,000 of wages have been taxed for New Hampshire unemployment purposes, no additional New Hampshire unemployment tax will be due for that employee for the rest of 2011.

Taxable Wage Bases Range from $7,000 to $37,300

For 2011, the federal taxable wage base is $7,000. Three states, Arizona, California, Florida and Puerto Rico all have the lowest taxable wage base of $7,000. Washington has the highest taxable wage base at $37,300.

Find Out the Wage Base for All States by Visiting the Vision Payroll Unemployment Taxable Wage Base Page

Contact Vision Payroll if you have any further questions or visit our Unemployment Taxable Wage Base page.

June 29, 2010

IRS To Help BP Oil Spill-Impacted Taxpayers

In IR-2010-078, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released guidance based on current law that explains how the government can help BP oil spill-impacted taxpayers.

“This is a very difficult time for many people affected by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. As residents of the region cope with the evolving situation, I want to assure them that the IRS will be doing everything it can to provide tax help to those who need it,” IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said. “We encourage anyone who has an issue with the IRS to contact us and explain their hardship, and we will work with them to find a solution. We’ll do everything we can under current law to help taxpayers.”

In the guidance, the IRS explains that generally payments received from BP for lost income should be treated “in the same way that the wages or business income these payments are replacing would have been.” There are new sections on the IRS website including Gulf Oil Spill Information Center and Gulf Oil Spill: Question and Answers. The IRS will also hold Gulf Coast Assistance Day on July 17. IRS employees will be available to meet with taxpayers and their representatives in Mobile, Alabama, Panama City, Florida, Pensacola, Florida, New Orleans, Louisiana, Houma, Louisiana, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Gulfport, Mississippi.

Further information will be available in the coming days and weeks so be sure to visit Vision Payroll for updated information.

June 26, 2010

Twelve Lawsuits Alleging FLSA Violations by Bank of America to Be Centralized in Kansas

Twelve separate lawsuits from California, Florida, Kansas, Texas, and Washington, all of which allege that Bank of America (either Bank of America, NA or Bank of America Corp.) “routinely fails to pay its employees for off-the-clock overtime work in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act [FLSA] and/or state law”, have been moved to the District of Kansas for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings by the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (the Panel). One of the cases “seeks to certify a class of all Bank of America non-exempt employees in the United States” for a class action suit against Bank of America.

The Panel considered not moving some of the cases. Some cases were moved even though the allegations were related to specific jobs, because the allegations were similar to those in other cases, “including allegations that Bank of America systematically prohibits overtime eligible employees from accurately recording their time and, as a result, does not pay its employees for all hours worked, including overtime pay.” Others considered similar “allege that that the timekeeping system used by Bank of America allows managers to modify or decrease the time recorded, and time worked is regularly deleted to avoid paying overtime.” Some cases moved included unrelated allegations, “such as discrimination (the Zhou action), retaliation, defamation and violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act (the Carrero action).” The Panel felt that any differences were not significant enough to outweigh the benefits of moving the cases for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings.

The Panel recommended that, with the consent of the District of Kansas, the coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings be assigned to the Honorable John W. Lungstrum, who “has the experience, energy and time to handle this litigation efficiently.”

March 8, 2010

Florida Delays Increase in Wage Base to 2012

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , — Vision @ 11:00 pm

Florida Governor Charlie Crist has signed a bill to delay the increase in the unemployment wage base until 2012. Originally, the wage base was to increase from $7,000 to $8,500 in 2010. The new law also adjusts tax rate calculations through 2011 and provides for quarterly installment payments. Contact Vision Payroll if you have any questions on Florida unemployment taxable wage base or visit our Unemployment Taxable Wage Base page.

November 15, 2009

Florida Unemployment Wage Base to Increase to $8,500

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , — Vision @ 10:57 am

The Florida Department of Revenue has announced an increase in the taxable wage base for 2010. The wage base will increase from $7,000 for 2009 to $8,500 for 2010. Contact Vision Payroll if you have any questions on Florida unemployment taxable wage base or visit our Unemployment Taxable Wage Base page.

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