Vision Payroll

October 22, 2014

Tip of the Week: Social Security Administration Announces 2015 Increases

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , — Vision @ 5:29 pm

The Social Security Administration announced today that the Maximum Taxable Earnings or Social Security Wage Base would increase from $117,000 in 2014 to $118,500 in 2015.

Social Security Increases Based on CPI Change

Since there was a 1.7% increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI-W) from the third quarter of 2013 to the third quarter of 2014, the Social Security Administration announced a 1.7% cost-of-living adjustment for 2014. This compares to a 1.5% increase in 2014. The wage base increase is based on an increase in the national average wage index. Wages are taxed at 6.2%, so the maximum tax to be paid by each employee at that rate would be $7,347.00. About 6% of workers who pay Social Security Tax are expected to reach the maximum in 2015.

Retirement Earnings Test Exempt Amounts Increase for 2015

For workers under full retirement age who are receiving Social Security benefits, $1 in benefits is withheld for every $2 above the Retirement Earnings Test Exempt Amount of $15,480 per year or $1,290 per month in 2014. This will increase to $15,720 per year or $1,310 per month for 2015. The year an individual reaches full retirement age, $1 in benefits is withheld for every $3 above the Retirement Earnings Test Exempt Amount of $41,400 per year or $3,450 per month in 2014. This will increase to $41,880 per year or $3,490 per month for 2015. The month an individual reaches full retirement age there is no limit on earnings.

Quarter of Coverage Amounts Increases to $1,160

Also increasing for 2015 is that amount needed to earn a Social Security credit, formerly known as a quarter of coverage. In 2014, a credit is earned for every $1,200 of earnings, up to a maximum of four credits. That amount will increase to $1,220 for 2015.

Social Security Monthly Benefits to Increase in January 2014

The maximum benefit for a worker retiring at full retirement age is also increasing from $2,642 to $2,663. See the table below for other changes in Social Security benefits for 2015.

2015 Social Security Benefits

20142015
Maximum Benefit:
Worker Retiring at Full Retirement Age$2,642 per month$2,663 per month
SSI Federal Payment Standard:
Individual$721 per month$733 per month
Couple$1,082 per month$1,100 per month
SSI Resources Limit:
Individual$2,000$2,000
Couple$3,000$3,000
SSI Student Exclusion:
Monthly Limit$1,750$1,780
Annual Limit$7,060$7,180

Contact Vision Payroll Today

Contact Vision Payroll if you have any questions on the Social Security changes for 2015 or get further information at Important Facts and Figures.

April 23, 2014

Tip of the Week: IRS Releases 2015 Inflation Adjustments for Health Savings Accounts

IRS Releases 2015 Inflation Adjustments for Health Savings Accounts

IRS Releases 2015 Inflation Adjustments for Health Savings Accounts

The Internal Revenue Service recently released Rev. Proc. 2014-30 which contained the 2015 inflation adjusted amounts for Health Savings Accounts or HSAs.

Deductions Limitation Set to Increase

The annual limitation on deductions will increase from $3,300 in 2014 to $3,350 in 2015 for those with self-only coverage. Those with family coverage will have the deduction limitation increase from $6,550 to $6,650.

High-Deductible Health Plan Minimum Deductibles to Increase

The minimum deductibles of a high deductible health plan will increase from a minimum deductible of $1,250 in 2014 to $1,300 in 2015 for self-only coverage, and from $2,500 in 2014 to $2,600 in 2015 for family coverage.

Annual Out-of-Pocket Limitation to Increase

The annual out-of-pocket limitation for 2015 will also increase from $6,350 in 2014 to $6,450 for those with self-only coverage; the out-of-pocket limitation for family coverage will increase from $12,700 in 2014 to $12,900 in 2015.

Contact Vision Payroll Today

Contact Vision Payroll if you have any questions on the updated 2015 inflation adjusted amounts for HSAs in Rev. Proc. 2014-30 or visit our Important Facts and Figures page for further information.

November 27, 2013

Tip of the Week: Schedule Additional 2013 Bonus Payrolls Now

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , — Vision @ 3:46 pm
Schedule Additional 2013 Bonus Payrolls Now

Schedule Additional 2013 Bonus Payrolls Now

Are you planning an end-of-year bonus payroll for employees? With only five weeks left in 2013, now is the time to schedule any additional payrolls you need.

