To prenote, or not to prenote…that is question. Have you ever had to ask yourself whether or not your company needs to be prenoting direct deposits? Most, not all, banks no longer require prenotification of bank account information for direct deposits. However if…

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Effective January 1, 2016, E-Verify transaction records that are more than 10 years old will be deleted from the E-Verify system. Find out how to get your employer records before they go away!

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Implementing a new software system may be the biggest project you undertake this decade.  It's important you have a good implementation plan set before you start out. Find out some guidelines to help stay on track!

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FAQ

Is Optimum HRIS® Compliant With The Affordable Care Act (ACA) Changes?

Optimum provides the required Average Hours Worked report to assist with determining which employees are considered full-time equivalents as well as forms 1094 and 1095. Additionally, Optimum has a report which will determine an employee’s health care affordability under the minimum essential coverage regulations. Optimum continues to stay informed of upcoming ACA requirements and keep our clients informed.

FAQ

What Is A Dedicated Support Rep?

A dedicated support representative is assigned to all of our clients when they purchase our software. This individual is your go-to contact at Optimum who will get to know you and how you use the Optimum software. This makes forming a business relationship between you and your support representative much easier than would solutions that allows a different support person to answer any question you may have.

Changes in Michigan law regarding garnishments allow the garnishment to remain instead of expiring after six months. Find out how garnishments will be handled and when this law will come into effect.

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FAQ

What Is Direct Deposit?

Direct Deposit refers to the process of a payroll provider depositing an employee’s paycheck directly into their bank account rather than providing the employee with a paper paycheck.

FAQ

What Is A Pre-Note?

A pre-note is test data that is sent to an employee’s bank account to ensure direct deposit is set up correctly.

FAQ

What Is The Difference Between A Pay Card And A Debit Card?

A pay card is often used to pay employees who want direct deposit, but do not want to it associated with a bank account. Pay cards function similarly to debit cards, as they can be used at point of sale purchases and to withdraw cash from ATM’s.

In December, Obama signed into law a $41.6 billion tax break program. The law included a plan that retroactively raised the monthly mass-transit subsidy. The increase in the tax-free qualified public transportation and van-pool fringe-benefit arrangements increased to $250 a month,…

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FAQ

What Is The ACA?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as ObamaCare, is the health care reform program that took effect in the United States on March 23, 2010 and requires all U.S. citizens to have health care or pay a fine.

FAQ

What Is The Difference Between Outsourcing And An In-House Solution?

With outsourcing, a third party HRIS vendor will take the employee and time information submitted by an employer, and uses the data to print and send checks directly to employees. An outsourcing provider will also file taxes for an employer. Using an in-house or premise-based system, an employer will collect the necessary time & employee information needed to process the payroll, print checks and file taxes within the in-house HRIS software.

Christmas decorations have arrived in stores, turkeys are flying off the shelves and the temperatures are below 32 degrees…this can only mean one thing, year end is around the corner!  In order to help you survive those dreaded year end processes,…

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According to an IRS notice released in 2014, third parties that directly pay another entity’s payrolls can be held liable for the full amount of taxes required to be withheld but not paid to the government, subject to a 25% limitation. …

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FAQ

Does Optimum Do Your Tax Filing?

Our solutions allow you to easily file your own taxes on your own as we keep our payroll software up to date with federal, state and local tax rates.  Optimum does have a partner that provides tax filing, if preferred.

FAQ

What Is A One-Database System?

A one-database system allows users in HR and payroll departments to share certain employee data across different applications without each department having to enter the employee data multiple times. Unlike “interfaced” systems, a one-database software system has a single master employee file where all applications can access the employee information. All updates are made in real time, and all double entry is eliminated.

FAQ

What Is The Difference Between HRIS And HRMS System?

HRIS stands for Human Resources Information System, while HRMS stands for Human Resources Management System. Often times the two are used interchangeably, however there is a slight difference. HRIS systems are used to track the numerical portion of employee information, such as social security numbers, tax information and schedules. HRMS systems are able to monitor employees on a more qualitative perspective. This can include tracking performance, employee’s satisfaction surveys and other personnel issues.

Employee information is sensitive data that needs to be stored properly, but who should have access to their data? Learn how to store personnel data securely, and differences between protected and general information.

