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Everything You Must Know About Federal Certified Payroll and WH-347

Nick Foucault • Apr 07, 2021
By our in-depth guide on certified payroll, you can learn how to pay predetermined prevailing wages without pressure.

US employment law is very complicated and often hard to navigate even for those with the right background. For example, although the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) contains guidance, it is still easy to make mistakes and accidentally violate the law. If you work on federally funded projects, one thing you must know is how to create and submit certified payroll reports to the US Department of Labor. 

 

What Is Certified Payroll?

Certified payroll is a federal reporting form, also sometimes called WH-347. This form contains a detailed description of the wages paid to each employee, their payments, working hours, and benefits withheld. It also contains a list of the types of work performed by each employee. 

 
Certified payroll proves that an employer pays its employees the predetermined prevailing wage according to law. These wages represent  minimum required payments to employees who work on federally funded projects in things like alteration, repair, or construction. 

 

How To Fill Out A Certified Payroll Form

First, you need to address the top of the form. It contains details about a contractor's company such as: 

  • Firm's Name: Enter your company's name and tick a box to indicate whether you are a contractor or a subcontractor. 
  • Firm's Address: Enter your company's address.
  • Payroll Number: The number of weeks you worked on the government contract.
  • Week Ending: Enter your working week's end date.
  • Project and Location: Describe the current project and its current location.
  • Project or Contract Number: The number in your contract for the public works project.

Second, look at the numbered columns. You must fill out the following columns accordingly with detailed information about each employee: 

  • Each employee's name and the last four digits of their social security number. 
  • The number of withholding exemptions of each employee. 
  • Work classification per employee. For example, an electrician, a builder, or other. 
  • The number of hours worked and overtime - The "O" row stands for overtime, and the "S" row stands for standard hours. 
  • Fill out total hours worked for every employee.
  • The payment rate is based on prevailing wage, including fringe benefits.
  • Calculate the gross amount earned. If you fill out the form online or use software like Certified Payroll Reporting, it will automatically calculate the gross amount for you.
  • Add deductions and amounts withheld. Subtract any necessary employee's deductions like FICA, withholding tax, etc.
  • Note net wages paid. To get net wages, you should subtract the total deductions from the gross amount you earned in column 7. 

 

When you have added all this data, you can move on to the second page to complete yourcertified payroll reporting. The contractor will confirm the data in the report on this page. It includes a statement of compliance that shows that: 

  • All the columns and rows in the payroll report are correct and fully disclosed. 
  • Each employee is paid more than or equal to Davis-Bacon Act prevailing wage. 

How to Submit Certified Payroll Reports 

Submitting your accurate certified payroll reports correctly is critical to make sure you stay compliant. Here are some general steps for how to submit your certified payroll reports to the appropriate agency: 

  1. Review and Verify: Before submitting your certified payroll reports, carefully review them for accuracy and completeness. Double-check all the information, including employee details, hours worked, wages, deductions, and fringe benefits. Ensure that calculations are correct and any necessary supporting documentation is attached.

  2. Choose a Submission Method: Depending on who you are submitting to, whether a government agency or a different party, you may have a few ways to submit your certified payroll reports. The most common options include electronic filing or mailing a hard copy. Electronic filing, when available, is often the most efficient method and preferred by those who offer it.

  3. Retain Documentation: After submitting your certified payroll reports, retain copies of the filed reports, any supporting documentation, and proof of submission. These records are crucial for future reference, audits, and compliance purposes. Store them securely for the required retention period.

  4. Follow-up and Compliance: After submission, periodically check for confirmation of receipt. Stay informed about updates or changes in reporting requirements to maintain compliance. If you receive any notices or requests regarding your certified payroll reports, respond promptly and provide the necessary information.

 

Conclusion

It is essential for people working in repair and construction to know how to submit a certified payroll report. The US Department of Labor requires this type of document to ensure that contractors pay fairly to the employees involved in government-funded public works projects. Many companies opt for a certified payroll reporting compliance software to help them streamline this process. Certified Payroll Reporting can not only help ensure you stay compliant but can save your team time in organizing these reports for submission. Contact us today to learn how we can help make this process simple so you can focus on the tasks that matter most for your business. 

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