Schedule Separate Pay Runs for Bonuses

Many employers like to distribute bonus checks at a firm party or get-together. If the bonus checks are included with a regular pay run, the year-to-date amounts on the employees’ stubs will reflect the bonus. To keep the bonus amounts off the pay stubs from the regularly scheduled payroll, schedule an additional payroll dated after your last regular payroll, but before the party or other event where you plan to distribute the bonuses. Remember to allow at least two days after the day you plan to transmit bonus amounts for the payroll to be processed and shipped.

Stop Direct Deposit to Create Live Bonus Checks

If processing your payroll online, check the Stop Direct Deposit box on the Payroll, Dates screen to stop direct deposit for all employees. To stop direct deposit for selected employees, check the Stop Direct Deposit box on the Pay Detail screen. Otherwise, indicate which direct deposits you would want stopped when you submit your payroll. Stopping direct deposits in this manner would apply only to that payroll and direct deposit would be reestablished for the next payroll.

Schedule Bonus Payroll Early

By scheduling bonuses early, Vision Payroll can work with you to help ensure that your bonus checks arrive on time.

November 20, 2013

Tip of the Week: IRS Says Restaurants Must Change Tip Reporting in 2014

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , , — Vision @ 4:30 pm

 

IRS Says Restaurants Must Change Tip Reporting in 2014

IRS Says Restaurants Must Change Tip Reporting in 2014

Effective January 1, 2014, restaurants and other employers with tipped employees must change the way certain tips are reported. Although Rev. Rul. 2012-18 took effect in 2012, examiners in some circumstances could apply it to amounts paid after December 31, 2013. Therefore, all employers must comply with Rev. Rul. 2012-18 starting in 2014.

Payments Traditionally Treated as Tips Must Now Be Treated as Service Charges

Certain payments that tipped employees receive and employers called tips must now be treated as wages. Since these wages are subject to withholding, they should be paid in the employee’s paycheck. Although there is a line on Form 941, Employer’s QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return, to report the uncollected employee share of social security and Medicare taxes on tips, there is no line to report such uncollected taxes on wages or service charges treated as wages. In order to collect and pay these taxes, therefore, the service charges should be paid on the employee’s paycheck.

Employer’s Characterization of Amounts as Tips Is Not Relevant

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) states that it is irrelevant whether or not the payment is called a tip. According to the IRS, “the absence of any of the following factors creates a doubt as to whether a payment is a tip and indicates that the payment may be a service charge.” The four factors listed are the following:

  1. The payment must be made free from compulsion;
  2. The customer must have the unrestricted right to determine the amount;
  3. The payment should not be the subject of negotiation or dictated by employer policy; and
  4. Generally, the customer has the right to determine who receives the payment.

Mandated Tips and Suggested Tips

Examples provided by the IRS distinguish between mandated tips and “suggested” tips. In the former case, the menu dictates that an 18% gratuity will be added for parties of six or more. Since the amount is added to the charged amount by the employer and the customer did not have the unrestricted right to determine the amount, this payment is considered wages, not tips. Alternatively, if the check simply shows sample tips amounts of 15%, 18%, and 20% and the customer chooses one of the suggested tip amounts, the amount is still considered a tip for payroll tax purposes.

Service Charges Should Not Be Reported as Tips

Employees are generally required to report cash tips (including amounts paid on credit cards and received in a tip-sharing arrangement) to their employers, and those cash tips are included in gross income of the employees. Amounts determined to be wages and not tips under these provisions should not be included in the amounts reported to employers.

Contact Vision Payroll if You Have Questions on the New Rules on Tips

Be sure to contact Vision Payroll if you have further questions on Rev. Rul. 2012-18 and the new rules on tip reporting.

October 30, 2013

Tip of the Week: Social Security Administration Announces 2014 Increases

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , — Vision @ 12:09 pm
Acting Commissioner of Social Security Carolyn W. Colvin
Acting Commissioner of Social Security Carolyn W. Colvin
The Social Security Administration announced today that the Maximum Taxable Earnings or Social Security Wage Base would increase from $113,700 in 2013 to $117,000 in 2014.

Social Security Increases Based on CPI Change

Since there was a 1.5% increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI-W) from the third quarter of 2012 to the third quarter of 2013, the Social Security Administration announced a 1.5% cost-of-living adjustment for 2014. This compares to a 1.7% increase in 2013. The wage base increase is based on an increase in the national average wage index. Wages are taxed at 6.2%, so the maximum tax to be paid by each employee at that rate would be $7,254.00. About 6% of workers who pay Social Security Tax are expected to reach the maximum in 2014.

