B/P Impressions http://blog.benpor.com/impressions B/P Impressions blog offers insights into business and technology. Get the inside track from the Northwest's experts in ERP software and IT services. en-us Wed, 24 Aug 2022 17:55:56 GMT 2022-08-24T17:55:56Z en-us Employers with Washington Employees! Did You Know...? http://blog.benpor.com/impressions/employers-with-washington-employees-did-you-know <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="http://blog.benpor.com/impressions/employers-with-washington-employees-did-you-know" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.benpor.com/hubfs/magnifying-glass-g4c8c28056_640.png" alt="Employers with Washington Employees! Did You Know...?" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>Does your company currently complete Washington State SUI quarterly wage reporting? If you answered "Yes!", then you need to know that, beginning with the Q4 reporting for 2022, employers will be required to include the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code for all employees reported on. The Washington State Legislature passed <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2308&amp;Year=2019&amp;Initiative=false" style="font-weight: bold;">HB 2308</a> in 2019, which requires this information. Employers that do not include this information in reporting will be subject to the incomplete report penalty.</p> <p><img src="https://blog.benpor.com/hs-fs/hubfs/magnifying-glass-g4c8c28056_640.png?width=169&amp;name=magnifying-glass-g4c8c28056_640.png" alt="magnifying-glass-g4c8c28056_640" width="169" style="width: 169px; float: right;">Does your company currently complete Washington State SUI quarterly wage reporting? If you answered "Yes!", then you need to know that, beginning with the Q4 reporting for 2022, employers will be required to include the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code for all employees reported on. The Washington State Legislature passed <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2308&amp;Year=2019&amp;Initiative=false" style="font-weight: bold;">HB 2308</a> in 2019, which requires this information. Employers that do not include this information in reporting will be subject to the incomplete report penalty.</p> <p>This additional reporting can be done on a voluntary basis if you would like to try it out early and are using a newer version of EAMS (Employer Account Management Services) to complete the filing. Employers can use the new SOC code lookup tool in EAMS to find the most accurate code for employees. If you would like to try out the <a href="https://www.onetonline.org/find/all" style="font-weight: bold;">SOC code search tool</a>, it is currently available. EAMS will remember the SOC codes entered in the last quarter.</p> <p>For additional information regarding this new reporting requirement please visit the <a href="https://esd.wa.gov/employer-taxes/about-soc" style="font-weight: bold;">Employment Security Department (ESD) website</a>. The ESD is also offering webinars in the next two months to provide an overview, answer frequently asked questions, and address questions attendees may have. Questions like, “How do I decide which SOC code to use for an employee who performs multiple job functions or has multiple duties” will be answered. (<strong><em>SPOILER ALERT –</em></strong>&nbsp;the answer to this question is that the job that requires the highest level of skill or education to do the job is used. If all jobs require the same level of skill or education, use the job that the employee spends the most time doing for reporting.) If an employee changes jobs during the quarter the last job performed is reported. To register for these informative webinars, please use the links below:</p> <ul> <li>Friday, August 26<sup>th</sup>, 11:00am – 11:45am - <a href="https://www.eventbrite.com/e/for-employers-learn-more-about-standard-occupational-classification-codes-tickets-368630031347" style="font-weight: bold;">REGISTER</a></li> <li>Friday, September 16<sup>th</sup>, 11:00am – 11:45am - <a href="https://www.eventbrite.com/e/for-employers-learn-more-about-standard-occupational-classification-codes-tickets-368633491697" style="font-weight: bold;">REGISTER</a></li> </ul> <p><strong>Sage 100 Clients</strong></p> <p>For customers utilizing Sage 100 payroll, you will need to be on PR 2.22.3 (being released in September) to populate the Aatrix form if you are utilizing Aatrix to file quarterly reports. The fields for populating the SOC code are already in the Tax Tab in Employee Maintenance for customers with Payroll 2.22.0.0, so you are encouraged to begin populating those fields now. Aatrix will likely update the form by December.</p> <p><strong>People <em>Savvy</em> HCM Clients</strong></p> <p>For clients using People <em>Savvy</em> HCM and Asure PTM, there is an update coming in October to add the required reporting field to the Employee Profile in the Tax Widget in People <em>Savvy</em> HCM. Asure PTM is continuing to refine the filing process for this information within their systems, and updates will be provided.</p> <p>If you are using another payroll provider, you are encouraged to consult with them to make sure they have a plan for this additional reporting requirement. If Bennett/Porter can be of assistance, please contact us today.</p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=2105426&amp;k=14&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fblog.benpor.com%2Fimpressions%2Femployers-with-washington-employees-did-you-know&amp;bu=http%253A%252F%252Fblog.benpor.com%252Fimpressions&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Sage 100 Webinars HR Compliance Employee Classifications Mon, 22 Aug 2022 18:57:52 GMT Christy@benpor.com (Christy Putnam) http://blog.benpor.com/impressions/employers-with-washington-employees-did-you-know 2022-08-22T18:57:52Z Summer means...payroll changes? http://blog.benpor.com/impressions/payroll-changes-coming <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="http://blog.benpor.com/impressions/payroll-changes-coming" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.benpor.com/hubfs/beach-ge6ccf6c42_640.png" alt="Summer means...payroll changes?" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p style="font-weight: normal;">It's summer! And summer in the Pacific Northwest means sunshine, waters warm enough to raft in, cookouts with family and friends, hiking beautiful mountain trails, trips to the coast......and payroll changes. Wait what?! Well okay...thankfully that last one isn't an annual tradition. But unfortunately, employers in Oregon will have to reckon with some payroll changes that are just around the corner. Below is our round-up of things for Payroll Administrators to address before working on their tans.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;"><img src="https://blog.benpor.com/hs-fs/hubfs/beach-ge6ccf6c42_640.png?width=274&amp;name=beach-ge6ccf6c42_640.png" alt="beach-ge6ccf6c42_640" width="274" style="width: 274px; float: right;">It's summer! And summer in the Pacific Northwest means sunshine, waters warm enough to raft in, cookouts with family and friends, hiking beautiful mountain trails, trips to the coast......and payroll changes. Wait what?! Well okay...thankfully that last one isn't an annual tradition. But unfortunately, employers in Oregon will have to reckon with some payroll changes that are just around the corner. Below is our round-up of things for Payroll Administrators to address before working on their tans.</p> <h4><strong>Effective July 1, 2022: Minimum Wage Increase</strong></h4> <p>It is hard to believe how fast time is flying by, but July 1, 2022 will mark the seventh consecutive year of Oregon's minimum wage increase schedule. Are you prepared for this next adjustment? Following are the new rates taking effect, by region:</p> <ul> <li style="color: black; text-align: justify;">Portland Metro area within the urban growth boundary: $14.75</li> <li style="color: black; text-align: justify;">Standard minimum wage: $13.50</li> <li style="color: black; text-align: justify;">Rural Oregon: $12.50</li> </ul> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="color: black;">If you are unsure which region your county is in, the <a href="https://www.oregon.gov/boli/workers/Pages/minimum-wage.aspx" style="font-weight: bold;">BOLI website</a> has a map that can help you make that determination. </span><span style="color: black;">You will also want to be sure to update your <a href="https://www.oregon.gov/boli/employers/pages/required-worksite-postings.aspx" style="font-weight: bold;">Oregon Minimum Wage Worksite Posters</a>.</span></p> <h4 style="text-align: justify;"><strong><span style="color: black;">Effective July 1, 2022: IRS Increases Mileage Reimbursement</span></strong></h4> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="color: black;">Has anyone else noticed increased gas prices lately? (That is my joke for the day, though it gets less funny the closer you get to a gas pump!) Driven by increasing energy costs, another change that goes into effect July 1<sup>st</sup> is <a href="https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/a-22-13.pdf" style="font-weight: bold;">an increased mileage reimbursement rate, announced by the IRS, for the remainder of 2022</a>. The new rate increases $0.04 from the rate at the start of the year to 62.5 cents per mile. This is an optional reimbursement rate for employers to use for the operating of personal vehicles for business purposes, in lieu of tracking actual costs. The standard rate will be reviewed this fall for the next calendar year.