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The Heartbleed Bug is a serious security threat for anyone using the internet’s OpenSSL.  For many years, the highly successful OpenSSL has been extremely popular among system vendors and service providers, and its widespread usage makes Heartbleed equally pervasive.  …

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If you pay employees in a FUTA credit reduction state, your unemployment costs have been steadily rising for the past few years, but tax year 2014 brings even more unemployment credit reductions in the form of Benefit Cost Rate Add-on.  In…

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In March of 2007, Microsoft made an announcement that they would be discontinuing the product Visual FoxPro®. Mainstream service for VFP then ended in January of 2010, but Microsoft offered an extended paid support option that is available until January 13,…

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An estimated 2 million Facebook, Gmail, LinkedIn and ADP passwords have been breached by hackers according to a cybersecurity firm called Trustwave. The hackers used a malicious software that was installed on an unknown number of computers around the world. The…

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Many employees will be happy to find out that their state minimum wage will be increasing beginning in 2014 and employers will need to be prepared to make these changes.  Currently, the federal minimum wage set by the Fair Labor Standards…

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Whether you believe it or not, it’s the middle of October and that can only mean that November is right around the corner!  November marks the start of the busiest time of the year for the payroll and HR folks, so…

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As a direct result of the October federal government shut down, daily employer tasks are not able to be completed. Below are a few items that may be affecting you until the government resumes. E-Verify E-Verify has been taken offline.  Employers will not…

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The IRS has released a new Form W-9 with updates for 2013. The form is used to provide a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) to someone who needs to file an information return with the IRS to report one of the following: income…

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In accordance with The Affordable Care Act (ACA), the deadline is quickly approaching for employers to notify their employees of coverage options available through Exchanges, otherwise known as Health Insurance Marketplaces. Current employees (both full time and part time) must receive this…

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It’s that time of the year payroll industry, get ready to celebrate! National Payroll Week (NPW) takes place next week on September 2 and runs through September 6. Always coinciding with Labor Day, this recognition week was introduced by the American Payroll…

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Have you considered what is in store for companies in 2015 with the delay of the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA) reporting requirement?  While the reporting requirements for companies with 50 or more full time employees (FTE’s) and the associated penalties/assessments have…

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The Obama Administration announced that it will delay the federal health care law that would have mandated businesses with 50 or more full time employees to provide health care for their employees. The law currently states that working an average 30…

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What is the HFA? The Healthy Families Act (HFA) was introduced on March 20, 2013 and is currently in front of a congressional committee. This act would require employers with 15 or more employees to permit each employee to earn at least one…

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You undoubtedly have a color-coded, quick-reference, multi-functional, laminated, location-specific payroll calendar posted in every strategic location in your Payroll/HR/Benefits/Accounting office, but you may need to make some additions to that!  The Internal Revenue Service has announced furloughs and will be closed…

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On March 12, 2013, the IRS released the revised Form 941 to be used effective for the 1st quarter 2013.  The new form reflects the tax changes where the Social Security tax was increased back to 6.2% from 4.2% in 2012…

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Does your company allow employees to work onsite after hours?  If so, there are policies and actions you consider concerning safety and security. Forms of Risk The first thing that needs to be considered when constructing policies is the environment of the workplace.…

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Are you interested in paying in Canada, or if you already pay in Canada (hopefully you know the below information, but a review is useful!), having an overview of the basic of the Canadian payroll rules and regulations is helpful. From…

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The U.S. Postal Service will stop delivering mail on Saturdays, effective August 1, 2013.  Has your company’s considered how this will affect payroll? Will your company need to adjust payroll schedules and processes? If you mail paychecks to other office locations or…

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Taking advantage of temporary workers is the newest trend in the job recruitment sector. In fact, 34% of businesses expect to hire more temporary workers in the next five years (2011 McKinsey Global Institute US Jobs Survey). And though you’ll need…

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Imagine you are doing your due diligence and double checking your files. You discover that some employee’s have been misclassified. Your immediate reaction is, what can I do to fix it? Well there is good news! You caught the mistake before…

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December State Updates Alaska Unemployment Insurance Rate Increase: Beginning January 1, 2013, the unemployment insurance taxable wage base will increase to $36,900. California Minimum Wage Increased in San Francisco: Beginning January 1, 2013 the minimum wage in San Francisco will increase to $10.55 an hour,…

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Schedule A Released for Form 940 On November 23, the IRS released Schedule A for Form 940, or the Employer’s Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return. Although the 2012 Form 940 has not been released yet, it is important to become familiar…

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We know you appreciate your employees, and holiday time is a perfect time of year to show them how much you care!  Or is it?  Carefully consider your options before you start bestowing gifts.  If you want to give, make sure your…

