Railroad Retirement Board March 12, 2020 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Proposed Collection; Comment Request
Document Number: 2020-05034
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-03-12
Agency: Railroad Retirement Board, Agencies and Commissions
In accordance with the requirement of Section 3506 (c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 which provides opportunity for public comment on new or revised data collections, the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) will publish periodic summaries of proposed data collections. Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed information collection is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information has practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the RRB's estimate of the burden of the collection of the information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden related to the collection of information on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Type of Information Collection: New Collection (Request for a new OMB Control Number). Title and purpose of information collection: Report of Stock Options and Other Payments; OMB 3220-NEW. The Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) is directed by 45 U.S.C. 231f(c)(2) to establish a financial interchange (FI) between the railroad retirement and social security systems to place the Social Security Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) and Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Funds and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Insurance (HI) Trust Fund in the same condition they would have been had railroad employment been covered by the Social Security Act and Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). Each year, the RRB estimates the benefits and expenses that would have been paid by these trust funds, as well as the payroll taxes and income taxes that would have been received by them. To make these estimates, the RRB requires information on all earnings data that are not taxable under the Railroad Retirement Tax Act (RRTA), but would be taxable under FICA. A recent court ruling, Wisconsin Central Ltd. v. U.S., determined that non-qualified stock options (NQSOs) are not taxable under Section 3231 of RRTA but would be taxable under FICA. Additionally, in Union Pacific Railroad Co. v. U.S., the Eight Circuit Court of Appeals determined whether certain ratification payments were taxable under the RRTA. The RRB requires railroad employer to provide information on the value of NQSOs and any ratification payments from the railroad employer separately from a railroad worker's reported RRTA compensation to determine the payroll taxes due to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and CMS and administer transfer of funds between the RRB, SSA and CMS accordingly. The payroll information collected from the BA-15 is essential for the calculation of payroll taxes and benefits used by the FI. Failure to collect NQSOs and ratification payment information will result in understating the payroll taxes that should have been collected and the benefit amounts that would have been payable under the Social Security Act for FI purposes. Accurate compensation file tabulations are also an integral part of the data needed to estimate future tax revenues and corresponding FI amounts. Without information on NQSOs and ratification payments, the amount of funds to be transferred between the RRB, SSA and CMS cannot be determined. The RRB will use Form BA-15, Report of Stock Options and Other Payments, to request employer information and report identifying information as well as each employee's social security number, name, and compensation information, which will be reported annually in a quarterly breakdown. The RRB plans to receive Form BA-15 by secure Email, File Transfer Protocol (FTP), or via CD-ROM.