Business Updates from Washington

2% Payroll Tax “Holiday” Going Away

You may recall (but all of your employees may not) that employees were given a 2% payroll (FICA) tax cut in 2011 and extended through 2012. This cut will expire December 31, with no noticeable efforts in Congress to extend it further.

Your payroll systems will reflect the increased tax withholding, but many of your employees will still have questions about the “tax increase.” If necessary, check with your accountant or payroll resources to anticipate this change.

2013 Benefit Increases

Last week the IRS also announced 2013 increases in the different benefit-related limits linked to increases in average national wages. For example, the limits for an employee’s tax-free contribution to a 401(k) plan will increase from $17,000 (2012) to $17,500 (2013). Click here to see other 2013 figures included in the announcement.

The Social Security Administration announced that the 2013 increase in Social Security benefits, tied to increases in cost of living, will be 1.7%. Click here for the SSA news release.

Workplace Flexibility Toolkit

Also last week the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) launched its online Workplace Flexibility Toolkit to provide employees and employers with information, resources, and a unique approach to workplace flexibility.

The toolkit makes more than 170 resources easily accessible, particularly for workers and job seekers with complex employment situations (e.g., parents of young children, single parents, and family caregivers). The toolkit provides case studies, fact and tip sheets, issue briefs, reports, articles, links, other related toolkits, and a list of frequently asked questions. It is searchable by type of resource, target audience, and types of workplace flexibility, including place, time, and task.

The DOL news release is available here.

The Workplace Flexibility Toolkit is available here.

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