Minimum Wage Is on the Move!

The minimum wage, whether federal or state, is one of those items that is basic to payroll.  Right now it is really on the move and heading upwards! Some of the upward mobility is due to previous legislation kicking in for 2015 while others are leaving it up to the voters in the November elections.  A few of the increases due to previous legislation include Montana going to $8.05 per hour and Connecticut increasing to $9.00 per hour. Both are effective January 1.  New York will increase to $8.75 on December 31, 2014.

Just a reminder at least 11 states tie their minimum wage to the consumer price index including Arizona, Colorado, New Jersey Ohio and Washington.  These states will be announcing their rates for 2015 sometime in October or November.

Still other states are putting the matter to the voters on whether or not to increase the minimum wage.  States voting this November 4th to increase the minimum wage include Alaska, Arkansas, Illinois, Nebraska, and South Dakota.

Payroll is becoming political and payroll professionals need to watch elections closely to ensure compliance.

 

SUI 2015 Wage Base/Rates Updates

As I promised, I will be providing the 2015 state unemployment insurance (SUI) updates as I get them each week.  I am going to try to do it at least once or twice a week as year end gets closer.  So for this time around we have the following to report:

Colorado:  The wage base will increase to $11,800.  This is up from $11,700.  but the rates are expected to range from 0.78% to 10.20% which is actually down a bit from 2014.  The rate schedule will be finalized later this month and the tax rate notices will be mailed to employers in November.

Minnesota:  The taxable wage base will be $30,000 for 2015.  This is up $1,000 from the 2014 base of $29,000.

 

New 2015 Taxable Wage Bases

Well it is that time of year again.  Time for the states to begin announcing their state unemployment insurance taxable wage bases.  As they come in we will group them together into different single blogs.  This time we have Vermont and Washington.  The taxable wage base for Vermont will be $16,400.  This is an increase of $400 over the 2014 base of $16,000.  Washington will have a taxable wage base of $42,100.  This is up $800 from the 2014 wage base of $41,300.

IN Counties Announce Tax Rate Changes

DeKalb, Hancock and Monroe counties have changed their county income tax rates. These changes take effect on Oct. 1, 2014.

The changes for DeKalb, Hancock and Monroe counties are as follows:

  • DeKalb – The resident rate has increased from .015 to .02. The nonresident rate has decreased from .0075 to .005.
  • Hancock – The resident rate has increased from .0165 to .017. The nonresident rate has increased from .0045 to .005.
  • Monroe – The resident rate has increased from .0105 to .01095. The nonresident rate has increased from .002625 to .0027375.

Local income tax rates are established or adjusted by county officials and reported to the Indiana Department of Revenue, where they are cross-referenced to ensure they are supported by Indiana law.

The list of rates for all Indiana counties is available on the Indiana Department of Revenue’s website at http://in.gov/dor/reference/files/dn01.pdf. These rates affect businesses with employees who live or work in any of these counties and have income tax withholdings.

Employers with questions about these county income tax rates can contact the department at (317) 233-4016.

Oklahoma SUI Wage Base to Decrease for 2015

I have a very reliable source that is telling me that the Oklahoma’s unemployment insurance taxable wage base for 2015 will decrease to $17,000.  Their source is an Oklahoma Employment Security Commission Representative.  This is down from $18,700 for this year.   The new employer rate will also drop to 2.2%.

Let’s Start Getting Ready for Year End–Beginning with Third-Party Sick Pay

It’s hard to believe it is already fall.   There is a fall feel in the air in some places–still hot where I am.  But it is definitely cooling down which means Halloween will soon be upon us, followed by Thanksgiving etc.  But to us payroll professionals fall also means time to start thinking and planning for year end.  Time to start getting all our ducks in a row for processing the Forms W-2 for 2014.  So as items come across my desk that deal with year end I will post them here for you.  This time I want to discuss the Form W-2 reporting changes for third-party sick pay.  Effective January 2015, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will no longer process the “Third-Party Sick Pay Recap” or what we used to call the “dummy W-2”.  This recap is required in order to reconcile Forms W-2 with the Forms 941 for the calendar year when insurance companies or plan administrators share employment tax responsibilities with the employer for disability payments. Under the new procedures, applicable insurance companies, administrators and employers will be required to file Form 8922, Third-Party Sick Pay Recap with the IRS by February 28th or March 31st if filing electronically.  The Form 8922 is actually still in draft form on the IRS website but they hope to have the form finalized by December.