Here we are at yet another state, and the same point still makes sense. In Wisconsin, employers who are liable for unemployment insurance benefits are required to submit a Quarterly Contribution/Wage Report to the Wisconsin unemployment insurance system. As part of this report, it’s up to the employer to provide wage and tax info, as well as employee gross wage earning info for each and every employee that you have.
These quarterly reports are due promptly at the end of the month following the end of the quarter. So for the first quarter, for instance, the Quarterly Contribution/Wage Report is due by April 30. For the second quarter, the Quarterly Contribution/Wage Report is due on or before July 31. For the third quarter, the Quarterly Contribution/Wage Report is due on or before October 31. And for the fourth quarter, the Quarterly Contribution/Wage Report is due on or before January 31 of the following year.
The importance of all of these due dates for the Quarterly Contribution/Wage Report—the state expects you to make them. If you don’t send in the Quarterly Contribution/Wage Report on time, you could get charged late filing fees. Plus, you will face a 1 percent per month interest rate charged on the back taxes that you owe. Talk about a good reason to keep organized and provide accurate and timely info to the state of Wisconsin’s unemployment insurance system.
As for that tax, in the state of Wisconsin, they have the tax rate set so that you pay taxes only on the first $10,500 in wages for each employee in a calendar year. And the overall percentage of these wages that you is determined on your experience with the unemployment insurance system, as we have seen in most states. Part of this experience is getting your taxes paid on time on a regular basis. New employers have their own tax rate for the first three years of coverage.
The New Hire program requires all employers with a FEIN (Federal Employer Identification Number) to report all newly hired employees within 20 days after the employee begins working. A newly hired employee is someone who has never worked for you before or who is rehired after an unpaid absence of more than 90 days. All employees should have access to Wisconsin Unemployment Insurance posters.
The easiest and most cost-effective way to file a New Hire report is through the Internet. To consider all reporting options and begin reporting, visit the New Hire web site and follow the link to New Hire Reporting.
New Hire is a national program designed to locate non-custodial parents with child support obligations. Penalties could result from failure to report newly hired and rehired employees as required.
Due to a recent law change, quarterly reporting requirements will change for employers with 75 or more employees, beginning with quarterly reports filed for third quarter 2006. (This law does not change the requirement to post Wisconsin Unemployment Insurance Posters.)
Contribution Reports: Employers with 75 or more employees who file their own reports must file via QTWRS.
Wage Reports: Employers with 75 or more employees who file their own reports must file electronically, via QTWRS or one of the other automated media reporting options.
Employer Agents: Agents who prepare reports on behalf of 25 or more employers must file their Contribution and Wage Reports electronically, using one of the reporting options.
Agents who prepare reports on behalf of less than 25 employers must file Contribution Reports via QTWRS and Wage Reports via QTWRS or one of the other automated media reporting options.
Penalties: Failure to comply with these filing requirements will result in penalties of $25 for each Contribution Report filed on paper, and $10 per employee for Wage Reports filed on paper.
Anyone interested in making suggestions, criticisms, or improvements to Wisconsin’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) program, including changes to Wisconsin Unemployment Insurance posters, is invited to attend an upcoming public hearing. UI staff will be available to meet with members of the public to discuss any unemployment insurance law-related concerns.
Some topics that may be addressed by the Council this year include funding of the UI program and levels of benefits and employer contributions.
Persons who attend will have the option of registering to speak to the UIAC or providing written comments at the hearing. If you cannot attend a hearing, you may send your comments.
Many employees are not aware of the particulars of the Wisconsin Unemployment Insurance Law. I found that while most people believe that income tax goes to pay for the law, it is actually the individual employers that pay. In fact employers pay the benefits for unemployment with each payroll payment.
Unemployment insurance taxes are also paid under what is called an “Experience” rating system that is designed to encourage steadier work and wages. There is an opportunity for government organizations and non-profit organization to finance their unemployment opportunities through a direct reimbursement basis or a tax basis. However, if a 501-C3 non-profit organization has less than four employees, it could be exempt from having to pay unemployment insurance.
Not all employers have to pay unemployment insurance taxes. In fact, the law states that employers must pay the taxes if an employee earns $1,500 or more in wages in any calendar quarter. Or, the employers have to have full or part time employees working for them for a 20-week period or more during the calendar year.
However, if an employer is in the agriculture industry and has 10 or more workers working for him doing farm labor on the same calendar day within a 20-week span of time in any given calendar year, or if the payroll for his workers is $20,000 or more in a calendar quarter, then the agriculture employer must pay the unemployment insurance taxes according to the law. Other agriculture employers may be exempt.
If an employer has domestic servants working for them and if the employer pays more than $1,000 for those servants in any given calendar year, then the employer may have to pay unemployment insurance.
In terms of knowing how much in taxes to pay, the first $10,500 in wages paid to each employee per calendar year are taxes. Also, new employers, or employers who are in the first two years of business pay at a fixed new employer rate and there is also a separate rate for construction workers.