Question: An employer wants to increase taxes on a holiday bonus check. How to determine the maximum tax rate of the additional salary rule?

Answer: Assuming that the mandatory contribution rate of 37% does not apply to holiday pay, two methods are prescribed for calculating the withholding of additional pay: the aggregate method and the 22% method not right. Of the two, it is easier to use the flat rate of 22% but not always an option.

The aggregate method uses the graduated tax table and factors from the employee’s Form W-4, Employee Withholding Form. When using the gross-up method, the graduated income tax rate makes it difficult to determine which rate to use in the gross-up formula. The employer must determine the marginal tax rate or rate to be applied to the bonus, and this may include the calculation of the income in the process if it crosses a threshold of gross tax.

Using the impossible flat method, the gross up formula is:

Big Salary / [1 – (federal income tax rate + Social Security tax rate + Medicare tax rate + state income tax rate)] = Prepared salary

For example, suppose an employer wants to raise taxes for a $500 bonus for an employee who does not exceed the social security wage. Using the federal flat rate of 22%, the state tax rate of 5%, and the FICA tax rate of 7.65%, the full formula is $500/ [1 – (0.22 + 0.0765 + 0.05)] = $765.11.

To check the math, subtract the tax from the adjusted wages. Gross profit of $765.11 minus $168.32 (22% federal tax rate), $58.53 (7.65% FICA), and $38.26 (5% state tax rate) leaves $500 in salary.

The applicable rate may not be used for an employee unless the employee’s current or prior year’s income tax has been paid.

The flat rate may also not be used if an employee has no regular salary during the applicable years, such as a commission-only sales representative.

Determining the individual employee’s income tax rate to use in the gross formula is more complicated with the aggregate method than with the graduated tax rate. It’s also a problem for states with high rates of graduate income. The problem in this case is compounded by the fact that only part of the lump sum payment is collected.

If the benefits are not taxable, the lump sum method can be used to calculate the amount of tax required for the total amount by adding the allowance to the regular salary or pay period. current or immediate payment period. The taxable amount of the bonus is the difference between the lump sum withholding and the ordinary salary withholding.

However, if the tax on the bonus was not withheld, in this way the tax on the bonus must be kept constant during the salary period. Late penalties may apply if two payments are due on different deposit dates. Bonus tax must be paid by the due date for the bonus distribution date. This may differ from the due date for regular paychecks.

For example, assuming a monthly pay cycle and a biweekly deposit schedule, the normal payment dates for December would be December 15th and 30th. Wednesday, December 28. Waiting to withhold and deposit taxes on the regular payroll schedule is causing delays. Employers can file taxes on December 28 and withhold payroll taxes on December 30 through audit.

Question: An employer offers dependent-pay programs for location-based care and medical services for employees. An employee elects to contribute $4,500 in salary deductions to an FSA. The administrator accidentally paid the employee $4,700. In addition, the employee used services worth $1,500 from the medical center depending on the location. How do I report the cost of dependent care on Form W-2?

Answer: A dependent care FSA is a written plan offered to employees through cafeteria plans. Under such plans, employees choose to reduce their wages to fund the plan and then withdraw money from the plan to pay qualified benefits.

The income exclusion limit for employer-provided employment assistance is $5,000, or $2,500 for married employees filing separately.

Any dependent care assistance provided above the limit is included in the employee’s income. Employees can choose to reduce their wages by up to $5,000 ($2,500 for married couples) under the FSA in the cafeteria plan. The amount is counted as health assistance provided by the employer.

An employer can also help in addition to organizing expenses. For example, employers may contribute to an FSA or provide free or discounted child care. If the cost of employer-provided dependent care exceeds $5,000, the excess is included in the employee’s income.

Employers report the total amount of employer-provided benefits in Box 10 of Form W-2, wages and taxes. In the case described in the question, the employer reports $6,200, which includes reimbursement of $4,700 plus the fair market value of $1,500 for on-site care. Employers will enter more than $1,200 over $5,000 on Form W-2 line 1 – wages and other compensation tips, line 3 – social security wages, and line 5 – wages and tips of Medicare.

Payments in excess of $200 of the employee’s $4,500 contribution to the expense plan are considered employer-provided benefits. On-site care is assessed at the fair market value of the services compared to the amount paid for the services.

This column does not necessarily reflect the views of Bloomberg Industry Group, Inc., or its owners.

Information about the author

Patrick Haggerty is the owner of a tax practice in Chapel Hill, NC, and a registered agent licensed to practice before the Internal Revenue Service. The author can be contacted at

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