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What to report

Payroll reporting may be complex. This section helps explain the difference between what should be included and excluded in your payroll report.

Payroll reported

Payroll to be included in your payroll reports

The following are examples of subject payroll, listed alphabetically. Contact your agent or SAIF representative for help with other types of payroll. What to report:

Assumed wages | The following workers, if covered by election or statute, must be reported using the assumed minimum wage established by National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) or their actual wage, whichever is greater. SAIF will notify you of the applicable assumed wage.

  • Volunteers 
  • Municipal volunteers (not including volunteers in classification 8411) 
  • Work experience trainees 
  • School-directed vocational education project trainees 
  • Apprentice trainees 
  • Inmates (both incarcerated and community service) 
  • Sheltered workshop trainees/clients

Note: You are not required to pay these workers the assumed minimum wage; it is only for payroll reporting purposes. 

Base pay | Salary, hourly, daily payroll, etc.
 
Bereavement | Leave pay, granted in the event of an absence due to a family member’s death, is not excludable as vacation pay.

Bonus pay | Report anticipated bonus pay. Bonus payments are considered anticipated when the payment offsets a pay cut or reduction in wages or is made instead of a raise in wages. Payment made as rewards related to meeting or exceeding production goals or related to absenteeism or attendance are considered anticipated.

If a bonus is paid annually and is substantial to the extent that it is reasonable for an employee to rely on the bonus as she does regular wages or salary, it is considered anticipated.

Note: Unanticipated bonuses paid more than twice in a policy year become anticipated due to their frequency and must be included. Anticipated bonuses should be reported even though the amount may not be known in advance of payment.

Bonus pay to corporate officers | Payments made to covered corporate officers who are directors and have substantial ownership interest are anticipated and considered subject payroll.

Children/family members
who are paid a wage.

Commission pay

Corporate officers who are covered as listed on the Whom to report page.

Domestic employees | If coverage is endorsed on the policy or if paid by an entity that is not a sole proprietorship or a partnership.

Exchange of labor value | The value of the labor being exchanged.

Holiday pay, which includes any personal holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries. 
 
Housing/apartment | Fair market value including housing allowance/payments.

Incentive pay | Also when it's called a bonus.

Individual retirement accounts | Payments by the employer to an individual retirement account (IRA) for an employee.

Jury duty pay when paid by the employer.

Labor portion of contracts, unless it meets the exclusions outlined in the subcontractor information.

Limited liability company members | Those who are covered as outlined in the Whom to report page.

Lodging/meals value, provided to the extent shown in your records (does not include houses or apartments).

Overtime pay | The straight-time portion is always included.

Example: If straight time is $6 per hour, and overtime is $9 per hour for each hour worked over eight hours in a day or 40 hours in a week, include the $6 straight-time portion for each hour of overtime paid.

Include both the straight-time and overtime portions for payroll assigned to a stevedoring, freight handling, or tallier classification followed by the letter "F."

Paid time off (PTO) plans replace traditional vacation and sick pay plans. Be aware that by replacing a traditional vacation plan with a PTO plan, most employers will forgo the workers' comp vacation pay exclusion. However, some PTO wages may be excludable if the employer develops a tracking system to record prearranged time off for purposes of vacation. (This would not include prearranged medical exams or procedures.) 

Partners | Those who are covered as outlined in the Whom to report page

Payroll adjustments | made by the employer to raise employees' wages to federal, state, or local minimum wage, whichever is higher

Personal days

Piecework pay

Pretax contributions to group benefit plans | Employee pretax contributions to group benefit plans or cafeteria plans, such as for retirement savings, health/life insurance, flexible spending accounts, and health savings accounts; also known as salary reduction plans where pretax dollars are deducted from employees' gross payroll for payment towards these benefits

Prevailing wage pay (Davis-Bacon Act or similar state statute) Except for fringe benefit amounts paid directly into a third-party pension plan qualified under IRC Sections 401(a) and 501(a) or into a group insurance plan
 
Safety bonuses | For details, see the SAIF guide on safety bonuses and safety bonus plans.

