Updates

Reminder: EEO-1 Is Due by September 30, 2019

On September 29, 2016, the EEOC announced that it would collect summary pay data from certain employers for the first time as part of the Employer Information Report (EEO-1) for 2017 that was due on March 31, 2018. However, before the report was due, the Office of Management and Budget issued a memorandum blocking the revisions indefinitely. On May 3, 2019, a federal district court ruling reinstated the pay data requirement. Even though the court case reinstating the pay data requirement has been appealed, employers are still required to provide pay data for 2017 and 2018 by September 30, 2019. With some exceptions, private employers with 100 or more employees and federal contractors with 50 or more employees must complete an EEO-1 report each year. Covered employers already provide demogr...

IRS releases draft Form W-4 for 2020

The IRS issued the first draft release of the Form W-4 for 2020. In the next few weeks, the IRS plans to issue draft instructions for employers and will request comments from the business community at that time. The revised form implements changes made following the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which made major revisions affecting taxpayer withholding. The redesigned Form W-4 no longer uses the concept of withholding allowances, which was previously tied to the amount of the personal exemption. Due to changes in the law, personal exemptions are currently not a central feature of the tax code. The IRS and Treasury collected extensive feedback over the past year while working closely with the payroll and tax community to develop a redesign that best serves taxpayers. The IRS expects to releas...

MSST: “Non-resident” employers and their employees

The Minneapolis Sick and Safe Time ordinance took effect July 1, 2017. Previous litigation temporarily suspended enforcement against “non-resident” employers. However, the effective date of July 1, 2017 remains unchanged. Following a recent court ruling, the Department of Civil Rights has the responsibility to fully enforce the law. All covered employees, including employees of “non-resident” employers, are entitled to accrued sick and safe time based upon hours worked in the City of Minneapolis since July 1, 2017. Employers must provide covered employees with accrued sick and safe time accordingly. The Department of Civil Rights may exercise some enforcement discretion during summer 2019 as “non-resident” employers act in good faith to promptly comply. An employee is covered i...

IRS warns of “Tax Transcript” email scam; dangers to business networks

WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service and Security Summit partners warned the public of a surge of fraudulent emails impersonating the IRS and using tax transcripts as bait to entice users to open documents containing malware. The scam is especially problematic for businesses whose employees might open the malware because this malware can spread throughout the network and potentially take months to successfully remove. This well-known malware, known as Emotet, generally poses as specific banks and financial institutions in its effort to trick people into opening infected documents. The Summit partnership of the IRS, state tax agencies and the nation’s tax industry remind taxpayers to watch out for this scam. However, in the past few weeks, the scam masqueraded as the IRS, pretending to...

Minimum wage in Minnesota

Minimum-wage rate will be adjusted for inflation on Jan. 1, 2019 Minnesota’s minimum-wage rates will be adjusted for inflation Jan. 1, 2019, to $9.86 an hour for large employers and $8.04 an hour for other state minimum wages. Under Minnesota law, the commissioner of the Department of Labor and Industry is required to determine and announce the inflation-adjusted minimum-wage rate each year by Aug. 31. This year, the change in the price index used for this purpose is an increase of 2.16 percent.  Read news release here. Minimum-wage rates Provision Amount as of Jan. 1, 2018 Amount as of Jan. 1, 2019 Large-employer wage $9.65 an hour $9.86 an hour Small-employer wage $7.87 an hour $8.04 an hour 90-day training wage (under 20 years of age) $7.87 an hour $8.04 an hour Youth wage (under ...

Building a Digital Defense Against Payroll Phishing Scams

The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center is out with a new warning about fraudsters who are targeting your paycheck via direct deposit. Any worker can be affected by this scam, but the industries getting hit the hardest include education, health care, and commercial airway transportation. Here’s what happens: the bad guy uses your work login info to get into your employer’s HR system to replace your direct deposit information with his own. It starts when an employee receives an email that looks just familiar enough that he doesn’t question it too much. The email includes a link or web address that the user clicks on. Once he clicks, he will be directed to a fraudulent site or portal where the victim will be asked to enter his work credentials to confirm his identity. The bad guys use that...

