Hello Members and Friends of CTWV,
The CTWV is off to a great 2021. The Board is energized and motivated to plan an awesome year. We have met twice and will continue to meet once a month this year. In our January and February meetings, we discussed many great ideas. We have spun some of these ideas into exciting events for our members. We will be offering five (March 19th, April 16th, June 18th, September 10th, and December 17th) virtual chapter meetings, one virtual half-day learning event (Pearls of Wisdom) on Saturday, June 12th, newsletters via email, and continuing with our commitment to Coups for Troops & Wreaths Across America.
We have only one month left in the first quarter. It is almost time to begin quartering tax filing. For some of our members, it is also annual audit time. If you are struggling with either, please join us on Friday, March 19, 2021, as Rosemarie Fraumeni, CPP presents Payroll Auditing Techniques. I am thrilled that she is sharing her expertise with us! This is going to be a great meeting. You won't want to miss it.
It is hard to believe that I am more than halfway through my term as chapter president. What a rewarding experience this has been and I am sure will continue throughout my remaining term. As I think of my term flying by, I am reminded that our elections for our June 2021/May 2022 board will occur at our April 16th chapter meeting. If you have a desire to get involved in the chapter, please visit our About Us page Board of Directors to view officers and committees that may interest you. You will get more out of volunteering than you will ever give.
On February 2, 2021, Punxsutawney Phil predicted six more weeks of winter. After all the snow, sleet, and ice that we have had so far this year, I am hopeful that West Virginia's own French Creek Freddie's prediction of an early spring occurs. Which prediction will be realized? It is all in Mother Nature's hands. While we await the outcome, have fun, stay warm, and be healthy!
All the best,
Chris Van Ness, CPP
Friday, March 19, 2021 / 12:00 - 2:30
Payroll Auditing Techniques presented by Rosemarie Fraumeni, CPP from Massachusetts.
This chapter meeting is sponsoed by:
For more details on this chapter meeting, visit the Meetings page.
Friday, April 16 Chapter Meeting
Deceased Wages presented by Cynthia (Cindy) Cichosz, CPP from Wisconsin.
For more details, visit the Meetings page.
Additional Chapter Meetings will be held on June 18, September 10, and December 17. For more details, click here to see all events for 2021.
Tips on WFH Communications and Staying Connected
By Lori Brown, CPP
Article compliments of the WMAC
This year has been challenging on many fronts for payroll professionals. One challenge that most of us face, whether or not we’re working from home (WFH), are how to stay connected with others. Some people may feel the loss of daily interaction or the water cooler chats we have in the office. Communicating over email or instant messages sometimes feel less personal or more aggressive, whether the intent is there or not. I’ve learned some tips on WFH communications and how to stay connected that I’d like to share.
- Instead of the in-person morning coffee chats, have a coffee chat with someone at least once a week. Give them a call (yes, an actual telephone call) and have a chat. This helps us stay connected, gives one another a non-work call (sometimes work topics arise but that’s okay, they do in person too) and a personal connection to hold on to. This may require you to schedule a reminder on your calendar of who you will call each week and at what time.
- Schedule a weekly video call with your team. This helps provide those interactions we may miss if we can’t see one another. Give a short period of the meeting for everyone to share how they are doing personally (the kids, the dog, a home project, etc.) before you jump in to the work tasks. We have other ways to talk about work tasks, so use some time to stay connected. Give everyone a heads up that it is a video meeting, as some like to be extra sparkly on that day.
- Coordinate a team building activity, virtually. Search for virtual games and ice breakers to have some fun with your team. Two truths and a lie; virtual Pictionary; scavenger hunts; five-minute show and tell; what do you look most forward to in 2021 – just a few ideas for you to learn more about one another and laugh.
- If an email or instant message sounds like someone is yelling, pick up the phone (yes, there I go again with an actual telephone call) and have a conversation. More likely than not, the person is really not yelling. They may be under stress or pressure that they didn’t intend to come across in their communication. Having someone to talk about that to may help brighten their day and yours, and build a stronger connection you have.
- Mail a card to your office friend. We often have office friends that we are missing during our remote work. Stay in contact and let them know you care by sending a card. Be sure to ask for their home address since it’s PII and while we may have privileged access to their information at our finger tips, it should not be used for that purpose.
