Vision Payroll

August 19, 2011

Question of the Week: How Can I Get an Updated Handbook?

How Can I Get an Updated Handbook?
How Can I Get an Updated Handbook?
This week’s question comes from Eileen, an office manager. I read about your handbook wizard application, but we already have a handbook that hasn’t been updated in several years. How can I get an updated handbook? Answer: Vision Payroll offers three levels of HR support: MyHRSupportCenter, HR On-Demand, and HR Compliance Services. Different options are available depending upon which service your company has chosen.

All Levels May Use the Handbook Wizard

Clients who subscribe to any of the levels of service listed above may use the Handbook Wizard to create a new handbook. If it has been several years since your handbook was updated, it may be more practical to create a new handbook than to amend your existing handbook.

Customers Using HR On-Demand May Request Assistance

Customers using HR On Demand may request assistance with their handbook. There are four levels of service an HR On-Demand customer may request:

  • General handbook questions – no consultation needed as answers will be provided by e-mail
  • Handbook orientation – a sixty-minute consultation to help you create a new handbook
  • Policy consultation – a thirty-minute consultation to update and address specific policies
  • Annual review – a thirty-minute consultation to review your current handbook to help ensure it is still compliant

Customers Using HR Compliance Services Will Get Feedback Based On Their Audit

Customers using HR Compliance Services will be contacted to discuss and review their handbook and to make changes as necessary. The information gathered during their HR compliance audit will be used to assess their current handbook. Additionally, these customers may also request assistance in the same manner as HR On-Demand customers.

Get Started Updating Your Handbook Today

If you haven’t yet signed up and would like a free trial of MyHRSupportCenter, contact Vision Payroll today.

August 12, 2011

Question of the Week: How Is Our Massachusetts DUA Experience Rate Determined?

How Is Our Massachusetts DUA Experience Rate Determined?
How Is Our Massachusetts DUA Experience Rate Determined?
This week’s question comes from Josh, a company owner. We’re paying more in state unemployment tax this year than we have in the past. Even though we didn’t lay anyone off, our DUA experience rate increased from last year. How is our Massachusetts DUA experience rate determined? Answer: The DUA Experience rate is determined by the Massachusetts Division of Unemployment Assistance (DUA), which is headquartered in Boston. The DUA also has career centers throughout the state including Attleboro, Brockton, Cambridge, Everett, Fall River, Gardner, Gloucester, Greenfield, Haverhill, Holyoke, Hyannis, Lawrence, Leominster, Lowell, Lynn, Marlboro, Milford, New Bedford, Newtonville, Northampton, Norwood, Pittsfield, Plymouth, Quincy, Salem, Southbridge, Springfield, Taunton, Wareham, Woburn, and Worcester.

DUA Account Is a Record of Four Types of Adjustments

The DUA maintains an individual account for every employer required to pay unemployment insurance contributions. The account balance is an accumulation of the following four types of adjustments:

  • The employer’s wages subject to contribution,
  • The contributions actually paid by the employer,
  • The unemployment insurance benefits charged to the employer, and
  • Any account balance adjustment.

Computation Year Runs from October 1 To September 30

The account also provides an opening and a closing balance for the computation year (October 1 through September 30). An account balance carries over from year to year as long as the employer is required to file quarterly reports.

Account Balance Is Used to Determine Contribution Rate

DUA uses each employer’s account to determine an annual contribution rate for that employer. The experience rating process is the method used to determine the rate.

September 30 Is the Computation Date

The last day of each fiscal year, September 30, is called the “computation date” when an employer account is closed to compute the rates for the following calendar year. Contributions paid in October are credited to the employer’s account as if paid in September.

Vision Payroll Will Provide Further Information on the Experience Rating System

Over the next several weeks, Vision Payroll will provide further information on the experience rating system. Contact Vision Payroll if you have specific questions about the experience rating system that you would like to have addressed.

