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Retail Impacts of Gov. Baker’s $48.5 Billion Budget Proposal

 

Gov. Charlie Baker’s FY23 state budget proposal, H.2, a $48.5 billion spending plan that was accompanied by a separate $700 million tax cut proposal (H.4361 & H.4362), is now under consideration by the MA House and Senate.   

Unfortunately for sellers, the Governor has again proposed to move the state toward a “Real Time” sales tax collection scheme, or a daily remittance requirement.  The Governor has proposed this now for the 6th year in a row.  The proposal requires “third party processors (predominantly credit card companies) to remit to the Commonwealth, on a daily basis, the portion of a sale that is attributable to sales tax, with an effective date of July 1, 2025.”  This troubling proposal can be found in Section 34 of the budget.  

Click here to keep reading.

 

 

 

 

Outdoor Dining & Drinks-to-go Extended to April 2023


Gov. Charlie Baker recently signed into law a $1.67 billion supplemental budget bill that included funding for additional COVID-19 response efforts and other mid-year spending needs.  The law also extends the pandemic related restaurant policies that allow for outdoor dining and alcohol drinks-to-go for an additional year, through April 1, 2023.

Important News Updates from the MA Department of Revenue 

Changes to Sales & Meals Tax Returns

The MA Department of Revenue (DOR) now requires meals tax filers to break down cash sales versus credit card salesThis page on the DOR website details recent changes.  DOR is allowing for an estimation to be used on cash versus credit through the June 2022 filing period.  RAM continues to argue that this presents an unnecessary burden on our members, and that many may be forced to purchase additional software at an added annual cost, just to supply the DOR with additional data.  RAM staff is looking for member feedback on this issue.  Call the RAM office or email us at [email protected] if you are willing to share your experiences in trying to comply with these new reporting requirements.

New FAQs added on elective pass-through entity excise
Speaking of FAQs, we’ve made some changes to the FAQs related to the new elective pass-through entity excise (63D – ELT). Visit the FAQ page to see the latest information. Some FAQs have been added or updated. You can also view the final TIR.

Last day to file COVID-19 Employee Sick Leave claims
The last day for employers to file claims under the Employee Sick Leave program is April 29th. Any new or amended claims can’t be submitted after that date. Log on to MassTaxConnect to submit or amend your claims.
 
Form 1099-G and unemployment fraud FAQs updated
We recently updated and added FAQs related to 1099-Gs and unemployment fraud. View the updates  to the last two FAQs in the unemployment section of the “COVID Tax Summary” page. 

 

 

SJC:  Automatic Treble Damages for Wage Act Violations

 
A decision recently handed down by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court will result in a more rigid application of the state’s Wage Act and render violations more costly for employers.  In the case of Reuter v. City of Methuen, No. SJC-13121 (Mass. April 4, 2022), the Court ruled that when an employer terminates an employee and fails to pay them accrued wages on the day of discharge, as required by the Wage Act, the employer immediately becomes liable for treble the amount of the unpaid wages.  In effect, any employee paid late—regardless of the reason for the delay and even if the wages were subsequently paid by the employer—is now entitled to three times the total amount of wages in question.  This includes honest payroll errors and even good faith disputes over what an employee may be owed.  The decision overturns 20 years of guidance from the lower courts which limited damages for violations to three times the interest owed on the delayed wages when an employer pays the late wages prior to the employee filing a complaint in court.  With this ruling, the need for employers to strictly comply with the Wage Act when terminating employees has become much more important.  Employers must ensure that any and all unpaid wages are calculated correctly and paid in a timely manner on the date of discharge.  Failure to do so will expose the employer to strict liability for three times the amount of unpaid wages and the employee’s attorney’s fees.  It remains unseen whether this change will apply retroactively or to other violations of the Wage Act.    

   

Massachusetts Child Labor Law Reminder

As seasonal businesses begin reopening in the coming months, thousands of jobs are set to be filled by the Commonwealth’s youth.  RAM is therefore reminding members to familiarize themselves with the state’s child labor laws. 
 
In Massachusetts, children under 14 may not work, with certain very limited exceptions.  All workers ages 14-18 are required to obtain a Youth Employment Permit prior to employment.  Employers must keep the original work permit at the child’s workplace as long as the child works there or until the minor reaches age 18.  Minors 14 and 15 years of age must have their doctor complete a Physician’s Certificate of Health within the previous 12 months of the date the minor applies for a work permit.
 
Convictions for employing, inducing, or permitting any minor to work in violation of child labor laws are subject to a criminal fine of $500-$5,000 and/or up to one month in prison for each offense.  In addition, civil citations for child labor law violations may be issued in amounts of up to $250 for a first offense, $500 for a second offense, and up to $2,500 for a third and subsequent offense, including up to three years of past violations.
 
For a complete list of restrictions contained in the law please visit the Attorney General’s website.

 

 

 

  

RAMHIC Offerings for 2022  

RAMHIC continues to partner with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts to offer members access to the carrier's entire portfolio of high quality, small group health insurance plans.  

New in 2022, all members purchasing their health insurance coverage through the cooperative will also receive an expanded list of ancillary benefits, provided by RAM free of charge. 

Please see our brochure for more detail on the expanded 2022 benefit package.  Specific information regarding each benefit may be found below: 
For more information please visit the RAMHIC page of our website.