STATE UNEMPLOYMENT TAXES UNCHANGED FOR 2017
ICYMI: Florida Department of Revenue issued the 2017 reemployment tax rate notice to Florida employers during the month of December. It is important that employers are cognizant of the Florida reemployment tax rates that are in effect.
The minimum rate will remain at $7.00 per employee per year (no change from last year). It is equally important to note that employers are only required to pay this tax up to the first $7,000 of wages earned by each employee, and any wages earned in excess of $7,000 will not be subject to this tax.
For those employers that have been assigned the maximum tax rate of 5.4%, they will remain paying the capped amount of $378 per employee per year.
As a reminder, the first reemployment tax return for 2017 will be due to the Florida Department of Revenue by April 30, 2017 for wages paid in Q1 2017.
NEW I-9 FORM REQUIRED STARTING JANUARY 21, 2017
Friendly Reminder: I-9 forms must be completed by employers for any new employees brought on staff. The newest version of the form has been released and must be used for any new employees starting on January 21st, 2017; however, until that date, employer’s may use the old form.
As a refresher, Section 1 of the I-9 is completed by the employee as soon as they have been hired (but not prior to their acceptance of the job offer), then the completed Section 1 along with any additional employee documentation must be reviewed and finished by the employer within 3 business days upon the official hire date.
Thanks to the technology-savvy age we live in, the form can be sent to new hires electronically and they can complete their specific fields online. There will also be prompts that will guide the new hires as they complete the forms electronically.
Special note regarding Spanish versions: Only those employers based IN Puerto Rico are permitted to complete the Spanish version of the I-9, while those employers NOT based in Puerto Rico are required to complete the English version only; however, they may use the Spanish version as a means of translating the form to their Spanish-speaking employees.
The I-9 Forms are to be retained at the employer’s place of business for 3-years following the employee’s hire date OR 1-year following termination of the employee. There is no need to send this Form to any government agencies; however, keep in mind that these forms may be subject to U.S. government inspection at any time within this given time period.
NEW DEADLINE FOR FILING W-2’s AND 1099’s IS JANUARY 31, 2017
January 31st is the new deadline for all W2’s and 1099’s to be filed, which is nearly 1-2 months earlier than it has been in years past. This is a result of a new federal law geared toward assisting the IRS in preventing and/or mitigating any occurrences of fraud regarding tax refunds.
As a refresher, it is mandatory for all employers to provide W-2 forms to any employees that the employer has paid wages to and withheld income tax, Social Security or Medicare taxes from their wages. For the 1099’s, it is mandatory to provide this Form to your subcontractors (or non-corporate entities) if your business pays $600 or more to that individual within one year’s time.
UPDATE ON FLORIDA WORKERS’ COMPENSATION RATES
A few weeks ago, we briefed you on the happenings with the 14.5% increase in Florida workers’ comp rate placed on hold. In the meantime, an appeals court in the State Capitol has permitted the increase to stay in effect. The policies instated on 12/1/16, whether new or renewal, will remain at the increased rate until further appeals court rulings decide otherwise.
REMINDER: MINIMUM WAGE INCREASING JANUARY 1ST
ICYMI: The minimum wage hourly rate has increased to $8.10/hour in Florida, as of January 1, 2017. For tipped employees (i.e. – restaurant servers, valets, etc.), the hourly rate has increased to $5.08/hour, also effective as of 1/1/17. Please reach out to our Payroll Department at [email protected] with any questions or concerns regarding these wage increases.
IRS STANDARD MILEAGE RATE DECREASING FOR 2017
ICYMI: The 2017 standard mileage rate for the employee’s use of a personal vehicle for business reasons has gone down a half-cent this year to 53.5¢ per mile. This is the rate that employers are required to reimburse employees when using their car or any non-business sponsored vehicle for business needs, as instituted by the IRS; however, employers are still permitted to calculate the actual cost of vehicle usage and reimburse employees accordingly.