What are your EITC obligations?

What is EITC?

eitcAn Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a reduction in the amount of tax an employee owes (or an increase in income tax refunds) and it is available to certain qualified individuals. In some states, employers are required to provide specific notices to inform their employees about the EITC.

Are you aware of the Earned Income Tax Credit Notice requirements for your state or city?
If not, please read below to ensure you are compliant.

Requirements by State or City

California

The California requirement for EITC was communicated directly to our California clients last week. Here is a summary of those requirements.

Illinois

Employers must give or mail a notice regarding the EITC to employees within one week of the W-2 being distributed.  Here is the language that must appear in this notice:

IF YOU EARNED LESS THAN $39,296 LAST YEAR AND HAVE AT LEAST ONE CHILD, YOU MAY BE ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE A TAX CREDIT FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. THE TAX CREDIT MAY BE A REFUND FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOR AS MUCH AS $3,373. EVEN IF YOU DO NOT OWE FEDERAL TAXES, YOU MUST FILE A TAX RETURN TO RECEIVE THE EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT. BE SURE TO FILL OUT THE EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT FORM IN THE TAX RETURN BOOKLET.

Maryland

The Maryland Comptroller sends a letter to all Maryland employers at the end of each year which outlines the figures for the EITC eligibility. Employers are then required to send this to all eligible employees before the end of the year. In case you forgot to do that this year, here is a copy of the letter from the Comptroller and the sample notice for employees.

New Jersey

Employers are required to provide a notice of the New Jersey Earned Income Tax Credit (NJEITC) to potentially eligible employees between Jan 1 and Feb 15th each year. Here is a link to the notice.

Louisiana

Business establishments in Louisiana with 20 or more employees are required to provide a notice to employees at the time of hiring. Here is a link to the required notice.

Philadelphia

Employers must provide Philadelphia residents with the ETIC notice at the time that the W2 is given out.  A sample notice (in various languages) can be found here.

Texas

No later than March 1st of each year, employers must notify their employees of the Federal EITC. The notice can be given in person, electronically, through a flyer, or by mail. Employers may use the Federal IRS Notice 797 or they can create a written statement with the same wording.

Virginia

Employers are required to hang the EITC notice with all of the other State and Federal Labor Law posters. Employers can find the required poster here.

If you are a StratEx client and have any questions about these requirements, please reach out to your HR Account Manager or your StratEx Service Team.

eStratEx Manager FAQ Video

Our new software release occurred successfully as planned this last weekend, and our new user interface is up and ready to help our clients manage their employees. We sent full release notes to all clients on Thursday, which included details of each change.

As an added tool, we have created a quick video covering the major changes for managers in the interface. Check it out!

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Our New and Improved User Interface Has Arrived!

After many months of hard work behind the scenes, we are excited to announce the release of brand new Myself, Team and Management pages this weekend. Each of the new pages bring a cleaner look, which include useful graphics and new features. We’ve also reorganized previous pages into more relevant groups. For example, “Pay & Benefits” has now been separated into different pages, while “Time Away From Work” has been relocated to a new “Time & Labor” page.

To go back to our original announcement about these changes in November, our main goals for this initiative were to Standardize, Reorganize and Visualize some of the more commonly used pages. Although it might take a little time to become familiar with the changes, we are confident that the system will be easier and smoother to use than ever before.

Take a look at how the Team tab has transformed!

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We encourage our clients to dive in and familiarize themselves with the new functions.

In addition to the overview of updates included in our full release notes, we have put together brand new Help Center articles with details on each of the new pages. When on a new page in eStratEx, users can simply select the “Help” link at the top of the page and navigate to the related Help Center article for more information. Of course, StratEx’s Service Team is always ready to assist with any other questions that our clients may have.

All of these changes were a product of the generous feedback we’ve received from clients. Stay tuned — we will have many more exciting new features to share in 2017.

Thank you!

The StratEx Team

StratEx Serves: United Way

“We rise by lifting others” – Robert Ingersoll

Whew. We made it. The “most wonderful time of the year” is behind us. Also known as: “The busiest and most stressful time of the year.” It’s so easy to get caught up in the busyness. Gifts to buy, ship and wrap. Special food that needs to be bought, prepared and baked. Parties and get-togethers with friends and family. B.U.S.Y.

Then, there’s our work at StratEx. HR. Payroll. Benefits. This time of year defines “busy” for this kind of work. In fact, there can be a feeling of initiation for first-timers and a lasting camaraderie of “surviving” Year-End at StratEx. We simply wouldn’t be successful without every StratExian pitching in and working hard to get everything ready for our clients’ new years.

It’d be understandable if we just kept our heads down, focused on the work, and pushed through.

And yet… we choose to take the time to look up and out. We choose to break through the busyness and focus in a way that puts things into perspective.

StratEx Serves: United Way

In honor of the holiday season, our StratEx Serves program was lead by one of our Shared Resource Specialists, Kira Gavigan, to team up with the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago for their annual holiday gift drive. Through the United Way, we were given the opportunity to participate in their Adopt-a-Family program to help a family in need this holiday season.

We were honored to gather winter coats, hats, gloves and scarves for the two adults and three children in our adopted family. We also included gift cards for the adults, clothes, books, and crayons for the children, and a doll for our family’s 6 year-old girl.

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Once all of the items were gathered, Kira, Alyssa Garza (Benefits Administrator) and Madeline McDonnell (HR Account Manager), dropped them off at United Way. In mid-December, our adopted family was one of 400 families that United Way was able to provide with gifts.

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Kira Gavigan and Madeline McDonnell dropping off gifts for our adopted family.

According to the United Way:

“Our Adopt-a-Family program supports families in need in Brighton Park, Cicero and Robbins/Blue Island. This year, 2,016 individuals received gifts ranging from clothing, to kitchen wear to bicycles. We distributed the gifts to families in each neighborhood during festive holiday parties.”

Kira shared this about the experience:

“Adopt-a-family has been a cause that’s near and dear to my heart since I was child helping pick out gifts for others in my hometown. I can’t imagine anything as sad a little boy or girl waking up on Christmas with no presents, through no fault of their own.

I was really touched by the generosity of so many people at StratEx. It made me proud to work for a company with so many people who genuinely care about making a positive impact in the world around us, and taking action to follow through. There’s a line from Robert Ingersoll that has been repeated over and over in my house growing up, “We rise by lifting others.” I am excited to work at a company that clearly exemplifies this.”

Me too, Kira.

Cheers to a prosperous New Year from StratEx!