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On October 16th, the Social Security Administration made announcements regarding Social Security and Supplemental income as well as the Social Security tax maximum payable amount. An estimated 62 million Americans’ monthly social security and supplemental income benefits will be increasing 1.7%. As…

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Alabama Unemployment Insurance Taxable Wage Base: The unemployment taxable wage base will remain the same at $8,000 for 2013. California Child Support Guidelines: On September 27, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill (A.B. 2393) which increased the low-income adjustment to child support guidelines to…

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State Updates Alabama Department of Industrial Relations Transformation: Effective October 1, 2012, the Department of Industrial Relations will become the Department of Labor. Call 334-242-3460 to be directed to your contact. Arizona FUTA Credit Reduction: Arizona will become a Federal Unemployment Tax Act credit reduction…

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The death of an employee is not something we like to think about and can be a very difficult and confusing scenario for all coworkers involved. However, something often pushed to the side is the administrative tasks and what must be…

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Federal News National Payroll Week – Sept. 3-7, recognizes the work of payroll professionals and is an effort to help workers understand the wage withholding system and their paychecks. National Payroll Week celebrates the hard work by America’s 156 million wage earners and…

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There is no doubt that the advancement of internet and technology has vastly changed the ways of the working world. One of these changes has been increase in the hiring of remote workers. Since these employees will be doing their work…

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State Updates Arizona Written Claim Minimum for Unpaid Wages to Increase: Beginning August 2, 2012, employees are able to file written claims against their employer to the Industrial Commission for unpaid wages up to $5,000. The previous limit was $2,500. Colorado Unemployment Bond Authorized: As…

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Federal News IRS changes to Form 941-X: The IRS has updated Form 941-X.  Form 941-X is used to correct mistakes that were previously filed on Form 941. The employee social security rate is now 4.2% and the employer social security tax rate…

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“You’re Fired.” Two words every person hopes they never have to hear. However getting fired does, unfortunately happen. At first you may think it’s the end of the world, but we’re here to tell you good news - it’s not!

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Federal Updates Form I-9 Website: Federal law requires every employer and agricultural recruiter/referrer-for-a-fee hiring an individual for employment in the United States to verify his or her identity and employment authorization through completion of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. State Updates   California Supreme Court makes…

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Over the past few years, overtime compliancy has become a hot topic and government audits are on the rise. Determining who is to receive overtime, what is included in overtime and how the rates must be calculated is no longer straightforward….

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Although direct deposit has become a widely used payroll solution, questions regarding the payment option still arise. If there is a direct deposit debate in your office, the following advantages will help you eliminate questions and concerns on both the employer…

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On February 15, 2012, the Department of Labor released a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) in attempt to implement changes to the Family Medicare Leave Act (FMLA). The proposed amendment plans to expand FMLA as well as introduce a provision…

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Training employees is often considered a wasted expense when, on the contrary, it should be looked at as an investment in an asset. Time and effort have already been spent on hiring a good employee, now use the training process as…

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The IRS has released yet another Form 941 effective 1st Quarter 2012 due to the continuation of the Payroll Tax Cut, which continues the Social Security portion of FICA remain at 4.2% for employee’s and 6.2% for employers.  The form can…

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Federal Updates: Two Percent Social Security Tax Cut Extended: The reduction in the social security tax rate paid by employees from 6.2% to 4.2% that was set to expire at the end of February 2012 has now been extended until the end…

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In 2010, the United States saw nearly 100,000 employment discrimination claims were filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Did you know that according to some laws, as a manager, you can personally be sued for employer lawsuits? There is no way…

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The recession taught us more than a few lessons, but one of the most important is to always be financially prepared. This means always being diligent in managing your expenses. The question arises, are you a savvy saver?  Take the time to…

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Case sensitive passwords, firewalls, encrypted USB drives, biometric scans - these are all different methods companies will use to prevent electronic data breaches. However, these sophisticated prevention technologies are insignificant if your company does not have basic data security policies in place. Here are a few areas where your company may be susceptible to everyday data breaches

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Find out what the Payroll, Accounting and Tax departments have in store for changes for 2012. Before you finish year end read this article to find out Federal IRS, Federal Social Security Administration, State Unemployment and State Withholding changes.

