(a) In general. Wages are received by an employee at the time they are paid by the employer to the employee. Wages are paid by an employer at the time that they are actually or constructively paid unless they are deemed to be paid later (as described in paragraph (c)(3) of this section).
(b) Constructive payment. Wages are constructively paid when they are credited to the account of, or set aside for, an employee so that they may be drawn upon by the employee at any time although not then actually received. To be a payment—
(2) The employer must intend to pay or to set aside or credit, and have the ability to pay wages when due to the employee, and failure of the employer to credit or set aside the wages is due to clerical error or mistake in the mechanics of payment, and because of the clerical error or mistake the wages are not actually available at that time.
(c) Deemed payment. (1) The first $100 of cash paid, either actually or constructively, by an employer to an employee in a calendar year is considered paid at the time that the amount of the cash payment totals $100 for the year in the case of pay for—
(i) Work not in the course of the employer's trade or business (non-business work);
(ii) Work by certain home workers; and
(iii) Work for an organization exempt from income tax under section 501 of the Code.
(2) We also apply this rule to domestic work in a private home of the employer, except see § 404.1057(a)(1) for the applicable dollar amount.
(i) The time in the calendar year that the employee's pay totals $150; or
(ii) The 20th day of the calendar year on which the employee works for cash pay computed on a time basis.
(4) If an employer pays cash to an employee for two or more of the kinds of work referred to in paragraph (c)(1) of this section, we apply the provisions of this paragraph to the pay for each kind of work.
(d) Employee tax deductions. We consider employee tax deductions under section 3101 of the Code to be part of the employee's wages and consider them to be paid at the time of the deduction. We consider other deductions from wages to be wages paid at the time of the deduction. It is immaterial that the deductions are required or permitted by an act of Congress or the law of any State.
(e) Tips. (1) Tips received by an employee in the course of employment, that are considered to be wages, are deemed to be paid at the time the employee reports the tips to the employer in a written statement as provided under section 6053(a) of the Code. Tips that are not reported are deemed to be paid to the employee at the time they are received by the employee.
(2) We consider tips to be received in the course of employment whether they are received by the employee from the employer or from another person. Only tips employees receive and keep for themselves are considered to be the employees' pay. If employees split tips, each employee who receives part of the tip receives tips in the course of employment.
(f) Payments under nonqualified deferred compensation plans. Amounts that an employee is entitled to receive under nonqualified deferred compensation plans (plans that do not qualify for special tax treatment under the Code) are creditable as wages for Social Security purposes at the later of the following times:
Any amounts taken into account as wages by this paragraph (and the income attributable thereto) will not thereafter be treated as wages for Social Security purposes.
[45 FR 20075, Mar. 27, 1980, as amended at 55 FR 7309, Mar. 1, 1990; 61 FR 38366, July 24, 1996]