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Date: August 24, 2012 REVISED

Bulletin Number: SU-188

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Subject

New Earnings Code for employer-provided Housing


Purpose

To inform agencies of the new Earnings Code to be used for SUNY employer-provided  Housing

Affected Employees

SUNY employees who receive housing  that is  considered taxable income

Effective Date(s)

Paychecks dated September 12, 2012 (Administration)
Paychecks dated September 20, 2012 (Institution)

Background

According to Internal Revenue Code Section 61, employer-provided housing is a taxable benefit to employees.  Section 119 (a) of the Internal Revenue Code specifically excludes from gross income the value of the housing if the following three requirements are satisfied:

  • The employee is required to accept such housing as a term and condition of employment
  • The housing is on the business premises of the employer
  • The housing is furnished for the convenience of the employer

If a campus provides housing to an employee that does not meet the above criteria and there is no charge to the employee for the housing, the value of the housing is income that is subject to all tax withholdings and is reportable on the employee Form W-2.

OSC Actions

OSC has created Time Entry earnings code HAS (Housing SUNY) to be used to capture and report the taxable value of the employer-provided housing.

Agency Actions

Agencies must report the value of the housing  in Time Entry using earn code HAS and enter the following information into the Time Entry Page:

Earnings Begin Date:     Enter the last date of the pay period
Earnings End Date:        Enter the last date of the pay period
Earnings Code:              HAS
Amount:                       Value  of the housing                                            

Agencies are encouraged to notify employees of transactions.

The Earnings Code HAS will appear on the payroll register.   The Earnings Code description and housing amount will appear on the employee’s paycheck stub or direct deposit advice statement.

Tax Withholding

The value of the employer-provided housing is subject to all employment and income tax withholdings.   The value of the income will be added to the employees’ taxable gross for tax withholding purposes in the period the allowance is entered.  

The total housing amount reported for the year will appear in Box 14 of the employee’s Form W-2 under code FRB.

Questions Questions regarding this bulletin may be e-mailed to the Tax and Compliance mailbox.