September 2022 TogetHR Times

I9 Issues

Have you wondered if you’re completing the I9 form correctly? Have you audited your I9s lately?

The top mistakes employers make on I9s:

  • Allowing untrained staff to administer I-9s
  • Not supervising new employees as they complete I9s
  • Accepting unacceptable documents
  • Accepting fraudulent documents, such as fake lawful permanent resident or Social Security cards
  • Not recording the document title, issuing authority and expiration date or not recording this information correctly
  • Making corrections without initialing and dating them
  • Not conducting an internal I-9 audit
  • Having untrained staff engage in the I-9 audit

The form is very confusing. Employers should ensure that they are completing every line on the document.

Other common mistakes include employees not signing and dating Section 1, employers not listing the date of hire in Section 2 in the certification clause, and employers not signing or dating Section 2.

Other mistakes stem from not being aware of how to complete I9s for foreign workers or recertifying foreign nationals.

The most frequent mistake occurs with the timing of the form. Section 1 must be completed on the first day of a new employee’s work (before the close of business). Section 2 must be completed before close of business on the third day (or sooner).

How do you certify remote workers? Have them come into the office for their first day, meet them at a convenient location, or if they are far way; you’ll need to r representative.

The minimum fine per individual for paperwork or technical violations increased from $230 to $234, while the maximum fine increased from $2,292 to $2,332. Fines for knowingly hiring or continuing to employ unauthorized workers went up as well. The range for a first offense went from $573-$4,586 to $583-$4,667.

Employers are encouraged to obtain additional guidance for complicated I-9 situations.

ERTC Update

What is the CARES Act and how it can help your U.S. company even if you already received a PPP loan? In 2020 and 2021 there were two rounds of PPP loans [Paycheck Protection Program] authorized by the U.S. Government under the CARES Act. They were implemented by the SBA, the Small Business Administration. The money was paid by the U.S. Department of Treasury. The whole point of the CARES Act was that businesses were given funds to pay out up to 8 weeks of payroll including benefits.

At this point, the PPP loans are not available anymore as the funds are depleted. However, the CARES Act does have another program for businesses that many do not know about. This program is called the “Employee Retention Tax Credit” or ERTC. The CARES Act did not allow employers with PPP loans to claim for the ERTC program. This ruled out tens of Millions of businesses that still needed help. However, in March 2021 Congress amended the CARES Act to provide further help for American businesses. It was named the “American Rescue Plan Act”. Specifically, this new legislation amends, expands, and enhances the CARES Act Employee Retention Credit ERC. This change allowed businesses that already received PPP loans to be eligible for ERTC refunds too. The time period for these ERTC refunds have shifted multiple times. Funds are available for part of 2020 and part of 2021.

To be more specific… The terms used are ERC and ERTC.

“ERC” stands for “Employee Retention Credit”

“ERTC” stands for “Employee Retention Tax Credit. Created by the CARES act, signed into law 3/27/2020. It is a COVID-19 economic stimulus program. Originally businesses had to choose between PPP or ERC.

On 3/1/2020, the IRS released Notice 2021-21, which updated the guidance to

  1. allow businesses to participate in both PPP and ERC
  2. do so retroactively, going back to 3/12/2020
  3. on 3/1/2021 the IRS published notice 2021-21, which updated the guidance
  4. on 8/1/2021, the IRS expanded the definition of an eligible employer to also include “Startup Businesses”

This means a business can claim these funds RETROACTIVELY for the periods mentioned above. The ERTC is called a “tax credit” but it can be received as a CASH payment from the IRS/US Treasury. There is no cap, i.e., NO DOLLAR LIMIT on the amount a business can receive, and there are NO REQUIREMENTS on how the money must be spent!

Originally the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was just valid in 2020, but the program was extended into parts of 2021. The IRS set up a very specific methodology on how to optimize the two programs. To do this right, the applications must be filed by a tax expert or CPA who have specific insight into the client’s business, such as “was the business shut down” or “partially shut down”? Did they lose money? Quarterly payroll filings? There are such specific details to follow that a business may find it hard to accomplish.

If you’d like more information, contact our Accounting Manager, Rhonda Anderson at Rhonda@togetHRconsulting.com

New CDC Guidance for COVID, What It Means For Employers

Employers with workers who test positive for COVID-19 should follow guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including its guidelines on quarantining and isolation, to minimize safety and legal risks. The guidance changed Aug. 11.

On August 11, 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) unveiled its updated COVID-19 guidelines, revising both quarantine and isolation guidelines in the process. The updates reflect the growing number of vaccinated individuals (meaning, those individuals who have received initial doses and all recommended boosters) and past exposures, leading to a greater level of herd immunity than in previous eras of the virus. These adjustments to the CDC’s guidance also serve, in large part, to clarify existing recommendations or to loosen restrictions. This article provides a closer look at what exactly the updated guidance requires and how to best approach these updates in the workplace.

WHAT DOES THE CDC RECOMMEND YOU DO IF YOU ARE EXPOSED TO COVID-19?

First, irrespective of vaccination status, individuals are no longer required to quarantine simply because they are exposed to COVID-19 as long as they do not develop COVID-19 symptoms or test positive. The CDC advises that exposed individuals can continue to go to work, attend school and continue life as normal so long as they wear a well-fitting, high-quality mask for 10 days after exposure.

