The Payroll Report: Week of Nov. 13


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Here is a roundup of payroll issues that occurred in the past week:

Federal:

Last week on Nov. 16, the House passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1), a measure that would eliminate personal exemptions and would repeal the tax exclusion for employee achievement awards, adoption-assistance programs, and otherwise qualified moving expenses.

Under the bill, federal income tax brackets would be 12, 25, and 35 percent and the 39.6 percent rate for individuals earning more than $1 million would be retained.

The Senate’s tax proposal, released Nov. 9, would retain seven income tax brackets, but slightly reduce the top bracket. Under the proposal, the top tax rate would drop to 38.5 percent from 39.6 percent and would apply to income starting at $500,000. The other brackets are 10, 15, 25, 28, 33, and 35 percent.

The Labor Department released its final FUTA credit-reduction assessment list for the year on Nov. 13. For 2017, employers in California and the U.S. Virgin Islands are to be assessed a general credit reduction of 2.1 percent on wages paid to employees for work attributed to these jurisdictions.

According to calculations made by Bloomberg Tax last week, the fair-market value amount that is used to qualify for cents-per-mile valuation of personal use is to decrease to $20,600 for cars and to $23,100 for trucks in 2018. The calculations, made using the consumer price index for October and IRS guidance, are used to determine the value of an employee’s personal use of a company vehicle to be included in the employee’s income.

State:

Missouri, Nebraska, South Carolina, and Oregon released unemployment tax rates and wage bases for 2018 last week.

California released its 2018 taxable wage base and tax rates for its state disability insurance program, as well as withholding instructions and tables for Method B for 2018.

Maine also released income tax withholding tables for 2018.

New York issued proposed regulations that would revise requirements for call-in pay. The regulations are to be subject to a 45-day comment period after they are published in the register Nov. 22. The deadline for submissions to hearing@labor.ny.gov is Jan. 6.

Local:

Effective Jan. 1, 2018, nine Ohio municipalities are to change local income tax rates, based on the results of Nov. 7 municipal elections.

JAZLYN WILLIAMS

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