COVID-19 Update

The IRS (including the Social Security Administration) holds a monthly payroll profession phone meeting.  Usually on the first Thursday of the month, it was delayed this month due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  It was held yesterday.  As expected, the call centered around the latest updates for the pandemic on the new legislation. Here’s the recap for you:

1. There was a brief discussion on the updates the IRS has released, which include:

  • Notice 2020-21: discusses tax credits
  • Notice 2020-62: retention credits and FAQs
  • Notice 2020-54: HSA adjustments for the pandemic

2. It also discussed the latest forms to be released.  This includes the Form 7200 and its instructions.  This form is used to request tax credits in advance for the Families First Act and the CARES Act.

3. The Form 941 was discussed.  It is in the drafting stage and this draft version should be released by the end of next week.  This will be the form to use for the second quarter and beyond. It is being redesigned to allow for lines to report the various COVID-19 tax credits.  The form will go from two pages to three.  It is still unclear whether or not the Schedule B will be revamped as well.

4. Social Security Administration reminded the attendees that they are also on limited staffing so the employer 800# is not being staffed as it is not able to be accessed remotely by employees.  Employers are urged, instead, to use the email  for any questions they may have.  This can be staffed from home by SSA staff members.  If you have questions on using the Business Services Online (BSO) you should email

The meeting for May will be on schedule and I will have any news from it posted by Friday of the same week.

CA Joins 16 Other States for Ease of Replacing SS Cards

The Social Security Administration announced in their blog today that California drivers can now replace their Social Security cards online. SSA’s online application makes getting a replacement card super easy and California joins the growing list of 16 other states and the District of Columbia where your employees can use this service. Other states include Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. As long as your employees have a California driver’s license or a state issued identification card they can request replacement Social Security cards online through the My Social Security portal. Check out SSA’s blog today for more information.

Wedding Season and Payroll

I just finished reading the latest blog from the Social Security Administration on the beginning of the “wedding season”. Now what do weddings have to do with payroll? Well as the blog pointed out amid all the wedding planning and gift buying there still remains one simple fact.  A wedding often means a name change is in order.  This is often overlooked by the happy couple.  Although no law requires that the woman take the man’s name, it is still a common practice after a heterosexual marriage ceremony. In fact, now a days, name changes are possible in any number of combinations. Either participant may make a name change or the couple may want to create a new name.  But as the SSA points out if either  of the wedding couple are legally changing their name, they need to apply for a replacement Social Security card to reflect the new name.  How does this involve payroll? Payroll needs to make sure that all employees understand that name changes will not be accepted until a new Social Security card is presented. Reminding employees that if the name change is done on the payroll but not done with the SSA, any future earnings reported to the SSA will not be put into the employee’s account but rather go into a suspense account until the name change is recorded with the SSA. It might be a good idea to remind employees when a wedding is made public at work or just in general.  Company newsletters, posters and reminders are all ways to get the word out to employees. Then all payroll needs to do is figure out what to get the happy couple.

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OASDI Wage Base for 2016

Well it now starts that time of year again…updates by the score.  And of course the first one is the one we all wait for.  The social security or OASDI taxable wage base.  As you may have seen in the news the Consumer Price Index did not show an increase this year.  So there will be no increase in social security benefits.  But that also reflects on the social security taxable wage base. So the 2016 wage base will be $118,500.  The same as it is this year.  For more information check out the SSA website.ssa

Don’t miss out on the important updates for this year end and for 2016! Subscribe to our news update service now.  We are holding open the introductory price of $65 per year until the end of 2015 to give everyone a chance to get it into their new budgets.  But the price will increase next year to $99 per year. So act now!