Share

Northwest OH Legal Blog

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Internal Revenue Service Announces Special Per Diem Rates for Business Travel Expenses Incurred on or after October 1, 2013

The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) has announced the special per diem rates that can be used to substantiate the amount of business expenses incurred for travel away from home on or after October 1, 2013. Use of these rates to set per diem allowances permits employers to treat the amount of certain categories of travel expenses as substantiated, without requiring that employees prove the actual amount of those expenses. (Employees must still substantiate the time, place, and business purpose of their travel expenses.)

According to IRS rules, per diem allowances must be paid at or below the applicable federal per diem rate, a flat rate or stated schedule, or in accordance with another IRS-specified rate or schedule. The amount deemed substantiated, however, is the lesser of— 

  • the allowance or
  • the federal per diem for the same set of expenses.

The IRS notice sets forth rates for use under the optional high-low substantiation method, special rates for transportation industry employers, and the rate for taxpayers taking a deduction only for incidental expenses.

For travel within the continental United States, the optional high-low method allows employers to use one per diem rate for high-cost locations and another for all other locations.  (The federal per diem rates are location-specific.)  Employers may use the high-low method for substantiating lodging, meals, and incidental expenses, or for substantiating meal and incidental expenses only (“M&IE”).

Beginning October 1, 2013, the high-low per diem rates that can be used for lodging, meals, and incidental expenses will increase to $251 for travel to high-cost locations and $170 for travel to other locations.  The high-low M&IE rates will remain at $65 for travel to high-cost locations and $52 for travel to other locations.  The announcement includes several changes to the list of high-cost locations.  No locations were removed from the list.

The special rate for the incidental expenses deduction that applies beginning October 1, 2013 is unchanged at $5 per day. Final federal travel regulations issued in October 2012 kept the narrower definition of incidental expenses adopted by the interim regulations, so the expenses covered by that rate have not changed.

The IRS’s per diem rules can greatly simplify the process of substantiating business travel expense amounts. Per diem allowances that are deemed substantiated may be retained by the employee, even if such allowances exceed what the employee actually spent.  However, if an employer pays more generous allowances (exceeding what will be deemed substantiated) than permitted under IRS rules, the employer must require substantiation, require return of the excess, or treat the excess as taxable wages.  Otherwise, the entire allowance may become taxable.

 If you have any questions or concerns regarding this communication, please do not hesitate to call Allotta | Farley Co., L.P.A. at (419) 535-0075 or email megarner@allottafarley.com.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Workers' Compensation Wage Loss

Presently the Industrial Commission and the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation have proposed new wage loss rules. The new rule at Ohio Administrative Code 4125-1-01 would replace the current wage loss rules.  Essentially the requirements for job search remain the same, however, the search will be based on a more fluid “good faith effort”. The job search still must be “consistent, sincere, and best attempt to obtain suitable employment that will eliminate the wage loss.”  There are a number of factors that will be considered by the BWC and Industrial Commission in determining whether the type of searches and the manner of search has met the good faith criteria.  The injured worker will be allowed for the first 60 days to search for suitable employment within their skill level but after 60 days has gone by and no requisite work has been found they must also search for entry level or unskilled work. Even if an individual finds a job and is filing for working wage loss they will still be required to submit searches for every week that they are asking for working wage loss. Any failure to conduct an appropriate job search is considered to be a voluntary limitation of their income and could result in a reduction in their working wage loss compensation.  Supposedly these new work rules are to take into account the location where the individual lives and the ability to find employers within his area of residency.  However, the rule still appears to require attempts to submit applications and treat the searching for work as a job itself.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

DOL Says ‘Spouse' and ‘Marriage' in ERISA Include Same-Sex Legally Married Couples

The terms “spouse” and “marriage” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and related guidance should be read to include same-sex legally married couples, the Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration said in Technical Release 2013–04. “The term ‘spouse' will be read to refer to any individuals who are lawfully married under any state law, including individuals married to a person of the same sex who were legally married in a state that recognizes such marriages, but who are domiciled in a state that does not recognize such marriages. Similarly, the term ‘marriage' will be read to include a same-sex marriage that is legally recognized as a marriage under any state law,” according to the guidance, issued Sept. 18, 2013.


Read more . . .


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Welcome to Our New Website

As part of our ongoing efforts to better serve our clients, Allotta Farley Co., L.P.A. is proud to launch its new website.  As you can see, the new website contains a blog within which we will periodically post articles that address timely and important issues affecting our clients.  Those who visit our website have the ability to subscribe to the blog, which will enable subscribers to receive useful information as it is posted on the blog.  We invite you to subscribe by clicking on the subscription options in the upper right margin of the web page.

As always, we appreciate the feedback we receive from our clients.  If there are topics that you wish to see addressed in our blog, please forward your ideas to us at jamier@allottafarley.com.


← Newer1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14Older →

Archived Posts

2020
2018
2017
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January
2016
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
March
February
January
2015
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
2014
October
September
July
June
May
April
March
February
January
2013


With an office located in Toledo , OH Allotta Farley Co., L.P.A. serves clients throughout northwest OH with various legal matters. Areas of service include Allen County, Ashland County, Auglaize County, Crawford County, Defiance County, Erie County, Fulton County, Hancock County, Hardin County, Henry County, Huron County, Lucas County, Marion County, Mercer County, Morrow County, Ottawa County, Paulding County, Putnam County, Richland County, Sandusky County, Seneca County, Van Wert County, Williams County, Wood County, Wyandot County.

Disclaimer
Hiring an attorney is an important decision which should not be based solely on advertising. The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.



© 2020 Allotta | Farley Co., L.P.A. | Disclaimer
2222 Centennial Road, Toledo, OH 43617
| Phone: 419.535.0075

Labor Union Representation | Taft–Hartley/Multiemployer Benefit Plans | Unemployment/Appeals | Public Pension Disability Claims | ERISA Disability | Attorneys

Law Firm Website Design by
Zola Creative