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Companies today have two options for paying their employees: outsource their payroll or bring it in-house. Companies are often drawn to payroll outsourcing by their promises of saving the company time, money and resources. However, those companies quickly find the hidden…

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May is the month that NACHA recognizes businesses should celebrate and campaign to get your organization to be 100% direct deposit.  It can be tricky getting past all the employees’ fears and excuses, but there are resources to help you with…

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When deciding to back up your HRIS software and other data, you have taken an essential first step in protecting your information assets and, in some cases, the actual survival of your organization. But simply deciding to back up data is…

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Since 1936, SSA has assigned 9-digit numbers used to track earnings and pay benefits. These numbers have consisted of an area number that corresponds to the state corresponding to the zip code in the applicant’s mailing address.  This method of assignment presents…

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The IRS Releases the 2011 Form W-9 Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification The IRS has released an updated Form W-9 for tax year 2011.  The Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification has quite a few changes, so you should…

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The IRS has released the Employer’s Quarterly Federal Income Tax return for 2011, along with the Schedule R, Allocation Schedule for Aggregate Form 941 Filers.  Form 941 can be found on the IRS website. At this time, the new instructions have not…

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Hopefully year-end is over or winding down for most of you. Did you keep a list of what worked well and what did not during your year-end process?  If not, it should be fresh on your mind.  Start planning your 2011 year-end…

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What Qualifies as Exigency Leave for Military FMLA? An eligible employee may qualify for FMLA leave if there is a qualifying exigency due to one of these eight conditions affecting a spouse, son, daughter, or parent in the armed forces: Short-notice deployment: If…

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The IRS has released the 2011 Federal Tax Levy Exemption Tables as of January 19 (found in the updated IRS Publication 1494).  Download the Federal Tax Levy Exemption Tables for 2011 here (from irs.gov). Use the updated tables to determine the amount of…

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When I left high school and went to college (many decades ago), one of the few things I was well prepared for was college Spanish.  I breezed through my Spanish I course, and confidently went by the professor’s office once grades…

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Recent government reports found that a high percentage of workplace injuries and illnesses are not being reported by employers. This reporting has prompted the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) to launch an enforcement initiative focused on identifying employers who…

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Are you familiar with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website?  How many hours do you as a Payroll or Human Resource Professional spend searching for the information you need.  Researching Federal, State and Local government agencies websites to locate what you…

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Does your company offer both a pretax 401k deferral and an after tax Roth IRA deferral to your employees? This can be difficult to handle with the separate taxability’s and the fact that the federal contribution limit for each year (eg. 2010…

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And when was the last time you read the complete OSHA Recordkeeping Handbook from cover to cover?  Um hm…...I thought so.  It may sound daunting, but there are really some quite simple things to remember when you track OSHA incidents. First, if…

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I recently sat in on a webinar that focused on Data Breach Violations and how HIPAA and HITECH Data Backup rulings are affecting how risks are managed more and more. The subject matter was particularly directed towards healthcare and insurance professionals, but…

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There are 3 common methods for overtime setup and calculation in payroll software processing. Overtime at Time and a half Overtime automatically calculated by the payroll software system FLSA Overtime calculation for multiple rates of pay Overtime at Time and a half calculation is accomplished…

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Flexi Announces its Payroll and HR Solution Partnership with Optimum Solutions provides payroll, HR and time & attendance to Flexi’s customers. NAPLES, Fla./March 25, 2010— Flexi Software, a provider of best-of-breed, back office accounting software solutions, targeted to banking, insurance and financial…

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President Obama signed the Hire Act on March 18, 2010 to provide incentives for restoring Employment. This Act has two parts: Part 1 – The tax Holiday which runs from March 19, 2010 – December 31, 2010 to relieve the employer’s share…

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You’ve determined that you need a new payroll software solution. You are out-sourcing your payroll software, human resources software and time and attendance software and are not satisfied with the service that you are getting as well as the lack of…

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The Making Work Pay provision of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provides a refundable tax credit of up to $400 for working individuals and up to $800 for married taxpayers filing joint returns.  The credit is being distributed through…

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So, you’ve heard that there have been changes to your 941 form, but just what are those changes exactly? Well, here’s a brief rundown. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the Recovery Act, P.L. 111-5) offers a 65%  COBRA premium…

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As with most HR, and payroll systems these days, there are two ways to do things: the “old fashioned” manual way and the new online way which offers a variety of methods.  This principle is also the same for paying your…

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Like many software applications HRIS software solutions can be either owned or rented.  Historically, most HRIS software applications involved a purchase of a license which are based on either the number of users accessing the application, or the number of “active”…

