Vision Payroll

December 26, 2010

2010 Form W-2 Tips, Part 1, General Information

2010 Form W-2 Tips, Part 1, General Information
2010 Form W-2 Tips, Part 1, General Information
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 general information regarding Form W-2.

Form W-2 Should Be Typed or Machine-Printed

Forms W-2 should be typed or machine-printed in black ink, using 12-point Courier font. Dollar signs and commas must be omitted, but decimal points and cents, even if zero, must be included. Forms W-2 must be prepared on a calendar year basis using pay dates, not work dates. Wages for work performed in 2009 and paid in 2010 are included and wages for work performed in 2010 and paid in 2011 are excluded.

Boxes a-f Contain Employee and Employer Identifying Information

Report the employee’s social security number (SSN) in box a. Employees who have applied for, but not received, an SSN should be reported with all zeroes and corrected on a Form W-2c. Enter in box b the employer’s employer identification number, not the owner’s SSN. Box c must contain the employer’s address as shown on Forms 941, 943, 944, CT-1 or Schedule H of Form 1040. Box d is an optional box for employer use to identify individual forms. Box e should report the employee’s name exactly as shown on the social security card. Suffixes such as Sr. or Jr. should only be included if on the social security card. Do not include professional and academic titles and degrees such as CPA or Ph.D. as part of the employee’s names. Names should not be changed on Form W-2 unless the employee has received a revised card from the Social Security Administration. The Address in box f should be the address where the employee receives mail. It is recommended that comma and periods not be used in delivery addresses. Foreign country names are not to be abbreviated.

Box 1, Wages, Tips, Other Compensation Is the Next Topic

The next topic in this continuing series will be Box 1, wages, tips, other compensation. Contact Vision Payroll with any questions on 2010 Form W-2.

July 13, 2010

Maryland Restaurateur Pleads Guilty to Harboring Illegal Aliens

According to the office of Rod J. Rosenstein, US Attorney for the District of Maryland, George Anagnostou has pleaded guilty to harboring twenty-four illegal aliens who were employed at Timbuktu restaurant in Hanover, Maryland and By the Docks restaurant in Middle River, Maryland. Also participating in the announcement were Special Agent in Charge William Winter of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Anne Arundel County Police Chief James Teare, Sr.

“Employers who take advantage of illegal labor to gain a competitive advantage for their own profit should take note of today’s guilty plea,” said William Winter, Special Agent in Charge for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Baltimore. “ICE is committed to investigating companies who engage in illegal employment schemes and targeting the profits that motivate them.”

According to the announcement, Anagnostou did not prepare a Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, for several employees. When he received “no-match” letters from the Social Security Administration, he made no effort to investigate further and continued to employ those workers identified.

Anagnostou also provided housing to several of the illegal alien employees and in many cases he “deducted rental payments from the overtime owed to the illegal alien employees, many of who regularly worked up to 80 hours a week and were routinely paid in cash to avoid their tax liability. Anagnostou did not claim the rental income on his tax returns, nor did he withhold FICA taxes from these overtime payments, as he was legally required to do.”

In addition to facing up to ten years in prison, “Anagnostou is required to forfeit $378,386.21 from five bank accounts; $99,890 seized from the restaurants and Anagnostou’s home on March 11, 2010; an additional $256,696.67, also believed to be proceeds of the crime and payable by check to Immigration and Customs Enforcement upon sentencing; and a 2009 Harley Davidson.”

Vision Payroll recommends that employers familiarize themselves with Form I-9 and its requirements so that they may be prepared and filed for each new hire. Also, employers may not ignore obviously fake or fraudulent identification documentation and must make an effort to verify social security numbers that have been reported as mismatched.

December 27, 2009

2009 Form W-2 Tips, Part 1, General Information

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 general information regarding Form W-2.

Forms W-2 should be typed or machine-printed in black ink, using 12-point Courier font. Dollar signs and commas must be omitted, but decimal points and cents, even if zero, must be included. Forms W-2 must be prepared on a calendar year basis using pay dates, not work dates. Wages for work performed in 2008 and paid in 2009 are included and wages for work performed in 2009 and paid in 2010 are excluded.

Report the employee’s social security number (SSN) in box a. Employees who have applied for, but not received, an SSN should be reported with all zeroes and corrected on a Form W-2c. Enter in box b the employer’s employer identification number, not the owner’s SSN. Box c must contain the employer’s address as shown on Forms 941, 943, 944, CT-1 or Schedule H of Form 1040. Box d is an optional box for employer use to identify individual forms. Box e should report the employee’s name exactly as shown on the social security card. Suffixes such as Sr. or Jr. should only be included if on the social security card. Do not include professional and academic titles and degrees such as CPA or Ph.D. as part of the employee’s names. Names should not be changed on Form W-2 unless the employee has received a revised card from the Social Security Administration. The Address in box f should be the address where the employee receives mail. Foreign country names are not to be abbreviated.

The next topic in this continuing series will be Box 1, wages, tips, other compensation. Contact Vision Payroll with any questions on 2009 Form W-2.

