I had a conversation this morning with Bill Alpine, Director of the Department of Paid Family & Medical Leave for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The DFML is developing the specific process by which a church or religious employer may opt in to the PFML program. The process will be outlined on the MassTaxConnect website after October 1, 2019. Employers will not be required to begin withholding taxes until after they have opted in.
As noted on the DFML website, beginning January 1, 2021, employees will be able to take paid leave if they have worked for at least 15 weeks and have earned $4,700 or more during the previous 12 months. Therefore, your congregation should make plans to discuss this benefit during the fall months so that you are ready if you choose to opt in; a majority vote of your governing board will be required. We will develop a more specific guide to the process and discussion in the coming weeks.
For those who do decide to opt in, note that Intuit is working on their QuickBooks payroll tax update, which will be available in late September.
Please check back here for the latest updates. Thank you for your patience with this new employer responsibility!