Minnesota Department of Revenue Updates 2019 Filing Season

Minnesota Department of Revenue Updates 2019 Filing Season for Tax Year 2018 FAQ Since the end of the 2018 Legislative Session, the Minnesota Department of Revenue has been working to update the state tax filing systems for taxpayer use in 2019. This process happens annually, starting after the end of the legislative session. This year, they are updating the tax filing systems to accommodate the differences between the federal and Minnesota tax laws.  There were significant revisions to the federal tax laws, but Minnesota’s tax laws have not significantly changed. As they update the tax system to accommodate the differences between federal and Minnesota tax laws, they are gathering your frequently asked questions about the 2019 filing season. They have updated our their website’s Tax Law C...

We’re MOVING!

We’re packing all of our stuff and taking you with us! Okay, not really.  It’s just our mailing address has changed. For those of you that send your payments for registration in the mail, please update your contact information for us to: APA NORTHSTAR CHAPTER P.O. BOX 16311 ST. LOUIS PARK, MN 55416 board@apanorthstarchapter.com SHARE

Trending Employment Laws in 2018

When a city or state passes a new kind of employment law or practice, you can expect other locations to follow their lead. We’ve seen this with paid sick leave, ban the box, social media privacy laws, and other legislation.This year will have its own trending employment laws and best practices. Here are a few to keep your eye on: Sexual harassment prevention: With the public hearing every day about new harassment allegations, employers are looking for better ways to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. Training is necessary and important—and sometimes required by law—but it’s only one preventative step. Accountability is also a must, as is a culture of trust so when harassment happens, victims know their reports will be addressed and the harassment will stop. Bans on salary history ...

Updated Withholding Calculator, Form W-4 Released; Calculator Helps Taxpayers Review Withholding Following New Tax Law

IR-2018-36, Feb. 28, 2018 WASHINGTON –The Internal Revenue Service today released an updated Withholding Calculator on IRS.gov and a new version of Form W-4 to help taxpayers check their 2018 tax withholding following passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December. The IRS urges taxpayers to use these tools to make sure they have the right amount of tax taken out of their paychecks. “Following the major changes in the tax law, the IRS encourages employees to check their paychecks to help ensure they’re having the right amount of tax withheld for their personal situation,” said Acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act made changes to the tax law, including increasing the standard deduction, removing personal exemptions, increasing the child tax credit, limiting or ...

BREAKING NEWS! Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Law

On December 22, President Trump signed H.R. 1, also known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, into law. The legislation will affect payroll by changing the taxability of two fringe benefits and affecting income tax withholding in 2018 and beyond. Because this tax legislation was passed so late in 2017, the IRS will not issue withholding guidance for 2018 until January. Fringe benefit changes Qualified moving expenses. Through 2017, the Internal Revenue Code provides an exclusion from employees’ income for qualified moving expense payments and reimbursements made by employers. This fringe benefit will be suspended, except for military-related moving expenses, for tax years 2018 through 2025. Qualified bicycle commuting costs. Through 2017, there is a qualified transportation fringe benefit for bi...

UPDATE: MN Minimum Wage Rate Adjusted for Inflation – Jan. 1, 2018

Minnesota’s minimum-wage rates will be adjusted for inflation beginning Jan. 1, 2018, to $9.65 an hour for large employers and $7.87 an hour for other state minimum wages. State and Federal Minimum Wage Law The state minimum wage is higher than the federal minimum wage, so employees who are covered by both laws must be paid the higher state minimum wage. Minimum-wage rates apply to all hours worked, whether part time or full time. Employees must be paid at least the current minimum-wage rate, no matter how they are paid. Tip credit No employer may take a tip credit against minimum wages in Minnesota. An employee must be paid at least that minimum wage per hour plus any tips the employee might earn. Exempt employees A partial list of exempt employees includes:  bona fide executive, administ...

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