Archive for Massachusetts

Introducing MassTaxConnect!

123shutterstock_90695362On November 30, 2015, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) will replace the existing WebFile for business system with the new MassTaxConnect system. All entities that file and pay taxes to the DOR electronically will now be utilizing the new online system. Tax filings and payments include unrelated business income tax, sales tax, meals tax, withholding tax and more, so this change will impact a wide variety of organizations in the Commonwealth.

Some of the new features that promise to make the tax filing and paying experience more efficient include:

  • Send and receive secure e-messages
  • View errors prior to submission
  • File early and schedule payments online
  • Assign third-party access electronically
  • 24/7 access

Click here for more information and to get an advance look at the new system.

Jeanne Pagnozzi Boston AccountantJeanne Pagnozzi is a manager in BlumShapiro’s Accounting and Auditing Department, based in Quincy, Massachusetts, Jeanne oversees attest and tax engagements and is responsible for engagement planning, staff supervision and coordination with client personnel to ensure successful completion of projects.

What have you done for your employee handbook lately?

In November 2014, Massachusetts citizens voted to entitle Massachusetts workers to earn and use paid sick time. In April 2015, the Attorney General released proposed regulations in order to help businesses comply with the new law. All employers are impacted by the law; however, only employers with 11 or more employees (not full-time equivalents (FTE’s)) during the calendar year are required to provide paid sick time to any employee whose primary workplace is located in Massachusetts, including part-time, full-time, seasonal or temporary employees. The new law takes effect on July 1, 2015.

According to a summary and the draft regulations published by the Attorney General’s office, some of the highlights of the new law are as follows:

• Massachusetts workers whose employers have 11 or more employees for at least 20 weeks during either the current or preceding calendar year (whether consecutive or not) can earn and use up to 40 hours of paid sick time per calendar year

• For employers with less than 11 employees for at least 16 weeks during either the current or preceding calendar year, workers can earn and use unpaid sick time

• The use of earned sick time can be used for:

o Caring for a physical or mental illness, injury or medical condition affecting the employee, spouse, child, parent or parent of a spouse

o Attending routine medical appointments for the employee, spouse, child, parent or parent of spouse

o Addressing the effects of domestic violence on the employee or employee’s dependent child

• Employees will earn at least one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked

• Hours will begin to accrue on the date of hire, or July 1, 2015 (whichever is later) and employees can begin to use the sick time 90 days after that date (July 1, 2015 or date of hire, whichever is later).

• Up to 40 hours of earned sick time can be carried over to the next calendar year, but the employer is not required to provide more than 40 hours of paid sick time in one calendar year

• Earned sick time is not required to be paid out upon termination from employment

• Employers cannot require workers to make up the used sick time

• Other provisions exist within the law regarding requirements to provide notice, certification, documentation, retaliation, confidentiality, breaks in service, exempt employees and other responsibilities on the part of the employer and employee.

The above highlights are just a sample of what is in the draft regulations. All employers should be reviewing their employee handbooks containing human resource and PTO policies to ensure that their policies are up-to-date and compliant with the new law. An experienced employment attorney is recommended to ensure that circumstances specific to each organization are considered when reviewing for compliance.

Jeanne Pagnozzi Boston AccountantJeanne Pagnozzi is a manager in BlumShapiro’s Accounting and Auditing Department, based in Quincy, Massachusetts, Jeanne oversees attest and tax engagements and is responsible for engagement planning, staff supervision and coordination with client personnel to ensure successful completion of projects.

Massachusetts Update: A Step-Forward in the Creation of Non-Profit Retirement Plan

In June, the non-profit sector achieved a favorable step forward in allowing employees of small non-profit organizations to participate in a retirement savings plan.

Connecting Organizations to Retirement (CORE) 401(k) Plan

At the Massachusetts Non-profit Network’s Non-profit Awareness Day celebration in June 2014, Treasurer Steven Grossman announced that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has ruled favorably on the proposed Connecting Organizations to Retirement (CORE) 401(k) plan. This type of plan would allow employees of smaller non-profit organizations to have access to a qualified tax deferred retirement plan. While additional approval from the IRS is still needed, this is a step forward in the process.

Click here for further information on the above proposal >>

 

Michelle Hatch is a partner in our Non-Profit Services Group. She oversees audit and accounting engagements for non-profit organizations, including independent schools, trade associations, health and human service organizations and art, cultural and membership organizations. Michelle is also a member of the Employee Benefit Assurance Group and oversees audits for 401(k), 403(b) and defined benefit retirement plans.