Ask Me Anything – 10 Common Questions about Certified Payroll

Ask Me Anything – 10 Common Questions about Certified Payroll

Certified Payroll/Prevailing Wage
Below are the 10 most common questions I’m asked just about every week about certified payroll and their answers. While these question commonly come from QuickBooks users the answers provided will apply to anyone who has to deal with the complexities of prevailing wage reporting. 1. I have to submit the Federal WH-347 form, how do I report the fringes that my company pays to the union hall? The Federal form only requires that you report payments of cash in lieu of fringe benefits (or fringe dollars that you pay to the employee as part of gross wages for the week) – NOT fringes you pay to the Union Hall on behalf of the employee. For fringes paid to the Union Hall, check box 4(a) Where Fringe Benefits are paid…
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Understanding & Implementing Prevailing Wage Decisions

Understanding & Implementing Prevailing Wage Decisions

Certified Payroll/Prevailing Wage
Prevailing Wage Decisions can sometimes be very difficult to understand and implement, however, it's very important that you learn to read and apply what is found in them. The Wage Decision for a Public Works or Government Construction project provides you with the prevailing wage requirements, including Work Classifications, hourly rates of pay and hourly fringe benefit amounts for every trade classification that could possibly be involved on a project.  Prevailing Wage requirements are found in the Labor Standard Clause of the Contract Provisions section of the bid package and become the backbone of payroll processing requirements for that specific project. One would think that if a project had prevailing wage requirements that the Wage Decision would contain an easy to understand breakdown of the fringe benefit portion of the…
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Weekly Wrap-Up: News You Can Use 7/13-7/19/2012

Weekly Wrap-Up: News You Can Use 7/13-7/19/2012

News You Can Use
  Weekly wrap-up of news and information from around the web – there’s so much information out there that it’s difficult (at best) to keep up! I’ve added a WordPress plug-in that grabs information from my Twitter stream to help me (and hopefully you as well) keep up with everything. Look for the Weekly Wrap-Up: News You Can Use every Friday. I’ll try to be consistent and organize the information into the same categories each week.   (Technorati claim token 3JSYVT43VAMQ). Accounting & Taxes Oregon Tax Scam Could Have Been Much Bigger| AccountingWeb | https://t.co/ZcFla7kn -> Do you need to file a tax return https://t.co/K0JwKyt3 via @bruce_taxguy -> Senate Republicans Vote Down Small-Business Tax Breaks : The World :: American Express OPEN Forum https://t.co/muNkjKLj via @OpenForum -> Should You Get an…
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How To Report an Owner/Employee on Certified Payroll

How To Report an Owner/Employee on Certified Payroll

Certified Payroll/Prevailing Wage
Certified Payroll is complex and so are the reporting requirements for owner/employees.  See this question submitted by a reader. I am unsure of how to report the owner of the company on the certified payroll report.  He is a union member but not paid union benefits.  He is paid the prevailing union wage in our area.  He is paid thru QuickBooks payroll & the appropriate payroll taxes are paid. The accountant suggests we do not report the fringe benefits on the certified payroll because he does not receive union benefits as he is the owner & does not have union benefits. I am confused as to how to report his wages.  Must I make a 'separate' payment to him of what the total prevailing wage for a union worker would…
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Worker’s Comp Increases 45% in California, Beginning 7/1/2012

Worker’s Comp Increases 45% in California, Beginning 7/1/2012

Certified Payroll/Prevailing Wage, Construction News, Payroll Tips, Webinars & Training
  California Worker's Compensation Insurance premiums will increase by 45% over last year  for renewals after July 1, 2012 according to The Worker's Comp Executive. California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones went against a unified front of labor and employer representatives siding with the insurance industry and the Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB) in approving a 8.3% increase mid-year rate hike for California employers.  Added to the 37% rate increase he approved for January, July and later renewals are facing an average rate increase of 45.3% over last year at the same time. Worker’s Comp and payroll taxes take a huge bite out of a contractors profit when working on Public Works construction projects – especially if the contractor is paying the full fringe benefit rate of the prevailing wage…
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California Prevailing Wage, Certified Payroll and Payroll Frequency

