FAQs

How long has CAPS been in the payroll business?

Since 2001, CAPS has been the leading payroll solutions partner for hundreds of studio and independent production companies. We have built our reputation on reliable, innovative and cost-saving solutions for high-profile TV commercial production houses, sports and entertainment venues, and concerts and music tours in all 50 states.

Where does CAPS have offices?

CAPS has offices in Burbank, CA; New York, NY; and Hyderabad, India.

What payroll services does CAPS provide?

CAPS provides a full array of payroll-related services. We calculate, prepare and deliver employee payroll checks and direct deposits; calculate, report and pay employee contributions to pension, health and welfare trust funds, 401(k) funds and child trusts; withhold and remit employee taxes for social security, Medicare, federal, state and local taxes; manage multiple-state withholding; prepare and files quarterly and year-end payroll tax returns; manage unemployment claims and garnishments, assist on benefit fund audits, and provide full reporting services, workers’ compensation plans and claims administration, and risk management services.

Do you cover payroll in all states?

Yes, CAPS and its related companies process payroll in all 50 states, so you are covered wherever you go.

Does CAPS handle stop payments, check reissues and W-2s?

Yes, we process stop payments for lost or stolen checks and issue replacement checks, prepare and deliver year-end W-2s and reissue W-2s.

What payroll-related reporting does CAPS offer?

We provide comprehensive payroll reports with every payroll we process, and we can also provide cost reports, G/L or cost code reports, human resources-related report and customized reporting for unions and pensions.

Do you offer workers’ compensation coverage?

CAPS also provides workers’ compensation coverage at competitive rates. We provide certificates of insurance for your location, and in the event of an accident, we will handle all of the administration in connection with the claim.

What is the general process for submitting payroll to CAPS?

Although CAPS’s electronic transmission and direct time card entry processes are a little different, before you submit payroll to CAPS, you verify and sign the employee W-4s, I-9s, the completed time cards and any related paperwork, then send it to CAPS via U.S. Postal Service, FEDEX or messenger. CAPS processes the payroll and sends you the pre-invoice and transaction register for your approval. We send you the updated transaction paperwork. Once we have your final approval and the payroll is funded, we print the payroll checks and/or direct deposit check stubs and transmit any direct deposits. The payroll is then delivered according to your requirements (e.g. mailed to the employee, couriered or FEDEX to your offices, etc.).

What options are available for funding payroll?

CAPS provides various options for funding your payroll including mailed or couriered checks, wires and ACH. Payment method and credit terms are established as part of our new client process.

Can I pick up time cards at your office?

Yes, you can pick up time cards at any CAPS office location. To serve you better, please call in advance so we can have them ready for you.

Do you have a night drop-off box?

No, we do not have a night drop-off box. For the Los Angeles productions, we may be able to pick up your payroll. Please contact your payroll coordinator to make off-hours drop-off or courier arrangements.

What is an administrative employer?

An administrative employer handles the administration related to employees. CAPS is the administrative employer for your staff, crew and talent. You choose your cast and crew, and CAPS covers all functions relating to payment of their payroll, leaving you free to focus on your production.

What does it mean to be overtime exempt?

Certain types of employees, who are classified as exempt employees, are not entitled to overtime pay as guaranteed by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). If an employee is classified as exempt (vs. non-exempt) their employer is not required to pay them overtime pay.

What are the Federal Labor Standards Act overtime exemptions?

The Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides tests to determine if an employee can be considered exempt from overtime requirements. (When a state law differs from the federal law, employers must comply with the law that is the most protective of the employee. California is such a state). An employee meeting the requirements can be exempt from overtime. The FLSA provides exemptions for executives, administrators and for creative professionals.

Are there special exemption rules for the motion picture industry?

