March 15, 2021: Important Payroll News

March 16, 2021

A few important reminders about payroll items that require your attention this month:

Paid Family Leave Program

Paid Family Medical Leave launched in Massachusetts on January 1st. Many employers have already received requests for information from the state seeking to verify wages and eligibility for an employee. BizChecks Payroll continues to deduct and remit contributions to the Department of Revenue on a quarterly basis. We are also prepared to handle any employer requests for documentation regarding the leave program.

We will be filing the PFML return with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts after the end of the first quarter. Last year due to the incredible financial stress resulting from the COVID-19 crisis, we froze any price increase until next summer, and waived the PFML filing fee for 2020. Please be aware that for 2021, with the last payroll of the first quarter, you will see this filing fee of $85 per quarter reinstated.

An important reminder for any employers receiving a second draw PPP loan: payroll and accounting fees may now be included in payroll costs when applying for PPP forgiveness.

2021 Massachusetts DUA Rates

It is critical for employers to understand that Massachusetts unemployment rates for employers in 2021 have still not been set by the DUA. Although there was good news last week that Governor Baker and the Mass. Legislature had agreed to “freeze” 2021 rates at the 2020 rate schedule, employers may still see increases in their rates based on experience ratings. Any increase in the rates will be retroactive to January 1st. We will provide more information as soon as the state releases any updates.

Employee Retention Credit

On March 16th, we will be releasing the procedures for taking the Employee Retention Credit for 2021 and retroactively for 2020. Please take a few minutes to review the procedures and reach out to your CPA to discuss whether you are eligible for this credit.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your payroll specialist or to Larry Drago with any questions.