</span></p> <h4 style="text-align: justify;"><strong><span style="color: black;">COMING SOON! Oregon Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance (PFMLI)</span></strong></h4> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="color: black;">Another employer responsibility that is on the horizon and quickly approaching is Oregon Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance <span style="font-weight: normal;">(</span>PFMLI). January 1, 2023 is the scheduled launch date and when employer and employee contributions for all Oregon employers will begin. Contributions will be 1% of an employee’s wage and can be split between employers' (40%) and employees' (60%) payroll deductions, or employers can elect to pay the entire premium. Employers with under 25 employees are not required to pay the employer portion but are still responsible for the employee withholding amount and submission.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="color: black;">This program entitles workers to take up to 12 weeks of paid time off for family, medical, and “safe” leave. Employees will receive 100% of their wages up to 65% of the state’s average weekly wage (SAWW). Over 65% of the SAWW, an employee will receive 50% of the individual’s average weekly wage to the maximum benefit amount of 120% of SAWW.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="color: black;">Employees will be able to make claims for leave beginning in September 2023. To be eligible for a claim, employees will need to experience a qualifying event, complete an application, earn at least $1,000 in wages in the past year, and contribute to the paid leave trust fund through payroll deductions.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="color: black;">Employers will have the option of participating in the state-run program or opting out as long as they offer a &nbsp;fully-insured or self-insured private plan with equivalent or better benefits.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="color: black;">For an informative <a href="https://www.oregon.gov/employ/PFMLI/Documents/PFMLI_003_0921.pdf" style="font-weight: bold;">FAQ</a> and additional information on this program, please visit the <a href="https://www.oregon.gov/employ/PFMLI/Pages/default.aspx" style="font-weight: bold;">State of Oregon Employment Department</a>.</span></p> <h4 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="color: black;">&nbsp;<span style="font-weight: bold;">What's your plan?</span></span></h4> <p style="text-align: justify;">So now that you know what needs to be done, how are you going to do it? If your company struggles to implement payroll changes like these - which seem to happen with increasing frequency - give us a call. We're Human Capital Management specialists who can help advise you on the best practices and technologies to solve your HR, Payroll, and Labor Management challenges. Let us help you minimize your time generating quality payrolls and maximize your time enjoying the weather.</p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=2105426&amp;k=14&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fblog.benpor.com%2Fimpressions%2Fpayroll-changes-coming&amp;bu=http%253A%252F%252Fblog.benpor.com%252Fimpressions&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Payroll Taxes Tue, 28 Jun 2022 15:54:53 GMT Christy@benpor.com (Christy Putnam) http://blog.benpor.com/impressions/payroll-changes-coming 2022-06-28T15:54:53Z Latest COVID Updates Affecting Employers http://blog.benpor.com/impressions/latest-covid-updates-affecting-employers <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="http://blog.benpor.com/impressions/latest-covid-updates-affecting-employers" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.benpor.com/hubfs/Covid%2019%20Updates.jpg" alt="Latest COVID Updates Affecting Employers" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>There probably isn’t a person anywhere who can say the coronavirus pandemic has not in some way affected them. I think we are all a little - or, more realistically, a lot - tired of it. While we might wish we could bury our heads under our pillows and not come out until it’s over, employers and HR professionals alike know that this is not a realistic response. We must continue to keep up with all the latest news and required enforcements and to make decisions that will keep our employees, their families, our customers, and businesses as safe as possible. To help, we've compiled the following updates. Hopefully, some of the resources below will help make everyone's work life a little easier as we get through this together.</p> <p><img src="https://blog.benpor.com/hs-fs/hubfs/Covid%2019%20Updates.jpg?width=306&amp;name=Covid%2019%20Updates.jpg" alt="Covid 19 Updates" width="306" style="width: 306px; float: right;">There probably isn’t a person anywhere who can say the coronavirus pandemic has not in some way affected them. I think we are all a little - or, more realistically, a lot - tired of it. While we might wish we could bury our heads under our pillows and not come out until it’s over, employers and HR professionals alike know that this is not a realistic response. We must continue to keep up with all the latest news and required enforcements and to make decisions that will keep our employees, their families, our customers, and businesses as safe as possible. To help, we've compiled the following updates. Hopefully, some of the resources below will help make everyone's work life a little easier as we get through this together.</p> <h4><strong>Oregon Mask Mandate</strong></h4> <p><span style="font-weight: bold;">***UPDATE Effective 02/24/2022***</span> <a href="https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/ORDHS/bulletins/3098e7d" style="font-weight: bold;">OHA</a>&nbsp;announced an update to the original March 31 mask mandate timeline. Oregon will no longer require masks for indoor public spaces or schools effective <span style="font-weight: bold;">March 19, 2022</span>. Hospitalizations have declined significantly, resulting in the decision to lift the mask mandate earlier than anticipated. The Emergency Declaration is still expected to be lifted by Governor Brown on April 1, 2022.</p> <h4><strong>Washington Mask Mandate</strong></h4> <p>Governor Inslee announced Washington has targeted Mach 21, 2022 to end the indoor mask mandate at most venues, assuming cases in that state continue the downward trend. The healthcare system will continue to be monitored in order to adjust decisions in relation to actual circumstances.</p> <h4><strong>Do you have employees based in California?</strong></h4> <p>If you answered yes, on February 9, 2022, Governor Newsom signed <a href="https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=202120220SB114" style="font-weight: bold;">SB 114</a> into law, which provides Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (SPSL) effective February 19, 2022. This will apply to employers with 26+ employees. Employees will be entitled to up to 80 hours of COVID sick leave from January 1, 2022 through September 30, 2022, divided into two 40-hour banks of leave. The first 40-hour leave bank is for the employee that tests positive for COVID-19 or if a family member under the employee’s care tests positive. The second 40-hour bank is available for other qualifying reasons. Employers are required to conspicuously post the <a href="https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/COVID19resources/2022-COVID-19-SPSL-Poster.pdf" style="font-weight: bold;">2022 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave model notice</a> in the workplace as well as distribute it to employees working remotely. This notice provides additional detail on the “other qualifying reasons”. For additional information regarding this regulation please visit the <a href="https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/COVID19Resources/2022-SPSL-FAQs.html" style="font-weight: bold;">California Department of Industrial Relations</a> website. This is a valuable resource for employers with questions.</p> <h4><strong>Information Regarding At-home COVID Tests Employees Should be Aware of</strong></h4> <p>Employees can get up to 4 free at-home COVID-19 tests per household by ordering online at <a href="https://www.covidtests.gov/" style="font-weight: bold;">COVIDtests.gov</a>. This website reports that orders usually ship in 7-12 days.</p> <p>Beginning January 15, 2022, the Biden Administration announced and issued <a href="https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/EBSA/about-ebsa/our-activities/resource-center/faqs/aca-part-51.pdf" style="font-weight: bold;">guidance</a> that private insurers would be required to cover the cost of rapid at-home COVID-19 tests purchased over the counter. This includes up to 8 authorized rapid tests per member per month. This requirement applies to private insurers and does not apply to Medicaid or Medicare. Employees should be encouraged to reach out to their medical insurer for the process and details.</p> <h4><strong>Supreme Court Overturns OSHA Regulations</strong></h4> <p>After a Supreme Court ruling, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) withdrew its emergency temporary standard (ETS) requiring large employers (with 100+ employees) to ensure employees are vaccinated or undergo weekly testing. OSHA has shifted their focus and continues to work on a proposal for a permanent standard going through the formal rulemaking process with a notice-and-comment period. The permanent standard cannot look identical to the ETS, so it may be more industry focused. Regardless, private employers still have the options of requiring employees be vaccinated or tested.</p> <p>These are just some of the current hot topics in relation to the COVID updates. We will continue to provide the latest news as your trusted technology advisor. Please <a href="https://blog.benpor.com/impressions" style="font-weight: bold;">subscribe to B/P Impressions</a> to receive our latest blog content and review recommended technology solutions to help keep your organization compliant.