Reported if paid to offset pay cuts or a reduction of wages, or if the requirement that it be distributed in accordance with a written plan tied strictly to safe working practices is not met.

Shift differential pay

Sick leave pay, including maternity

Sole proprietors | Those who are covered as outlined in the Whom to report page

Stock bonus plans where employees receive company stock as part of their pay.

Standby/idle time/on-call pay

Travel pay | Wages paid to cover travel time to/from the worksite

Payroll not reported

Payroll to be excluded from your payroll reports

Bonus pay | Unanticipated bonus pay is excluded if it is an arbitrary and gratuitous (unwarranted) disbursement made to any one employee no more than twice in a policy period and not part of an oral or written employment agreement. Refer to Payroll to report for anticipated bonus reporting requirements. 

Corporate officers who meet specific criteria as outlined in the Whom to report page 

Domestic household employees pay, unless coverage is endorsed on the policy or unless pay is through the payroll of an entity that is not a sole proprietorship or partnership

Expenses | Expense reimbursements and flat expense allowances paid to employees may be excluded from payroll reporting provided all three of the following conditions are met:

  • The expense or allowance was incurred upon the business of the employer, and 
  • The amount of each employee's expense or allowance payment is shown separately in the records of the employer, and 
  • The amount of the expense or allowance approximates the actual expenses incurred by the employee in the conduct of his or her work. If receipts are not available, a maximum of $75.00 per day or the negotiated labor contract amount would be excludable.

Travel expenses permitted by federal, state, or local government contract, in lieu of verifiable receipts for incurred expenses

Group pension or retirement plans, health savings accounts, flexible spending accounts, and health/life insurance plans | Payments by the employer directly into these plans and not made through employee-authorized salary reduction from the employee's gross pay

Limited liability company members who meet specific criteria as outlined in the Whom to report page

Overtime excess pay | The portion of the traditional overtime rate which is in excess of the straight-time rate

Example: If straight-time rate is $6 per hour, and overtime rate is $9 for each hour worked over eight hours in a day or 40 hours in a week, exclude the extra $3 per hour paid for overtime.

Partners who meet specific criteria as outlined in the Whom to report page.

Perks provided by the employer which may be taxable to the employee. Examples: personal use of a company-provided automobile, airplane flights, incentive vacations (e.g., contest winners), discounts on goods or services, club memberships, life insurance, owner's medical insurance, educational assistance, relocation and moving expenses

Preferred workers pay for those who are employed under the Preferred Worker Program

Profit sharing pay applies to payments that are anticipated by the worker as outlined in a written plan and that creates a legal obligation to make payments distributed from net realized profits.

Rewards value | The value of special rewards for individual invention or discovery.

Safety bonuses | For details, see the SAIF guide on safety bonuses and safety bonus plans.

This applies to payments that are anticipated by the worker and distributed in accordance with a written plan tied strictly to safe working practices. A safety bonus shall be included if paid to offset pay cuts or a reduction of wages.

Saw rental | Applies only to falling, bucking, or lumbering work done under class 2702 when workers furnish their own power equipment, such as chain saws. If there is an agreement that the rental value of the equipment is included in the amount paid to the worker, you may exclude the rental value not to exceed 20 percent of the total amount paid.

Severance pay, unless it's for time worked

Sole proprietors, unless personal election coverage has been endorsed to your policy; see the Whom to report page for more.

Stock options | The difference between the employee purchase price and sale price.

Third-party sick pay/disability insurance, if paid by a third party or insurance company.

Tips and other gratuities.

Tuition reimbursement

Uniform allowance | For those required for employment purposes.

Vacation pay | Exclude when paid; does not include holiday pay or sick leave. Union vacation pay deductions may be excluded when paid directly into a union vacation fund for the employees.

Be aware that by replacing a traditional vacation plan with a PTO plan, most employers will forgo the workers' comp vacation pay exclusion. However, some PTO wages may be excludable if the employer develops a tracking system to record prearranged time off for purposes of vacation. (This would not include prearranged medical exams or procedures.)