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Pay Matters! Year-End Edition

 

Welcome to Pay Matters, our monthly roundup of all the payroll and compliance news that you must know.

Stay informed and in compliance with our monthly payroll alerts and insights.

Viventium’s New Year End Portal is Live!

We are excited to unveil our newly designed Year-End Portal for 2019!  Hosted on the Viventium Support Center, simply log into Viventium Software, select “Help” in the upper right-hand corner of the screen, and click on the Year-End Portal icon!  No more searching through pages to find the information you need.  All the important year-end facts and figures are now at your fingertips, accessible from anywhere.  Note: no paper guides will be distributed this year.

Please review the information in this portal carefully as it will assist you in processing accurate payroll data.  If you have any questions or require further clarification, please contact your Client Services team. A few minutes spent asking the right questions can save hours of aggravation correcting errors caused by inaccurate data input.

Upcoming Year-End Webinars

We’re excited to share that we’ll be hosting several webinars to help make your year-end experience as smooth as possible!  Click the links below to register for one (or many!) of our compliance and software webinars.

 

Webinar

 

 

Date and Time

 

 

ACA Maintenance Training

This webinar will provide you with an overview of how to maintain your ACA information and dashboard to make your year-end process smooth. You’ll leave with much more confidence in using Viventium’s ACA software!

Every Monday

2:00 pm EST

Register Now

Federal Tax Witholding in 2020 –

How to Prepare

The Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 changed the way every employer in America will compute Federal taxes starting in 2020. New information collection, employee outreach, and education, system modifications, and compliance pitfalls are just a few of the challenges. Test your readiness in this hands-on, information-packed webinar.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

2:00 pm EST

Register Now

ACA Compliance Training

This webinar is a must for clients ready to preview and approve Forms 1095-C for 2019. ACA penalty notices for prior years have been issued, so now more than ever it is imperative to be up to date with your ACA compliance!

Monday, December 23, 2019

3:00 pm EST

Register Now

Monday, January 6, 2020

10:00 am EST

Register Now

 

Final Form W-4 2020 Released

The IRS has released the long awaited final Form W-4 for 2020. The form is substantially the same as the August 8 draft, except for wording changes, the 2020 standard deductions, and Multiple Jobs Worksheet tables which have been updated in the instructions. On the form, the “Caution” about privacy concerns has been removed, and instead, a “Tip” has been added, encouraging the filing of 2020 Forms W-4 for all jobs in a multiple job situation.

Action steps:

  • Provide this final form to 2020 new hires, as part of their onboarding package.
  • Ensure that ongoing employees requesting changes to their withholding effective 1/1/2020 or later use this form, and not the 2019 form.
  • Consider encouraging ongoing employees to submit a 2020 W-4 in order to make their withholding more accurate.
  • Be sure that you and your team are familiar with the changes to employee withholding screens, and reach out to your dedicated CX team with any questions.

Don’t miss our next 2020 Federal Withholding webinar on December 19 at 2 PM!

In addition, the IRS has published the final 2020 withholding tables.  Publication 15-T containing these tables will be issued later in December.

Social Security Wage Base to Rise in 2020

The Social Security Administration (SSA) announced that the 2020 Social Security wage base will rise to $137,700, a $4,800 increase from the $132,900 wage base in 2019. The Social Security tax rate will remain at 6.2%. The maximum Social Security tax employees and employers will each pay in 2020 is $8,537.40, up from $8,239.80 in 2019.

There is no limit to wages subject to Medicare tax. Both the employee and the employer Medicare tax rate for 2020 will remain at 1.45%.  Employers are required to withhold an additional 0.9% in Medicare taxes on wages earned by employees in excess of $200,000 in a calendar year.  Employers are not required to match this 2.35% employee rate but will continue to pay 1.45% in Medicare taxes on all subject wages earned by employees.

For a copy of the SSA Fact sheet click here.

2020 Pension and Benefit Contribution Limits

The 2020 limits on the exclusion for elective deferrals for 401(k), 403(b), and 457 plans will increase from $19.000 to $19,500. The catch-up contribution for employees ages 50 and older will increase from $6,000 to $6,500.

