INCREASE TO MILEAGE RATE EFFECTIVE JULY 1ST
Due to rising gas prices, the IRS is increasing the mileage rate effective July 1, 2022. The mileage rate is used by many employers to reimburse their employees for work-related mileage. It is also used to compute the deductible costs of operating a vehicle for business use in lieu of tracking actual costs (like depreciation, insurance, and gas).
Normally, the mileage rate is adjusted only once a year, but the recent increases in gas prices prompted the IRS to adjust it mid-year to more realistically reflect the cost of business mileage.
From July 1st through the end of the year, the mileage rate is 62.5 cents per mile. The new rate is effective for travel from July 1, 2022 through December 31, 2022. The old rate of 58.5 cents per mile still applies for travel prior to July 1st.
DO EMPLOYEES HAVE TO BE PAID WHEN YOUR BUSINESS IS CLOSED?
Hurricane season is here, and employers should know how to properly compensate employees who miss work when the business closes due to severe weather.
The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) governs employee compensation and determines which employees must be paid for time missed at work.
Hourly employees: In general, hourly employees must be paid only for hours they actually work. If a business is closed due to inclement weather and the employees cannot work, they do not have to be paid for those hours, unless your business has a different policy.
Salaried employees: While it is customary to pay salaried employees when the employees cannot work because the business is closed, it is not mandatory unless the salaried employee is exempt under the FLSA.
Exempt employees must be paid their full salary for any workweek in which they perform work, even if it is just one day. For example, if your business is closed 4 of your 5 normal workdays due to severe weather, an exempt employee who works only that one day must be paid their full salary for the entire week.
To be considered exempt, salaried employees must be paid at least $684 per week on a salary basis and have certain higher-level duties that are set forth in the FLSA.
Keep in mind that if your business is closed for part of a workweek, your employees can work up to 40 hours the rest of the week when your business re-opens without being paid overtime. This applies to hourly employees and non-exempt salaried employees (exempt employees are already exempt from overtime).
Overtime is triggered by the hours worked in a week, not by the number of days worked. For example, if your business is normally open Monday – Friday but you close for a hurricane on Monday and Tuesday, your employees can work up to 40 hours Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday without being paid overtime. Because your business was closed those two days and your employees were not working, those hours do not count as time worked and they can work up to 40 hours the rest of your workweek.
This rule also applies for holidays where your business is closed and your employees do not have to work (like July 4th or Christmas Day).
THIS YEAR’S BACK-TO-SCHOOL SALES TAX HOLIDAY IS JULY 25 – AUGUST 7
From Monday July 25th through Sunday August 7th, the Florida sales tax is not due on the retail sale of:
- School supplies with a sales price of $50 or less.
- Clothes, shoes, and some accessories with a sales price of $100 or less.
- Learning aids and jigsaw puzzles with a sales price of $30 or less (this is new for 2022). This includes flashcards, matching or memory games, puzzle books, etc.
- Personal computers and some computer accessories with a sales price of $1,500 or less when purchased for non-commercial use.
Retailers are not required to keep special records of sales during the tax-free period. Just report sales of items sold tax-free from July 25 through August 7 as exempt sales on your next sales tax return.
Businesses may choose not to participate in the back-to-school tax holiday if less than 5% of their gross sales from 2021 were items that are exempt during the tax holiday. To opt out, a business must send written notice to the Florida Department of Revenue by July 18, 2022 on company letterhead stating that the business meets these qualifications and has chosen not to participate in the sales tax holiday. The notice must be signed by an individual authorized to sign on behalf of the business and can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or faxed to 850-922-0859.
Businesses that opt out of the sales tax holiday must post a notice in a conspicuous location alerting customers that they are not participating. A suggested notice is:
(Name of business), as a qualified business, has chosen not to participate in the Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday July 25, 2022 through August 7, 2022. For questions, please contact (name of contact person at business) at (contact phone number or email).
For more information or to review the complete list of tax-free items, please visit the Florida Department of Revenue’s website by clicking here.
IS YOUR WORKERS’ COMP INSURANCE WITH FUBA? IT SHOULD BE.
One of the most important membership benefits FUBA offers to small businesses is access to workers’ compensation insurance for qualifying members.
The insurance offered through FUBA’s program is rated A- Excellent by A.M. Best and offers competitive dividends to policyholders along with our fantastic FUBA customer service.
Is your business getting the benefit of FUBA’s workers’ comp program? If not, call your local insurance agent today to ask about moving your insurance to FUBA.