- Have a daily round table with your team. Give each team member five minutes to highlight what they are working on and to ask a question to the team. Working remotely, we may not have that opportunity to ask questions and the last thing we want to prevent bright ideas and sharing.
All of these ideas are to help us all stay connected, communicate, inform and check-in with our teams or our work friends. You may find a new work friend, which is always a bonus.
Finally, we all deal with stress in different ways and many of us are in different situations than others. The personal touch that you can add to your life and others, is critically important in these times. So, I challenge you to stay connected and communicate, yes, even by using the telephone. Your voice can uplift others. Keep your payroll power shining!
CTWV is currently supporting two charities for 2021. Details about both of our charities for 2021 are listed below.
CTWV Butterfly Hugs® Contest
Make a butterfly… make a difference in the life of someone in need of encouragement!
The CTWV will be partnering with the radio station JOY FM in Winston Salem, North Carolina to collect butterflies for cancer patients.
What is the story to Butterfly Hugs?
CANCER – It’s a word that brings so many emotions. For Tammy one of those was the feeling of hopelessness… that is until someone gave her a butterfly. The butterfly wasn’t just a piece of paper, it was a reminder to Tammy that there was hope and that she wasn’t alone. After Tammy received one butterfly, her radio friend asked listeners to make more and send them to Tammy. Tammy then collected hundreds of butterflies, all with a different message to encourage her during her battle. Months later when Tammy lost her battle with cancer, her family returned the butterflies to her friend, with the dream that one day they would encourage others. Those butterflies sat in the attic for almost a year before Tammy’s friend found them again. As she was picking up the box of butterflies, she felt God tugging on her heart to do something with them. Tammy’s friend took a basket of butterflies to the local cancer center and asked that they be handed out. Butterfly Hugs® was born that day.
So what can CTWV do to help?
It is very simple…. Make Butterflies! Additionally, CTWV will be holding a contest, more details are below.
What are the requirements for Butterflies?
The butterflies can be made out of anything you would like – construction paper, fabric, pipe cleaners, coffee filters… let your imagination soar! Your butterfly will then be paired with an encouraging note and given to one of our friends and neighbors needing love and hope.
NOTE: Please do not include candy or food items in your butterfly creation.
Smaller butterflies that can fit inside greeting card envelopes are especially needed. Your greeting card-sized masterpieces will be mailed to those precious friends who are too far away to receive a hand-delivered Butterfly Hug®.
Deadlines and contest
There is no deadline! We will be collecting butterflies indefinitely.
For 2020, we plan to display our collected butterflies at each of our chapter meetings- March, April, June, and September. After the September NPW Meeting, the winner will be announced and will win a free registration to the December Chapter Meeting. So… get to making your butterflies!
Ideas for Butterflies
Here are some links for making butterflies. Do not let these limit you, use all of your creativity energy to make the recipients smile!
Moderate level for adults - https://joyfm.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/butterly-hug-coloring-sheet-3-natalie-brendle_BW-scaled.jpg
Advanced level for adults - https://joyfm.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/butterly-hug-coloring-sheets-2.jpg
Here is another link with various ideas:
55 Beautiful Butterfly Craft Ideas - FeltMagnet – Crafts
Send butterflies to:
1181 Russell Road
Berryville, VA 22611-2341
For 2021, our goal is to raise $100,000.00 in coupon value for Coups for Troops between January 1 and December 17.
Angelo's Brick Oven Pizza has also joined our forces. At the end or each quarter, Angelo's will donate a $50.00 gift card to the one individual that dropped off the most coupon value to their restaurant during the period.
The following information/rules must be met:
1. Make sure the coupon states "manufacturer coupon" on it; store coupons are not eligible
2. Cut the coupon (be careful to not clip the expiration date, dollar value and/or UPC area)
3. Coupons that state buy one get one are eligible as long as there is a maximum coupon value listed
4. Write your first and last name along with telephone number on a piece of paper and place with the coupons in envelope and seal
Coupon Drop Off Points:
1. Angelo's Brick Overn Pizza - 714 Foxcroft Avenue, Martinsburg, WV 25401
2. Contact Christine Van Ness @ [email protected] for other options
During Q4 2020, CTWV raised over $20,000 in coupon value. This was accomplished by support from our members and community. Thanks to Angelo's Pizza for the $100 gift card. The winner was Sherri Russler and her total coupon donation was $197.00.
