This Week’s White Paper-Personal Use of a Company Car Part 1

A common benefit in many U.S. companies today is the use of a company owned car. However, though a common benefit, an employee’s personal use of such a company owned and provided vehicle is generally a taxable fringe benefit and the taxation regulations can be extremely complex. The IRS provides several different valuation methods that employers can use to determine the value of their employee’s personal use.  This two-part white paper discusses the taxation requirements and the different methods to determine taxable wages authorized by the IRS for the personal use of a company car.  This week, Part one discusses the general taxation and other requirements when an employee has use of a company car. Next week, Part two discusses calculating the taxable wages using the IRS methods. To request our white papers simply go to our website.


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Abandoned Wages Are Here Again

One topic that I don’t think gets enough attention in payroll departments is abandoned wages.  Our white paper this week addresses this issue.  This is usually the time of year that payroll begins to think about having to report for the year, usually by November.  Or after the first of the year in a few states. But abandoned wages should be done year round.  After each month ends, payroll should request those payroll checks that have not cleared for the month and track down the owners.  Make sure they are cleared off before the next bank statement close.  This works much better than trying to pull all the information together beginning July 1 in most states and then trying to find all of the current and harder still, terminated employees for the due diligence.  By making it a monthly task instead of an annual task it makes it more efficient and can result in a lot less checks to actually have to report and remit.

Hope you find this week’s white paper informative. You can request your copy on our website at

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What’s In A Name? Should We Be Payroll?

Yesterday I attended the second day of the APA’s Virtual Congress.  I found the webinars highly informative and loved the interaction in the chat room.  One of the webinars I attended live was the “Developing a Successful Payroll Service Delivery and Staffing Model” presented by Robert Gerbin, SPHR, who is a Global HR and Payroll Operations Consultant for Ernst & Young, LLP.  While the webinar contained excellent information on staffing and maintaining a payroll department, Mr. Gerbin brought up a unique question that I have never encountered before. And what was this question?  Mainly should the Payroll Department be called “The Payroll Department”?  So why should be change our name?  According to Mr. Gerbin, since payroll departments do so much more than “process payroll” why not make the name reflect the actual work being done.  Payroll is both a tactical and a strategic business process.  There are tremendous responsibilities.  Failure to carry out these responsibilities correctly and with deadly accuracy can result in heavy fines, have a negative impact on operations, severely damage employee moral and result in negative publicity to the company.   The title proposed is an excellent one.  Payroll Services. We process payroll, handle general ledger interfaces and files, administer garnishments, interact with management, process benefits, and withhold, administer and report taxes. Why not let our name reflect that?  Just as when “personnel” became Human Resources we should become Payroll Services.

What do you think?

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Wage and Hour Review Part 2

This week’s white paper continues the discussion of areas of payroll that need to be confirmed for compliance issues for wage and hour laws. This week we examine such areas as posting requirements, method of payment, reporting time pay, and meal and rest periods.  The only way the payroll professional can determine compliance is by doing the research.  Do I give employees meal periods?  If not, am I required to?  These are the types of questions that must be answered in order to ensure that your payroll is in full compliance with wage and hour laws.  And while our two part series cannot cover every facet of compliance in this area, it is a good starting list for you.  We hope you find the information useful. Just go to our website to order your copy today.

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Review for Wage Hour Laws–A Good Thing

Knowing the wage and hour laws and applying them is one of the basic requirements of the payroll profession. But whether new to payroll or a seasoned professional the question can arise—what are the laws in effect at this time? Lists, payroll chat rooms, blogs and classrooms discuss this question constantly.  And questions arise every day when new company policies are added or amended. Questions such as:  Are the employees entitled to a break or meal period? Is vacation pay required?   How is on call pay handled? This week’s white paper addresses 23 common areas of wage and hour law that you need to review on your own payroll to see if you are in compliance.  I am not going to provide the answers for you of course.  That would take an entire payroll manual.  Instead I am pointing out the most common areas that have compliance issues and that usually get audited by either federal or state Departments of Labor. This week on Part 1 I will be covering the first 10 areas. Next week, in Part 2, I will be discussing the last 13 areas.  Be sure to request your white paper today by going out to my website.


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Local Minimum Wage Rates Expanding Sphere of Influence

When local minimum wages began cropping up several years ago it was clearly understood that this was going to be an area that could cause complications for payroll. Employees that worked in different cities with different minimum wages would require very accurate accounting of hours worked. But now it seems that local minimum wages are expanding their sphere of influence in payroll. Beginning July 1, 2016 when calculating the amount of disposable income that can be subject to a garnishment in California the payroll department must take into account the local wage paid as well as the state minimum wage. It must base the calculation on the higher of the two. California is the first state that has passed this type of legislation but will it be the last?

Many other states have local minimum wages including New Mexico, Illinois, Maryland, and Washington to name a few. And with the movement growing to increase the minimum wages on the local level because state legislatures and the federal government have not moved on this issue it may be only a matter of time before all states with local minimum wage rates will require the same type of calculation as California. I personally am in favor of the higher minimum wages, especially in more expensive cities.  And the fact that the federal minimum wage hasn’t changed in nine years is simply silly.  But until the federal government moves on this, payroll will have to deal with the fallout of complying with dozens of local wages and the changes to rules to accommodate them.