Comptroller Fiscal Year Memo Letter Head

To:              Chief Fiscal Officers, MMARS Liaisons, and Payroll Directors

From:          Martin J. Benison, Comptroller

Date:           December 19, 2012

Re:              2012 Tax Reporting and Year End Processing

Comptroller Memo FY#2013-13


Executive Summary

This memo provides departments with instructions and important processing dates for year-end tax reporting and payroll processing.


Two new and time-sensitive items to report:

  • New W-2 Box requirement – Box 12DD: Cost of employer-sponsored health coverage. The amount reported with Code DD is not taxable.
  • Payroll cycles throughout the Holidays will not change; they will run on a Normal schedule.  With SSTA rolled out to 20,000 users, it is important to communicate to employees and approvers that everyone should be diligent throughout the year in SSTA entry and approval.

TAX REPORTING and DISTRIBUTION

W-2 Distribution
Tax Year 2012 W-2 Forms for employees, along with the “Comptroller’s W-2 Form Instructional Brochure,” will be mailed to each employee’s Home Address on or before January 31, 2013.

  • Notices will be printed on pay advices to remind employees to confirm their Home Address printed on the pay advice.
  • Updates to Home Address must be made on or before January 3, 2013.  The “Home Address” is located on the Biographical Data panel in HR/CMS.
  • Avoid using a PO Box as the Home Address as this may cause delays.
  • Home Address cannot be outside of the United States.  Departments must use the Department address instead and mail these W-2s individually.
  • Employees who have more than four Box 14 items will receive a notice to expect two W-2 Forms.  The second form will contain only additional optional reporting.
  • All W-2 Forms that are undeliverable will be returned to CTR.  Departments will be required to pick up any returned mail.

W-2 Questions

All W-2 questions should be referred to the employee’s Payroll Office.  The Comptroller’s Payroll Bureau (CTR-PRB) will help with any questions submitted by the employee’s Payroll Office.  Please do not refer employees directly to CTR-PRB.

W-2 Form Reprint Process
Departments can reprint W-2 Forms directly from HR/CMS.  There will be no Department access to W-2s on DocDirect.  The instructions on how to print W-2s prior to 2010 can be found here under “W-2 Reprints”.

W-2 on PayInfo for Employee Reference 

An employee informational W-2 (not to be submitted to the IRS) will be available on PayInfo when W-2 forms are approved for mailing.   W-2 Brochure copies will also be posted on the CTR website.  Go to: Payroll and Labor Cost Management section > Tax Information.

W-2 Form Corrections (W-2C)
If a Department or employee determines that the name, social security number or any of the information reported on an employee's W-2 form is incorrect, the Department should:

  • Complete a Request for Correction Form.
  • The Request Forms should be forwarded to:


Office of the Comptroller, Attn: Silas Shah
One Ashburton Place, 9th Floor
Boston, MA 02108   Phone: 617-973-2339.

Include a copy of the original W-2.  Provide a detailed explanation of what happened and explain how the change affects each box amount (negatively or positively).

  • Update HR/CMS with corrections to non-tax information (e.g., name, address).  Corrections that require updates to tax information will be made by the Comptroller’s Office.
  • The Employee must submit a new W-4 with accurate and complete information.
  • The Comptroller's Office will create the W-2C and W-3C Forms and file these with both the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Department of Revenue (DOR).  A copy will be mailed to the employee and the correction posted in HR/CMS.  See: Payroll for North America > US Annual Processing > W-2 Adjustments.

HR/CMS will contain W-2C information for future reference and audit trail purposes.

YEAR END BUSINESS

Please carefully review year end business to prevent the need for W-2C corrections.

Final Wages/Deductions for 2012
The HR/CMS production runs on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 (for pay period ending 12/15/2012) and will produce the final employee compensation to be reported in Tax Year 2012.  The final remittance advice/check date will be Friday 12/21/2012.  Please encourage employees to go paperless to eliminate the need for pick-up that day.

Reminder:  Year-end balances on the pay stub may not match the W-2 values.  Non-taxable earnings, such as travel reimbursements paid through HR/CMS, are included on the pay stub but are excluded from taxable earnings.  Only earnings subject to income taxes will be reported on the W-2.

