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New Salary Minimum Wage to Impact Four Million Workers

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While there are regular updates to the minimum wage for hourly employees, at least on the state level, changes to the minimum salary for Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) exempt employees are not as common. Looking back twenty years ago to 2004, the minimum weekly salary for a FLSA exempt employee was only $445. In 2016, President Obama attempted to double that weekly amount to $913, but a federal judge blocked it just days before it was to take effect. It was ultimately increased to $684, effective January 1, 2020, where it currently stands. As of July 1, 2024, the…

Rounding Time Punches is Bad News

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Time rounding. A practice that once had a purpose, should go the way of the dinosaurs. Back in the caveman days, when an employee stuck their timecard in a dinosaur’s mouth to punch in and out, payroll administrators needed a quick way to total hours. The fastest way to do that was to round punches; Looking at a shift and seeing 9:06 a.m. to 5:03 p.m. or 8:55 a.m. to 5:07 p.m. and calling them both as eight-hour days. With modern technology, that is no longer the case. Automated timekeeping systems are able to calculate punches to the minute without…

Implementing a 401(k) Plan is Now a Win-Win. Free Money for Business Owners and their Employees.

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They say timing is everything, and if there were ever a time to implement a 401(k) plan, the time is now. We first wrote about the Secure Act 2.0, in this post back in February 2023, a short time after it was signed into law by President Biden. One of the best parts of this act is that the government wants to give business owners money to start a plan AND even better, they want to give you money to give to your employees. This is accomplished in three different tax credits to small business owners, as covered below. Let’s…

Rehires and Form I-9 and E-Verify. What’s Required?

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We are often asked, in regards to rehires, if a new Form I-9 or E-Verify case is required. Employers have the option of treating all rehired employees as new hires by completing a new Form I-9 and creating a case in E-Verify.  This may be the best practice because you will always have your bases covered.  The only downside is the time it takes to perform the possible repetitive work. If you rehire a former employee within three years of the initial execution of the previous Form I-9 but did not create an E-Verify case and receive an ‘employment authorized’ response…

Important notice: Do you have a level-funded health plan for your employees?

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Selecting a health insurance plan for your employees is harder than ever, with the exponentially rising costs and endless number of plans. Not only are there many different carriers to choose from, but there are also three different types of plans available:   Fully-insured health plan: You may even call this the traditional insurance plan, where the employer pays a monthly premium and the insurance company pays all claims.   Self-funded health plan:  This is where the insurance company is paid an administrative fee and the employer acts as the insurer, paying the claims as they are incurred. This plan is typically…

OSHA Reporting Begins February 1 For Many Employers

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The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to ensure safe and healthful working conditions for workers. It is a division of the U.S. Department of Labor and they set and enforce standards, as well as reporting requirements. In short, it is one more set of government regulations many businesses will need to comply with or otherwise, face penalties. Employers with 11 or more employees, at any point in 2023, are required to post OSHA Form 300A, Summary of Work-Related Injury and Illnesses, from February 1 through April 30, unless they qualify…

IRS Continues to Combat Dubious ERC Claims – Turn Yourself In and Keep 20%

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The Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERC), a program to financially help businesses adversely impacted by COVID-19, has turned into a nightmare for the IRS, as they continue to combat dubious filings. We saw back in September, the IRS announced a moratorium on the processing of claims filed after September 15, 2023, and the slower processing of returns they had received prior to that date. Then, a month later in October, the IRS urged business owners with pending ERC claims, who did not believe they were eligible, to consider a withdrawal program that allows them to remove a pending ERC claim…

State Minimum Wage Increases 2024

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While the Federal minimum wage remains at $7.25 per hour for the past 15 years, 28 states and many cities, counties and locals have set increases effective January 1st, 2024 with a few announcing a change during 2024.  Many states continue their path to $15.00 per hour with a number of states exceeding that rate and places in Washington state that have a minimum wage approaching $20 per hour.  A list of each state/local, along with the new hourly rate is listed below. Any state that does not have a minimum wage change scheduled is not listed. All rates are…

Handy Guide to the 2023 Form W-2

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Over the next few weeks, as your employees start to receive their 2023 W-2 form, they will likely have questions as to what all those numbers mean.  For example, it is not uncommon for a salaried employee who earns $50,000 per year question why their Box 1 Wages only reflects $45,000.  Did they get underpaid? Probably not. If the employee contributes to a pension plan (aka 401(k)) or has pre-tax insurance deductions, then those amounts reduces the “taxable” wage, which is what appears in Box 1. Some employees may also wonder why their Federal Income Tax withheld is much less…

WOTC – A Little Known Tax Credit with Big Potential

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Unlike the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERC) that came about as the result of COVID-19 and its effect on businesses, the Workforce Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) has been around since 1996. It only took ERC about two years to gain popularity, but almost three decades later, the WOTC is still mostly unknown. So what exactly is the WOTC and how can it benefit your business? I am glad you asked. It is a federal tax credit ranging from $2,400 to $9,600 per hire, available to employers who hire workers from a ‘targeted group.’ These are workers who may otherwise face…