The Overtime Battle Rages On!

The battle to stop the new overtime rules from taking effect has begun in earnest. 21 states, including Arizona, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nevada, Texas and Utah, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have filed a lawsuit in Texas challenging the Department of Labor’s (DOL) final overtime rules under the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the Administrative Procedures AFlag of Nevada (isolated)ct.   Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt led the coalition of states filing the suit. According to the suit the final rule contradicts the statutory text of the exemption, as well as Congressional intent.  The suit also raises the specter of the federal executive depleting state budgets in an effort to impose its policy will on the states.

However the DOL has responded by issuing the following statement by Secretary Tom Perez:  “We are confident in the legality of all aspects of our final overtime rule. It is the result of perez2a comprehensive, inclusive rule-making process. Despite the sound legal and policy footing on which the rule is constructed, the same interests that have stood in the way of middle-class Americans getting paid when they work extra are continuing their obstructionist tactics. Partisan lawsuits filed today by 21 states and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce seek to prevent the Obama administration from making sure a long day’s work is rewarded with fair pay. The overtime rule is designed to restore the intent of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the crown jewel of worker protections in the United States. The crown jewel has lost its luster over the years: in 1975, 62 percent of full time salaried workers had overtime protections based on their pay; today, just 7 percent have those protections – meaning that too few people are getting the overtime that the Fair Labor Standards Act intended. I look forward to vigorously defending our efforts to give more hardworking people a meaningful chance to get by.”

Let’s see where the battle takes us by December 1!

sale-red-keyATTENTION BLOG FOLLOWERS!: To reward my blog followers I am offering a special discount on a year’s subscription to The Payroll Pause.  Only $99 per year (rate lasts as long as you keep your subscription current).  That is a $50 savings!  But act fast as this discount is just for the fall and will expire on October 15th.  Use coupon code X36AK67F3 when checking out to receive the discount.

IRS Begins Private Debt Collection in Spring 2017

The Internal Revenue Service announced today that it plans to begin private collection of certain overdue federal tax debts next spring and has selected four contractors to implement the new program. The new program, authorized under a federal law enacted by Congress last December, enables these designated contractors to collect, on the government’s behalf, outstanding inactive tax receivables. As a condition of receiving a contract, these agencies must respect taxpayer rights including, among other things, abiding by the consumer protection provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The IRS has selected the following contractors to carry out this program:

CBE Group 1309 Technology Pkwy Cedar Falls, IA 50613

Conserve 200 CrossKeys Office park Fairport, NY 14450

Performant 333 N Canyons Pkwy Livermore, CA 94551

Pioneer 325 Daniel Zenker Dr Horseheads, NY 14845

These private collection agencies will work on accounts where taxpayers owe money, but the IRS is no longer actively working their accounts. Several factors contribute to the IRS assigning these accounts to private collection agencies, including older, overdue tax accounts or lack of resources preventing the IRS from working the cases. The IRS will give each taxpayer and their representative written notice that their account is being transferred to a private collection agency. The agency will then send a second, separate letter to the taxpayer and their representative confirming this transfer. Private collection agencies will be able to identify themselves as contractors of the IRS collecting taxes. Employees of these collection agencies must follow the provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and must be courteous and respect taxpayer rights.

sale-red-keyATTENTION BLOG FOLLOWERS!: To reward my blog followers I am offering a special discount on a year’s subscription to The Payroll Pause.  Only $99 per year (rate lasts as long as you keep your subscription current).  That is a $50 savings!  But act fast as this discount is just for the fall and will expire on October 15th.  Use coupon code X36AK67F3 when checking out to receive the discount.

Back Issues Now Available

Due to the popularity of our white papers, we have decided to post the back issues on our website.  One week after each white paper is released for requesting on our website it will be posted to our white paper page on our website.  All of our previous white papers are now posted on our website ready to download if you missed any issues.

