UPDATE ON TAXATION OF STATE SUPPLEMENTAL PAYMENTS
While on vacation the past few days, I have received dozens of individual calls/emails regarding Supplemental Tax Payments. Rather than try to return each individual message with the same information, I’m sending the information that CSEA Acting Statewide President Mary Sullivan has provided in this regard (below), as it affects not only our CSEA Judiciary members but all State workers. There is a contact number if you need to further discuss this issue with CSEA State Operations; however, realize that the tax rate and any modification of that rate is set by the Comptroller’s office, not CSEA nor UCS payroll.
(Source: Mary Sullivan, Acting CSEA Statewide President)
The New York state comptroller’s office was recently informed of an Internal Revenue Service ruling which requires Supplemental wage payments including longevity payments, call out bonus, tool allowance, hazardous duty pay, back pay, retroactive wage increases, awards, uniform allowance, unused vacation accruals lump sum, salary deferral lump sum, standby, intermittent inconvenience, step 3 out-of-title grievance payments, and any other payment that is above regular wages, to be processed with a higher withholding rate than regular wages.
Under the regulations, employers have the option to withhold a flat rate of 25% on supplemental wages or use a more complex aggregate method for calculating the withholding that combines regular and supplemental wages according to what you entered on your W-4 for withholding allowances and additional withholding amounts.
To be in full compliance with these IRS rules, the State’s Comptroller’s Office initially determined to use the flat rate 25% method, starting with the April 2017 Longevity Payments. In response to strong objections by CSEA, and after further research by CSEA, the state comptroller has determined that the aggregate method will be used to determine the proper amount of withholding to be taken out of supplemental payments. This method is more beneficial to our members than using the flat 25% rate. However, even with the aggregate method, the withholding will still be significantly more than what has been withheld in the past.
It is important to note that regardless of the tax withholding method used on supplemental payments, an individual’s tax liability is the same at the end of the year. Taxes withheld over and above what a person owes will be refunded when you file your tax returns.
In the meantime an individual can always change their withholding amounts and their claimed withholding allowances on their W-4 prior to the supplemental payments in order to realize more money in the supplemental check. An individual can change their withholding amounts and their withholding allowances as many times as they desire throughout the year in order to capture more money in any supplemental check.
If you have any questions please contact CSEA State Operations at (518) 257-1213.
Mary E. Sullivan, CSEA Acting President
(Note from Don: UCS informed employees of the new Supplemental Tax Rate via email back in late March/early April of this year)
BREAST CANCER SCREENING LEAVE
Under Article 9.5(e) of the CSEA-UCS contract (and by law), members are entitled to four hours of leave for breast cancer screening in a calendar year. That four-hour period must be pre-approved and may be utilized either at one appointment or over more than one appointment, depending on your individual needs. Travel time is to be included in that four hours, and documentation should be provided to your supervisor. Unused Breast Cancer Screening leave time is lost at the end of the calendar year. Under no circumstances should you be told you have to utilize your lunch hour or utilize less than four hours in order to attend an appointment for this purpose. If that occurs, contact your Union Rep immediately. The same guidelines apply for annual prostate screening.
ENCHANTED FOREST – WATER SAFARI
Our annual visit to Enchanted Forest/Water Safari is scheduled for Saturday, July 22nd. Reservations must be received by July 14th, so please mail them early. We have a large group from our Local every year because it’s such a great time – plenty of food, great water rides and lunch/dinner are both included in the price. See the link below for information and how to register.