An employee working in the motion picture industry who meets the exemption tests as an executive, administrative or professional employee may be paid on a salary basis. The employee must be paid a base rate of at least $695 per week or a proportionate amount (based on a week of not more than six days) if the employee does not work a full workweek. A daily rate may be paid to an employee in a job category for which no weekly base rate is provided and the daily rate paid would yield at least $695 if six days were worked, or to an employee in a job category with a base weekly rate of at least $695 and the daily base rate is at least one-sixth (1/6) of the weekly base rate.

What is wage theft?

Wage theft is the term used to describe situations in which a worker is not paid in accordance with the law. Examples include when the employee is not paid the wage he and his employer agreed upon, is paid below the minimum wage, is not paid overtime according to the prevailing laws, is not paid for work off the clock, has final paychecks withheld, is not paid tip amounts due him, is misclassified as an independent contractor, etc.

What are the NY and California Wage Theft Prevention Acts (WTPA)?

New York and California passed wage theft protection laws in April 2011, and January 2012, respectively, requiring an employer to provide written documentation to certain employees documenting the employee’s hourly wage rate, overtime rate and regular pay day. Over a dozen other states have some kind of law on the books protecting employee wages, but New York and California are the most notable.

What are my WTPA responsibilities as an employer?

Our Resources section has wage notice forms and instructions for New York and California employers. Please browse the Wage & Hours section under Resources/Forms & Info on CAPS website.

What’s the difference between an independent contractor and an employee?

Generally speaking, employee payroll is subject to income tax, Social Security, Medicare and disability withholding, while you would not withhold these types of employment taxes for an independent contractor. Put another way, typically an independent contractor submits an invoice for services and is paid as a vendor through your company’s accounts payable department.

Is it possible I have an independent contractor misclassification problem?

If you are improperly classifying employees as independent contractors, the IRS may want to speak with you. The IRS, Department of Labor, and various states have begun working together to identify businesses that misclassify employees as independent contractors. Per this website link www.dol.gov/whd/workers/misclassification the Department of Labor has begun an initiative to recognize and enforce proper payment of employees who are being incorrectly classified as independent contractors. In California, as well as other states, there are significant penalties for misclassification (especially willful misclassification).

How do I evaluate whether an individual is an independent contractor or an employee?

In 1994, the IRS issued the IRS Guidelines for the Classification of Workers within the Television Commercial and Professional Video Communications Industries. These guidelines provide a specific analysis of positions and situations in these industries, and were designed to aid IRS auditors in their audits in these industries. Even using these guidelines there are no absolutes, and as always, CAPS recommends that you consult a CPA or Tax Attorney in formulating your company policies.

Can CAPS help me with independent contractors?

CAPS has been making it easy for companies to deal with independent contractor issues since 2001. When our clients hire freelancers, we take on the employer responsibilities of making all the proper payroll tax payments. We also administer workers’ compensation insurance and claims. Clients hire whomever they wish, CAPS becomes the employer of record, and the client receives an invoice covering all the associated costs.

What is a loan-out corporation?

Some industry workers render their services though a corporation, owned by the worker, that “loans out” the worker’s services to the production company. This is called a loan-out corporation.

Under which circumstances will CAPS pay a loan-out corporation?

CAPS will pay a loan-out corporations if it is a valid “C” or “S” Corporation, is a single-owner entity (or a married couple or multiple members of a band), a single owner owns all shares of the company, the corporation appears on the California Secretary of State website as an active corporation and the owner provides CAPS with a Form W-9, Form I-9 and Articles of Incorporation. CAPS also requires a signed Letter of Representation and Indemnification once per year, certifying that the loan-out corporation is responsible for paying its employee, including the withholding and paying of taxes and contributions.

What is the National Labor Relations Board Employee Rights Poster?

The NLRB is a federal agency that protects the rights of private sector employees, both union and non-union. At the end of 2010, it issued a rule requiring that employers post notices informing employees of their rights to organize and collectively bargain with their employer. As of April 30, 2012, most employers must display a copy of the poster in a conspicuous place.

Where can I find the Labor Relations Board Employee Rights poster?

Two formats of the poster are located at the National Labor Relations Board website. The current URL can be found here.