What’s the Shopper Value Index, and what does it must do with payroll?


The Shopper Value Index is concerned in payroll matters like minimal wage, advantages, and the federal tax brackets.

If in case you have ever tuned in to a enterprise information channel, you’ve most likely heard somebody point out the Shopper Value Index in some unspecified time in the future. Just lately, the excessive charge of inflation is a subject of significance and concern. Inflation has risen 7% over the previous yr. That’s the very best since 1982. I used to be seven in 1982, so for me, inflation meant conserving the tires in my BMX bicycle full of air as I hopped off a curb with reckless abandonment and no helmet. Hey, it was the 80s.

What’s the Shopper Value Index?

Inflation, because it pertains to economics, refers to a basic enhance within the costs of products and providers in an financial system. The Shopper Value Index (CPI) is a measure of the typical change over time within the costs paid by city customers for a market basket of client items. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics posts the CPI every month for quite a few geographic areas in america. Different areas are solely measured twice a yr or yearly.

The indexes cowl the next two inhabitants teams – CPI for All City Shoppers (CPI-U), which covers 93% of the U.S. inhabitants, and CPI for City Wage Earners and Clerical Employees (CPI-W), which covers 29% of the U.S. inhabitants. In January 2022, the BLS introduced a CPI annual achieve of seven.0%. This was the biggest 12-month enhance in 40 years.

For the needs of payroll, the CPI is vital for matters reminiscent of minimal wage and advantages.

Minimal wage charges and the CPI

On January 1, 2022, the minimal wage charge elevated in about 21 U.S. states. Quite a few states and localities have their very own minimal wage charge legal guidelines. The federal minimal wage charge for the nation stays at $7.25 per hour. Nevertheless, many states have already handed legal guidelines that incrementally enhance the minimal wage charge within the state over a time frame. Usually, after the preliminary will increase, there are annual changes to the minimal wage charge. And primarily, these annual changes are based mostly on the CPI.

Alaska’s minimal wage charge didn’t change from $10.34 per hour in 2022, although the speed is adjusted based mostly on inflation. State legislation requires minimal wage charge changes utilizing the CPI for city customers within the Anchorage metropolitan space for the previous calendar yr. The City Alaska CPI-U decreased by 1.1% in 2020. Based on the Alaska Division of Labor and Workforce Improvement, as a result of there was no inflation in 2020, the minimal wage charge stays unchanged in 2022.

Arizona’s 2022 minimal wage charge elevated to $12.80 per hour. The $0.65 enhance was based mostly on the rise in inflation between August 2020 and August 2021, as revealed within the BLS’s CPI.  So, for some states, the choice on which CPI month to view may imply variations within the minimal wage enhance. Alaska’s measurement resulted in no enhance.  Arizona’s, however, did.

Whereas California has its personal minimal wage legal guidelines, greater than 40 localities within the state have minimal wage legal guidelines too. For sure localities, the speed is predicated on the CPI. For instance, the minimal wage in Anaheim is at the moment $18 per hour. Measure L requires a $1 per hour enhance within the minimal wage charge, from $15 per hour in 2019 by 2022. Starting in 2023, any charge changes can be based mostly on the CPI. The minimal wage charge in Los Angeles is already based mostly on the CPI and is at the moment $16.04 per hour. San Francisco additionally bases any minimal wage charge changes on the CPI. The town’s present charge is $16.32 per hour, efficient July 1, 2021. San Francisco makes use of the calendar yr to calendar yr change within the CPI to calculate any will increase.

That is vital to employers for payroll as a result of there are plenty of minimal wage charge adjustments to maintain up with. Not all states and localities use the identical CPI measurement to make these determinations. A multi-state employer within the resort or service business may have to concentrate on a number of tax jurisdictions and modify payroll software program or different payroll strategies in place to ensure all staff are paid in line with the minimal wage charge in impact. Additionally, employers are sometimes required to submit or announce minimal wage charge adjustments in an apparent place or manner, so that each one staff are conscious of the brand new charge in place. Noncompliance may end up in penalties.

Annual profit changes and the CPI

On the federal degree, the CPI is used for a number of annual profit changes. Usually, in October and November, the IRS publicizes quite a few payroll-related tax inflation changes for the next calendar yr. For instance, on November 21, 2021, the IRS introduced a number of objects that included a rise from $270 to $280 for the month-to-month limitation for the certified transportation fringe profit and month-to-month limitation for certified parking bills. And the greenback limitation for worker wage reductions for contributions to well being versatile financial savings preparations elevated to $2,850 (yearly). The IRS makes use of the CPI to make these annual determinations.

The Social Safety Administration (SSA) makes use of the Price of Residing Adjustment (COLA) to find out the Social Safety taxable wage base for the next calendar yr. COLAs are based mostly on the CPI-W. The 2022 Social Safety taxable wage base is $147,000.

Understanding when and the way the IRS and SSA use the CPI for annual profit changes is vital, so payroll departments and professionals can correctly put together techniques and applications for the next calendar yr. Errors in paychecks can imply changes relating to tax deposits and filings that may be time-consuming and might also end in penalties.

Federal tax brackets and the CPI

Every year, the IRS adjusts tax brackets for COLA to calculate federal tax legal responsibility. The federal revenue tax brackets are situated in IRS Publication 15-T, Federal Revenue Tax Withholding Strategies. This publication additionally comprises different data for automated and handbook payroll techniques. For a while, the brackets have been a part of Publication 15 (Round E), Employer’s Tax Information. Nevertheless, after the IRS considerably revised Kind W-4, Worker’s Withholding Certificates, in 2020, the IRS started placing the bracket tables in Publication 15-T.

To make changes to the federal tax bracket tables, the IRS appears to be like on the CPI-U from September to August and compares that common with the one for the previous 12 months. The IRS says that making these changes from the CPI has the impact of stopping taxpayers from being moved into increased marginal tax brackets for will increase that don’t exceed inflation.

The CPI-U additionally impacts the usual deduction quantity ($12,950 in 2022 for single and married submitting individually). This was additionally the case for private exemptions, however such allowances should not permitted by calendar yr 2025. That is due to a provision from the December 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (P.L. 115-97). The IRS web site has details about the adjustments from that legislation.

How payroll professionals can sustain with adjustments and plan forward

Payroll is nearly in all places within the day by day lives of people and companies, and there’s plenty of data to maintain up with. You possibly can confer with my blogpost on 2022 payroll traits for extra on this matter.

Figuring out that the IRS will start making calculations for changes to its annual federal tax bracket tables and the usual deduction after the August CPI-U is revealed every September is useful for employers and payroll professionals. Planning forward for the subsequent calendar yr is at all times a good suggestion, so set a reminder in your calendar. A whole lot of payroll departments begin to gear up for the busy “year-end” interval within the late summer season to early fall. This may also help for a smoother transition for the subsequent calendar yr.


The Checkpoint Payroll Library will be a wonderful funding and useful resource for a enterprise’s payroll division or for any payroll skilled that should sustain with the ever-changing panorama of payroll. Contact a Checkpoint consultant to be taught extra.


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