Payroll Boot Camp 2021

Vicki M. Lambert

Vicki M. Lambert

Vicki M. Lambert, CPP, is President and Academic Director of The Payroll Advisor™, a firm specializing in payroll education and training. The company offers a payroll news service which keeps payroll professionals up to date on the latest rules and regulations. With nearly 40 years of hands-on experience in all facets of payroll functions...
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Pre-recorded
300 Mins
Vicki M. Lambert & Dayna J. Reum, CPP, FPC

Session 1 - Payroll Deductions in 2021: What Can and Cannot be Deducted from an Employee’s Wages

Speaker - Vicki M. Lambert

Duration - 90 Min

In payroll, we calculate the gross wages of an employee by meticulously following strict regulations on what must be or must not be counted as hours worked and taxable income. We pay the employee their net paycheck only by the payment method that is permitted.  But what about in between? When it comes to deducting from the employee’s gross wages to achieve the net income are you also adhering strictly to the rules?

After calculating gross wages for an employee is accomplished, much more difficult decisions have to be made. What must an employer deduct from an employee’s wages? What can be deducted legally? What can never be deducted? These questions and more must be answered correctly before processing that paycheck. And if this is the employee’s final check…the rules may change! Handling deductions is a complex task that payroll must get right every time for every payroll check. Failure to deduct the proper taxes could result in penalties on the employer from the IRS, but making an illegal deduction for a fringe benefit or for collecting an overpayment can get the employer a visit from the federal Department of Labor auditor, the state department of labor auditor or both! Sometimes the federal government will allow the deduction, but that certain state will not.  

Of course, everyone knows that payroll deducts for federal and state taxes. However, how much input does the employee have concerning these deductions? This will be answered in this webinar. Which taxes are mandatory, which are a courtesy and which ones the employee controls will be explained during this webinar. If the IRS or the state wants payroll to collect for back taxes; how is that processed? What does payroll do if a “payday loan” deduction is received as opposed to a creditor garnishment? Which ones must we honor and why? This will be discussed during this webinar.  

Fringe benefits are a normal part of payroll for most employees. Deducting for voluntary fringe benefits such as health insurance or group term life can usually be an easy task. But what about health insurance under a medical support order? Does that change how it is processed by payroll? Expert speaker Vicki Lambert will discuss processing voluntary and involuntary health insurance deductions. 

Many employers require their employees to wear uniforms for work. Can the cost of the uniforms and their upkeep be deducted from an employee’s wages? What about cash shortages or breakage? Can I deduct the cost of shortage or breakage from the employee’s paycheck under state or federal laws?

Some employers offer meals and lodging as part of the employee’s work contract. What can be deducted from the employee’s paycheck for employer-provided meals and lodging and can this be used as a credit against the minimum wage paid? 

What if an employee is overpaid? Can the employer simply deduct the overpayment from future payments or does the employee have to agree to the deduction in writing? Does the federal law differ from the state law in this area and, if it does, which one does the employer have to follow?  

Many employers advance vacation for their employees to ensure that all employees are rested and working at peak efficiency. But what if the employee takes their vacation in advance and then leaves the company? Can an employer recoup advanced vacation hours from the employee’s final check under federal or state laws?

Many employers give loans, advances on wages to employees or allow employees to purchase items from the employer. We will discuss how these can be recouped or repaid if the employee stays or if the employee terminates.
In this webinar expert speaker, Vicki Lamber will discuss what can and what cannot be deducted from an employee’s regular paycheck as well as their final one. Failure to follow the regulations pertaining to employee wage deductions can result in substantial penalties and interest. 

Webinar Highlights:

  • Taxes—which are mandatory, which are a courtesy, and which ones the employee controls
  • Child support—the limits but not beyond
  • Tax levies—federal and state
  • Creditor garnishments—how many can you honor and how often
  • Voluntary wage assignments for “payday loans”—when are they required to be honored
  • Handling fringe benefits such as health insurance or group term life
  • Uniforms—when the employer pays for it and when the employee furnishes it
  • Meals—when they become part of the employee’s wages 
  • Lodging—when it is part of the employee’s wages and when is it a perk
  • Shortages—the employee came up short, so they have to cover that right?
  • Breakage—you broke it so you have to pay for it, legal or not?
  • Overpayments—the employee was overpaid so you can just take the money back, or can you?
  • Advanced vacation pay—the employee knows the vacation hours were advanced so we can take them back when the employee quits can’t we?
  • Loans to employees: what terms can be set while the employee is still active and what can be taken when the employee terminates
  • Employee purchases—active employees and terminated employees
  • Anti-wage theft laws and the states

Session 2 - Payroll Overpayments: Handling them Correctly in 2021

Speaker - Vicki M. Lambert

Duration - 90 Min

Employees can be overpaid in even the most well-managed payroll department. Yes, it does happen when mistakes are made but it isn’t always the result of an error. Perhaps the employee received a sign-on bonus but did not stay for the required length of time. Or the employee was on advanced vacation but is now terminating before he or she has fully earned the time.  No matter the reason, overpayments can and do happen and must be handled properly. The first questions that usually arise relate to IRS regulations. What is required if the overpayment occurred this year? But what if it occurred in a previous tax year, does that change the rules?  Are the rules different for federal income tax than they are for social security or Medicare taxes?

