What is Your CPP Story?

It is the 30th anniversary of the Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) designation.  I got my CPP in 1990 and I need to renew this year.  As I am working on getting my list of webinars and seminars assembled to submit for recertification I keep thinking about studying for and taking the test.  Of course, I have one of those “funny stories” about taking the test.  I herniated two discs in my back two weeks before the test.  Too late to back out and I really needed it.  So I had to have my brother drive me up to the door of the classroom (it was on a Cal-State Campus) and I had to crawl on all fours into the elevator.  I then had to crawl into the testing room and check in all the while on my hands and knees.  I actually took the test on the floor.  APA was so nice to arrange for a proctor so I could take the test on the floor in a separate room (this was prior to the ADA).  There is a funny part of the story as well.  The proctor had a broken leg so when it came time to use the restroom we had to flip for the handicapped stall! Despite all that I passed with flying colors but still wonder how I ever did it.

As I am relating my story I know that there are many of you out there with a similar “I had to overcome adversity or some other situation” story about studying or taking the test.  Or maybe yours is hilariously funny? Either way, how about sharing them here with us?  Let us know the agonies and the ecstasies you went through to get your CPP.

The Holidays are Upon Us and for Payroll That Could Mean Taxing Gifts

‘Tis the season for celebrating.  Office holiday parties, year end bonuses and most of all gifts from the company.  Maybe a $25 gift card to help with the holiday dinner or a nice ham or turkey.  The idea of getting something from the boss is a joyous and wonderful idea for most American workers.  But to payroll, the giving of gifts to employees means only one thing, the annual argument over taxation!

The Internal Revenue Code (IRC) requires that any payment made to an employee that is cash or the cash equivalent is taxable wages to the employee.  As stated on the IRS website “Cash or cash equivalent items provided by the employer are never excludable from income… Gift certificates that are redeemable for general merchandise or have a cash equivalent value are not de minimis benefits and are taxable.”

Unfortunately payroll gets to play “The Grinch” when it comes to taxing gift certificates.  But what about an actual ham or turkey or other such item?  Do we have to tax that as well?  On that one we get to play Santa!  No taxation is required on holiday gifts with a low fair market value such as a ham or turkey.

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Payroll Wall of Fame

Believe it or not the 30th anniversary of the Certified Payroll Professional or CPP designation is upon us. In honor of this special anniversary Ernst & Young, LLP is creating the 2015 Payroll Pro Wall of Fame. It is time to celebrate where the payroll industry has been and where its going. And you can be an important part of that celebration by having your name on the wall.   Simply complete the short form on EY’s website by December 19, 2015.  Payroll professionals with either a CPP or FPC designation are invited to sign up. The wall will be published on December 23, 2015. It can be viewed on both LinkedIn and Twitter pages for EY.  So join me and be counted with your payroll colleagues on EY’s Payroll Wall of Fame.