Vision Payroll

September 18, 2011

TX Taxpayers Receive Extension of Time to File Returns and Pay Taxes

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , — Vision @ 10:01 pm
TX Taxpayers Receive Extension of Time to File Returns and Pay Taxes
TX Taxpayers Receive Extension of Time to File Returns and Pay Taxes
Due to the damage caused by wildfires in Texas beginning on August 30, 2011, President Barack Obama declared the following counties a federal disaster area: Bastrop, Colorado, Gregg, Grimes, Houston, Leon, Montgomery, Travis, Walker, Waller, and Williamson. Individuals who reside or have a business in these counties may qualify for tax relief.

Declaration Leads to Extension of Payroll Tax and Other Deadlines

Therefore, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced recently that it will waive failure to deposit penalties for employment and excise taxes due after August 29, 2011 and before September 15, 2011 as long as the deposits were made by September 14, 2011. In addition, affected taxpayers have until October 31, 2011 to file most tax returns.

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

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

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.

August 9, 2010

TX Taxpayers Receive Extension of Time to File Returns and Pay Taxes

Filed under: News — Tags: , , — Vision @ 12:54 pm

Due to Hurricane Alex, Some Texas Employers Received an Extension for Paying Payroll Taxes
President Obama Declares Parts of Texas a Federal Disaster Area
Due to the damage caused by Hurricane Alex in Texas beginning June 30, 2010, President Barack Obama declared the following counties a federal disaster area: Cameron, Hidalgo, Jim Hogg, Maverick, Starr, Val Verde, Webb and Zapata. Therefore, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced recently that it will waive failure to deposit penalties for employment and excise taxes due after June 29, 2010 and before July 16, 2010 as long as the deposits were made by July 15, 2010. In addition, affected taxpayers will have until August 30, 2010 to file most tax returns. Contact Vision Payroll if you were affected by Hurricane Alex and need further information on the relief provided by the IRS.

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.”

February 21, 2010

IRS Says Return Processing Not Affected by Austin Tragedy

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , — Vision @ 7:51 am

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued a statement stating that tax return processing and issuance of refunds will not be affected by the recent tragedy in Austin, Texas. According to the statement, “the IRS does not process tax returns or issue refunds at the Echelon 1 Building at 9430 Research Blvd. in Austin, Texas.” IRS Commsioner Doug Shulman has also issued a statement concerning the tragedy.

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.

October 4, 2008

US Department of Labor Files Suit to Recover Overtime Wages

Following an investigation, the US Department of Labor has filed a lawsuit seeking more than $5 million in underpaid overtime. The suit was filed against CEMEX, Inc., a Houston-based provider of cement and concrete products. Employees in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas were allegedly underpaid overtime hours for piece rate and incentive bonus pay. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires that employees eligible for overtime be paid at one and one-half times their regular rate of pay, which should include most commissions, bonuses, and incentive pay. Vision Payroll provides a continuing series on the FLSA, but you should contact your labor attorney with specific questions on overtime hours and pay rates.

September 20, 2008

IRS Allows Taxpayers in Louisiana and Texas Affected by Hurricane Ike Additional Time to File and Pay Tax

The Internal Revenue Service announced recently that certain taxpayers in Louisiana and Texas will have until January 5, 2009 to file most returns and pay most taxes. Additionally, failure to deposit penalties for employment and excise deposits due on or after September 11 and before September 26, 2008, will be waived as long as the deposits are made on or before September 26, 2008. Louisiana taxpayers who reside in or have a business in the parishes of Acadia, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Iberia, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Lafourche, Plaquemines, Sabine, St. Mary, Terrebonne, Vermilion, and Vernon and Texas taxpayers who reside in or have a business in the counties of Angelina, Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Cherokee, Fort Bend, Galveston, Grimes, Hardin, Harris, Houston, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Madison, Matagorda, Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Newton, Orange, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Trinity, Tyler, Walker, Waller, and Washington will qualify for relief. Contact Vision Payroll if you have been affected by Hurricane Ike and need details on the postponements.

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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