Recouping overpayments is also much more complex than just adhering to the IRS code! Wage and hour law compliance must also be honored when dealing with overpayments. Before the payroll department even needs to determine IRS requirements they must first determine if recouping the overpayment is even legal under the FLSA. Issues such as exempt employee status, minimum wage, and overtime rules for non-exempt employees must be considered when recovering overpayments from employees.

And of course, the overpayment did not occur in a vacuum when it comes to state laws. Each individual state may have its own compliance issues involving wage and hour laws!  Is there a time limit for recouping the overpayment in that state? Does the employee have to be notified in advance before the deductions can begin? Or does the state just say NO! to the whole process?    

Webinar Objectives:

During this information-packed webinar, Payroll expert speaker Vicki M. Lambert, CPP, will:

  • Discuss these regulations and more including the private letter ruling that governs the IRS requirements.
  • Examine the FLSA requirements on recouping overpayments including the 1998 opinion letter that spells out these requirements
  • Discuss how to conduct research to determine the state’s requirements for handling overpayments
  • Review the wage and hour laws of several states and the factors that they use to determine if an overpayment can be recouped

Webinar Agenda:

  • Handling Overpayments under IRS and State Tax Codes:
    • Why a 1990 IRS Private Letter Ruling on handling overpayments applies today 
    • Correcting overpayments in the same calendar tax year
    • Why asking for the gross is better than the net check for prior year overpayments
    • Correcting FICA taxes for a prior year overpayment
    • Correcting FUTA/SUI taxes
    • Using Form W-2 or Form W-2c to report overpayments
  • Wage and Hour Laws and Their Impact on Recouping Overpayments:
    • The standards under the FLSA in terms of timeframe for recouping prior year overpayments
    • Is a written agreement for repayment always required under the FLSA
    • Collecting overpayments from exempt employees and its effect on salary basis compliance
    • Recouping overpayments and their effect on minimum wage and overtime requirements
    • Can employers treat advanced vacation payments as overpayments if an employee terminates
    • Where do the states stand on recouping overpayments

Session 3 - Handling Multi-State Taxation: 2021 Updates

Speaker - Dayna J Reum

Duration - 60 Min

Understanding how to calculate tax for employees in 2 or more states can be confusing. Plus what state laws for payroll need to be followed when employing employees in more than one state. Join expert speaker Dayna J. Reum, in this information-packed webinar to better understand the laws in each state and the tax guidance on how to determine taxation when employees live in one state and work in another. She will also cover regulations for employees that work in multiple states for travel for work.  Also, other state laws that affect payroll will be discussed during the webinar.

This webinar will be tailored to employers that have a large number of employees that may telecommute across state borders and how employers can manage the tax liability for those employees. Especially when these employees perform work in multiple states. Dayne will also discuss relaxed state requirements due to COVID-19 and the need for employees to work from home.

Webinar Agenda:

  • Residency
  • Reciprocity Agreements
  • Resident/Non-Resident Withholding Rules
  • Evaluating taxation for multiple states
  • What wages are subject to taxation?
  • Withholding compliance issues.
  • State Unemployment Insurance
  • Traveling Employees
  • Administrative Concerns
  • HR Concerns
  • Local tax residency rules
  • Case Studies
  • Other COVID-19 State Relief

Webinar Highlights:

  • Telecommuting and why it creates a tax liability for employers
  • Residency
  • Reciprocity Agreements
  • Resident/Non-Resident Withholding Rules
  • Evaluating taxation for multiple states
  • What wages are subject to taxation?
  • Withholding compliance issues.
  • State Unemployment Insurance
  • Traveling Employees
  • Administrative Concerns
  • HR Concerns
  • Local tax residency rules
  • Case Studies

Session 4 - Payroll Operations Best Practices

Speaker - Dayna J Reum

Duration - 60 Min

As payroll professionals we get in the trap of keeping up with running regular payroll runs, remitting and reporting taxes to federal and state agencies and just staying compliant. This can lead to missing the bigger picture of running a smooth payroll operation. Practices a company can put into place to make the payroll process more streamlined, that allows departments to be more proactive then reactive.

Our expert speaker Dayna Reum will provide the participant the tools to be able to better review specific processes and see how new innovations can improve the payroll process. Some improvements as simple as increasing direct deposit participation but can be as complicated as vendor management. This webinar will also review best practices for looking for requesting new vendors and implementation of new vendors.

Webinar Agenda:

  • How to pay employees, paperless options
    • Pay cards/Direct Deposit
    • Live Checks and Mobile Banking
  • What is ESS?
  • Payroll Systems
    • Interface vs. Integration
    • Payroll system best practices
    • Request for Proposals/ROI
    • Selecting a Vendor
    • Cloud Processing Technology
  • Fraud

Webinar Highlights:

  • Discussion of methods to pay employees and how to implement a paperless pay system but still stay compliant with state laws.
  • Review of employee self-services systems and how to maximize them.
  • Understand the difference between a payroll interface and an integrated system.
  • How to properly handle a request for a proposal.
  • Review of best practices when choosing a payroll system.
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