FAQ for Associates—Repayment of Deferred Payroll Taxes
Q1. Can associates select the amount deducted from their biweekly paycheck?
A1. Yes. The amount deducted from each check will be determined by each individual’s total repayment requirement and their selected repayment duration (one to 21 pay periods). Associates have until March 8 to select their repayment duration (one to 21 pay periods between PPE March 5 and PPE Dec. 10).
Q2. If an associate would like to pay it back at once, will that be an option?
A2. Yes. Associates have the option to repay their entire tax deferral during a single pay period (PPE March 5).
Q3. How do I know which repayment plan is right for me?
A3. Exchange associates can use the calculator—available now in Employee Self-Service—to view biweekly repayment amounts.
Q4. Can I change my repayment duration after selecting it in Employee Self Service?
A4. No. Once an associate has made their selection, the action is final.
Q5. What happens if an associate does not select a repayment duration in Employee Self Service before the repayment period begins?
A5. Associates who do not select a repayment duration in Employee Self Service prior to the start of the repayment period will automatically have their repayment duration set to 21 pay periods, beginning PPE March 5 and ending PPE Dec. 10.
Q6. Can I repay the taxes at the store? Why not?
A6. Per the executive order, employers must withhold and pay the total applicable taxes deferred from employee wages and compensation. As a result, associates will not have the option to repay their deferred payroll taxes in the store.
Q7. Why am I having to pay Social Security taxes twice?
A7. The tax is not being paid “twice.” Rather, the payroll taxes deferred last year are required to be repaid in accordance with the Aug. 8, 2020, executive order, “Deferring Payroll Tax Obligations in Light of the Ongoing COVID-19 Disaster.” Per the order, associates whose payroll taxes were deferred (those making less than $4,000 or less per pay period) from Sept. 1, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2020 are required to repay these taxes in 2021.
Q8. Why wasn’t I able to opt out of the deferral in the first place?
A8. While private sector employers had the choice to opt in or out of the payroll tax deferral, federal agencies and the military were required to defer the taxes of applicable employees (and collect repayment of the taxes) in accordance with the executive order.
Q9. What happens when payback is due while an associate is on leave without pay (LWOP)?
A9. The Exchange’s Finance and Accounting and Human Resources teams are working to program the payroll system to account for such instances. An update will be provided by FA and HR soon.
Q10. What if an associate is terminated, resigns or retires before the deferred taxes are repaid?
A10. Any monies owed will be deducted from associates’ last paycheck. The associate will be responsible for paying any residual balance due to the Exchange upon leaving. Note: This debt will be owed to the Exchange, not the Internal Revenue Service and Social Security Administration, as the Exchange is required to pay the deferral back to the IRS per the executive order.
Q11. Will the repayment be listed separately on associates’ paystubs to show that it’s for repayment of the deferred taxes?
A11. Yes. Pay stubs will show the amount recouped each pay period for the 2020 Federal Tax Deferment.