The Payroll Report: Week of Dec. 4


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Here is a roundup of payroll issues covered this week:

Federal:

During the monthly IRS payroll industry teleconference that took place Dec. 7, an IRS official addressed concerns about the timing of payroll-related provisions in the House and Senate tax bills, several of which would take effect Jan. 1, 2018.

The IRS does not plan to issue 2018 percentage-method withholding tables and Forms W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate, until pending tax legislation in the House and Senate is resolved, said Scott Mezistrano, IRS representative for industry stakeholder engagement and outreach.

After a finalized bill is signed into law, there would be a transition period in which the IRS would assess the effects of the measure, Mezistrano said. During the transition period, employers would continue using the 2017 withholding tables up to a deadline that would be specified by the IRS, he said.

The Senate bill, passed Dec. 2, would define tangible personal property as it relates to employee achievement awards, to exclude cash, merchandise cards or coupons, meals, or other similar items.

On Dec. 4, the Labor Department announced a proposed rule would rescind the ban on tip-sharing arrangements where employers pay a direct cash wage of at least the full federal hourly minimum wage and do not claim a tip credit against their minimum-wage obligation. The rule appears in the Dec. 5, 2017, Federal Register, and a 30-day period for submitting public comment on the Labor Department's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (RIN 1235-AA21) ends on Jan. 4, 2018.

The IRS released Publication 509, Tax Calendars, for use in 2018, on Dec. 8.

State:

This week, on Dec. 7, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled that wage and hour law allows employees to recover unpaid wages, even though the law does not explicitly say so.

The District of Columbia released its 2018 income tax withholding tables. The personal exemption increased to $4,150 for 2018 from $1,775 in 2017.

North Dakota, Illinois, and Alaska released unemployment-taxable wage bases and tax rates for 2018. Delaware, Washington, New Hampshire, and Nevada released unemployment tax rates for 2018.

Hawaii released its 2018 weekly wage base for its temporary disability insurance program, and California released its 2018 elective coverage tax rate for its temporary disability insurance program.

Rhode Island released 2018 wage bases and tax rates for its unemployment insurance and temporary disability insurance programs. 

Local:

The 2018 hourly minimum wage for Las Cruces, N.M., is to remain $9.20 and $3.68 for tipped workers, under an ordinance amended by the city council on Dec. 4.

JAZLYN WILLIAMS

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