The CDC also recommends that individuals who are exposed and experiencing symptoms get tested for the virus five days after exposure. If those test results are positive, the individual should isolate away from others. If the results are negative, the individual can end their quarantine period but should continue to wear a mask as a precaution. Exposed individuals should take particular care when around people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

WHEN DOES THE CDC RECOMMEND THAT SOMEONE ISOLATE FROM OTHERS?

The CDC still recommends people isolate under certain circumstances. As a reminder, quarantine is the term used for individuals who are exposed, while isolation is the term used for individuals who are actively sick with the virus.

If someone tests positive for COVID-19, they should stay at home and isolate themselves from others for at least five days. If someone with COVID-19 must be around others (such as a family member who the person lives with), they should wear a high-quality mask until 10 days after the first positive test result. The positive individual should avoid being around people who are more likely to get very ill from COVID-19 until at least day 11 after testing positive. If symptoms worsen after the isolation period ends (meaning day 11), the isolation clock should be restarted, and a healthcare provider should be consulted about when to end isolation. The 10-day masking period after a positive result can end early if the individual takes two rapid result tests 48 hours apart and both of those tests are negative for COVID-19.

Isolation is counted in days as follows:

  • If the individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 has no symptoms, Day 0 is the day a person tests for COVID. Day 1 is the first full day following the test. If the individual develops symptoms within 10 days of testing, the clock restarts at Day 0 of the day of symptom onset.
  • If the individual has symptoms, Day 0 of isolation is the day of symptom onset—regardless of when someone may test positive. Day 1 is then the first full day after the onset of symptoms.

ARE THERE ANY UPDATES TO THE CDC’S RECOMMENDATIONS ON COVID-19 PREVENTION?

The CDC continues to recommend contact tracing and notification, and efforts should be focused on identifying and notifying individuals who are exposed to COVID-19 and providing such individuals with information and resources, including information on access to testing.

The CDC also continues to recommend up-to-date vaccination as the best form of prevention.

HOW DOES THIS AFFECT EMPLOYERS?

The biggest change for employers with these newest guidelines is the effective end of the quarantine requirement following exposure to COVID-19. Employees are no longer required to stay away from the workplace because they have been exposed to the virus so long as they wear a high-quality mask. However, employees should remain at home if they have tested positive for COVID-19 or if they present symptoms of COVID-19.

As has always been the case, CDC guidance is not law, however, it provides employers with a national recommended standard for COVID-19 safety. Employers are permitted to have more protective standards than the CDC recommends, where permitted by law. The loosening of CDC guidance does not impact employer obligations to comply with state and local COVID-19 requirements, which may remain more stringent. Likewise, employers must still comply with other employment laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act and similar state laws, which may still require engagement in the interactive process and implementation of reasonable accommodations for employees based on their health conditions.

Read the full article here (MWE Attorneys): Article- COVID Updates and Employer Guidance

CDC recommendations here: New COVID Guidelines

Form 1099K Update

  • What is Form 1099-K – Payment Card and Third-Party Transactions

Example: Payments received via Platforms like Wave, Square, Venmo, PayPal & Credit Card Companies

  • Who gets Form 1099-K – New in 2022, payments in excess of $600. Prior to 2022, the threshold was $20k.
  • How does this affect small owner’s – If you are receiving all your revenues from a third-party payment provider, you may be required to update your bookkeeping process from net receipts to gross revenue recognition. Net sales is your total income from sales less discounts, returns and allowances. Gross sales is total income from sales without subtracting any deductions.
  • Why is Gross Sales Important – Form 1099-K includes the gross amount of third-party payments, including sales tax and payment processing fees. The IRS matches the sum amount of all 1099-K transactions to the total gross receipts on your tax return. Processing fees and refunds will need to be tracked separately.
  • Why shouldn’t I accept nontaxable card payments – You should never accept nontaxable payments through any debit or credit card processing related to your business, otherwise you will receive a Form 1099-K for these payments. Example: A friend repaying you for concert tickets through Venmo.

Are Your Employees Quietly Quitting?

What is ‘quiet quitting’? Gen Z is ditching hustle culture to avoid burnout.

Tired of feeling like you’re working so hard with little reward, but don’t necessarily want to completely give up?

Try “quiet quitting,” or quitting the idea of going above and beyond at work, as TikToker @zkchillin put in his viral video that’s racked up more than 3 million views and nearly 500,000 likes. In the video, he explains how he sees quiet quitting, a term he said he recently learned. As he put it, “You’re still performing your duties, but you’re no longer subscribing to the ‘hustle culture’ mentality that work has to be your life. The reality is, it’s not. And your worth as a person is not defined by your labor.”

Irish goodbyes may be an acceptable way of exiting a party, but certainly not the workplace. And yet, the trend of “quiet quitting”—in which employees slowly detach from their jobs, often while looking for new work—is taking the internet by storm.

While it may be new to the internet, one HR leader who spoke to HR Brew said that employees have been doing this for a long time. Now it just has a name.

Just 21% of employees worldwide are engaged at work, down slightly from the 2019 high of 22%, an April Gallup report found. Perhaps more concerning: 57% are neither engaged nor thriving.

Look out and listen in. With symptoms such as decreased engagement and activity, quiet quitting can look somewhat similar to burnout. Upon noticing the signs, reach out and engage with employees, BEFORE they decide to leave, or not and just quietly quit.

This trend is more common than one might think— making it that much more important to know how to address it.

article taken from  HR Brew – 8.15.2022

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