- Publication 15: The IRS clarified that with regard to the qualified leave credits, if an employee had a period of leave in 2020 and the employer did not pay the applicable type of qualified leave wages for that period of leave until 2021, the credit for that type of qualified leave wages would be able to be claimed for the quarter of 2021 when the payment of that type of qualified leave wages occurred and not for the quarter of 2020 when the period of leave occurred.
- Publication 15-A: The IRS clarified the definition of qualified sick leave wages to mean “wages for social security and Medicare tax purposes, determined without regard to the exclusions from the definition of employment under Section 3121(b), that an employer pays under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA), as enacted under the FFCRA” and modified by the COVID-related Tax Relief Act of 2020, which was enacted as part of the 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act.
- Publication 15-B: The monthly exclusion for qualified parking is $270, unchanged from 2020, and the monthly exclusion for commuter highway vehicle transportation and transit passes is $270, also unchanged from 2020. The standard rate for transportation or travel expenses involving the business use of an automobile is 56 cents per mile, down from 57.5 cents per mile for 2020. The tax-free amount for qualified health flexible spending arrangements is $2,750, unchanged from 2020
- Lines 13b and 24 were designated as reserved for future use, as provisions permitting to defer amounts of the employer and employee portions of Social Security tax were not extended to 2021.
- Instructions for Line 11c, which is used to report the nonrefundable portion of the employee retention credit, were updated to reflect that the calculation of the credit was redefined under the 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act to be 70% of qualified wages paid from Jan. 1, 2021 to June 30, 2021, up to a maximum of $10,000 per employee per quarter. The amount of the credit for wages paid from March 13, 2020, to Dec. 30, 2020, was 50% of those wages, up to a maximum of $10,000 per employee for all quarters.
Government Liaison Updates
by Jeffrey Rothholz, CPP
Article compliments of the WMAC
Chapter members: Welcome to 2021. As payroll professionals are completing the year-end processes, including reconciling, filing, and distributing 2020 Form W-2 as well as employer tax filings, we should take a moment to appreciate how much we have accomplished in this unprecedented year. While we expect additional federal legislation for Coronavirus relief in the coming months, including changes that may impact payroll, we can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. The importance of our role as Payroll Professionals has been reaffirmed by all levels of organizations, from CEO's to hourly employees and contract workers.
Federal Compliance Updates:
Student loan relief extended until September 2021 through an executive order signed by President Biden. The Department of Education made the official announcement that they are extending the suspension of student loans through September 30, 2021. At the request of President Biden, the Acting Secretary of Education will extend the pause on federal student loan payments and collections and keep the interest rate at 0%.
2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA): President Trump signed H.R. 133 on /December 27, 2020, which provides extensions, changes, and updates to the payroll tax credits enacted through the CARES and FFCRA regulations. Here are highlights that impact payroll:
- Paid Leave Credit: These credits created by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act 2020 was extended to March 31, 2021. Employers' credits for sick and family leave are no longer mandated but may be claimed at the same level from January 1, 2021, to March 31, 2021. These credits created by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act 2020 was extended to March 31, 2021. Employers' credits for sick and family leave are no longer mandated but may be claimed at the same level from January 1, 2021, to March 31, 2021. Although the optional coverage for sick/ family leaves under the FFCR has been extended through 3/31/21, that does not mean that the allowable amounts are reset. Whatever has been used in 2020 can only be continued as a credit in 2021 if the initial limits were not met in 2020. If limits were reached in 2020 and an employer voluntarily elects to continue providing the benefit to employees under sick/paid family leave through 3/31/21, the employer will not be eligible to apply those wages as credits against their federal liability.
- Employee Payroll Tax Deferral: Some employers chose to suspend collection of the employee portion of Social Security tax from September 1 to December 31, 2020, following President Trump's memo. Employers who deferred collecting the employee portion of Social Security taxes during 2020 will have an extension for repayment from April 30, 2021, to December 31, 2021.
