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Rule

Electronic Tip Reports

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

ACTION:

Final regulations.

SUMMARY:

This document amends the regulations dealing with the requirement that tipped employees report their tips to their employer. These final regulations permit employers to establish electronic systems for use by their tipped employees in reporting tips to the employer. These final regulations also address substantiation requirements for employees using the electronic system.

DATES:

Effective Date: These regulations are effective December 13, 2000.

Applicability Dates: For dates of applicability, see § 31.6053-1(d)(6) of these regulations.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Karin Loverud at 202-622-6080 (not a toll-free number).

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Paperwork Reduction Act

The collection of information contained in these final regulations has been reviewed and approved by the Office of Management and Budget in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3507) under control number 1545-1603. Responses to this collection of information are mandatory.

An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a valid control number assigned by the Office of Management and Budget.

The estimated annual burden per respondent varies from 1 hour to 3 hours, depending on individual circumstances, with an estimated average of 2 hours.

Comments concerning the accuracy of this burden estimate and suggestions for reducing this burden should be sent to the Internal Revenue Service, Attn: IRS Reports Clearance Officer, W:CAR:MP:FP, Washington, DC 20224, and to the Office of Management and Budget, Attn: Desk Officer for the Department of the Treasury, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Washington, DC 20503.

Books or records relating to this collection of information must be retained as long as their contents may become material in the administration of any internal revenue law. Generally, tax returns and tax return information are confidential, as required by 26 U.S.C. 6103.

Background

On January 26, 1998, the IRS published in the Federal Register (63 FR 3681) a notice of proposed rulemaking (REG-104691-97) under section 6053 of the Internal Revenue Code relating to electronic tip reports. The notice proposed to amend § 31.6053-1 and § 31.6053-4 of the employment tax regulations.

No written comments responding to the notice of proposed rulemaking were received. No public hearing was requested or held. Accordingly, the proposed regulations are adopted as final regulations. Start Printed Page 77819

The final regulations are consistent with the provisions of the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act.

Special Analyses

It has been determined that these final regulations are not a significant regulatory action as defined in Executive Order 12866. Therefore, a regulatory assessment is not required. It also has been determined that section 553(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 5) does not apply to these regulations. Further, it is hereby certified, pursuant to sections 603(a) and 605(b) of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6), that the collection of information contained in these regulations will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The collection of information in § 31.6053-1 is imposed solely on individuals, not on any small entities, and the regulations provide flexibility to employees who must provide the information required by statute, thereby reducing burden. With respect to the collection of information in § 31.6053-4, the certification is based on the expectation of the IRS that most businesses that choose to implement the electronic tip reporting provisions will be larger businesses with many employees and sophisticated computer systems. Moreover, because the provision is wholly elective, any small business that would be adversely impacted may choose not to use electronic tip reporting. Finally, the Service expects that for those small entities that choose to implement the provision, the use of electronic tip reporting will reduce overall burden by reducing paper collections. Therefore, a regulatory flexibility analysis under the Regulatory Flexibility Act is not required. Pursuant to section 7805(f) of the Internal Revenue Code, the notice of proposed rulemaking preceding these regulations was submitted to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for comment on its impact on small business.

Drafting Information

The principal author of these regulations is Karin Loverud, Office of Division Counsel/Associate Chief Counsel (Tax Exempt and Government Entities). However, other personnel from the IRS and the Treasury Department participated in their development.

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List of Subjects

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Adoption of Amendments to the Regulations

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Accordingly,

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PART 31—EMPLOYMENT TAXES AND COLLECTION OF INCOME TAX AT SOURCE

Paragraph 1. The authority citation for part 31 continues to read in part as follows:

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Authority: 26 U.S.C. 7805. * * *

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1. Paragraph (a) is revised.

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2. The introductory text of paragraph (b)(1) is revised.

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3. The last sentence of paragraph (b)(1)(iii) is revised.

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4. Paragraph (b)(2) is revised.

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5. Paragraph (c) is revised.

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6. Paragraph (d) is added.

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The revisions and additions read as follows:

Report of tips by employee to employer.

(a) Requirement that tips be reported—(1) In general. An employee who receives, in the course of employment by an employer, tips that constitute wages as defined in section 3121(a) or section 3401, or compensation as defined in section 3231(e), must furnish to the employer a statement, or statements, disclosing the total amount of the tips received by the employee in the course of employment by the employer. Tips received by an employee in a calendar month in the course of employment by an employer that are required to be reported to the employer must be reported on or before the 10th day of the following month. For example, tips received by an employee in January 2000 are required to be reported by the employee to the employer on or before February 10, 2000.

(2) Cross references. For provisions relating to the treatment of tips as wages for purposes of the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax under sections 3101 and 3111, see sections 3102(c), 3121(a)(12), and 3121(q) and §§ 31.3102-3 and 31.3121(a)(12)-1. For provisions relating to the treatment of tips as wages for purposes of the tax under section 3402 (income tax withholding), see sections 3401(a)(16), 3401(f), and 3402(k) and §§ 31.3401(a)(16)-1, 31.3401(f)-1, and 31.3402(k)-1. For provisions relating to the treatment of tips as compensation for purposes of the Railroad Retirement Tax Act (RRTA) tax under sections 3201 and 3201, see section 3231(e) and § 31.3231(e)-1(a).

(b) * * * (1) In general. The statement described in paragraph (a) of this section can be provided on paper or transmitted electronically. The statement must be signed by the employee and must disclose:

* * * * *

(iii) * * * If the statement is for a period of less than 1 calendar month, the beginning and ending dates of the period must be included (for example, January 1 through January 8, 1998).