Certified Payroll/Prevailing Wage
  California prevailing wage laws are among the most complex, with multiple agencies requiring their own special certified payroll reports and multiple electronic filing requirements - how often you issue payroll will have a big impact.  See this question, submitted via our Ask the Expert form. Does California mandate that you pay weekly when working on a prevailing wage/certified job?  Thanks, Gail. A.  From what I know, California payroll frequencies indicate that paychecks can be run on a weekly, bi-weekly, or semi-monthly basis - but it does depend on the occupation. The Federal guidelines, are clearer, and state it is mandatory for covered contractors and subcontractors performing work on Federally financed or assisted construction contracts to respond to the information collection contained in 29 C.F.R. §§ 3.3, 5.5(a).  The Copeland…
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Prevailing Wage Projects and Your Construction Company

Payroll Tips
Strategies for Making the Move to Public Works Construction Projects Seminar - American Subcontractors Association, San Diego branch, January 19, 2012 The current economic situation has dealt a serious blow to both homebuilders and commercial contractors and many are finding themselves make the move to Public Works construction and Prevailing Wage projects.  Make the move to Public Works construction will require planning and quite possibly a variety of changes in the way you currently run your existing construction business. Join industry experts; Steve Kuzmack, President of Fringe Benefit Experts and Nancy Smyth, President of Sunburst Software Solutions, Inc. for an intensive 2 hour session on January 19, 2012; on strategies for lowering labor costs and complying with certified payroll reporting requirements on Federal and/or State funded construction projects. Learn How:…
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QuickBooks Payroll Tip – Wage Underpayments & Wage Restitution

Certified Payroll/Prevailing Wage, Payroll Tips
This QuickBooks payroll tip discusses underpaying employee wages and wage restitution, after paychecks have been created and cashed. Paying your employees the correct rate of pay is one of the most critical portions of your business; and if those employees are subject to multiple pay rate or have frequent pay rate changes, ensuring that everyone is being paid the correct rate can be a tedious and potentially error prone process. In today's busy workplace, business owners and payroll administrators are faced with numerous challenges which sometimes result in employee wage underpayments.  Often times a wage shortage isn't discovered until after paychecks have been created and cashed; which then requires wage restitution to the employee. Quite often this situation puts the business owner or payroll clerk in a quandary about how…
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5 Certified Paroll Reporting Mistakes & How To Avoid Them

Certified Payroll/Prevailing Wage
5 certified payroll reporting mistakes that will cause delayed payments - learn how to avoid them. Filling out weekly certified payroll reports can be a time-consuming and frustrating task, especially if you complete them by hand or have to manipulate data in order to create them.  Transposition errors and other mistakes are bound to happen, no matter how careful you think you are being.  Making mistakes on certified payroll reports will lead to more frustration and you'll  end up spending more time correcting the errors; mistakes will also put your company's good standing in jeopardy with the General Contractor or Project Administrator. Certified Payroll/Prevailing Wage reporting can be complex and varies by state.  Learning how to avoid the following mistakes and submit the reports properly the first time will benefit…
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The Benefits of Paying Prevailing Wage Fringes to a Bona-fide Plan

Certified Payroll/Prevailing Wage, Construction News, Payroll Tips
The benefits of paying the Prevailing Wage Fringe Benefit portion to bona-fide plan is often misunderstood by employers and employees alike. Prevailing wage jobs, those jobs that are subject to the Davis-Bacon Act and/or State Prevailing Wage Laws, require that all laborers and mechanics {including tradesmen such as carpenters, equipment operators, painters, pipefitters, plumbers, etc.) who perform work on the jobsite are to be paid a set base rate of pay PLUS an hourly fringe benefit rate. Union contractors automatically pay the total hourly fringe benefit rate to the union hall on behalf of the employee, usually splitting the full hourly rate into specific "funds" - Health & Welfare, Pension, Vacation, etc. When this happens the Union contractor doesn't pay payroll taxes, worker's compensation, or general liability insurance on this…
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Prevailing Wage Fringes-Taking Credit for Company 401k Contributions

Certified Payroll/Prevailing Wage, Payroll Tips
Taking a credit against the full prevailing wage fringe benefit for company paid 401k contributions and reporting it correctly on the Federal WH-347 Certified Payroll Report can be very confusing.  This question was asked by a reader who recently requested our 4 Ways Contractors Pay Prevailing Wage Fringe Benefits eBook. We are a non-union shop working on prevailing wage jobs; our Company offers a 401k plan and the company contributes 4% of  our employee's gross wages to the 401k.  We understand that the 401k plan is considered a bona-fide plan, but how do we take an hourly credit when our contributions are based on a percentage of gross?  Currently we just look at an employee's gross wages for the month and make the calculations and contributions. ------------------------------------------------ Taking a credit…
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