</p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=2105426&amp;k=14&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fblog.benpor.com%2Fimpressions%2Flatest-covid-updates-affecting-employers&amp;bu=http%253A%252F%252Fblog.benpor.com%252Fimpressions&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Human Resources HR Policies COVID-19 workplace safety Wed, 23 Feb 2022 18:52:24 GMT Christy@benpor.com (Christy Putnam) http://blog.benpor.com/impressions/latest-covid-updates-affecting-employers 2022-02-23T18:52:24Z Touchless Timeclocks are the Future, and the Future is Now! http://blog.benpor.com/impressions/touchless-timeclocks-are-the-future-and-the-future-is-now <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="http://blog.benpor.com/impressions/touchless-timeclocks-are-the-future-and-the-future-is-now" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.benpor.com/hubfs/Screen%20Shot%202022-02-16%20at%2010.37.44%20AM.png" alt="Touchless Timeclocks are the Future, and the Future is Now!" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>Mask mandates may soon be going away in cities and counties throughout the country. Viruses - Covid or otherwise - certainly are here to stay. One positive effect of the pandemic for many companies is that more attention has been brought to the physical health of their overall workforces. At workplaces where employees have already returned or will do so soon, allowing a few potentially ill employees to interact with lots of healthy ones in close quarters has become a true threat to conducting business. Employers can't afford to have large groups of employees out sick for an unspecified amount of time, especially in such a challenging hiring environment. Increasingly, companies are looking for contactless technologies that will help protect the wellbeing of their employees, their customers, and their business operations alike. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Touchless timeclocks are a key component of this health-maintenance strategy.</span></p> <p><img src="https://blog.benpor.com/hs-fs/hubfs/Screen%20Shot%202022-02-16%20at%2010.37.44%20AM.png?width=163&amp;name=Screen%20Shot%202022-02-16%20at%2010.37.44%20AM.png" alt="Screen Shot 2022-02-16 at 10.37.44 AM" width="163" style="width: 163px; float: right;">Mask mandates may soon be going away in cities and counties throughout the country. Viruses - Covid or otherwise - certainly are here to stay. One positive effect of the pandemic for many companies is that more attention has been brought to the physical health of their overall workforces. At workplaces where employees have already returned or will do so soon, allowing a few potentially ill employees to interact with lots of healthy ones in close quarters has become a true threat to conducting business. Employers can't afford to have large groups of employees out sick for an unspecified amount of time, especially in such a challenging hiring environment. Increasingly, companies are looking for contactless technologies that will help protect the wellbeing of their employees, their customers, and their business operations alike. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Touchless timeclocks are a key component of this health-maintenance strategy.</span></p> <p></p> <p>Touchless timeclocks come in several forms, but most of them require some sort of object - a magnetic card or a key fob, for instance - to be carried by the employee. So even though the clock itself doesn't need to be contacted, an object must still be handled. Too often, especially in a pandemic context, that object brushes up against the reader on the clock, allowing invisible germs and viral matter on the employee's hand to transfer to the clock, and allowing whatever has collected on the clock to transfer back to the employee. So much for touchless!</p> <p>Now, however, facial recognition technology makes it possible for clocking transactions to be truly contact free. <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MakVYH5VNcw"><span style="font-weight: bold;">By simply looking from a safe distance at an iPad running such software, employees can be clocked in quicker, more reliably, and safer than ever before.</span></a> For businesses running&nbsp;<a href="https://benpor.com/peoplesavvy-hcm/"><span style="font-weight: bold;">People&nbsp;<em>Savvy</em> HCM</span></a>, we can have them up and running with this technology within a day.</p> <h3 style="text-align: center;">Touchless attendance systems are a key part of a business strategy aimed at keeping employees safe and productive.</h3> <p>For companies that want to take the next step and conduct temperature screening, we now offer a bluetooth thermometer option to complement these touchless clocks. <a href="https://www.canva.com/design/DAE10lHRHSc/SbVnxcRB5vJ5uu5kJrXvtg/watch?utm_content=DAE10lHRHSc&amp;utm_campaign=designshare&amp;utm_medium=link&amp;utm_source=publishsharelink"><span style="font-weight: bold;">When employees attempt to clock in for the first time in a day, they are directed to a touchless thermometer that accurately reads their temperature from forehead or wrist.</span></a> If an employee's temperature exceeds the configured threshold - indicating the possibility of a fever - the employee is prohibited from clocking in and management is immediately alerted so that the proper, protective protocols can be followed.</p> <p>The masks might be coming off soon, but don't take chances with the health of your workforce. <a href="https://benpor.com/contact-us/"><span style="font-weight: bold;">Get in touch with us today</span></a>, and let us show you how the health of your business can benefit from the use of touchless timeclocks.</p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=2105426&amp;k=14&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fblog.benpor.com%2Fimpressions%2Ftouchless-timeclocks-are-the-future-and-the-future-is-now&amp;bu=http%253A%252F%252Fblog.benpor.com%252Fimpressions&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Human Capital Management Time & Labor Management COVID-19 Touchless Technologies Wed, 16 Feb 2022 19:25:45 GMT james@benpor.com (James) http://blog.benpor.com/impressions/touchless-timeclocks-are-the-future-and-the-future-is-now 2022-02-16T19:25:45Z A Few Reminders to Start 2022 http://blog.benpor.com/impressions/a-few-reminders-to-start-2022 <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="http://blog.benpor.com/impressions/a-few-reminders-to-start-2022" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.benpor.com/hubfs/Reminder.png" alt="A Few Reminders to Start 2022" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>Did you survive year end and getting all those W2s into the waiting hands of your employees? If you answered "Yes!", then a big <strong>CONGRATULATIONS</strong> to you...and welcome to 2022! We have all hit the ground running and, believe it or not, we are well into February already. With April right around the corner, we thought now would be a good time to remind everyone about two new taxes that went into effect in Oregon and could require filing.</p> <p><img src="https://blog.benpor.com/hs-fs/hubfs/Reminder.png?width=127&amp;name=Reminder.png" alt="Reminder" width="127" style="width: 127px; float: right;">Did you survive year end and getting all those W2s into the waiting hands of your employees? If you answered "Yes!", then a big <strong>CONGRATULATIONS</strong> to you...and welcome to 2022! We have all hit the ground running and, believe it or not, we are well into February already. With April right around the corner, we thought now would be a good time to remind everyone about two new taxes that went into effect in Oregon and could require filing.</p> <h5><strong>Supportive Housing Services (SHS) Tax </strong></h5> <p>In May 2020, voters approved Measure 26-210, or the SHS tax, to help end homelessness across greater Portland (i.e. Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties). The measure is a Metro program which uses personal and business income taxes, and it is made up of two parts:</p> <ul> <li>A 1% personal income tax applied on 100% of Oregon’s taxable income above $125,000 for individuals ($200,000 for joint filing). Please be sure to review the telecommuting rules, if applicable.</li> <li>A 1% business income tax on net income over $5 million.</li> </ul> <p>Payroll withholding was not required for calendar year 2021. It is, however, required beginning in calendar year 2022. Employees may opt in or out of the withholding by providing this completed <a href="https://www.oregonmetro.gov/sites/default/files/2021/09/09/Metro-and-MultCo-OPT-form-English-2021-06-21.pdf" style="font-weight: bold;">form</a>. Withheld taxes are due at the same time as federal and state taxes. To determine whether a residence, workplace, and/or earned business income is within Metro’s jurisdiction, please reference <a href="https://gis.oregonmetro.gov/metro-boundary-lookup/?_ga=2.164362812.265988849.1644532118-1427357235.1644532118#/batch-address-query" style="font-weight: bold;">Metro’s boundary lookup tool</a>. Please visit <a href="https://www.oregonmetro.gov/public-projects/supportive-housing-services-tax/pay-your-tax" style="font-weight: bold;">Metro’s website</a> for additional information on this tax as well as when, where, and how to pay it. The tax will expire in 2030 unless renewed by voters.</p> <h5><strong>Preschool for All (PFA) Tax </strong></h5> <p>In 2020, voters of Multnomah County approved a measure establishing a tuition-free preschool program known as Preschool for All. This program is funded through a personal income tax at the following rates:</p> <ul> <li>A 5% on taxable income over $125,000 for individuals ($200,000 for joint filers).</li> <li>An additional 1.5% on taxable income over $250,000 for individuals ($400,000 for joint filers).