Military Leave Differential Payments Subject To Income Tax, Not FICA or FUTA

Employers that pay differential pay to employees absent on active duty military leave job must withhold income tax, but need not withhold or pay Federal Insurance Contributions Act (“FICA”) or Federal Unemployment Tax Act (“FUTA”) taxes on those payments, according to an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) ruling to be published May 4, 2009.

According to Revenue Ruling 2009-11, employers must withhold income tax and include military duty differential pay in wages reported on the recipient employee’s Form W-2. It also states employers may use the aggregate procedure or optional flat rate withholding to calculate the amount of income taxes required to be withheld on these payments.

Proper tax withholding and reporting is one of the expanding responsibilities that employers must juggle when a member of their workforce is a current or former members of the military and their family members including, for example, federal and state military leave mandates and new military caregiver and other family leave requirements for family members of members of the military that took effect during the past year. Employers should review their employment and employee benefit practices to confirm they are up to date with these expanded requirements.

Cynthia Marcotte Stamer and other members of Curren Tomko and Tarski LLP are experienced with advising and assisting employers with these and other labor and employment, employee benefit, compensation, and internal controls matters. If your organization needs assistance with assessing, managing or defending its wage and hour or other labor and employment, compensation or benefit practices, please contact Ms. Stamer at e-mail, (214) 270-2402; or your favorite Curren Tomko Tarski, LLP attorney.  For additional information about the experience and services of Ms. Stamer and other members of the Curren Tomko Tarksi, LLP team, see the Curren Tomko Tarski Website or Cynthia Marcotte Stamer, P.C. Website.

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