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31 Jan

January 2020 Massachusetts HR Legal Updates

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Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) Quarterly Returns and Contributions

What happened?
Employers that are participating in the Commonwealth’s PFML program (meaning they have not applied for and received an exemption for qualifying private family and medical leave plans) must file their returns and remit PFML contributions for October 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019 by January 31, 2020. 

What are the details?
Employers can file their returns and remit contributions electronically on MassTaxConnect.  Each employer has a PFML account on MassTaxConnect, where they will see an option to “File Return” for the quarter ending December 31, 2019.  Employers will be asked to include employee names, Social Security Numbers or Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers, and applicable wages for the covered quarter.  The return also asks for PFML Eligible Year-to-Date (YTD) Wages.  For Q4 2019, the Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML) has clarified that employers should not provide actual YTD wages.  Rather, they should only provide PFML eligible wages from Q4, given that PFML contributions were not withheld for the first three quarters of 2019.  This means that the Social Security annual wage cap will only be applied against fourth quarter wages. 

The DFML has provided step-by-step videos on how to file returns on behalf of individual employees and how to file bulk returns on behalf of groups of employees on its website.

What do employers need to do?
Once an employer has filed its return, MassTaxConnect will ask for payment of contributions.  Employers can make this payment through an electronic payment from their checking or savings account or with a credit or debit card.