August 6, 2011

Question of the Week: How Does the Connecticut Tax Law Change Affect My Withholding?

Filed under: News — Tags: , , — Vision @ 11:35 am
CT Governor Daniel Malloy
CT Governor Daniel Malloy
This week’s question comes from Sean, a company president. Connecticut has passed an income tax increase retroactive to January 1, 2011. How does the Connecticut tax law change affect my withholding? Answer: The Connecticut Department of Revenue Services has issued new withholding tables that take the new tax changes into effect.

Number of Tax Brackets Increases from Three To Six

The number of tax brackets under the new law changed from three (3%, 5%, and 6.5%) to six (3%, 5%, 5.5%, 6%, 6.5% and 6.7%). In addition, the 3% rate is phased out for individuals with Connecticut adjusted gross income in excess of the following amounts:

  • Single – $56,500
  • Filing separately – $50,250
  • Head of household – $78,500
  • Filing jointly or qualifying widow or widower – $100,500

Revised Withholding Tables and Calculation Rules Took Effect August 1

The withholding tax tables (the withholding tables containing the pre-calculated total amount to withhold per pay period) have been revised to reflect the new rates, the 3% phase out provision, and a catch-up withholding amount. The revised withholding tables are effective August 1, 2011.

Additionally, the withholding calculation rules have been revised to reflect the new income tax rates, the 3% phase-out provision, the recapture tax calculation, and a catch-up withholding amount.

Revised Rules and Tables Include a Catch-Up Provision

The withholding calculation rules were revised to reflect the additional income tax rates, the 3% phase-out provision, the recapture tax provision under each withholding code, and the catch-up withholding amount. The withholding calculation rules instruct employers how to calculate the amount of tax that should be withheld for the remainder of the year from employees who are affected by these changes.

The 2011 withholding tables were revised to reflect the additional income tax rates and the 3% phase-out provision for the remainder of the year. They also include a catch-up amount to make up for the withholding tax for the first seven months of 2011 in which withholding tax was calculated at the rates in effect prior to the new legislation. The catch-up amount was spread out for the remainder of the year beginning on August 1, 2011.

Vision Payroll Is Using Revised Withholding Calculation Rules

Effective August 1, 2011, Vision Payroll is using the revised withholding calculation rules to calculate withholding for Connecticut employees.

July 29, 2011

Question of the Week: What Is a Qualifying Person for a Dependent Care FSA Reimbursement?

What Is a Qualifying Person for a Dependent Care FSA Reimbursement?
What Is a Qualifying Person for a Dependent Care FSA Reimbursement?
This week’s question comes from Eileen, an office manager. I read that one of the tests for an expense to qualify for reimbursement by a dependent care flexible spending arrangement (FSA) is that the care must be for one or more qualifying persons. What is a qualifying person for a dependent care FSA reimbursement? Answer: A person is a qualifying person if the person meets one of three tests.

Qualifying Person Test

A qualifying person for 2011 is:

  • Your qualifying child who is your dependent and who was under age 13 when the care was provided.
  • Your spouse who was not physically or mentally able to care for himself or herself and lived with you for more than half the year, or
  • A person who was not physically or mentally able to care for himself or herself, lived with you for more than half the year, and either:
    • Was your dependent, or
    • Would have been your dependent except that:
      • He or she received gross income of $3,700 or more,
      • He or she filed a joint return, or
      • You, or your spouse if filing jointly, could be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s 2011 return.

Exceptions Apply To General Rules

The rules above are generally applicable, but there are exceptions for certain situations such as children of divorced parents, care in the year or birth or death, adopted children, and other situations.

Contact Vision Payroll Today

Contact Vision Payroll for further information on the qualifying person test for reimbursement by a dependent care FSA.

July 22, 2011

Question of the Week: What Are the Tests for Reimbursement of Expenses by a Dependent Care FSA?

