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Payroll

Navigating Unemployment Claims Due to Office Closures Related to the Coronavirus

Per the Virginia Employment Commission: "If you are a worker who has been totally or partially separated from your job due to Coronavirus, please note that no claim for unemployment insurance may be filed or processed until an actual lay off from employment has occurred, or until there has been an actual reduction in hours. When filing your claim for unemployment benefits, please be sure to check the reason for separation as Lack of Work/Lay off.  If you will be filing because of a reduction in hours, you will not receive benefits unless your gross earnings are less than your weekly...

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Please be advised: SIMA Response to COVID-19

In response to COVID-19 we will be transitioning our team to a remote working policy for the foreseeable future. At this time a limited staff will remain at our office to provide essential operations. Our service to you as well as the health and safety of our team is our primary concern throughout this time. Our team has the technology and resources required to effectively work remotely and will continue to provide you the service you need. Our Accounting team plans to remain at the office until further guidance is provided by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on the possible extension...

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Opinion Letters Provide an Insight on How the DOL applies the Law to Specific Facts

On Jan. 7, 2020 the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued two opinion letters that clarify how the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) applies in specific situations. Opinion letters provide the DOL’s official opinion on how the law applies in specific situations. Employers that rely on opinion letters may be able to establish a “good faith defense” under the law. As a result, employers should become familiar with these letters and review their practices to ensure compliance with FLSA requirements. FLSA 2020-1: Lump Sum Nondiscretionary Bonuses Must Be Included in Regular Rate In its first letter, the DOL asserts once again that...

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Plan Ahead for Holiday Payrolls!

SIMA will be closed on Wednesday, December 25 and Wednesday, January 1 in observance of Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Your payroll must be processed a day earlier than normal by 12:00 pm to ensure timely processing. Is your pay date on Wednesday, December 25 or Wednesday, January 1? There will be no direct deposits allowed on December 25 or January 1 due to holiday bank closures. If your pay date is on this day, please contact your payroll team at payroll@simafinancialgroup.com to let us know whether you would like to move your pay date to Tuesday or Thursday. Please don’t hesitate...

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1099-MISC: Who should receive them, why proper classification is essential, and how to remediate errors

Form 1099-MISC is due to vendors by Jan. 31 for payments made the preceding year to non-corporate independent contractors. The IRS requires form W-9 to be completed before any payment is made to a vendor. Businesses do NOT have to issue a 1099 to any vendor that indicates on the Form W-9 that they are a corporation unless the payments were to an attorney. Employee or Contractor?  To determine if an individual is an employee or an independent contractor, consider the IRS 3-Factor Test: The Behavioral Test:  Does the company control or have the right to control what the worker does and...

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FINAL RULING: New Overtime Rule Effective 1/1/20

On September 24, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a final rule to make 1.3 million American workers newly eligible for overtime pay. The final rule updates the earnings thresholds necessary to exempt executive, administrative and professional employees from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) minimum wage and overtime pay requirements, and allows employers to count a portion of certain bonuses/commissions towards meeting the salary level. The new thresholds account for growth in employee earnings since the thresholds were last updated in 2004. In the final rule, the Department is: raising the “standard salary level” from the currently enforced level of...

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Costly Mistakes: Failing to Remit Payroll Taxes and Retirement Plan Contributions on Time

Like many businesses, you may be feeling the financial crunch these days and be tempted to use money you deduct for taxes and retirement plan contributions from employees’ wages. Failing to remit payroll taxes and retirement plan contributions in a timely manner is not only a violation of an employer’s legal obligation, it can also subject your company to heavy penalties. When employers deduct income and Social Security taxes from employees’ wages, the money is not theirs to use, even for a short period of time. You must remit the deducted amounts, along with your portion of payroll taxes, by their...

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DOL Issues New Salary Limits for Overtime Exemptions

Final Rule Takes Effect Jan. 1 On Sept. 24, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a new final rule that updates the salary thresholds that some individuals must meet in order to qualify for a minimum wage and overtime exemption under the federal Fair Labors Standards Act (FLSA). The final rule becomes effective on Jan. 1, 2020. As expected, this final rule increases the standard salary level for the executive, administrative and professional exemptions from $455 to $684 per week ($35,568 per year). It also increases the highly compensated employee salary level from $100,000 to $107,432 per year. In addition, the...

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DOL: Employees May Use FMLA Leave for IEP Meetings

Opinion Issued in Case with Doctor’s Certification Employees may take leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to attend their child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meetings, according to a recent opinion letter from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Although DOL opinion letters are specific to the facts presented, employers can look to them for guidance on the DOL’s interpretation of the law. In the letter, the DOL said the parent’s attendance at a school IEP meeting to address the educational and special medical needs of her children with serious medical conditions (as certified by a health care provider)...

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CBO Report Looks at Effect of Raising the Federal Minimum Wage

The federal minimum wage (FMW), currently $7.25 per hour, hasn't increased since 2009—the longest stretch with no federal increases since 1938, when the minimum wage was created. Several presidential candidates as well as proposed House Bill H.R. 582, Raise the Wage Act, would raise the FMW. What effect would a wage increase have on wage earners, families, employers, and the economy? The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a new report that examined the impact of raising the federal minimum wage to $10, $12, or $15 per hour by 2025 and how this would affect employment and family income. According to the CBO,...

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