Retirement Earnings Test Exempt Amounts Increase for 2014

For workers under full retirement age who are receiving Social Security benefits, $1 in benefits is withheld for every $2 above the Retirement Earnings Test Exempt Amount of $15,120 per year or $1,260 per month in 2013. This will increase to $15,480 per year or $1,290 per month for 2014. The year an individual reaches full retirement age, $1 in benefits is withheld for every $3 above the Retirement Earnings Test Exempt Amount of $40,080 per year or $3,340 per month in 2013. This will increase to $41,400 per year or $3,450 per month for 2014. The month an individual reaches full retirement age there is no limit on earnings.

Quarter of Coverage Amounts Increases to $1,160

Also increasing for 2014 is that amount needed to earn a Social Security credit, formerly known as a quarter of coverage. In 2013, a credit is earned for every $1,160 of earnings, up to a maximum of four credits. That amount will increase to $1,200 for 2014.

Social Security Monthly Benefits to Increase in January 2014

The maximum benefit for a worker retiring at full retirement age is also increasing from $2,533 to $2,642. See the table below for other changes in Social Security benefits for 2014.

2014 Social Security Benefits

20132014
Maximum Benefit:
Worker Retiring at Full Retirement Age$2,533 per month$2,642 per month
SSI Federal Payment Standard:
Individual$710 per month$721 per month
Couple$1,066 per month$1,082 per month
SSI Resources Limit:
Individual$2,000$2,000
Couple$3,000$3,000
SSI Student Exclusion:
Monthly Limit$1,730$1,750
Annual Limit$6,960$7,060

Contact Vision Payroll Today

Contact Vision Payroll if you have any questions on the Social Security changes for 2014 or get further information at Important Facts and Figures.

September 25, 2013

Tip of the Week: Deadline Looms for Notice To Employees of Coverage Options

Deadline Looms for Notice To Employees of Coverage Options
Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare, most employers are required to provide one of two notices to all employees. Guidance was provided to employers by the US Department of Labor (DOL) in Technical Release No. 2013-02, Guidance on the Notice to Employees of Coverage Options under Fair Labor Standards Act §18B and Updated Model Election Notice under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985.

Employers Required to Provide the Notice

Employers subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) are subject to the notice requirements. US DOL Wage and Hour Division (WHD) Fact Sheet #14 provides information on who is covered by the FLSA.

All Employees Must Receive Notice

All employees, including part-time employees and employees not eligible to participate, must receive a notice.

Two Model Notices Are Available

The DOL has prepared and made available two model notices, one for employers that offer health insurance to their employees and one for employers that do not offer health insurance to their employees. An employer would only provide one type of notice to all employees, regardless of whether the individual employee is eligible for health insurance.

Deadline is October 1, 2013

Employers must provide the notice on or before October 1, 2013 to all current employees hired before October 1, 2013. Employees hired after September 30, 2013 must be provided the notice at the time of hiring. For 2014, the DOL will consider notices provided within fourteen days of an employee’s start date as provided at the time of hiring.

Multiple Delivery Methods Available

Employers  may hand deliver the notices, mail them by first-class mail, or by e-mail if the requirements of the DOL’s electronic disclosure safe harbor at 29 CFR 2520.104b-1(c) are met.

Contact Vision Payroll for Further Information

Contact Vision Payroll if you have further questions on the notice to employees of coverage options required under the ACA.

January 2, 2013

Tip of the Week: New Year’s Tips from Your Human Resources Professionals

New Year’s Tips from Your Human Resources Professionals
New Year’s Tips from Your Human Resources Professionals
The beginning of a new year is a great time to internally audit some of your HR-related practices. Employers should work toward establishing their Human Resources priorities and improving their organization’s Human Resources functions.

Six HR Areas to Review During 2013

The following six areas are ones that all employers should review to ensure compliance with legal requirements and with HR best practices.

  • Employee Handbook
  • Paid Time-Off Benefits
  • Performance Management System
  • Health Care reform requirements
  • Posters
  • OSHA 300A Summary

Learn More About These Six Hot HR Areas for 2013

To learn more about each of these tips, be sure to read the featured article by the HR pros at MyHRSupportCenter, New Year’s Tips from Your Human Resources Professionals. If you’re not yet signed up or would like a free trial of MyHRSupportCenter, contact Vision Payroll today.