Payroll Refund Receipt Voucher Deadline
All payroll refund receipt vouchers and PRRVs must be processed and submitted to the Retirement Board as follows:

  • Receipt vouchers for pay period ending 12/1/12 or earlier must be submitted to the Retirement Board by 12/14/12.
  • Receipt vouchers for pay period ending 12/15/12 must be submitted to the Retirement Board by 12/28/12.

Vouchers not processed by the December 28th deadline and received by the Retirement Board will require a W-2C.

Ending 2011 HCSA/DCAP/HCSAF and COMECC Deduction Fields
Benefit Strategies is the Plan Administrator for the GIC HCSA/DCAP pre-tax benefits.  As a reminder, there is no automatic end-dating of these deductions.  If not already done, Departments should enter an end date of 12/15/2012.  When entering the new deduction, use the effective date of 12/16/2012 and an end date of 12/14/2013.

The last 2012 Tax Year deduction for DCAP, HCSA, HCSAF and COMECC will occur for the pay period ending 12/15/11 with an advice/check date of 12/21/11.

PREPARATION FOR 2013

Cap for Retirement Contributions
The definition of “regular wages” in M.G.L. c. 32 caps retirement deductions for new employees becoming members in the Retirement Systems to 64% of the 26 U.S.C. 401(a) amount including, but not limited to, the applicable limits for any calendar year under 26 U.S.C. 401(a)(17).

Anyone becoming a member on or after January 1st, 2011 cannot contribute to retirement on salary above $163,200 (64% of $255,000). 

Wages/Deductions for Tax Year 2012
There will be 26 pay periods reported in Tax Year 2013 beginning with the pay period ending 12/29/2012.

Savings Plans (Deferred Compensation)

  • (Last 3 year Catch-up) When an employee elects the 3 year catch-up, they will only appear on the monthly deferral report once.  There will be no further reporting unless there is another change submitted through the Plan Provider. Therefore, any future years need to be created upon the initial notification.
  • (Over 50) The Commonwealth will have an automatic update for employees who are 50 years old or turning 50 within the calendar year, this update will automatically insert a row "Age 50-Extend Limit (B)" into the Savings Management page.

2013 Enrollment for HCSA, DCAP and COMECC
Departments can now begin entering HCSA/DCAP/HCSAF and COMECC deduction data for 2013 by using an Effective Date of 12/16/12.  You must end date the deduction with a December 14,2013 date.

DCAP, HCSA, HCSAF and COMECC deductions are deducted every pay period.  When entering the DCAP, HCSA and COMECC deductions in HR/CMS, be sure to enter the individual’s pay period amount and annual goal amount.  The annual limit for 2013 DCAP remains $5,000.00.  The annual limit for 2013 HCSA has changed to

$2,500 (minimum $500.00).  The administrative fee (HCSAF) for the 2013 HCSA and DCAP remains $1.66 per pay period.

Departments should familiarize themselves with the HCSA/DCAP/IRS 2 ½ month grace period when considering 2013 goal amounts http://www.mass.gov/gic/ .

For more information about the HCSA/DCAP pre-tax programs, contact Benefit Strategies at (877) FLE-XGIC (353-9442) or http://www.benstrat.com/  or visit the GIC website at http://www.mass.gov/gic/ .  All other questions on this memo should be directed to the Comptroller’s Helpline at 617-973-2468.

W-4 Filing (Employees must file a Form W-4 Annually to Continue “Exempt” Status)
Employees must file a new Form W-4 if they are making any changes to their withholding allowances, are claiming Exempt status or changed his or her name with the Social Security AdministrationThe deadline to continue with EXEMPT status is February 14.  Failure to submit a new Form W-4 will result in tax withholdings at single and zero allowances.  For those employees that have not filed a new Form W-4, departments must establish the single and zero allowance rates for the payroll processed on Feb 14, 2013.

Departments should notify their employees of the consequences of not filing a new Form W-4 by the February deadline.

To set-up an employee as exempt, use the ‘Maintain Gross’ button in the Tax Data Panel and leave the ‘Additional Withholdings’ as $0.

Please refer to the following websites for Job Aid Documents:

HR/CMS Payroll Job Aids

Tax Job Aid

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