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If your company administers a federal COBRA subsidy program, the IRS has announced a February 17 deadline for notifying COBRA assistance-eligible employees/dependents that the subsidy program has been extended.  In addition to the extension, there are also new regulations: Employees who are…

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As of February 1st employers must post a summary of the previous year totals of job-related injuries and illnesses.  Only the summary (OSHA Form 300A) is required.  Employers should list the total number of incidents occurring in 2009 that were logged…

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Beginning in 2010 military spouses may be allowed an exemption from the New York State personal income tax withholding under the Service members Civil Relief Act (SCRA).  If the spouse is in the state solely to be with a service member…

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Do You Have an Extra Pay Period Next Year? When planning for a new calendar year, we often forget there could be an extra pay period for the upcoming year.  Planning ahead prevents any last minute scrambling you may have to do…

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The limitation on the exclusion for elective deferrals described in IRS Section 402(g)(3) – for 401(k) type plans and Section 457 plans increases to $16,500 for 2009.  The limit for 2008 was $15,500. Other pension plan limit amount changes are as follows: Defined…

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COBRA Premium Subsidies and the Stimulus Package —What does it mean for employers? Effective February 17, 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provides that certain individuals who are eligible for COBRA continuation of health coverage may receive a subsidy…

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Effective February 2, 2009, the Department of Homeland Security along with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Agencies require use of a new Form I-9. The link to the new form is http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/I-9_IFR_02-02-09.pdf. You are no longer to use the current form. For more information on…

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On January 16, 2009, the Department of Labor’s final rule on the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) will go into effect.  (Federal Register, 29CFR Part 825)  The final rule is intended to reduce the likelihood of misinterpretation of the Act…

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Optimum Solutions, Inc. becomes a “Front Runner” with the release of its newest version of Optimum Payroll, HR, and Time and Attendance HRIS Suite. Nashville, TN — December 18, 2008 — Optimum Solutions, Inc. today announced it will launch a new application…

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The following states have reported their State Unemployment Wage limits for 2009: STATE WAGE LIMIT Alaska   $32,700 Illinois   $12,300 Iowa   $23,700 Minnesota $26,000 Missouri $12,500 Montana $25,100 Nevada $26,600 New Jersey $28,900 New Mexico $20,900 North Dakota $23,700 Oklahoma $14,200 South Dakota $ 9,500 Washington $35,700 Wisconsin $12,000 Wyoming $21,500

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Optimum Solutions Further Distinguishes Itself by Earning a Microsoft Competency in ISV/Software Solutions. [Nashville, TN, USA — July 7, 2008] Optimum Solutions today announced it has attained Gold Certified Partner status in the Microsoft Partner Program with a competency in ISV/Software Solutions,…

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Optimum Solutions’ 2009 user’s conference will be held September 29th thru October 2nd, at the Sheraton Music City Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. The 2009 conference theme is “Casino Payroyale”. We look forward to seeing our customers in 2009! Hotel Information:  http://www.sheratonmusiccity.com

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IRS ANNOUNCES 2009 FEDERAL AMOUNTS FOR STANDARD DEDUCTIONS, TRANSPORTATION FRINGES & EARNED INCOME CREDIT The standard deduction amounts for 2009 will increase to $11,400 for married couples filing jointly or surviving spouses; $8,350 for heads of households; $5,700 for single taxpayers and…

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IRS Decreases Business Mileage Rate for 2009 The IRS announced the standard business mileage rate will decrease to .55 cents for transportation expenses paid or incurred effective January 1, 2009. Also effective 2009 the standard rate for miles driven for medical or moving…

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With the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the adjusted gross income for taxpayers Married Filing Jointly has increased from $38,583 to $40,463. Form W-5 will not change, but the instructions have been revised.  See Item 3 under Who Is Eligible…

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To lessen the administrative burden and maintain equity, the Canada Revenue Agency announced changes to its administrative policies for taxable employment benefits in June 2009.  The policies affected include: Overtime Meals and Allowances Provided to Employees Municipality or Metropolitan Area Loyalty Programs Employer Provided Motor…

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IRS Releases New Form 941-X To Replace 941c In the past any adjustments needed for a Form 941 was to be filed on a Form 941c with a current Form 941.  The IRS has released a new Form 941-X that is required to…

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Accounting Manager Dan Bellor, View Point Health

Our first payroll is complete. Everyone has been paid on time and all the calculations were correct. I want to thank the Optimum team for helping to make this happen on schedule.