Payroll System Replacement Project

Subject: Taxable Travel Reimbursements Bulletin No. 55
Date: 11/19/98
PURPOSE

This bulletin replaces Bulletin P964/A427. It updates calendar year-end procedures relating to taxable travel reimbursements in order for the State to comply with IRS reporting requirements. Taxable travel reimbursements include Excess Personal Car Mileage (PCM) Reimbursements, Excess Per Diem Payments, Non-Overnight Meal Allowances and payments to employees taxable under the IRS One-Year Rule.

Excess PCM and Per Diem Amounts - IRS rules relating to employee business expense reimbursements require withholding and W-2 reporting on any excess amounts paid. The "excess amount" is the portion greater than the applicable Federal rate and not substantiated by receipts. The 1998 maximum rate allowed by IRS for PCM is 32.5 cents per mile. Bulletins G171 and G172 provide the current maximum Federal per diems for the continental US.

Non-Overnight Meal Allowances - The IRS requires employers to report and withhold income and employment taxes from meal allowances for non-overnight travel (day trips).

One-Year Rule - The IRS requires employers to report travel reimbursements and withhold income and employment taxes if employment away from home at a single location is realistically expected to last for more than one year.

Explanations of rules for excess PCM, Per Diem Amounts, Non-Overnight Meal Allowances and One-Year Rule can be found in the Accounting Controls and Special Procedures Manual, Volume XI, Section 8.

YEAR-END PROCESS

Important changes have been made to year-end processing of taxable travel reimbursements. Agencies will want to have taxable travel reimbursements paid by the CAS on or before December 11, 1998. Otherwise, Agencies will be required to prepare corrected W-2 statements for 1998, and initiate Social Security/Medicare deficiency deductions through PaySR in 1999.

NOTE: For the CAS to process payments by December 11:

Batches containing taxable travel vouchers to be entered by OSC must be received by OSC NO LATER THAN 12/2/98. Vouchers entered by Agencies must be received by OSC NO LATER THAN 12/7/98.

Batches of Quick Pay Travel vouchers to be paid by 12/11/98 must be certified for payment by 12/10/98.

Payment dates on vouchers must be 12/11/98 or earlier.

Payments December 1-11 - Taxable travel reimbursement data is transferred from the CAS to the Payroll System at month end, January through November. This year, a special transfer from the CAS to PaySR will be run on December 11, 1998. This transfer will include vouchers with taxable reimbursements paid from December 1 through December 11. These reimbursements will appear as "Taxable Expense" on Administration payroll checks dated 12/23/98 and Institution payroll checks dated 12/31/98. Appropriate amounts will be withheld for these payments.

Payments After December 11 - Agencies should avoid payment of taxable travel reimbursements by the CAS from 12/12 through 12/31. If taxable travel reimbursements are paid by the CAS during this period, they will not be included as income nor taxed appropriately on the employee's W-2 issued by PaySR. As a result, Agencies will be required to prepare corrected W-2 statements for 1998, and initiate Social Security/Medicare deficiency deductions through PaySR in 1999.

A year-end Payroll bulletin will be issued instructing Agencies in the preparation of corrected W-2's for 1998 and the method of initiating Social Security/Medicare deductions through PaySR in 1999.

CAS REPORTS

Agencies will receive a special VOU943, Listing of Taxable Employee Travel Payments by Agency, for the December 11, 1998 transfer. This report will print at agency printers. Agencies without printers will receive this report through the mail.

Agencies will receive the monthly VOU943 for December, but it will contain only the taxable expense transactions paid after December 11.

The VOU943 reports should be used to confirm taxable amounts paid during December, and to identify any payments requiring W-2 corrections and Social Security/Medicare deficiency deductions.

PCM CORRECTIONS

All corrections to excess amount payments on the PCM file must be made by 12/31/98, so that the amounts on the PCM010 can be reconciled with the excess amounts reported on the employee’s 1998 W-2. Other corrections that Agencies choose to make to the PCM file must be made by 1/08/99 to be reflected on adjusted year-end reports.

Please note the Accounting Systems Bulletin A441 referenced Payroll Bulletin P1008. The actual Payroll Bulletin number is this PaySR Bulletin 55.

Direct payroll questions on this bulletin to Eileen Cooper at (518)473-1989. Direct other questions to the Accounting Information Center at (518) 473-1170.