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HomeArchived E-NewslettersDeluxe Payroll Newsletter – November 2012

Deluxe Payroll Newsletter – November 2012

August 24, 2017

Payroll Help Desk

Tips on Decreasing Employee Absences

Trying to manage the employee workforce at your company becomes increasingly difficult if you experience continued absenteeism. Here are some tips on how to decrease employee absences:

  • Establish an Employee Handbook if you don’t have one already. Make sure your section on Employee Leave is clear and follows the employment tenure.
  • Try to consolidate Vacation and Sick time into one category like “Paid Time Off” or PTO.
  • Often employees show up with valid Jury Duty or Death notices where they are required to miss time from work. Make sure your handbook addresses the company policy on payment for Jury Duty or Bereavement Pay whether it is considered separate pay or within the “Paid Time Off” category.
  • Do not offer paid Sick Days unless it is mandated in your state. Often employers award Sick Pay and have a rule that employees must “use it or lose it” during the calendar year. If you have an employee who wants to use it but has not taken sick time during the year there may be a hardship when using all their accrued days in one month before the time off is lost. If you must have a Sick Pay policy try to have the days carry over so this situation does not occur.
  • Allow employees to work from home if possible by “dialing in” to complete their work. Often employees have a sickness that might be contagious for a day or so and then can return to work. Forwarding phone calls and emails can help expedite the workflow from the home/office.
  • Scheduling Flex Time may be an option for your company. For example if an employee has a late morning doctor appointment they may be allowed to make those few hours missed during the work week by perhaps staying an hour later each day. This also must be addressed in your Employee Handbook.

If you need help with customizing your Employee Handbook, please call your Deluxe Payroll representative today.

Tax News & Notes

The Social Security Administration announced the new 2013 taxable wage base will be $113,700 up from the 2012 taxable wage base of $110,100. The maximum social security tax employees will pay is $7,049.40 and employers will match at the same dollar rate of $7,049.40. There is no limit on the taxable wages subject to Medicare which has a contribution rate of 1.45%. However, employee taxable wages paid in excess of $200,000 will be subject to an additional tax of .9% for employees only. Employers will not be expected to match the extra tax.

Currently, ten states have announced a 2013 minimum wage increase for employees. Look for State agency communications mailed to your business informing you of changes like this or noteworthy items like tax frequency changes and possible Unemployment wage base increases. It is a good idea to forward them to your Deluxe Payroll Tax Department for their reference.

Seasonal Items

Over the holidays you may think your gift giving is tax free as it is a “gift.” In order for this statement to be correct the gift must be so small that accounting for it would be unreasonable or impracticable. The end of year turkey or ham you may receive from your employer is an example of the small gift (otherwise known as the De minimus fringe). The IRS does not state a dollar value maximum for a De minimus fringe, however, the gift is usually well under $100 and is hard to place a value on it. Listed below are some examples of De minimus fringes illustrating items that should not be reported for payroll purposes:

  • Using office copier or printers occasionally for personal use
  • Parties or picnics for all employees
  • Providing coffee and donuts to employees
  • Occasional tickets to sporting or theater events

Gift cards, cash and bonus awards are generally easy to account for and should be reported into payroll.

Did You Know?

In February, 2012 the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act (H.R. 3630) provided for the continuation of the “payroll tax cut” where the employee’s share of the FICA Social Security contribution percentage is 4.2%. At the end of this year the Act is set to expire. Unless it is extended, effective January 1, 2013 the rate will increase to 6.2% and employees should see a noticeable decrease in their net pay.

EITC – The Earned Income Tax Credit changes each year. The State of Maryland requires an employer to provide a written or electronic notification to any employees who may be eligible for the federal and Maryland EITC. View Federal EITC tables.