</li> </ul> <p>Beginning January 1, 2022, employers with worksites in Multnomah County must provide payroll withholding for employees earning over $200,000 annually. As with the SHS-based individual tax, employees have the option to opt in or out by completing the <a href="https://www.oregonmetro.gov/sites/default/files/2021/09/09/Metro-and-MultCo-OPT-form-English-2021-06-21.pdf" style="font-weight: bold;">Metro/MultCo OPT Form</a>. Additional information for this program can be found on the <a href="https://www.multco.us/finance/preschool-all-personal-income-tax" style="font-weight: bold;">Multnomah County website</a> or in the <a href="https://multco-web7-psh-files-usw2.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/PFA%20Handbook%20121621.pdf" style="font-weight: bold;">Preschool For All Employer Handbook</a>.</p> <h5><strong>Washington Cares Act DELAYED!</strong></h5> <p>On a related note for our neighbors in Washington, on January 27<sup>th</sup>, Governor Inslee signed House Bills 1732 and 1733, delaying and amending the Washington Cares Act or the Long-Term Care premium tax. The bill delays premium collection to July 1, 2023. Any premiums already collected from employees must be returned within 120-days of the original date of withholding. To get the latest updates on this program please reference the <a href="https://wacaresfund.wa.gov/" style="font-weight: bold;">Washington Cares Fund website</a>.</p> <h5><strong>ACA Reporting Deadlines</strong></h5> <p>Are you ready for ACA reporting in 2022? If your Company is an applicable large employer (ALE) with 50 full-time employees, or full-time equivalents, the deadline for employees to receive a 1095-B or 1095-C for the 2021 reporting year is March 2, 2022. The deadline to file all forms with the IRS is February 28, 2022, if you are filing with paper, and March 31, 2022 for electronic filing.</p> <p style="font-size: 14px;">What can you do to make managing all of these items easier for your business? Why, invest in a Human Capital Management (HCM) solution of course! A cloud-based HCM system can help you manage all of your HR, time and labor management, and payroll needs in 2022 and beyond! If you're interested in making life easier, please reach out to us so we can introduce you to <a href="https://benpor.com/peoplesavvy-hcm/"><span style="font-weight: bold;">People <em>Savvy</em> HCM</span></a> and all the business management efficiencies it offers you and your employees.</p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=2105426&amp;k=14&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fblog.benpor.com%2Fimpressions%2Fa-few-reminders-to-start-2022&amp;bu=http%253A%252F%252Fblog.benpor.com%252Fimpressions&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Human Capital Management Human Resources Payroll Taxes Time & Labor Management Fri, 11 Feb 2022 16:45:54 GMT Christy@benpor.com (Christy Putnam) http://blog.benpor.com/impressions/a-few-reminders-to-start-2022 2022-02-11T16:45:54Z What Potential Payroll Changes are Expected in 2022? http://blog.benpor.com/impressions/what-potential-payroll-changes-are-expected-in-2022 <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="http://blog.benpor.com/impressions/what-potential-payroll-changes-are-expected-in-2022" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.benpor.com/hubfs/income-tax-gcdc41afbc_640.jpg" alt="What Potential Payroll Changes are Expected in 2022?" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="color: #353535; background-color: white; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">With a new year come many new changes and updates to payroll requirements. 2022 will be no exception, and with the new year quickly approaching, we've compiled the following extensive list of items that may initiate some payroll changes in your organization. We understand that this is a very long list to review, but we hope it provides a valuable reference guide for your organization. You might start thinking about these and act sooner than later.</span></p> <span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"></span> <p style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="color: #353535; background-color: white; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><img src="https://blog.benpor.com/hs-fs/hubfs/income-tax-gcdc41afbc_640.jpg?width=260&amp;name=income-tax-gcdc41afbc_640.jpg" alt="income-tax-gcdc41afbc_640" width="260" style="width: 260px; float: right;">With a new year come many new changes and updates to payroll requirements. 2022 will be no exception, and with the new year quickly approaching, we've compiled the following extensive list of items that may initiate some payroll changes in your organization. We understand that this is a very long list to review, but we hope it provides a valuable reference guide for your organization. You might start thinking about these and act sooner than later.</span></p> <span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"></span> <h4 style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong><span style="color: #353535; background-color: white; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">FICA Tax Rate Increase</span></strong></span></h4> <p style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="color: #353535; background-color: white; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Beginning January 1, 2022, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security payroll tax will increase $4,200, from the current $142,800 to $147,000.<span style="background-color: white;"> The 7.65% employee tax rate remains unchanged and is the combined rate for Social Security (6.2%) and Medicare (1.45%). There is no wage limit for Medicare. These rates do not include the additional 0.9% individuals with earned income of $200,000 ($250,000 and more for married couples filing jointly) and more pay.</span></span></p> <p style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="color: #353535; background-color: white; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">The </span><span style="color: black;"><a href="https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/deferral-of-employment-tax-deposits-and-payments-through-december-31-2020"><span style="color: #353535; background-color: white; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">CARES Act,</span></a></span><span style="color: #353535; background-color: white; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"> implemented in March of 2020, enabled employers to defer deposit and payment of the employer’s share of the Social Security FICA taxes from March 27<sup>th</sup> through December 31, 2020. The deferred payments are required to be paid, with half due by December 31, 2021, and <strong>the other half by December 31, 2022</strong>.</span></span></p> <p style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong><span style="color: #353535; background-color: white; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">State Unemployment Tax Act (SUTA)</span></strong></span></p> <p style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="color: #353535; background-color: white; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Despite a crazy employment year in 2021, Oregon is lowering the unemployment rate to an average of 1.97% for 2022 (was 2.26% for 2021). The current Oregon SUTA base ($43,800) will receive a shift in tax schedule. Employers subject to the Oregon payroll tax will move to a Tax Schedule III for 2022 with a base of $47,700. </span><span style="color: black;"><a href="https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2021R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/HB3389/Enrolled"><span style="color: #353535; background-color: white; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">House Bill 3389</span></a></span><span style="color: #353535; background-color: white; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"> was signed into law in July 2021, which is designed to help employers by:</span></span></p> <ul style="font-size: 14px;"> <li><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="color: #353535; background-color: white; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"> </span><span style="color: #353535; background-color: white; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Lowering the tax schedule for 2022 from four to three.</span></span></li> <li><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="color: #353535; background-color: white; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"> </span><span style="color: #353535; background-color: white; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Keeping the same experience rating from individual employers 2020 pre-pandemic UI tax rate to determine the 2022 to 2024 rate.</span></span></li> <li><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="color: #353535; background-color: white; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">&nbsp;For&nbsp;</span><span style="color: #353535; background-color: white; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">eligible employers, deferring up to one-third of their 2021 UI tax liability until June 30, 2022, if their tax rates increased by more than 0.5 percentage points.</span></span></li> </ul> <p style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="color: #353535; background-color: white; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">The Washington State base for 2021 is currently $56,500. The base for 2022 we have been seeing is $62,500, but this number has not yet been confirmed by the State. </span></p> <p style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="color: #353535; background-color: white; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">The base rate is the maximum amount of wages per employee for which unemployment tax is applicable each year and is the same for all employees within a state, while the unemployment <em>rate</em> is specific to each individual company.