New Jersey Requires Notice Before Tracking Work Vehicles

Beginning on April 18th, New Jersey will require that employers provide written notice to employees before using tracking devices in a vehicle the employee drives. The requirement applies regardless of who owns the vehicle.

The law defines a tracking device as an electronic or mechanical device that is “designed or intended to be used for the sole purpose of tracking the movement of a person, vehicle or device.” For example, GPS monitoring devices used exclusively to track an employee’s location are covered. The law doesn’t apply to devices used for the purpose of expense reimbursement (e.g., a device that tracks mileage).

The law covers employers that have one or more employees in New Jersey, except for employers that provide public transportation. Employers don’t have to comply with this law to the extent that doing so would violate a federal regulation.

If you currently use tracking devices, tell affected employees about your practice in writing by April 18th. After that date, be sure to provide written notice to new hires or other employees who will begin driving tracked vehicles. Keep a copy of the notice so you can demonstrate compliance.

Here’s how to tell the difference between a hobby and a business for tax purposes

According to the IRS, A hobby is any activity that a person pursues because they enjoy it and with no intention of making a profit. People operate a business with the intention of making a profit. Many people engage in hobby activities that turn into a source of income. However, determining if that hobby has grown into a business can be confusing.

To help simplify things, the IRS has established factors taxpayers must consider when determining whether their activity is a business or hobby.

These factors are whether:

  • The taxpayer carries out activity in a businesslike manner and maintains complete and accurate books and records.
  • The taxpayer puts time and effort into the activity to show they intend to make it profitable.
  • The taxpayer depends on income from the activity for their livelihood.
  • The taxpayer has personal motives for carrying out the activity such as general enjoyment or relaxation.
  • The taxpayer has enough income from other sources to fund the activity.
  • Losses are due to circumstances beyond the taxpayer’s control or are normal for the startup phase of their type of business.
  • There is a change to methods of operation to improve profitability.
  • Taxpayer and their advisor have the knowledge needed to carry out the activity as a successful business.
  • The taxpayer was successful in making a profit in similar activities in the past.
  • Activity makes a profit in some years and how much profit it makes.
  • The taxpayer can expect to make a future profit from the appreciation of the assets used in the activity.

All factors, facts, and circumstances with respect to the activity must be considered. No one factor is more important than another.

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Fun Fact:

The Gettysburg address is 269 words, the Declaration of Independence is 1,337 words, and the Bible is only 773,000 words. However, the tax law has grown from 11,400 words in 1913 to over 7 million words today.