The 2020 monthly limit for the qualified transportation fringe benefits and for qualified parking is to increase to $270 from $265. The 2020 health flexible-spending arrangement limit is to increase to $2,750 from $2,700.

IRS Extends ACA Form 1095-C Furnishing Deadline

On December 2, the IRS extended the deadline for employers to furnish Forms 1095-C to their employees.  These government forms provide employees and the IRS with information about health coverage offered by employers and were previously due by January 31, 2020.  Employers now have until March 2, 2020 to furnish Forms 1095-C to their employees. This is the fifth consecutive year that the IRS has extended the original deadline.  For further details about the IRS extension, see IRS Notice 2019-63.

If you are on Viventium’s ACA Service, Forms 1095-C will be available to preview in Viventium beginning Monday, December 23, 2019. The deadline to submit Forms 1095-C for processing in Viventium is Monday, February 3, 2020All forms not submitted by the deadline will be auto-submitted by Viventium after February 3.

Additional ACA information can also be found on Viventium’s Year-End PortalLog into Viventium Software, select “Help” in the upper right-hand corner of the screen, click on the Year-End Portal icon and scroll to the ACA section for step-by-step instructions for previewing and submitting your ACA forms and more.

US DOL Releases Overtime Fact Sheets

As previously reported, effective January 1, 2020, the Federal weekly salary threshold for overtime exemption will rise to $684, or $35,568 annually, a substantial increase from the current $455 per week and the $23,660 annual threshold.

In addition, the new salary level for Highly Compensated Employees (HCEs) will rise to $107,432 (including weekly payments of at least $684), an increase from the current $100,000 (including weekly payments of at least $455).

The DOL has released several fact sheets to provide further guidance to employers on the final rule:

Fact Sheet 17T
https://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/whdfs17t.htm

Fact Sheet 17U
https://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/whdfs17u.htm

Fact Sheet 17C
https://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/fs17c_administrative.pdf

 New Jersey  More Then Quadruples its Wage Base

The New Jersey Department of Labor announced that the wage base for employee contributions to temporary disability and family leave programs will more than quadruple to $134,900 in 2020. The current 2019 wage base is $34,400.

This drastic increase is intended to fund New Jersey’s expanded paid family leave program. Effective July 1, 2020, the amount of paid family leave available to employees will increase to 12 weeks from six weeks. Eligible employees will also receive benefits of up to 85 percent of the state average weekly wage, up from 66 percent.

Temporary disability insurance is funded by both employee and employer contributions, while family leave insurance is funded solely by employee contributions. The employer wage base for disability insurance will rise slightly from $34,400 to $35,300. The wage base for both employee and employer contribution to unemployment insurance will also rise from $34,400 t0 $35,300.

For more info click here.

Check out Viventium’s Year-End Portal for a complete chart of upcoming state unemployment wage base changes. Simply log into Viventium Software, select “Help” in the upper right-hand corner of the screen, and click on the Year-End Portal icon.

New Mexico Local Minimum Wage Increases

Three cities in New Mexico have announced minimum wage increases:

The hourly minimum wage in Albuquerque, N.M., is to rise to $9.35 from $9.20 on Jan. 1, 2020.  The hourly minimum wage for tipped employees is to rise to $5.60 from $5.50.

Bernalillo County’s hourly minimum wage for employees who work within the unincorporated areas of the county, outside city limits, is to rise to $9.20 from $9.05 on Jan. 1, 2020.

The Las Cruces hourly minimum wage is to rise to $10.25 from $10.10 on Jan. 1, 2020.

Curious which states are increasing minimum wage for 2020? Check out Viventium’s Year-End Portal for a complete chart of upcoming state minimum wage increases. Simply log into Viventium Software, select “Help” in the upper right-hand corner of the screen, and click on the Year-End Portal icon!

 Duluth, Minnesota Paid Sick and Safe Leave

Effective January 1, 2020, employers in Duluth, MN with five or more employees must accrue one hour of paid sick and safe leave for every 50 hours worked. Employees can accrue up to 64 hours per year and can rollover up to 40 hours of unused leave to the following year.

Accrued leave may be used by employees to care for themselves or a family member in situations involving illnesses, injuries, physical or mental health conditions, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

For more information on the Duluth, MN paid sick and safe leave requirements click here.

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