# Make a fringe benefits adjustment

Calculate a fringe benefit rate by dividing the cost of an employee’s fringe benefits by the wages they receive. The rate depends on how much you pay employees and how much an employee receives in benefits. Although rates vary, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average fringe benefit rate (aka benefit costs) is 30%. Most fringe benefits are subject to FICA, as well as income tax withholding and employment taxes, although there are some fringe benefits that may be considered nontaxable. To understand fringe benefits, it’s important that you know how employees are paid. Employees are normally paid wages via written or printed checks, direct deposit, payroll cards, or sometimes cash.

• Cash equivalents are things that can be turned into cash fairly quickly, such as savings bonds.
• This employee’s “hourly rate” including the fringe benefits cost would be \$48.07.
• Next, multiply your total from above (0.25) by 100 to get your fringe benefit percentage.

Some employers are legally required to provide certain benefits to employees, based on the size of the company and the number of full-time employees. Some fringe benefits, such as workers’ compensation, are required for most employers in most states, but the amount of workers’ compensation required may vary based on local or state laws. As outlined above, fringe benefits for employees can take the form of property, services, cash, or some cash equivalent. They can also include non-tangible benefits, such as the use of a company car, life insurance, or flex time built into a work schedule. Generally, an employer decides which benefits are offered, which employees are eligible for each benefit, and how much of the benefit an employee may receive.

Sometimes an employer needs to account for fringe benefits after payroll has been processed. For example, your accountant might review your books after the year is over and ask you to add Group term life insurance to your employees’ compensation. If you’ve already paid the last payroll of the year, you can no longer add this fringe benefit to a paycheck. Charges to individual MFK’s appearing on the detail accounting statements (TDR and Grant Reports) appear as lump sum amounts for each applicable institutional account. As a small business owner, you may choose to provide your workers with additional benefits on top of their regular pay rate. Offering these benefits can be an effective way to recruit and retain top talent, but some benefits could be taxable.

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This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor. When it comes to certain fringe benefits, an individual who’s normally treated as an employee might be classified by definition as a non-employee. QuickBooks Online Payroll automatically sets the adjustment date to the last day of the prior quarter. This way, the payroll taxes can be included in tax payments and forms for the prior quarter. Next, multiply your total from above (0.25) by 100 to get your fringe benefit percentage.

For example, an employee may receive legal services through an attorney that is paid by the employer. Even though the employer doesn’t provide the legal services directly the employer is still considered the provider of the fringe benefit. The salary base includes the academic year salary plus summer appointment salary. This is based on the assumption that summer session salary is subject to FICA and is entitled to receive the full employer funded contribution to a retirement program.

No matter how they’re paid, all wages paid to employees are considered taxable income and subject to income tax withholding. If you’re looking for a complete list of fringe benefits that can be excluded from income taxes, check out IRS Publication 15-B, the Employer’s Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits. Knowing this, let’s dive into what fringe benefits are, and how they’re subject to income taxes.

## Time and Attendance

This means your company is paying an additional 22% of the employee’s wages for this employee. This employee’s “hourly rate” including the fringe benefits cost would be \$48.07. Employers can use a fringe benefit rate to examine the total cost of labor per employee. The fringe rate shows you how much an employee actually costs your business beyond their base wages. Additionally, any or all of a fringe benefit can be excluded from taxable income if the recipient is not an employee. If the recipient of a fringe benefit is not an employee, then the fringe benefit isn’t subject to any income tax withholding.

For departments who use Microsoft Access templates, fringe benefits will be budgeted automatically based on the salary budget. Additional guidance may be provided along with the budget worksheets. Check out examples of calculating fringe benefits rates for salaried and hourly employees below. Use the following formula to calculate an employee’s fringe benefit rate. Keep in mind that some fringe benefits are only nontaxable in certain situations.

Generally, fringe benefits are taxable to the employee, must be included as supplemental income on the employee’s W-2, and are subject to withholding and employment taxes. The IRS provides guidance on fringe benefits in a publication titled Employer’s Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits For Use in 2021. To get the employee’s annual wages, multiply the hourly rate by the number of weeks in a year (52) and the number of hours worked per week (40). Taxable fringe benefits paid to partners are reported on Schedule K-1 (Form 1065). Although fringe benefits are typically taxable, some are nontaxable. Taxable fringe benefits can include personal use of a company car, bonus pay, and paid time off.