* * * * *

(2) Form of statement—(i) In general. No particular form is prescribed for use in furnishing the statement required by this section. The statement may be furnished on paper or transmitted electronically. An electronic system and all tip statements generated by that system must meet the requirements of paragraph (d) of this section. If the employer does not provide any other means for the employee to report tips, the employee may use Form 4070, “Employee's Report of Tips to Employer.”

(ii) Single-purpose forms. A statement may be furnished on an employer-provided form. The form may be on paper or in electronic form. An employer that provides a paper form must make blank copies of the form readily available to all tipped employees. Any form, whether paper or electronic, provided by an employer for use by its tipped employees solely to report tips must meet all the requirements of paragraph (b)(1) of this section.

(iii) Regularly used forms. Instead of requiring that tips be reported as described in paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of this section on a special form used solely for tip reporting, an employer may prescribe regularly used forms for use by employees in reporting tips. A regularly used form may be on paper or in electronic form (such as a time card or report), must meet the requirements of paragraph (b)(1) (iii) and (iv) of this section, must contain identifying information that will ensure accurate identification of the employee by the employer, and is permitted to be used only if the employer furnishes the employee a statement suitable for retention showing the amount of tips Start Printed Page 77820reported by the employee for the period. The employer statement may be furnished when the employee reports the tips, when wages are first paid following the reporting of tips by the employee, or within a short time after the wages are paid. The employer may meet this requirement, for example, through the use of a payroll check stub or other payroll document regularly furnished (if not less frequent than monthly) by the employer to the employee showing gross pay and deductions.

(c) Period covered by, and due date of, tip statement—(1) In general. A tip statement furnished by an employee to an employer may not cover a period greater than 1 calendar month. An employer may, however, require the submission of a statement in respect of a specified period of time, for example, on a weekly or biweekly basis, regular payroll period, etc. An employer may specify, subject to the limitation in paragraph (a) of this section, the time within which, or the date on which, the statement for a specified period of time should be submitted by the employee. For example, a statement covering a payroll period may be required to be submitted on the first (or second) day following the close of the payroll period. A statement submitted by an employee after the date specified by the employer for its submission nevertheless is a statement furnished pursuant to section 6053(a) and this section if it is submitted to the employer on or before the 10th day following the month in which the tips were received.

(2) Termination of employment. If an employee's employment terminates, the employee must furnish a tip statement to the employer when the employee ceases to perform services for the employer. A statement submitted by an employee after the date on which the employee ceases to perform services for the employer is a statement furnished pursuant to section 6053(a) and this section if the statement is submitted to the employer on or before the earlier of the day on which the final wage payment is made by the employer to the employee or the 10th day following the month in which the tips were received.

(d) Requirements for electronic systems—(1) In general. The electronic system must ensure that the information received is the information transmitted by the employee and must document all occasions of access that result in the transmission of a tip statement. In addition, the design and operation of the electronic system, including access procedures, must make it reasonably certain that the person accessing the system and transmitting the statement is the employee identified in the statement transmitted.

(2) Same information as on paper statement. The electronic tip statement must provide the employer with all the information required by paragraph (b)(1) of this section.

(3) Signature. The electronic tip statement must be signed by the employee. The electronic signature must identify the employee transmitting the electronic tip statement and must authenticate and verify the transmission. For this purpose, the terms authenticate and verify have the same meanings as they do when applied to a written signature on a paper tip statement. Any form of electronic signature that satisfies the foregoing requirements is permissible.

(4) Copies of electronic tip statements. Upon request by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the employer must supply the IRS with a hard copy of the electronic tip statement and a statement that, to the best of the employer's knowledge, the electronic tip statement was filed by the named employee. The hard copy of the electronic tip statement must provide the information required by paragraph (b)(1) of this section, but need not be a facsimile of Form 4070 or any employer-designed form.

(5) Record retention. The record retention requirements applicable to automatic data processing systems also apply to electronic tip reporting systems.

(6) Effective date. The provisions pertaining to electronic systems and electronic tip reports are applicable as of December 13, 2000. However, employers may apply these provisions to earlier periods.

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1. A sentence is added to paragraph (a)(1) after the third sentence.

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2. A sentence is added to paragraph (a)(2) after the fourth sentence.

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The additions read as follows:

Substantiation requirements for tipped employees.

(a) * * * (1) * * * The Commissioner may by revenue ruling, procedure or other guidance of general applicability provide for other methods of demonstrating evidence of tip income. * * *

(2) * * * In addition, an electronic system maintained by the employer that collects substantially similar information as Form 4070A may be used to maintain such daily record, provided the employee receives and maintains a paper copy of the daily record. * * *

* * * * *
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PART 602—OMB CONTROL NUMBERS UNDER THE PAPERWORK REDUCTION ACT

Par. 4. The authority citation for part 602 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 26 U.S.C. 7805.

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OMB Control numbers.
* * * * *

(b) * * *

CFR part or section where identified and describedCurrent OMB control No.
*    *    *    *    *
31.6053-11545-0029
1545-0062
1545-0064
1545-0065
1545-1603
*    *    *    *    *
31.6053-41545-0065 1545-1603
*    *    *    *    *
Start Signature

Robert E. Wenzel,

Deputy Commissioner of Internal Revenue.

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Approved: August 25, 2000.

Jonathan Talisman,

Acting Assistant Secretary of the Treasury.

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[FR Doc. 00-31499 Filed 12-12-00; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4830-01-P