You may have noticed that this current white paper was provided as a file for download in our last blog rather than your having to go to our website and request it.  We want to make it more convenient for our followers to access each white paper. Each new white paper will be announced in the blog, as usual, and then the link to it will be provided if you decide you would like to download it.  Remember if you missed any back white papers you may download them from our website.

Yes I Have Tests for Tax Law As Well

In the last couple of weeks I have done a couple of blog posts about my white papers on training your employees. The first white paper I did was just on the concept of providing training and how it was a good idea to test your employees to see exactly what training they may need. But the requests kept pouring in for sample tests to use for this purpose. So last week I provided tests on federal and state wage and hour law. This week I’m going to finish up my three-part white paper series on training your payroll staff with a couple of quizzes on tax. There’s a 25 question quiz on federal taxation including supplemental tax rates, deposit periods, Form W-4, and tax rates in general. There is also a 10 question state taxation quiz. I provide the answers for the federal quiz of course, but the state answers would depend on the state so those answers are left blank. I hope you find these quizzes useful in determining the training your employees need. You can request the white paper by going to my website.

 

Keep up with the ever changing world of payroll rules and regulations with The Payroll Pause.  This electronic news update service provides the payroll professional with up-to-date news and information on wage and hour law and tax law changes on the national, state and local levels.  Each concise update comes directly to your inbox.  News updates are sent as items come across our desk. No having to search through newsletters or read long articles just to get the update you need.  Each update comes in its own email and is clearly marked as to the content so you know right away if you need to “pause” to read it or move on. Subscribe today for only $95 per year!

This Week’s White Paper

Our latest white paper is now available.  This week the topic is paying deceased employees.  A sad topic to be sure but one the payroll department must deal with.  And of course, during this tough time, the IRS wants things to be handle differently than a normal paycheck.  Check out our website and sign up for this white paper today.  It will be available until Friday at 5 pm pacific time.

Early Bird Pricing Closes Today

The early bird pricing for our first webinar of the year, How to Handle Abandoned Wages, closes today. You need to register by 5pm today in order to lock in the $99 price.  Starting tomorrow the price goes back up to $149.  So don’t miss out, register today! This webinar, as with all our webinars, is approved for 1.5 RCHs by the APA.

Our Webinars Are Back!

We are proud to announce that the Payroll Advisor will once again be offering our own brand of payroll training webinars in addition to the ones we do for our fine stable of vendors.  Our first webinar of the year will be on March 28th on the topic of How to Handle Abandoned Wages. The webinars start at 10am pacific and run for 90 minutes followed by a 15-minute Q & A session. To ensure that all payroll professionals can afford the training they need or want we are pricing our webinars at only $149.  However, we offer an early-bird discount making the price only $99 per registration if you sign up by March 21st. So take advantage of our information packed webinars and sign up today.  And yes…we are approved by the APA for RCHs.

Keeping it 100% or Why Can’t We Just Leave It?

one hundred percent goldIt still amazes me sometimes when I see questions from my fellow payroll professionals about how accurate we have to be when it comes to tax deposits and reports.  As we all know the curse of being a payroll professional is that everything you do has to be 100% correct.  No 99% accuracy on tax deposits, no 99.9% pure on tax reporting. Most of us have had to face the question, do I really have to redo this for such a small error?  So I always get a giggle when I see the question come around on the boards about correcting something that isn’t quite 100% accurate.  I know its from someone new to our profession just asking and hoping for a certain answer but knowing in their hearts they won’t hear it. For example, a couple of weeks ago on the one of the listservs I follow someone asked the following:  We left off the employee contribution to the HSA on the Forms W-2.  Since they have already gone out to the employees do we just leave them alone?

You know the results of the responses without my listing it but let me summed it up with this short excerpt: … You can’t just say “oh, well” and dismiss the problem after statements are mailed to employees…In other words no matter what, payroll must be 100% accurate, 100% of the time.  Welcome to the world of the payroll professional! But then again, we wouldn’t want it any other way.

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