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New Jersey Becomes First State to Require Transit Benefits

Your New Jersey commute just got a little more bearable. With a law recently signed by Governor Phil Murphy, the Garden State becomes the first to require employers to offer pre-tax transportation benefits. Before being signed by the governor on March 1, Senate Bill 1567 was overwhelmingly supported by both houses of the state legislature. 

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.
 

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.

New 2019 Form W-4 Released, But Concerns Persist

The more things change, the more they stay the same. After months of speculation, the 2019 Form W-4 has arrived—and it isn’t nearly as worrisome as payroll professionals thought it would be.

On December 11, the IRS quietly added the 2019 Form W-4 to its website, unaccompanied by the usual press release. With the exception of a few minor wording changes, the form is virtually identical to the 2018 edition. 

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.”

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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.

2019 Contribution Limits Released

Call it an annual holiday tradition. Every year, the IRS publishes a new set of contribution limits for a variety of popular benefits, including flexible savings accounts and commuter plans. With a series of announcements spaced over the last several weeks, the agency has finally settled on all major limits for 2019.  

Form 1099 vs. Form W-2: How to Classify Employees Correctly

Contractor or employee? With 57 million workers, or 36 percent of the U.S. workforce, participating in the gig economy, the line between contractors and employees has never been blurrier. The tax filing implications are even more complicated.

IRS Releases 2019 Retirement Contribution Limits

New year, new limits. Earlier this month, the IRS published its long-awaited updates to 401(k) and IRA contribution limits for 2019.

Because retirement plans can be funded on a pretax basis (meaning deductions are taken from employee paychecks before taxes like social security), the IRS limits how much employees can contribute to them annually. These limits are subject to a periodic review to account for changes in the cost of living, inflation, and other factors.