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Jim Kohl, CPP

Jim Kohl is the Senior Manager of Managed Services at Namely, the all-in-one HR, payroll, and benefits platform built for today's employees. Connect with Jim and the Namely team on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Recent Articles

Texas Lawmakers Pass Sweeping 'Paycard' Law

When it comes to payday, employees aren’t typically used to being asked “paper or plastic?” With a law set to take effect on September 1, 2019, Texas is set to join the growing list of states that allow employers to pay their workers via “paycards” by default.

Below, we’ll detail the sometimes controversial payment method and what the new law specifically entails for Lone Star businesses and their employees.  

3 Payroll Lessons From Fyre Festival

Everyone knows about the ill-fated Fyre Festival. Simply put, it was supposed to be a massive festival in the Bahamas and the experience of a lifetime. Ticket holders would get the opportunity to sip margaritas and hit the pool with celebrities, supermodels, and artists. Long story short, none of that ever happened. People spent (and lost) a lot of money for what turned out to be a living nightmare. Seriously, look up the stories.

But before people arrived on the island to see their dreams dashed upon the Bahamian coast, festival staff had an inkling into the issues that would arise. How, might you ask? Payroll.

How to Change Pay Frequencies

As companies grow, there are plenty of reasons to change from semimonthly to biweekly payroll frequencies, or weekly to monthly, or any combination of the above. Regardless of the prevalence of these changes, switching pay frequencies involves a lot more than just the flip of a switch.
 

HSA vs. FSA: Spelling Out the Differences

Everyone knows you can find (and buy) just about anything on Amazon, including medical supplies. While the online mega-retailer has always accepted a long list of payment methods, one recent addition might be just what the doctor ordered.

The company recently announced that it would begin accepting health savings account (HSA) and flexible savings account (FSA) cards as payment. This development marks just the latest in Amazon’s foray into the healthcare industry, which Namely first covered last year.

If you’re currently unenrolled in an HSA or FSA, it might be prime time to reconsider. In this article, we’ll go through the two account types and their potential payroll tax implications.
 

Payroll and Daylight Saving Time

The weekend feels short enough as it is. If you can believe it, this upcoming one will seem even shorter for most of us.

This weekend marks the return of daylight saving time. With it, we will enjoy nearly eight months of additional daylight—meaning you'll soon end your workday with some sun to spare. Like every spring, you'll set your clock ahead one hour this Sunday. But what happens if you have an hourly employee working at that time? How does your payroll team account for the time shift?

Pro Sports and Payroll: How Are Athletes Taxed?

It’s game day. The wings are hot, the beer is cold, and mom’s seven layer dip is on point. While your friends are agonizing over the score, the payroll professional in you can’t stop thinking, “How is the away team taxed?” Come on, I know that's going through your mind. 

Retro Pay 101: Payroll Lessons From the Government Shutdown

The absolute worst feeling that a payroll professional can have is finding out someone didn’t get paid.

While that stings for us, it’s even worse for the ones who wake up to an empty bank account on payday. Last week, roughly 800,000 federal employees experienced that due to a partial government shutdown.

Eventually, most of these employees will be paid for their time. And given that the shutdown started back in December, it's a sure bet that payroll professionals like me will be asked to process plenty of retroactive payments. Here’s how those should be handled.

How Does State Tax Reciprocity Work?

Everyone’s heard the saying, “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.” In payroll, when these agreements happen between states, we call them reciprocal agreements. In other words, “you take my tax, I’ll take yours.”

Calling the IRS? Read This First.

The holiday season is known for a lot of pleasant things—eggnog, scented candles, and family time all come to mind. But if you’ve been in the payroll profession long enough, there’s a good chance you associate it with something else: federal and state tax notices. And when those come in, it’s time to pick up the phone. Gulp.

Death and Taxes: Processing a Deceased Employee’s Final Check

We’ve all heard the old saying about death and taxes. But going further, what are the tax implications of death?

There’s no denying the emotional toll when we lose a loved one or colleague. But even in death, payroll still needs to be processed. We'll break down the common scenarios that might occur when an employee passes. 

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