</span></p> <p style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong><span style="color: #353535; background-color: white; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA)</span></strong></span></p> <p style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="color: #353535; background-color: white; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">The current FUTA rate is 6.0% of the first $7,000 of employee wages. Employers generally get a credit of up to 5.4% (state tax credit) if unemployment taxes are paid in full and on time. The FUTA rate after the credit is 0.6%.</span></p> <p style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong><span style="color: #353535; background-color: white; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Oregon Local Taxes</span></strong></span></p> <p style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="color: #353535; background-color: white; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">In calendar year 2022, the Lane Transit District tax will be increasing from the current .0076 to .0077. The Wilsonville transit tax will remain unchanged at .005. The TriMet transit tax rate for 2022 is .007937, an increase from the current .007837.</span></p> <p style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong><span style="color: #353535; background-color: white; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Oregon Workers’ Benefit Fund</span></strong></span></p> <p style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="color: #353535; background-color: white; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">There is no change once again in 2022 to the 2.2 cents per hour worked for the Oregon Workers’ Benefit Fund. Employers must continue to pay at least half of the amount (1.1 cents) and deduct no more than 1.1 cents from employees' wages. Payments must continue to be made directly to the state along with other state payroll taxes on a quarterly basis. This fund pays for benefits to injured workers and their beneficiaries. The fund also helps injured workers return to work.</span></p> <p style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong><span style="color: #353535; background-color: white; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Oregon Metro Supportive Housing</span></strong></span></p> <p style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="color: #353535; background-color: white; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">In May 2020, voters approved a new regional supportive housing services program funded by personal and business income taxes. The personal income tax is 1% on taxable income above $125,000 for individuals ($200,000 for those filing jointly). The business income tax is 1% on net income with gross receipts above $5 million. Oregon residents are subject to this tax as are non-residents with wages paid for work performed within the Metro District. Metro’s boundaries do not align with Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington Counties. To determine if a residence or workplace is within Metro’s jurisdiction, it is advised to use the </span><span style="color: black;"><a href="https://www.oregonmetro.gov/about-metro/metro-council/find-your-councilor" style="font-weight: bold;"><span style="color: #353535; background-color: white; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Find your Councilor tool</span></a></span><span style="color: #353535; background-color: white; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"> on Metro’s website. For 2021, businesses were required to offer withholding to it employees as soon as their payroll system could be configured to capture and remit taxes. For 2022, withholding will be mandatory for all employees and employers that meet requirements.</span></span></p> <p style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong><span style="color: #353535; background-color: white; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Preschool For All (PFA) Tax</span></strong></span></p> <p style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="color: #404040;">On November 3, 2020, Multnomah County voters approved Tax </span><span style="color: black;"><a href="https://multco-web7-psh-files-usw2.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/Ballot%20Measure%2026-214.pdf"><span style="color: #404040;">Measure 26-214</span></a></span><span style="color: #404040;"> establishing a tuition-free preschool program. </span><span style="color: #404040; background-color: white;">The PFA program is funded by a personal income tax of&nbsp;1.5% on taxable income over $125,000 for individuals ($200,000 for joint filers), and an additional 1.5% (3% total) on taxable income over $250,000 for individuals ($400,000 for joint filers). Residents of Multnomah County will have 100% of their Oregon Taxable Income subject to the tax thresholds. For non-residents of Multnomah County, income sourced within the county will be subject to the tax withholdings. Like the Oregon Metro Supportive Housing tax above, </span><span style="color: black; background-color: white;">f</span><span style="color: #353535;">or 2021, businesses were required to offer withholding to it employees as soon as their payroll system could be configured to capture and remit taxes. For 2022, withholding will be mandatory for all employees and employers that meet requirements. For additional information, please reference the </span><span style="color: black;"><a href="https://multco-web7-psh-files-usw2.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/Preschool%20For%20All%20Personal%20Income%20Tax%20Questions%20and%20Answers%20090921.pdf" style="font-weight: bold;"><span style="color: #353535;">Multnomah County FAQ</span></a></span><span style="color: #353535;">.</span></span></p> <p style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong><span style="color: #353535; background-color: white; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave</span></strong></span></p> <p style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="color: #353535; background-color: white;">Paid Family and Medical Leave is an insurance program funded through premiums paid by employers and employees which began January 1, 2019. Effective January 1, 2022, the premium amount will increase to 0.6% for gross wages up to the 2022 Social Security cap of $147,000. The premium is shared by the employer (26.78%) and the employee (73.22%) for employers with over 50 employees. An employer can choose to pay the employee portion of the premium. Employers with fewer than 50 employees are not required to pay the employer portion of the premium but are still required to collect and remit the employee portion. For additional information you can visit the </span><span style="color: black;"><a href="https://paidleave.wa.gov/" style="font-weight: bold;"><span style="background-color: white;">Washington Paid Family &amp; Medical Leave</span></a></span><span style="color: #353535; background-color: white;"> website.</span></span></p> <p style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong><span style="color: #353535; background-color: white; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Washington Long Term Care <em>(UPDATED 12/20/2021)</em></span></strong></span></p> <p style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="color: #353535; background-color: white; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">A mandatory payroll tax to fund Washington State's new long-term care program was set to begin January 1, 2022. Washington workers would have paid $0.58 per $1,000 of earnings towards the Washington Cares Fund. <span style="font-weight: bold;">On December 17, 2021, Governor Inslee <a href="https://www.governor.wa.gov/news-media/inslee-billig-jinkins-statement-delaying-wa-cares-fund-premium-assessment">released a statement</a> delaying the start of the program until April 2022.&nbsp; Legislators intend to vote to delay the tax for at least another year beyond April 2022 to conduct further work to address concerns about the plan.</span> For additional information please reference the </span><span style="color: black;"><a href="https://wacaresfund.wa.gov/" style="font-weight: bold;"><span style="color: #353535; background-color: white; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Washington Cares Fund</span></a></span><span style="color: #353535; background-color: white; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"> website.</span></span></p> <p style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong><span style="color: #353535; background-color: white; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">401(k) Limit Increase</span></strong></span></p> <p style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="color: #353535; background-color: white; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">The contribution limit for employees who participate in 401(k) and 403(b) plans in 2022 will increase from the current $19,500 to $20,500. Employees age 50 and over will continue to have the 'catch-up' contribution limit of $6,500. The maximum contributions from all sources (employer and employee combined) will rise by $3,000 in 2022 to $61,000 for all employees age 49 and younger, and $67,500 if age 50 or older.