What Are the Tests for Reimbursement of Expenses by a Dependent Care FSA?
What Are the Tests for Reimbursement of Expenses by a Dependent Care FSA?
This week’s question comes from Brent, an HR Director. I read about employees being reimbursed through a dependent care flexible spending arrangement (FSA) for summer camp costs and need more information. What are the tests for reimbursement of expenses by a dependent care FSA? Answer: Plans may have different forms that must be completed to receive reimbursement, but the expenses themselves must be qualifying expenses to be eligible for reimbursement.

Test for Qualifying Expenses

To be eligible for reimbursement under a dependent care FSA, an employee must meet all of the following tests:

  • Qualifying Person: The care must be for one or more qualifying persons.
  • Earned Income: The employee (and spouse, if filing jointly) generally must have earned income during the year.
  • Work-Related Expense: The employee must pay child and dependent care expenses so that the employee (and spouse, if filing jointly) can work or look for work.
  • Care Provider: The employee must make payments to someone the employee (and spouse, if filing jointly) cannot claim as a dependent. If paid to a child of the employee, the child must also be age 19 or older by the end of the year. Payments cannot be made to:
    • The employee’s spouse, or
    • The parent of the employee’s qualifying person if the qualifying person is the employee’s child and under age 13.
  • Filing Status: The employee’s filing status must be single, head of household, qualifying widow or widower with dependent child, or married filing jointly. Married employees must generally file a joint return.
  • Provider Identification: The employee must identify the care provider on the employee’s income tax return.

Contact Vision Payroll Today

Contact Vision Payroll for further information on the tests for reimbursement of expenses by a dependent care FSA.

July 15, 2011

Question of the Week: What Is the Impact of Not Providing a Tip Credit Notice?

What is the Impact of Not Providing a Tip Credit Notice?
What Is the Impact of Not Providing a Tip Credit Notice?
This week’s question comes from Tony, a restaurant owner. I read that restaurants should obtain a signed tip credit notice from all tipped employees. What is the impact of not providing a tip credit notice? Answer: Employers who do not provide a tip credit notice are not allowed to take the tip credit.

Minimum Wage for Tipped Employees May Be Lower

Current federal law requires most workers be paid a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour when an employee works forty hours or less in a week. For tipped employees, the minimum cash wage is $2.63 per hour as long as the employee receives enough tips to bring the hourly wage up to at least $7.25 per hour. Some states may have higher minimum wage rates that must be followed in that state. See our Minimum Wage Chart for further information.

Under FLSA, Notice Is Required to Take a Tip Credit

Under §3(m) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), a tip credit is not allowed, “with respect to any tipped employee unless such employee has been informed by the employer of the provisions of [the tip credit].”

Employers Must Pay Full Minimum Wage

Employers who do not provide a tip notice and therefore are not allowed a tip credit must pay the full hourly minimum wage of $7.25 per hour the state minimum wage if it is higher than $7.25 per hour.

Contact Vision Payroll Today

Contact Vision Payroll today if you have further questions on the tip credit notice.

July 8, 2011

Question of the Week: Can Camp Costs Be Reimbursed Under a Dependent Care FSA?

Can Camp Costs Be Reimbursed Under a Dependent Care FSA?
Can Camp Costs Be Reimbursed Under a Dependent Care FSA?
This week’s question comes from Casey, an HR director. We have a dependent care flexible spending arrangement (FSA) and one of our employees has asked to be reimbursed for camp costs paid for her son. Can camp costs be reimbursed under a dependent care FSA? Answer: Camp costs can be reimbursed under a dependent care FSA in some circumstances.

FSAs Use Pre-Tax Dollars to Pay Qualified Expenses

Employers may set up FSAs (sometimes called flexible spending accounts) that allow employees to elect to contribute a portion of their pay to their FSA account. The amount paid into the FSA can be used to pay qualifying expenses of the employee. Most plans are set up to pay medical or dependent care expenses. The main advantage is that money is contributed to the plan on a pre-tax basis and is not taxed upon withdrawal if used to pay qualifying expenses.

