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Susan Combs  •  Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

Voluntary Deductions
Employee Organization Membership Fees

Overview

State employees and employees of institutions of higher education may authorize monthly deductions from their salary or wages to pay membership fees to eligible organizations. Participation is voluntary.

Authorization form

Employees must complete a Comptroller-approved authorization form and submit it to the organization that will be receiving the membership fees. The organization then forwards the authorization form to the employing agency. The authorization form remains in effect until another form is completed to change the deduction.

Deductions

Deductions for membership fees to employee organizations are taken after taxes have been calculated. The deduction may not be made if a higher priority deduction is present, such as child support or tax levy, and the employee’s pay is not sufficient to take the employee organization deduction after the higher priority deductions are taken.

State agencies using a semi-monthly payroll must take this deduction during the second half of the month.

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Agency Responsibilities

Authorization and cancellation of deductions

State agencies must receive an employee’s original authorization or cancellation form within a reasonable amount of time after the organization receives the form.

If the agency receives a form on the first calendar day of a month, then the deduction or cancellation begins with the salary or wages paid on the first workday of the month following the month in which the agency receives the form. If a form is received after the first calendar day of a month, then the deduction or cancellation begins not later than salary or wages paid on the first workday of the second month following the month in which the agency receives the form from the employee.

Detail reports to eligible organizations

State agencies must submit a detail report each month to each eligible organization that receives amounts deducted from the salary or wages of the agency’s employees. The agency must mail the report not later than the 20th calendar day of the month. If the 20th calendar day of the month is not a workday, then the mailing deadline is the first workday after the 20th calendar day.

Detail reports must include names, Social Security numbers and the amount of the actual deduction made for each employee. The report must include these items regardless if the deduction actually occurred.

Agencies must review any discrepancies identified by an organization and contact the organization to reconcile the issue. If the agency is notified within 60 days of the report mailing date, the agency must correct the error. However, if the agency is not contacted within the 60-day time frame, the agency is not obligated to reconcile the error.

Other considerations

  • When a state employee submits a cancellation form or written notification to cancel a deduction, the employing agency must include a copy of this form or notice with the next detail report to the affected organization.
  • If a state agency erroneously deducts more than the amount authorized by the employee, the overage may be recovered by offsetting the amount of the overage from a subsequent payment of deducted amounts to the organization. The agency may obtain a refund of the overage from the organization only if no subsequent payments are anticipated to be made to the organization.

    For Example:

    An employee authorized an $8 deduction. In January, an agency deducts $10, creating a $2 overage. On the February report, the agency will show an $8 deduction with a $2 overage deduction on separate lines, showing a net deduction of $6. The combined deductions for January and February will equal $16.

  • Institutions of higher education are authorized to assess an administrative fee for making employee deductions to membership organizations. This fee will be withheld from the employee’s pay.
  • The Comptroller’s office may charge an administrative fee to cover the costs of providing payroll deductions for employee organization membership fees. The qualifying state employee organization is responsible for paying the fee. The Comptroller’s office will determine the amount and method used for collecting the fees. At this time, the Comptroller’s office is not charging an administrative fee to employee organizations for this service.

To learn more about this payroll deduction, see Chapter 9 “Deductions” of the USPS Process Guide or the SPRS Deduction Code Table.

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Definitions

Eligible organization
A state employee organization that the Comptroller’s office has certified in accordance with the Comptroller’s administrative rule governing this deduction.
Institution of higher education
Has the meaning assigned by Texas Education Code, Section 61.003 (Vernon 2004).
Salary or wages
Base salary or wages, longevity pay or hazardous duty pay.
Membership fee
Dues or fees that a state employee organization requires a state employee to pay to maintain membership in the organization.
State agency
A department, commission, board, office or any other entity of Texas state government, including an institution of higher education.
State employee
An employee of a Texas state agency. The term includes an elected or appointed official, a part-time employee, an hourly employee, a temporary employee, an employee who is not covered by the Position Classification Act, and a combination of the preceding. The term excludes an independent contractor and the employee of an independent contractor.

Sources

Texas Government Code Annotated, Sections 403.0165(a), (l)(2) (Vernon 2005); Section 659.1031 – 110 (Vernon 2004); 34 Texas Administrative Code, Sections 5.46(a)(2), (7), (9), (12) – (15), (b)(1)(A), (C), (b)(8)(A) – (B), (c)(1)(A)(i), (B)(i), (e)(1)(A), (C), (e)(2)(A), (i)(4), (k)(5)(B), (6)(B), (7), (l)(3) (2008).

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Susan Combs
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Questions? Contact statewide.accounting@cpa.state.tx.us
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