</span></p> <p style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong><span style="color: #353535; background-color: white; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Flexible Spending Account (FSA) / Parking and Transit Limits</span></strong></span></p> <p style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="color: #353535; background-color: white; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Employee pre-tax deductions for FSA health reimbursement accounts will increase for the 2022 plan year to $2,850. This is an increase of $100 over 2021. For health FSA plans that contain the carryover feature, the maximum carryover amount for 2022 is increasing to $570. We advise checking with your employee benefits consultant regarding special carry over options for plan years 2020 and 2021 under the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA). Parking and transit limits for 2022 are also increasing slightly to $280 per month. The dependent care reimbursement remains unchanged at $5,000 ($2,500 if married and filing separate taxes). </span></p> <p style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong><span style="color: #353535; background-color: white; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Health Savings Account (HSA) Contributions</span></strong></span></p> <p style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="color: #353535; background-color: white; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">For 2022, the IRS increased pre-tax deductions for HSAs to $3,650 for individual coverage ($50 increase) and $7,300 for family coverage ($100 increase). This is for members that have high deductible medical coverage that qualifies to be paired with a Health Savings Accounts.</span></p> <p style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong><span style="color: #353535; background-color: white; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Workers’ Compensation</span></strong></span></p> <p style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="color: #353535; background-color: white; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Workers’ Compensation pure premium rates are the base rates before insurer costs are added. The pure premium rates for 2022 are expected once again to decrease by 5.5% from 2021. The pure premium is the portion employers pay to cover claims and to maintain workplace safety programs. The pure premiums are combined with an assessment rate, which is expected to increase from 9.0% to 9.8% of premiums paid. </span></p> <p style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong><span style="color: #353535;">OregonSaves</span></strong></span></p> <p style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="color: black;"><a href="https://www.oregonsaves.com/" style="font-weight: bold;"><span style="color: #0053a0;">OregonSaves</span></a></span><span style="color: #353535;">&nbsp;was rolled out in October 2017 and is a mandatory state retirement program. The program is applicable to all size employers. The deadline for the final phase of the program has been updated and is targeted for late 2022 and is for employers with four or few employees. The deadlines for all other size employers has past. Employers that do not offer an employer-sponsored retirement plan are required to facilitate OregonSaves. The law states that employers not complying with OregonSaves will be subject to penalties of up to $100 per eligible employee up to $5,000 per year. Employees make contributions to personal IRAs through payroll deduction starting at 5% of gross pay and increases 1% each year of participation (employees can choose additional amounts) up to 10%. Employers that offer an employer-sponsored plan must&nbsp;</span><span style="color: black;"><a href="https://oregonsaves.vestwell.com/exempt" style="font-weight: bold;"><span style="color: #0053a0;">certify</span></a></span><span style="color: #353535;">&nbsp;they do, and this certification can be done online in just minutes.</span></span></p> <p style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong><span style="color: #353535;">ACA</span></strong></span></p> <p style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="color: #353535;">The last several years the IRS has issued notices about extended filing deadlines for ACA reporting. Forms are due to employees by January 31<sup>st</sup> each year. This year, in new </span><span style="color: black;"><a href="https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/reg-109128-21.pdf" style="font-weight: bold;">proposed regulations</a></span><span style="color: #353535;">, the IRS would permanently grant a 30-day extension for employers to furnish forms to employees. Employers can take advantage of the automatic proposed extension for the distribution of the 2021 forms. This means that the 2021 deadline for providing individuals with Forms 1095-B or 1095-C is March 2, 2022. The deadlines for filing forms 1094-B and 1095-B or Forms 1094-C and 1095-C to the IRS remain unchanged. For paper filers, the deadline is February 28, 2022. Electronic filers have until March 31, 2022. </span></span></p> <p style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong><span style="color: #353535;">Remote Workers and Tax Consequences</span></strong></span></p> <p style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="color: #353535; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">It is important to take note that remote workers could be creating tax compliance risks for employers. If you have employees working, even remotely from home (also part-time), in a different state than where your company is physically located be sure you are withholding the appropriate payroll taxes. Just a few examples of taxes this could affect include income taxes, gross-receipts taxes, and local taxes. We encourage employers to consult a tax advisor who understands the tax laws of the employer’s physical business home state and the locations where employees are working remotely. In addition to state and local taxes, employers should also take into consideration workers’ compensation insurance and unemployment insurance.</span></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=2105426&amp;k=14&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fblog.benpor.com%2Fimpressions%2Fwhat-potential-payroll-changes-are-expected-in-2022&amp;bu=http%253A%252F%252Fblog.benpor.com%252Fimpressions&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Payroll Taxes Workers' Compensation Thu, 02 Dec 2021 23:52:28 GMT Christy@benpor.com (Christy Putnam) http://blog.benpor.com/impressions/what-potential-payroll-changes-are-expected-in-2022 2021-12-02T23:52:28Z Don't Let This Happen to Your Servers http://blog.benpor.com/impressions/dont-let-this-happen-to-your-servers <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="http://blog.benpor.com/impressions/dont-let-this-happen-to-your-servers" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.benpor.com/hubfs/lightning-g382b49cea_640.jpg" alt="Don't Let This Happen to Your Servers" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p><span>You never know when exactly you’ll find out you need to have a Disaster Recovery Plan in place.&nbsp;</span><span>Last Friday, the Portland area experienced significant rainfall amounts, which caused widespread flooding and damage. Although rain in the Pacific Northwest is rather common, receiving it all at once is not nearly as common.</span></p> <p><span><img src="https://blog.benpor.com/hs-fs/hubfs/lightning-g382b49cea_640.jpg?width=309&amp;name=lightning-g382b49cea_640.jpg" alt="lightning-g382b49cea_640" width="309" style="width: 309px; float: right;">You never know when exactly you’ll find out you need to have a Disaster Recovery Plan in place.&nbsp;</span><span>Last Friday, the Portland area experienced significant rainfall amounts, which caused widespread flooding and damage. Although rain in the Pacific Northwest is rather common, receiving it all at once is not nearly as common.</span></p> <p><span></span><span>One of our client's has a server in the basement of their building, and they rely on that server to run Sage, access their files, and run their network. When the rains came, the basement flooded, and since the server was on the floor and not rack-mounted, the water rose overnight until it took out the server. Because they already had a Datto backup device in place, we were able to get them up and running on the backup device in less than 20 minutes.&nbsp;In the time it took them to get to the office and determine that the servers were down, we were able to redirect them to the backup device, and most users barely knew that anything had changed.</span></p> <p><span></span><span>If the client had decided a couple of years ago that their antiquated backup system was sufficient for their needs, it could have taken them up to a day or more to get their data restored – in addition to the time needed to order and install a replacement server that the data would be restored to. But because they chose Datto backup and recovery, we were able to launch an instance of their server virtually and get them back up and running almost immediately. Their employees could get back to work while others organizations were just starting to deal with the flooding. It allowed them to continue operating at a fully functional level with minimal downtime.</span></p> <p><span></span><span>People always ask, “What do we do if the big one hits?” However, it doesn’t take an earthquake to put your data at risk. Your company can be the victim of Ransomware, be subjected to a basement flood caused by weather or a burst pipe, experience theft, or experience plain old hardware failure. It makes good business sense to prepare for the worst now – and Bennett/Porter’s solutions can help.</span></p> <p><span></span><span>The Datto solution allows for hourly backups to a hardware device located on your network, as well as a nightly offsite backup to a location geographically remote from your office. So no matter what happens, your data is in safe hands.</span></p> <p><span></span><span>Let us know if we can help you with your disaster planning today.