- Employee Retention Credit: The CAA provides an extension of the employee retention credit from December 31, 2020, to June 31, 2021. This credit provides employers a relief credit that may be applied to the employer and employee portions of Social Security, Medicare, federal tax withheld. Additionally, the CAA revised the eligibility, percentage of wages, and the maximum credit allowed beginning January 1, 2021.
- Flexible Spending Accounts: The CAA provides temporary changes in flexible spending accounts in both dependent care and health care. If the plans permit carryovers, employees may carryover balances from 2020 to 2021 and 2021 to 2022.
- Work Opportunity Credit: The CAA extended the Work Opportunity Credit, set to expire on December 31, 2020, to now expire on December 31, 2025.
The Labor Department clarifies issues with leave under the FFCRA. Employers are not mandated but may opt to provide employees with coronavirus-related leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act after Dec. 31, 2020, the Labor Department said in two Dec. 31 additions to its FFCRA-related frequently asked questions.
Local Compliance Updates:
State electronic W-2 reporting deadlines are approaching: Today is the deadline to file Forms W-2 for most states, including DC, Maryland, and Virginia.
District of Columbia filers are reminded to file their Forms W-2 with their tax departments electronically or on magnetic media by February 1, 2021. (January 31st is on a Sunday this year, so the next business day rule applies.)
Thank you for your support!!!
Virtual Capital Summit
March 15-17, 2021
The APA's Virtual Capital Summit puts attendees on the leading edge of payroll compliance from the comfort of their remote workplaces! This virtual conference features government insiders presenting the latest information on legislative and regulatory issues that impact payroll operations. For more details, visit the Virtual Capital Summit webpage.
Congress Xstream - An Online Conference and Expo - May 18-21, 2021
Recently APA announced the 2021 Annual Congress would take place virtually this year. The week-long conference will still be held on the original dates, May 18-21, 2021. There you can expect to find expert knowledge, valuable networking (including NEW video chats!), and world-class products at the world’s largest payroll expo.
Included in the 2021 Congress Xstream registration:
- Up to 35 RCHs
- Two special Preview Events
- Access to Virtual Congress with up to 14 more RCH's
- 27 Workshop sessions, 5 general session keynotes, and 3 industry expert presentations
- 4 days in the Expo
- And much more!
While there is barely 100 days remaining before the conference, we all know how quickly time flies. Also new this year, attendees will have access to two special preview events, but only if you register by March 5th. The first session is a returning crowd favorite – Pegine!
APA is very excited to bring you another year of expert payroll knowledge and the opportunity to network virtually with peers and business leaders from various industries all across the world. We look forward to seeing you in 2021 at Congress Xstream!
Check out all the details at https://www.congressxstream.com/ - there’s even a quick video to see what to expect at Congress Xstream this year.
Congress Xstream Preview Session of Lessons Learned from Leading during a Crisis
By Lori Brown, CPP
Article compliments of the WMAC
I’m honored to be speaking with Stephanie Salavejus, CPP at APA’s upcoming Congress Xstream. 2021 Congress Xstream is a virtual event scheduled for May 18-21. Our workshop session scheduled for Tuesday, May 18 is about Lessons Learned from Leading during a Crisis.
2020 was a challenging year for us all. As leaders, we were faced with many changes and challenges to overcome. While many leaders may have read or heard about leading through a crisis, 2020 provided us with actual experience and lessons learned that we’d like to share.
While we may think that we’re prepared to lead during a crisis, when that time hits it may feel like we’re not prepared. Facing the reality of a crisis and embracing change is the first step. Once you get ahold of yourself and dig deep, you can begin to plan for the long haul. You are the calm of the storm and must display that no matter the situation. Being transparent is key, as well as leading with care, intention and sticking to your values. Crisis situations provide challenges and opportunities that you have to take advantage of. We’ll share our experiences so you can learn and lead with confidence for what the future has to hold.
We welcome you to attend Congress Xstream to learn more about this session and many others, all the while getting rejuvenated for the year to come!
We are going to start off with fun facts about Charles Town.
- Charles Town is named for its founder Charles Washington, youngest brother of President George Washington.
- The first Rural Free Delivery service in the United States was from a Post Office in Charles Town.