Latest update includes:

FY2014-18: Late Penalty Interest Rate
CTR Memo FY2014-18 has been posted to the CTR Web Portal. This memo advises departments as to The Late Penalty Interest Rate for January 1, 2014 – June 30, 2014.

FY2014-17: Tax and Payroll Updates for 2014
CTR Memo FY2014-17 has been posted to the CTR Web Portal. HR/CMS must be updated to comply with a number of IRS and DOR requirements regarding employer responsibilities for Tax Year 2014.  This memo highlights the requirements and the necessary department actions to be compliant, including recent changes in state and federal taxation.

HR/CMS and MMARS Updates for 2014 Parking Changes

Employer-Provided Parking Update
The Federal and Massachusetts exclusion amount for Tax Year 2014 has increased by $5 to $250 per month. This benefit is processed in Additional Pay using Earning Code PKF and is processed one month in arrears. The January benefit is not processed until the February payroll. If the Fair Market Value (FMV) is less than the monthly exclusion then no reporting is necessary

Payroll directors must apply the new imputed value calculated as:  $FMV minus $250.

See Comptroller Memo FY#2014-17 regarding Tax and Payroll Updates for 2014. 

Fair Market Value of Parking at State Facilities
This includes parking at the State House, McCormack, Hurley/Lindemann Garages and the Outside Guaranteed Reserved Spaces at the State House. The Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCP) has determined that the fair market value has increased to $413 per month. The fair market value of $413 per month exceeds the $250 federal and state exclusion thresholds by $163.  Payroll directors must apply the imputed value of $163 per month for all employees assigned parking in these facilities.

Reporting Requirements for Federal Grants
In June of 2013, departments received instructions regarding the legislative requirement to report quarterly on the status of federal grants applied for. The time has come to submit FY2014 Second Quarter reports.

Departments should update the form submitted last quarter to reflect the current status of all the grants in the last submission, plus add any new grants that have been applied for since that time.  It is each department Chief Fiscal Officer’s responsibility to ensure compliance with this reporting requirement.  Departments should take steps to ensure that all applicable funds that have been applied for, including newly announced federal funds, existing grant award requests for increase, and federal funds applied for that were not awarded are included in the spreadsheet.  Please remember to maintain this submission in your department files as a reference for any subsequent review by the Office of the Comptroller and the Executive Office for Administration and Finance.

Please complete the Federal Grants Status form located in the General Outbound (Common Access) section of PartnerNet.  Please return it no later than 1/24/2014 by uploading it to the Comptroller’s General Inbound Box.  Instructions for using PartnerNet to upload and complete the Federal Grants Status form are included.  The form should be uploaded by ALL departments, even if your department currently has not applied for any federal grants.

All CFOs and GAAP Liaisons have access to upload the confirmation form.  CFOs can designate other department personnel to upload the Federal Grants Reporting Form. Department Security Officers can request access for additional users by submitting a PartnerNet Security Request Form .  Individuals needing access to PartnerNet to upload the form will be processed as soon as possible. For further assistance, please contact Taneka Simmons, Director of Federal Grants & Cost Allocation Bureau at 617-973-2606.

MMARS Saturday and Holiday Hours
MMARS and LCM will be available on Saturday, January 18, from 9:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. The Help Desk will not be staffed and any Saturday Help Desk calls will be returned on Tuesday, January 21.

MMARS and LCM will be available on Martin Luther King Day, Monday, January 20, from 7:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. A normal LCM cycle, but no financial cycle, will be run. The Help Desk will not be staffed and any holiday Help Desk calls will be returned on Tuesday, January 21.

Weekly Fraud Awareness and Prevention Fact - Javelin Strategy’s Latest Identity Fraud Report
From Overview:

• Identity fraud incidence increased in 2012 for the second consecutive year, affecting 5.26% of U.S. adults.

From Selected Key Findings:

  • Identity fraud incidents and amount stolen increased—The number of identity fraud incidents increased by one million more consumers over the past year, and the dollar amount stolen increased to $21 billion, a three-year high but still significantly lower than the all-time high of $47 billion in 2004. This equates to 1 incident of identity fraud every 3 seconds.
  • 1 in 4 data breach notification recipients became a victim of identity fraud.  The study found consumers who had their Social Security number compromised in a data breach were 5 times more likely to be a fraud victim than an average consumer. Visit the website.

If you have any questions regarding this or previous Fraud Awareness and Prevention Facts, please contact the Comptroller Help Desk at 617-973-2468 or via email at Comptroller.Info@State.MA.US. To report Fraud, Waste, or Abuse contact one of the Commonwealth’s Whistleblower Hotlines.

Upcoming Training Sessions and Meetings

  • Intermediate MMARS Warehouse – Wednesday, January 22, 9:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M., One Ashburton Place Boston, 9th Floor Training Lab
  • Vendor Management – Thursday, January 23, 9:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M., One Ashburton Place Boston, 9th Floor Training Lab
  • Webcast How to Run a Warehouse Starter Query – Friday, January 24, 11:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M., Online Training
  • CIW Report Building with MS Access – Tuesday, January 28, 9:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M., One Ashburton Place Boston, 9th Floor Training Lab
  • HR/CMS Fundamentals – Tuesday, February 4, 9:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M., One Ashburton Place Boston, 9th Floor Training Lab
  • Fraud Awareness and Prevention – Wednesday, February 5, 1:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M., One Ashburton Place Boston, 9th Floor Executive Conference Room
  • Establishing a Federal Grant in MMARS – Thursday, February 6, 9:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M., One Ashburton Place Boston, 9th Floor Training Lab

Register for these sessions via the Comptroller's Training and Meeting Schedule which lists classes scheduled for the next two months and Payroll User Groups through January 2014.

MMARS Hint of the Week - EFT Hierarchy
EFT information located in the vendor/customer section of a vendor code is the default value for disbursements. If there is no EFT information present, the default value is a paper check. EFT set up on a payment address takes precedence over EFT on the vendor/customer section. If EFT is set up in both the payment address and vendor/customer sections, the system will use the EFT in the payment address. If a payment address has a prenote rejected status, and the vendor/customer section has EFT information, a paper check will generate since the payment address takes precedence.