</span></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=2105426&amp;k=14&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fblog.benpor.com%2Fimpressions%2Fdont-let-this-happen-to-your-servers&amp;bu=http%253A%252F%252Fblog.benpor.com%252Fimpressions&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Backups Fri, 19 Nov 2021 00:30:03 GMT dionne@benpor.com (Dionne) http://blog.benpor.com/impressions/dont-let-this-happen-to-your-servers 2021-11-19T00:30:03Z Windows 11 is here! Now what? http://blog.benpor.com/impressions/windows-11-is-here-now-what <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="http://blog.benpor.com/impressions/windows-11-is-here-now-what" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.benpor.com/hubfs/Windows%2011.png" alt="Windows 11 is here! Now what?" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>On October 5<sup>th</sup>, this newest version will begin coming pre-loaded on new PCs and, much like Windows 10 was for Windows 7 and 8 PCs, it will be available as a free upgrade for Windows 10 PCs. You may not see this update on your PC immediately, since Microsoft usually chooses chunks of devices to roll these major feature and version updates out to in phases. It’s also possible that your IT department or provider may have blocked the update from applying—just to avoid any unexpected incompatibilities from an unforeseen auto-update!</p> <p><img src="https://blog.benpor.com/hs-fs/hubfs/Windows%2011.png?width=289&amp;name=Windows%2011.png" alt="Windows 11" width="289" style="width: 289px; float: right;">On October 5<sup>th</sup>, this newest version will begin coming pre-loaded on new PCs and, much like Windows 10 was for Windows 7 and 8 PCs, it will be available as a free upgrade for Windows 10 PCs. You may not see this update on your PC immediately, since Microsoft usually chooses chunks of devices to roll these major feature and version updates out to in phases. It’s also possible that your IT department or provider may have blocked the update from applying—just to avoid any unexpected incompatibilities from an unforeseen auto-update!</p> <p>The increase in system requirements from Windows 10 to Windows 11 is a much steeper change that previous version updates. While Windows 10 was able to run on a huge variety of machines, Windows 11 has a much smaller range of machines it can run on. This is mostly due to the security features it requires to be available and enabled on the machine’s processor. In most cases, this means that if your machine wasn’t purchased brand new in the past three or four years, it will not be able to run Windows 11.</p> <p>If your machine <em>can</em> run Windows 11, then the first question will usually be this: “What’s new with Windows 11?” <a href="https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2021/08/31/windows-11-available-on-october-5/"><span style="font-weight: bold;">Microsoft has published a list of features in their release date blog here.</span></a></p> <p>Many of these features are aesthetic or interface focused, and historically, any of those types of changes for Windows tend to be pretty poorly received! We all get used to the precise locations and functions of buttons and apps on the PCs we use every single day, so even a minor change can be a major inconvenience! In this case, the movement of the start menu to the center of the taskbar by default can be changed and isn’t a huge grievance, but one example of a minor change with a major impact is that Windows 11 will automatically combine all windows of the same application into a single icon and not show the name. In previous versions this was an optional choice, and you could change it to meet your needs. In Windows 11, there was no alternative in the beta builds.</p> <p>One of the much-touted user-facing features is the ability to install and use Android apps on Windows 11 via the Amazon AppStore. It’s important to note, though, that this feature is <strong>not</strong> available upon the release of Windows 11 and is scheduled to begin testing in the coming months, so it may be deep into 2022 before that feature reaches the public!</p> <p>The other major concern with a whole new version of Windows is whether your apps will continue to work. If you’re only using Microsoft applications (Word, Powerpoint, Outlook, et cetera) and web applications, your applications likely won’t be impacted by the upgrade. If you’re using anything else, it’s crucial to check all of your application vendors’ documentation to be sure. Sage, for example, does not have Windows 11 listed on any of their Supported Platform Matrices. If you do decide to upgrade but find out that one or more of your applications aren’t compatible, there is a built-in option to roll back to Windows 10. It’s possible you may need to reinstall/repair some applications after the rollback, but it should get you back in working order.</p> <p>With all of that in mind, the best approach for many businesses will be “wait and see.” While there are many improvements in the newest version of Windows, a vast majority of them are incredibly subtle or changes to the interface that may actually be a negative for some users. While it’s usually fun to have the latest and greatest, it’s less fun when it makes it difficult to do the things you need to get done!</p> <p><span>If you’re a Bennett/Porter Managed Services client, we’ve pushed a change to all of our managed machines to block Windows 11 for the time being, so you don’t have to worry about coming in to work one morning to find everything changed and your applications no longer functioning because of an unexpected OS upgrade! As applications are updated to be compatible and bugs are smoothed out—or if your business has a pressing need for Windows 11—we’ll remove this block and assist with upgrades in phases.</span></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=2105426&amp;k=14&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fblog.benpor.com%2Fimpressions%2Fwindows-11-is-here-now-what&amp;bu=http%253A%252F%252Fblog.benpor.com%252Fimpressions&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Information Technology Network Security Technology Services Windows 11 Thu, 07 Oct 2021 17:55:00 GMT tom@benpor.com (Tom) http://blog.benpor.com/impressions/windows-11-is-here-now-what 2021-10-07T17:55:00Z Why Hosting Your Sage 100 on the Sage Partner Cloud Might Not Be Your Best Option http://blog.benpor.com/impressions/why-hosting-your-sage-100-on-the-sage-partner-cloud-might-not-be-your-best-option <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="http://blog.benpor.com/impressions/why-hosting-your-sage-100-on-the-sage-partner-cloud-might-not-be-your-best-option" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.benpor.com/hubfs/Cloud%20Computing%20Concept.%20The%20Future%20-%20Everything%20from%20Socket.jpeg" alt="Why Hosting Your Sage 100 on the Sage Partner Cloud Might Not Be Your Best Option" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>You hear a constant whirring or beeping sound when you walk past the server room that may be just annoying. Or it might indicate that something is failing. Or maybe you’re feeling the pain of having been told that it’s time to upgrade the server again in order to continue running your Sage software, and you ask yourself: “Didn’t we just upgrade that server a few years ago?” There is a chance you have been tempted to move everything to the Cloud, or maybe you’re being forced to because of changes to the work environment. Now is as good a time as any to make the switch for your Sage 100 software. But how do you know where to begin - or whether this solution even makes sense for you?</p> <p><img src="https://blog.benpor.com/hs-fs/hubfs/Cloud%20Computing%20Concept.%20The%20Future%20-%20Everything%20from%20Socket.jpeg?width=300&amp;name=Cloud%20Computing%20Concept.%20The%20Future%20-%20Everything%20from%20Socket.jpeg" alt="Cloud Computing Concept. The Future - Everything from Socket" style="width: 300px; float: right;" width="300">You hear a constant whirring or beeping sound when you walk past the server room that may be just annoying. Or it might indicate that something is failing. Or maybe you’re feeling the pain of having been told that it’s time to upgrade the server again in order to continue running your Sage software, and you ask yourself: “Didn’t we just upgrade that server a few years ago?” There is a chance you have been tempted to move everything to the Cloud, or maybe you’re being forced to because of changes to the work environment. Now is as good a time as any to make the switch for your Sage 100 software. But how do you know where to begin - or whether this solution even makes sense for you?</p> <p>Bennett/Porter realized years ago that it was better to present our clients with options that allow them to make smart decisions about their accounting software. We built out a cloud infrastructure nine years ago specifically to accommodate Sage 100 (MAS 90/200 at the time) because we knew that not everyone wanted to continually purchase and maintain servers. Since we have been at this for a while, we have had the opportunity to expand our offerings, improve and tweak the infrastructure, and combat specific issues that impact Sage, which can come up from time to time in a cloud environment.</p> <p>You have probably seen the Sage marketing piece offering the opportunity to “Host your Sage 100 on the Sage Partner Cloud” (or even received a phone call from Sage about moving to the Sage Cloud). You should know that Sage is just playing catch up here! Yes, it’s true that you should seriously consider moving your software to a hosted environment – but there are many more considerations to be aware of before deciding where exactly that should be.</p> <p>Sage wants you to move your software to Azure – which is the cloud platform owned by Microsoft.&nbsp;Without getting too nerdy, there are many configuration options that need to be considered, including how much space is needed, how much data you anticipate you’ll use over the course of a month, and whether or not your server is backed up.