## Classifying Non-Employees for Fringe Benefits

To avoid unnecessary surprises at tax time, it’s important to understand how these benefits work, which benefits are legally required, and how to identify which benefits are taxable. Divide the employee’s annual fringe benefits of \$20,000 by their annual salary of \$80,000. A fringe benefit rate is the percent of an employee’s wages relative to the fringe benefits they receive.

For taxation purposes, fair market value is generally considered to be whatever a willing buyer would pay for an item of equal value. In some cases, the IRS provides specific guidance on how to value items, which is provided in the IRS Fringe Benefits Guide. Bonuses that take the form of cash are considered a fringe benefit and must be reported as supplemental income on the employee’s W-2. Employers are also required to provide certain benefits to their employees(i.e., workers’ compensation coverage and contributions to state disability programs). However, some employers may want to offer other benefits as a way to reward, attract, or retain quality employees as well.

Generally the retirement contribution is 10% of gross salary and the FICA component is 7.65% of gross salary. The general rule for placing a value on a fringe benefit is to use the fair market value of the benefit given. In many cases, the fair market value and the cost of the item are the same, but fair market value may be higher than the actual cost if the employer was able to purchase the item at a discount.

## What Are Fringe Benefits?

Some nontaxable fringe benefits include group-term life insurance up to \$50,000 and employee discounts. Incorporating fringe benefits into a hiring and retention program can be a great way for employers to source and retain top talent. However, to use fringe benefits effectively, employers should know about the types of fringe benefits, whether they are taxable, and how to value them appropriately.

• Keep in mind that some fringe benefits are only nontaxable in certain situations.
• Some fringe benefits, such as workers’ compensation, are required for most employers in most states, but the amount of workers’ compensation required may vary based on local or state laws.
• Offer health, dental, vision and more to recruit & retain employees.
• Similarly, the employee is considered the recipient of the fringe benefit in exchange for services, even if the fringe benefit is provided to someone who isn’t employed by the employer in question.
• This means your company is paying an additional 25% on top of the base salary for the employee.

Be sure to make your final tax payments and form filings for the quarter after you’ve created your fringe benefits adjustment. Income tax withholding is applied differently on checks versus adjustments for fringe benefits. To evaluate the fair market value of an item, comparing the retail cost of a similar product can provide a good estimate of the benefit’s value.

However, it might have to be reported as income elsewhere — such as on Form 1099-NEC for independent contractors, or a Schedule K-1 for partners. For a fringe benefits definition, we look to the IRS Publication 15-B, the Employer’s Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits. This defines a fringe benefit as “a form of pay for the performance of services.” Fringe benefits are often considered extra benefits outside of a company’s standard health insurance offerings. This means your company is paying an additional 25% on top of the base salary for the employee. Each year as the annual budget worksheets are distributed, departments must establish fringe benefits budgets based on the pool rate methodology.

And, some taxes could apply (e.g., some types of fringe benefits are only exempt from FICA tax). It would be a mistake to assume that a fringe benefit may not be taxable just because it isn’t specifically listed anywhere in the tax law, or in one of the IRS publications. Typically, the only fringe benefits that are specifically discussed in the tax laws are those that might be excluded from income, either in whole or in part. Similarly, the employee is considered the recipient of the fringe benefit in exchange for services, even if the fringe benefit is provided to someone who isn’t employed by the employer in question. For example, if an employee’s family member benefits from a company-sponsored gym membership, the employee will still be considered the fringe benefit recipient. Technically, the employer is the provider of the fringe benefit, even if a third-party service provides the actual benefit.

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To calculate an employee’s fringe benefit rate, add up the cost of an employee’s fringe benefits for the year (including payroll taxes paid) and divide it by the employee’s annual wages or salary. Then, multiply the total by 100 to get the fringe benefit rate percentage. Fringe benefits are a form of pay, often from employers to employees, and are considered compensation for services beyond the employee’s normal rate of pay. They can be made in the form of property, services, cash, or cash equivalents. Cash equivalents are things that can be turned into cash fairly quickly, such as savings bonds.

Certain types of fringe benefits are restricted by federal labor laws and employment regulations. While employers do have some latitude in how they offer fringe benefits, some benefit types will have tax implications, and other benefits are legally required for employers that fit certain criteria. Generally, all fringe benefits fall into three categories — legally required benefits, taxable benefits, and non-taxable benefits. As an employer, are you aware of what counts as taxable fringe benefits? The value of a fringe benefit is subject to a number of taxes, including federal income tax, Social Security tax, Medicare tax, and FUTA. The value of a fringe benefit must also be included in Boxes 1, 3, and 5 of Form W-2, and on line 3 of Form 940.