The IRS has issued the final versions of Publication 15 (Circular E, Employer’s Tax Guide) and Publication 15-T (Federal Income Tax Withholding Methods) for use in the 2023 tax year.
Publication 15: This publication explains the tax responsibilities as an employer regarding the requirements for withholding, depositing, reporting, paying, and correcting employment taxes. The publication also explains the forms an employer must give to its employees, those employees must provide, and those the employer must send to the IRS and the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Publication 15-T: Publication 15-T supplements Publication 15 and Publication 51 (Agricultural Employer’s Tax Guide). It describes how to figure withholdings using the wage bracket method or percentage method.
Qualified sick/family leave in 2023: Publication 15 notes that the rate of Social Security tax on taxable wages, including qualified sick leave wages and qualified family leave wages paid in 2023 for leave taken between March 31, 2021 – October 1, 2021, is 6.2% each for the employer and employee or 12.4% for both.
However, qualified sick leave wages and qualified family leave wages paid in 2023 for leave taken between March 31, 2020 -April 1, 2021, are not subject to the employer share of Social Security tax; therefore, the tax rate on these wages is 6.2%. The 2023 Social Security wage base limit is $160,200.
Payroll research tax credit: For tax years beginning before January 1, 2023, a qualified small business may elect to claim up to $250,000 of its credit for increasing research activities as a payroll tax credit. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (the IRA) increased the election amount to $500,000 for tax years beginning after December 31, 2022.
The election and determination of the credit amount that will be used against the employer’s payroll taxes are made on Form 6765 (Credit for Increasing Research Activities). The amount from Form 6765, line 44, must then be reported on Form 8974 (Qualified Small Business Payroll Tax Credit for Increasing Research Activities).
Starting in the first quarter of 2023, the payroll tax credit is first used to reduce the employer share of Social Security tax up to $250,000 per quarter and any remaining credit reduces the employer share of Medicare tax for the quarter (any remaining credit is carried forward to the next quarter).
Forms and publications discontinued forms after 2023: Form 941-SS (Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return) and Publications 80 and 179.
Source: Thomson Reuters
As many know, a Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) is an employer-funded account that helps pay for a medical plan’s deductible and co-insurance expenses. There are three ways to access an HRA. Here they are as follows.
- Filing an electronic claim: this can be submitted by signing into your NueSynergy account.
- Filing a paper claim: a paper claim along with a copy of Explanation of Benefits (EOB) can be emailed to NueSnergy. A paper claim can be obtained by signing into your NueSynergy account or by calling NueSynergy’s customer service team (855-890-7239).
- Providing documentation: A copy of your EOB from your insurance company is required to approve any claim for reimbursement.
For more information on accessing HRA funds and about this account in general, check out this handout.
Two months ago, NueSynergy wrote about several Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) FAQs to keep in mind. Now, taking it a step further, NueSynergy will discuss what employers, specifically, should look for in regard to an HRA. Here it is as follows:
An HRA can be paired with any health plan with no limitations
This means that high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) are not required in order to offer this account.
What happens to the funds if my employee leaves the company?
HRA funds are not portable. Therefore, if any funds become unused then any remaining amount returns to you (employer).
An employer can only contribute funds to an HRA
This also means that owners and partners cannot participate in this account. Per IRS guidelines, anyone with two percent or more ownership in a schedule S corporation, LLC, LLP, sole proprietorship, or partnership may not participate. If you would like to provide an opportunity for your employee to save for additional medical expenses tax-free, then suggest them to enroll in a Flexible Spending Account (FSA).
As an employer, can I choose proration for new hires and family status change?
Yes. You can prorate contributions as long as it occurs throughout the year.
When does an HRA begin paying for an employee’s expenses?
An employer can either allow an HRA to pay before the employee meets any deductible, or it can be set up so that the employee has to meet a certain amount of out-of-pocket expenses before the HRA begins to pay.
A Commuter Benefits Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is an employer-sponsored account that allows participants to set aside pre-tax funds to pay for qualified mass transit and parking expenses associated with their work commute. There are two Commuter Benefit accounts: transportation and parking. Each of these accounts may receive a monthly contribution limit of $300, starting in 2023.
What to know about this account
- You must have funds in a commuter benefits account before using
- Any unused funds in a transportation and/or parking account will be lost at the end of the plan year
- Adjustments to a contribution can be made at any time; termination included
- You can manage this account online at www.NueSynergy.com or via the NueSynergy smart mobile app
Questions to consider
Why should I enroll in a Commuter Benefits account?
This account is ideal if you expect to incur commuter expenses that won’t be reimbursed by another plan. Money contributed to a Commuter Benefits account is free from federal and state taxes and remains tax-free when spent on eligible expenses.
What expenses are eligible for this account?
This all depends on which commuter account you plan on choosing. For a transportation account, expenses such as transit passes, tokens, fare cards, vouchers or items entitling you to ride a mass vehicle are eligible. For a parking account, eligible expenses consist of parking expenses incurred at/near place of work and out-of-pocket parking fees for parking meters and lots.
How do I use my Commuter Benefits FSA to pay for eligible expenses?
You can either use the NueSynergy smart debit card or pay your personal funds and submit a claim reimbursement.
In the spring, NueSynergy touched on how to utilize the FSA Store to take advantage of FSA-eligible items. With the 2022 calendar year ending, now is a good time to detail the utilization of the HSA Store.
The HSA Store is akin to the FSA Store, as it’s an outlet for consumers to buy eligible products to fit their Health Savings Account needs. This online store carries over 2,500 products — from first-aid kits, orthodontia to pregnancy tests.
To best utilize the HSA Store, search any HSA eligible item you need for purchase. From there, add a promo code to any purchased HSA eligible item. All promo codes can be turned into points for future purchases.
The smallest denomination of points that can be redeemed for later use is 350 ($10) and largest is 1,500 ($50). You cannot redeem fewer than 350 points at a time. Balances under 350 points cannot be exchanged for a partial value dollar reward. Points expire six months (180 days) following your last order date. To learn about all HSA Store eligible items, look here.