November 23, 2009

IRS Announces Pilot Program to Truncate Social Security Numbers on 1098 and 1099 Forms in Notice 2009-93

In Notice 2009-93, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced the creation of a pilot program to allow certain filers of Form 1098, Forms 1099, and Form 5498 to truncate an individual’s nine-digit identifying number on paper copies of the payee statements. The three types of numbers are the social security number, the IRS individual taxpayer identification number, and the IRS adoption taxpayer identification number. The purpose is to reduce the risk of misuse of a person’s identifying number through misappropriation from the payee statement.

There are three requirements that must be met for a filer to qualify for the pilot program. They are:

  1. The identifying number is a social security number, IRS individual taxpayer identification number, or IRS adoption taxpayer identification number;
  2. The identifying number is truncated by replacing the first five digits of the nine-digit number with asterisks or Xs (for example, a social security number 123-45-6789 would appear on the paper payee statement as ***-**-6789 or XXX-XX-6789); and
  3. The truncated identifying number appears on a paper payee statement (including substitute and composite substitute statements) in the Form 1098 series, Form 1099 series, or Form 5498 series for calendar year 2009 or 2010.

The notice also invites public comments on specific areas. Contact Vision Payroll if you have any questions on Notice 2009-93.

August 5, 2009

Tip of the Week: Watch for Identity Theft Scams Spoofing IRS Name, Logo, or Web Site

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in IR-2009-071 reminded consumers to be aware of identity theft scams that spoof the IRS name, logo, or Web site. The scammers may use e-mail, fax, or telephone for their schemes. The goal is obtaining personal or financial information such name, address, birth date, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, social security numbers (SSNs), PINs, and passwords.

Some of the more common scams revolve around the following:

  • Making Work Pay Refund
  • Inherited Funds/Lottery Winnings/Cash Consignment
  • Form W-8BEN
  • Refund Scam

The IRS recommends knowing the following warning signs of a scam:

  • Requests detailed or an unusual amount of personal and/or financial information, such as name, SSN, bank or credit card account numbers or security-related information, such as mother’s maiden name, either in the e-mail itself or on another site to which a link in the e-mail sends the recipient.
  • Dangles bait to get the recipient to respond to the e-mail, such as mentioning a tax refund or offering to pay the recipient to participate in an IRS survey.
  • Threatens a consequence for not responding to the e-mail, such as additional taxes or blocking access to the recipient’s funds.
  • Gets the IRS or other federal agency names wrong.
  • Uses incorrect grammar or odd phrasing (many of the e-mail scams originate overseas and are written by non-native English speakers).
  • Uses a really long address in any link contained in the e-mail message or one that does not start with the actual IRS Web site address (http://www.irs.gov/). To see the actual link address, or url, move the mouse over the link included in the text of the e-mail.

If you are suspicious of any item you receive purporting to be from the IRS, remember that the IRS will never ask for personal or financial information in an e-mail and it does not send unsolicited e-mails. Never click on links or open attachments in such e-mails and contact the IRS at (800) 829-1040 if you receive one.

January 28, 2009

Tip of the Week: You May Need to Update Your Name if You Got Married or Divorced

If you got married or divorced and changed your name, be sure to give the changes to your payroll or HR department and to the Social Security Administration (SSA). This is true if you’ve changed your name to your spouse’s name, hyphenated your name with your spouse’s name, or changed your name to a previous name after a divorce or separation. If the name on your Form W-2 doesn’t match the name on file with the SSA, there may be a problem posting your earnings record to your social security account. Also, be sure not to include titles such as Dr. or Atty. and suffixes such as Jr. or Sr. with the name you provide to payroll or HR unless they are also listed on your social security card.

To change your name with SSA, file Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card, with the SSA. This is also a good time to make sure your spouse files Form SS-5, if necessary and also that any children who may have changed their name due to the marriage or divorce do so as well.

Vision Payroll strongly recommends that employees periodically review their social security earnings record and provide the SSA with the Form W-2 to update any incorrectly posted earnings records.

December 16, 2008

2008 Form W-2 Tips, Part 1, General Information

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 general information regarding Form W-2.

Forms W-2 should be typed or machine-printed in black ink, using 12-point Courier font. Dollar signs and commas must be omitted, but decimal points and cents, even if zero, must be included. Forms W-2 must be prepared on a calendar year basis using pay dates, not work dates. Wages for work performed in 2007 and paid in 2008 is included and wages for work performed in 2008 and paid in 2009 is excluded.

Report the employee’s social security number (SSN) in box a. Employees who have applied for, but not received, an SSN should be reported with all zeroes and corrected on a Form W-2c. Enter in box b the employer’s employer identification number, not the owner’s SSN. Box c must contain the employer’s address as shown on Forms 941, 943, 944, CT-1 or Schedule H of Form 1040. Box d is an optional box for employer use to identify individual forms. Box e should report the employee’s name exactly as shown on the social security card. Suffixes such as Sr. or Jr. should only be included if on the social security card. Do not include professional and academic titles and degrees such as CPA or Ph.D. as part of the employee’s names. Names should not be changed on Form W-2 unless the employee has received a revised card from the Social Security Administration. The Address in box f should be the address where the employee receives mail. Foreign country names are not to be abbreviated.

The next topic in this continuing series will be Box 1, wages, tips, other compensation. Contact Vision Payroll with any questions on 2008 Form W-2.

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