&nbsp;Sage doesn’t help with these configurations but instead relies on your reseller to do it for you. All of these options cost money and typically come à la carte. Additionally, alterations occasionally need to be made to the Cloud environment – whether it’s an operating system requiring updates or an underlying Sage compatibility issue with the Cloud server that hosts it, and the list goes on and on. Someone will still need to manage your cloud environment, just like they manage the physical server that’s in your office.</p> <p>Luckily for you, we’ve done our homework over the last decade and built all of those services into our BP Cloud offering. Our team of IT and Sage technicians will work together to move your on-premise software to the Bennett/Porter hosted environment and ensure that it works for you – whether you’re working from home or in the office. Backups are taken every hour and are included in your monthly cost. Antivirus, monitoring, server maintenance, remote connection installs, and troubleshooting are also all included in the same monthly fee. Concerned about remote printing? We’ve got you covered there too. The point is this: We have thought about all these issues because we have worked through all of them over the last decade.</p> <p>Last, but certainly not least, is price. You might expect the BP Cloud to be much more expensive than the Sage Partner Cloud, since there are so many advantages to having your software on a carefully managed private cloud. Nevertheless, our prices are competitive and are, in fact, many times less expensive than the Sage Partner Cloud offerings. You certainly get more bang for your buck with Bennett/Porter’s Cloud.</p> <p>Taking those first steps to transition your Sage software away from the loud server room is scary because there are so many unknowns. Will it be slower than it is now? Is it safe in the Cloud? What happens if my Internet goes down? What if I need to restore a module from last week? Can I print checks to my local printer from Sage in the Cloud, and how does that even work? We have the answers to all these questions and the expertise to make this transition seamless for you.<span style="font-weight: bold;"> Just&nbsp;</span><a href="mailto:itsupport@benpor.com" style="font-weight: bold;">contact our office</a><span style="font-weight: bold;">&nbsp;and we’ll be happy to discuss your Cloud options!</span> <span style="font-weight: bold;"></span><span style="font-weight: bold;"></span></p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=2105426&amp;k=14&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fblog.benpor.com%2Fimpressions%2Fwhy-hosting-your-sage-100-on-the-sage-partner-cloud-might-not-be-your-best-option&amp;bu=http%253A%252F%252Fblog.benpor.com%252Fimpressions&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> People. Ideas. Technology. Information Technology Cloud Computing Sage 100 Cloud ERP Sage Software Sage 100Cloud Technology Services Fri, 19 Mar 2021 20:30:00 GMT dionne@benpor.com (Dionne) http://blog.benpor.com/impressions/why-hosting-your-sage-100-on-the-sage-partner-cloud-might-not-be-your-best-option 2021-03-19T20:30:00Z The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA): Potential Payroll Effects http://blog.benpor.com/impressions/the-american-rescue-plan-act-arpa-potential-payroll-effects <div class="hs-featured-image-wrapper"> <a href="http://blog.benpor.com/impressions/the-american-rescue-plan-act-arpa-potential-payroll-effects" title="" class="hs-featured-image-link"> <img src="https://blog.benpor.com/hubfs/ARPA.jpg" alt="The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA): Potential Payroll Effects" class="hs-featured-image" style="width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;"> </a> </div> <p>On March 11, the <a href="https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/1319">American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021</a> was passed and signed into law by President Biden. There are several provisions in the law that could have an impact on employers and specifically on their employees' payrolls.</p> <p><img src="https://blog.benpor.com/hs-fs/hubfs/ARPA.jpg?width=168&amp;name=ARPA.jpg" alt="ARPA" width="168" style="width: 168px; float: right;">On March 11, the <a href="https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/1319">American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021</a> was passed and signed into law by President Biden. There are several provisions in the law that could have an impact on employers and specifically on their employees' payrolls.</p> <p><strong>Employer Paid COBRA Premium Subsidies</strong></p> <p>Nope, it is not 2009, for those that remember the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which included COBRA subsidized premiums. But it is sure going to feel like it. Workers and their dependents who lost group health coverage involuntarily during the pandemic due to termination or reduction in hours, and would have had COBRA coverage during the Assistance Period (April 1<sup>st</sup> – September 30<sup>th</sup>), will now be eligible to receive fully-subsidized coverage for up to six months under the ARPA.</p> <p><span>Effective April 1st, employers with 20 or more employees who offer fully-insured, self-insured, multi-employer, or governmental employer’s plans will be required to pay COBRA premiums for involuntarily terminated employees or those with loss of coverage due to reduction in hours.&nbsp;This is a mandatory requirement, but employers will be eligible to receive reimbursement through a federal tax credit or a refund. The IRS is currently generating guidance.</span></p> <p>Workers will be provided a new opportunity to elect coverage. Employers will be responsible for issuing model notices by no later than May 31, 2021 to involuntarily terminated employees, making them aware of the subsidy available. Qualified beneficiaries will then have 60-days after the employer provides the notice to elect coverage. Employers will also be responsible for issuing notices to workers when the subsidy is about to expire (no later than 15 days before).&nbsp;The individual loses subsidy eligibility if they exhaust the COBRA maximum coverage period or become eligible for another group health plan or Medicare.</p> <p>Employers are advised to be proactive and review COBRA qualified beneficiaries to see who might benefit from the subsidy in the six-month eligibility period.</p> <p><strong>Payroll Tax Credits for Leaves</strong></p> <p>The Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requirement to provide paid leave for qualified reasons ended on December 31, 2020. The Consolidated Appropriations Action (CAA) passed in December 2020 extended the availability of payroll tax credits through March 31, 2021 for employers who <em>voluntarily</em> provided leave.</p> <p>The ARPA extends the payroll tax credits once again to employers that <em>voluntarily</em> provide leave from April 1, 2021 to September 30, 2021. It also includes the following new provisions for paid sick leave:</p> <ul> <li>Additional qualifying reasons for leave <ul> <li>The employee is obtaining a COVID-19 vaccine.</li> <li>The employee is recovering from an injury, disability, or illness related to a COVID-19 vaccine.</li> <li>The employee is awaiting the results of a test due to COVID-19 exposure or at the employer’s request.</li> </ul> </li> <li>A new leave bank for employees (regardless of previous use) of up to 80 hours (pro-rated for part-time employees) of qualifying sick leave for 2021 for those employers choosing to provide it</li> <li>A tax credit capped at up to $511 per day</li> </ul> <p>The expanded FMLA includes the following new provisions under the ARPA:</p> <ul> <li>Increases the tax credits from $10,000 to $12,000 per employee</li> <li>Eliminates the 10-day unpaid waiting period</li> </ul> <p><strong>Increased Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts</strong></p> <p>Employers may choose to increase the limits on the Dependent Care Assistance program through their Flexible Spending Account (Section 125 Cafeteria plan). This plan allows employees to use pre-tax salary reduction funds to pay for child and adult care services. Annual limits can be increased for plan year 2021 from $5,000 ($2,500 for married filing separately) to $10,500 ($5,250 for married filing separately). A plan amendment must be filed.</p> <p><strong>Employee Retention Credits (ERC)</strong></p> <p>The ARPA extends the ERC program through the end of 2021. The ERC allows employers to take a tax credit of up to 70% or $7,000 (up from $5,000 in 2020) per employee per quarter. A business is eligible for this credit when it has experienced a full or partial shut-down due to government order or has had a decline of 20% in 2021 (50% in 2020) in gross receipts when compared to 2019.</p> <p><strong>Unemployment</strong></p> <p>Additionally, while unemployment does not have a direct impact on payroll, it could affect an employer’s future rates and candidate pools. The ARPA provides for up to 53 weeks of Emergency Unemployment Compensation until September 6, 2021. It also provides a $300 supplement for weeks beginning after March 14<sup>th</sup> and before September 6, 2021. The law exempts the first $10,200 of unemployment benefits paid in 2020 from income taxes for people with income below $150,000.</p> <img src="https://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=2105426&amp;k=14&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fblog.benpor.com%2Fimpressions%2Fthe-american-rescue-plan-act-arpa-potential-payroll-effects&amp;bu=http%253A%252F%252Fblog.benpor.com%252Fimpressions&amp;bvt=rss" alt="" width="1" height="1" style="min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; "> Human Resources Healthcare Payroll Family Leave Acts COVID-19 Fri, 19 Mar 2021 14:57:01 GMT Christy@benpor.com (Christy Putnam) http://blog.benpor.com/impressions/the-american-rescue-plan-act-arpa-potential-payroll-effects 2021-03-19T14:57:01Z