Vision Payroll

September 7, 2011

Tip of the Week: IRS Provides Tax Relief to Victims of Hurricane Irene

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is providing tax relief to individual and business taxpayers impacted by Hurricane Irene.

The IRS has announced that certain taxpayers in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Puerto Rico and Vermont will receive tax relief, and other locations are expected to be added in coming days following additional damage assessments by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The tax relief postpones certain tax filing and payment deadlines to Oct. 31, 2011. It includes corporations and businesses that previously obtained an extension until Sept. 15, 2011, to file their 2010 returns and individuals and businesses that received a similar extension until Oct. 17. It also includes the estimated tax payment for the third quarter of 2011, which would normally be due Sept. 15.

Hurricane Irene, Courtesy of NASA/NOAA GOES Project
Hurricane Irene, Courtesy of NASA/NOAA GOES Project

The tax relief is part of a coordinated federal response to the damage caused by the hurricane and is based on local damage assessments by FEMA. For information on disaster recovery, individuals should visit disasterassistance.gov.

Tax Relief Available So Far

Filing and payment relief is currently available to taxpayers in federal disaster areas declared in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Puerto Rico and Vermont. The IRS expects to announce tax relief for taxpayers in other areas as damage assessments continue. The IRS encourages taxpayers and tax practitioners to monitor Tax Relief in Disaster Situations for updates.

So far, IRS filing and payment relief applies to the following counties and municipalities:

  • Connecticut: Fairfield, Hartford, Litchfield, Middlesex, New Haven, New London, Tolland and Windham;
  • Massachusetts: Berkshire and Franklin.
  • New Jersey: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren.
  • New York: Albany, Clinton, Delaware, Dutchess, Essex, Greene, Montgomery, Nassau, Orange, Otsego, Rensselaer, Rockland, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Sullivan, Suffolk, Ulster, Warren and Westchester.
  • North Carolina: Beaufort, Bertie, Brunswick, Camden, Carteret, Chowan, Craven, Currituck, Dare, Duplin, Edgecombe, Gates, Greene, Halifax, Hertford, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lenoir, Martin, Nash, New Hanover, Northampton, Onslow, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Pitt, Tyrrell, Vance, Warren, Washington and Wilson;.
  • Puerto Rico: Arroyo, Aguas Buenas, Caguas, Canovanas, Carolina, Cayey, Cidra, Coamo, Comerio, Humacao, Jayuya, Juncos, Loiza, Luquillo, Orocovis, Patillas, Ponce and San Juan.
  • Vermont: Addison, Bennington, Caledonia, Chittenden, Orange, Rutland, Washington and Windsor.

Vision Payroll is Here to Help Affected Taxpayers with Payroll Tax Issues

Contact Vision Payroll if you were affected by Hurricane Irene and need further information on the relief provided by the IRS.

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.

October 20, 2010

Tip of the Week: Certain Puerto Rico Birth Certificates No Longer Valid for Form I-9 Purposes

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , — Vision @ 5:25 pm
Puerto Rico Governor Luis G. Fortuño
Puerto Rico Governor Luis G. Fortuño
On July 1, 2010, the Vital Statistics Office of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico began issuing new, more secure certified copies of birth certificates to US citizens born in Puerto Rico because of a new Puerto Rico birth certificate law.

As of September 30, 2010, Certified Copies of Puerto Rico Birth Certificates Issued Before July 1, 2010, Will Now Be Valid Through October 30, 2010. The Dates Below Reflect this Extension.

After October 30, 2010, all certified copies of birth certificates issued prior to July 1, 2010, will become invalid. This new law does not affect the US citizenship status of individuals born in Puerto Rico. It only affects the validity of certified copies of Puerto Rico birth certificates.

How Will this Law Impact the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) Process?

New Employees

  • All certified copies of Puerto Rico birth certificates are acceptable for Form I-9 purposes through October 30, 2010.
  • Beginning October 31, 2010, only certified copies of Puerto Rico birth certificates issued on or after July 1, 2010, are acceptable for Form I-9 purposes.
  • Beginning October 31, 2010, if an employee presents for List C a birth certificate issued by the Vital Statistics Office of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the employer must look at the date the certified copy of the birth certificate was issued to ensure that it is still valid.

Existing Employees

Employers must not re-verify the employment eligibility of existing employees who presented a certified copy of a Puerto Rico birth certificate for Form I-9 purposes and whose employment eligibility was verified on Form I-9 prior to October 31, 2010. 

Federal Contractors

Employers awarded a federal contract that contains the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) E-Verify clause have special Form I-9 rules for the verification of existing employees. 

If completing new Forms I-9 for existing employees, certified copies of Puerto Rico birth certificates are acceptable as a List C document under the following circumstances:

  • Prior to October 31, 2010, all certified copies of Puerto Rico birth certificates are acceptable for Form I-9 purposes.
  • Beginning October 31, 2010, only certified copies of Puerto Rico birth certificates issued on or after July 1, 2010, are acceptable for Form I-9 purposes. 

If updating existing Forms I-9, an employer must not ask an employee to present a new certified copy of a Puerto Rico birth certificate if the employee presented a certified copy of a birth certificate issued in Puerto Rico before July 1, 2010 that was valid and acceptable for the Form I-9 at the time it was presented.

See the E-Verify Supplemental Guide for Federal Contractors for more information on E-Verify and FAR requirements.

How Will this Law Affect the Retention of Documents with Form I-9?

Existing federal law governing the Form I-9 process prohibits employers from keeping original certified copies of birth certificates, including those issued in Puerto Rico, but allows employers to keep photocopies of these documents. Employers who choose to make photocopies of documents their employees present when completing Form I-9 must do so for all employees, regardless of national origin or citizenship status.

For more information about Form I-9, visit http://www.uscis.gov/. More information about birth certificates issued in Puerto Rico can be found at www.prfaa.com/birthcertificates and www.prfaa.com/certificadosdenacimiento.

Contact Vision Payroll if you have further questions on the changes to Form I-9.

July 22, 2009

Tip of the Week: Minimum Wage Hikes Take Effect this Week

The federal minimum wage will increase to $7.25 on Friday, July 24, 2009. Therefore, all work performed after July 23, 2009 should be compensated at the higher rate. In addition, the minimum wage will also increase to $7.25 in the following areas: Delaware, Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Also, the minimum wage in the District of Columbia will increase to $8.25. Contact Vision Payroll if you have any questions on the minimum wage increases.

July 20, 2008

State Minimum Wages to Increase

Several states have minimum wage increases effective for work performed after July 23, 2008. Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Virginia all have increases to $6.55 to match the federal minimum wage. The District of Columbia minimum wage increases to $7.55. Different minimum wages may be paid to certain classes of employees in some situations. Contact Vision Payroll if you have any questions on minimum wage law changes.

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