Summer Camp Costs May Qualify for Reimbursement

While the cost of attending overnight camp does not qualify as an allowable expense, the cost of day camp may qualify as an allowable expense. The day camp costs must meet all the other requirements of §129 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to qualify.

Contact Vision Payroll for Further Information

Contact Vision Payroll today for further information on setting up or maintaining a dependent care FSA.

July 1, 2011

Question of the Week: How Do We Conduct Workplace Investigations?

Filed under: News — Tags: , , — Vision @ 10:03 am
How Do We Conduct Workplace Investigations?
How Do We Conduct Workplace Investigations?
This week’s question comes from David, an HR Director. One of our department managers received a complaint from an employee that we need to investigate. How do we conduct workplace investigations? Answer: The Workplace Investigations Guide can help employers through an investigation based on a complaint from an employee or even a customer.

Prompt Investigation and Corrective Action Are Critical

Prompt investigation and appropriate corrective action may be necessary for situations such as:

  • An employee or non-employee complains to a manager about alleged harassment or discrimination personally experienced or observed by the individual.
  • A manager directly observes employee conduct which violates certain company policies.
  • An employer receives a formal EEOC charge even if no employee complaint was made to management prior to the charge.

How the Workplace Investigations Guide Can Help

The Workplace Investigations Guide not only provides general guidelines to follow, it provides useful tips in the following areas:

  • Interviewing the Complainant
  • Interviewing the Accused
  • Interviewing the Witnesses

Download the Workplace Investigations Guide Now

The Workplace Investigations Guide can be downloaded from the Forms area in the “Essentials” tab section of the MyHRSupportCenter. If you’re not yet signed up or would like a free trial of MyHRSupportCenter, contact Vision Payroll today.

April 15, 2011

Question of the Week: Have the Expanded Form 1099 Reporting Requirements Been Repealed?

Expanded Reporting Requirements for Form 1099 Have Been Repealed
Expanded Reporting Requirements for Form 1099 Have Been Repealed
This week’s question comes from Lindsay, an office manager. I read before that businesses were going to have expanded Form 1099-MISC reporting requirements starting in 2012. Now I’ve heard that these requirements may have been repealed. Have the expanded Form 1099 reporting requirements been repealed? Answer: The expanded reporting requirements for Form 1099 that were added as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have been repealed.

Business Reporting Reverts To Previous Rules

Business reporting now reverts to the previous rules, requiring reporting of payments of $600 or more for services performed by non-employees. Most payments to corporations are exempt.

Reporting by Landlords Also Repealed

Expanded reporting requirements for landlords have also been repealed. Landlords not in the trade or business of renting property will have no Form 1099-MISC reporting requirements.

Contact Vision Payroll Today

Contact Vision Payroll for further information regarding the repeal of the Form 1099-MISC expanded reporting requirements.

April 8, 2011

Question of the Week: How Can We Track Employee Training?

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , — Vision @ 6:10 pm
Question of the Week: How Can We Track Employee Training?
Question of the Week: How Can We Track Employee Training?
This week’s question comes from James, an HR director. We need to track training for multiple employees. How can we track employee training? Answer: The Employee Training Log is a simple way to stay organized when it comes to tracking employee (including management) trainings.

Advantages To the Training Log

The training log can provide employers with the following advantages:

  • Written documentation of employer’s workplace compliance efforts;
  • Monitoring of employee performance development in terms of knowledge, skills, and abilities; and
  • Assessment of employee fulfillment of required or recommended attendance due to corrective/disciplinary action expectations.

Download the Employee Training Log Now

The Employee Training Log can be downloaded from the Forms area in the “Essentials” tab section of the MyHRSupportCenter. If you’re not yet signed up or would like a free trial of MyHRSupportCenter, contact Vision Payroll today.

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