November 21, 2012

Tip of the Week: IRS Increases Standard Mileage Rate to 56.5 Cents per Mile for 2013

IRS Increases Standard Mileage Rate to 56.5 Cents per Mile for 2013
IRS Increases Standard Mileage Rate to 56.5 Cents per Mile for 2013
The standard mileage rates for the use of automobiles beginning January 1, 2013 will be 56.5 cents per mile for business miles driven and 24 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes the Internal Revenue Service announced in Notice 2012-72 and News Release IR-2012-95.

Both Rates Are Higher than 2012 Rates

The new rates are changed from 55.5 cents per mile for business travel and 23 cents per mile for moving and medical travel for 2012.

Charitable Rate Remains Unchanged

The rate for miles driven in service of charitable organizations remains the same at 14 cents per mile.

Contact Vision Payroll for More Information on 2013 Mileage Rates

Contact Vision Payroll if you have any questions on 2013 mileage rates or visit our Important Facts and Figures page for further information.

September 26, 2012

Tip of the Week: Streamline Your Hiring Process with Paperless Onboarding

Filed under: News — Tags: , , — Vision @ 3:06 pm

Streamline Your Hiring Process with Paperless Onboarding
Streamline Your Hiring Process with Paperless Onboarding
Are you still printing paper forms to send out to your new hires? Are you wasting time key punching data from forms into payroll? Do you have to go back and correct errors from incomplete and illegible forms? Vision Payroll has a paperless onboarding solution to solve your problems!

From New Hire To Payroll with the Click of a Button

Our fully integrated paperless hiring solution includes the following:

  • E-Verify*
  • Federal Forms W-4 and I-9
  • Tax Credit Forms (optional)
  • Direct Deposit Enrollment (optional)
  • EEOC Data
  • Signed Offer Letters
  • Other Signed Documents (NDAs, Employment Agreements, Employee Handbooks, etc.)
  • Data Transfer Directly into Payroll!

How Paperless Onboarding Works

To start the paperless onboarding process, click the Recruiting Center tab on your online Information Center, click Paperless Hiring (Onboarding) in the Screen and Hire Employees section, and then click Onboard an Employee. Onboarding can be done in 3 easy steps:

  1. Fill in the applicant’s name, e-mail address, and job information.
  2. Attach an optional offer letter, choose which standard documents to send, and attach additional documents to transmit.
  3. Complete the process by e-mailing the forms to the applicant or having the applicant complete the forms in your office (new hire must be present).

If you attach an offer letter or other documents, the applicant will be required to sign these documents with a computer mouse. The document, signature, and date/time stamp will be recorded and available to you for viewing, printing, and downloading.

Standard documents can be updated in your Onboarding Preferences section.

Once the applicant is finished, the forms are returned to you and imported directly into our online payroll system. No more data entry, no more typos or misspellings to correct, no more illegible handwriting to decipher.

Get Started with Paperless Onboarding Today

Contact Vision Payroll today to streamline your hiring process with paperless onboarding for your next new hire.

*Additional fees may apply.

July 4, 2012

Tip of the Week: The NLRB’s Social Media Policy Memorandum

The NLRB’s Social Media Policy Memorandum
The NLRB’s Social Media Policy Memorandum
On May 30, 2012, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon issued a memorandum regarding social media policies in the workplace. The General Counsel’s memorandum is applicable to both unionized and non-unionized work environments.

Certain Employees Rights Are Granted Under Section 7 of the NLRA

Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) allows employees the right to form, join, or assist labor organizations and the right to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection. In addition, even in union-free businesses, employee complaints about hours, pay, treatment, working conditions, etc. may not result in disciplinary action or termination under the NLRA. This section of the Act has important implications for employer social media policies, as delineated in the NLRB’s recent memo.

Social Media Policies That Might Be Illegal

The NLRB’s memo covered seven social media policies published by various employers to demonstrate specific provisions that may be unlawful. Some of those social media policies include the following:

  • Policies concerning an employer’s attempt to protect confidential information may be unlawful.
  • Policies that aim to show peaceful relations amongst staff may be unlawful.
  • Policies about employer image protections may be unlawful.

Companies Must Establish a Compliant Social Media Policy

To learn more about establishing a compliant social media policy, be sure to read the featured article by the HR pros at MyHRSupportCenter, The NLRB’s Social Media Policy Memorandum. If you’re not yet signed up or would like a free trial of MyHRSupportCenter, contact Vision Payroll today.

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