Base period wages used in establishing a claim are the wages paid in the first four
of the last five completed calendar quarters prior to the filing of the claim.
You are subject if you meet any one of the following:
If you are an employer of a domestic service worker or an agricultural worker or
a 501(c)(3) entity and meet the criteria of a subject employer, you are a subject
employer for the calendar year regardless of the quarter you met the criteria. You
also become subject for the next calendar year. For example, an agricultural employer
who pays wages in excess of $20,000 in the third quarter of 2009 becomes a subject
employer effective January 1, 2009. This employer remains subject for all of 2009
and 2010 regardless of the amount of wages paid in the other quarters of 2009 and
Wages in the Act are the same as "currently defined by Title 26, Section 3306(b),
Internal Revenue Code of 1986." Additional information can be found in IRS Publication
15, Circular E, Employer Tax Guide and the Web site for The U.S. Tax Code Online
contains a detailed description of the definition of wages at:
Wages do not include:
All gross wages for each individual who worked for you during a calendar quarter
must be reported each quarter. However, the Act establishes a maximum taxable wage
base that is recalculated annually. No contributions are assessed on any wages paid
to an employee that are in excess of this taxable wage base. This taxable wage base
is recalculated each year based on changes in the state average annual wage.
Wages must be reported for the calendar quarter in which they are paid, unless you
are a domestic employer who has elected annual reporting. The “Due Date” is the
last day of the month following the end of the calendar quarter. “Wages paid” are
those wages actually received by the worker or constructively paid without regard
to the ending date of the pay period, provided the payment is not delayed beyond
customary payment practices of the employer, contractual agreements between employer
and the workers, and state laws. Wages “constructively paid” are wages that should
have been paid. For example, the pay period for the business is March 15 through
March 30. The pay day is the following April 15th. If the wages are not paid to
the employee on April 15th, they should have been and hence have been constructively
paid. These wages need to be reported on the Employer’s Quarterly Contribution Report
for the second quarter and can be used by the employee if he files a claim for unemployment
“Employment” means all work performed for you by persons (regardless of age) whom
you pay, whether their work is permanent or temporary, part-time or full-time, unless
the work is specifically exempted from coverage by the provisions of the Act. Employment
includes services performed by officers of a corporation including “S” corporations.
Wages of an individual employed to perform or assist in performing the work of an
employee are reportable by you for unemployment insurance purposes. An individual
is deemed to be engaged by the employee’s employer if the employer had actual or
constructive knowledge of the work performed by the individual. This is the case
even when the individual is hired or paid by the employee. An employer is deemed
to have constructive knowledge if he should have reasonably known or expected his
employee to engage another individual.
Wages are reportable to Utah if:
Provided the services are also exempted under the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA)
employment shall not include:
An employer who is subject to the Act is required to pay contributions to the Utah
Unemployment Compensation Fund (trust fund) on a quarterly basis (annual election
for domestic/household employers). These contributions (unemployment taxes) are
determined by multiplying the total subject wages for all employees each quarter
by the employer’s assigned contribution rate.
The entire amount of contribution (tax) must be paid by the employer. The Act provides
penalties for employers who deduct any part of the contribution from the earnings
of the employee.
Payment should be made by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) at
https://jobs.utah.gov/ui/Employer/Login.aspx or by check made payable
to the Utah Unemployment Compensation Fund (or Utah U.C. Fund).
New Utah employers are assigned a rate based upon the average rates of all employers
in their respective industries. An “earned” rate based upon payroll and benefit
experience is assigned January 1 of the year following their first full fiscal
year (July 1 through June 30) of reporting.
The unemployment insurance contribution “earned” rate for rated or qualified Utah
employers is determined from the experience each employer has accumulated over previous
years of coverage in the Unemployment Insurance Program. Utah’s law calls for a
“benefit ratio” to be determined for each qualifying employer. This means that unemployment
insurance benefits paid to your former employees will be used as the primary factor
in calculating your contribution rate. These payments are known as benefit costs.
Benefit costs for your former employees will be charged to you in the same proportion
as the wages paid by you in the claimant’s base period year to the total wages of
all employers of that individual worker in his base period. For example, if 50%
of your former employee’s earnings during his base period year have been paid by
you, then 50% of the unemployment benefits paid to this former employee would be
charged to your account.
When an individual files a claim for unemployment benefits, all base period employers
are notified that a claim has been filed on Form 606, “Employer Notice of Claim
Filed” and informed of the potential benefit costs that may be charged against them.
Any protest of a claimant’s eligibility for benefits or request for relief of benefit
cost charges based on the reason for separation of the employee must be made at
this time. Relief will not be granted if you do not protest when first notified
by Form 606.
As benefits are actually paid, you will receive a quarterly, Form 66, “Statement
of Employment Benefit Costs.” (This information can also be found on our web site
under Display Benefit Costs.) Your benefit costs for a minimum of one year and up
to the last four fiscal years (July 1st through June 30th), will be used in the
computation of your contribution rate for the following calendar year..
If the benefit costs charged to your account are inconsistent with a prior decision
or action that was or should have been taken by DWS, you may request that corrections
be made. The request must be filed in writing within 30 days of the date
of the quarterly statement.
Your overall contribution (tax) rate will be determined for each year by the following
Benefit costs charged to your account can be viewed on our web site under Display
The surcharge will be removed in the quarter in which all delinquent contributions
for the prior fiscal year (July 1st through June 30th) have been paid.
The overall contribution rate is calculated as follows:
The employer contribution rates are calculated early in December for the following
calendar year after all benefit and social cost data have been finalized. You will
be notified in writing of your assigned rate and the factors used in determining
your rate for the upcoming calendar year. An annual domestic employer’s rate may
be modified at a later date.
The Legal References Behind SUTA Dumping
Congress passed the SUTA Protection Act of 2003 to ensure that state unemployment
insurance (SUI) rates are fair for all employers. The State Unemployment Tax Act
contains provisions (refer to the Act 35A-4-304 or the Rule 994-304) that govern
the transfer of employment experience and the assignment of rates.
The State Unemployment Tax Act (SUTA) contains provisions banning two common forms
of SUTA dumping which are best described as tax manipulation schemes. In the first,
a new company buys an existing company to obtain its lower rate. In the second,
a new company is created to which employees are transferred in order to dump an
existing employer’s past history and higher rate. Without a new DWS rate calculation,
either version may represent SUTA dumping when common ownership, management, or
control of business practices exists.
Controlling SUTA dumping protects all employers who otherwise would need to pay
more in unemployment insurance to maintain the solvency of the trust fund. Employers
who engage in this practice are not allowed to abandon benefit costs or its associated
state unemployment insurance (SUI) rate. Instead, the businesses for such an employer
would share the higher, combined rate. SUTA dumping also may expose the employer
to both civil and criminal penalties and to a higher, punitive rate.
Special Provisions Regarding Transfers Between Entities With Common Ownership, Management
If an employer transfers its trade or business (including its workforce) or a portion
of its trade or business to another employer and, at the time of the transfer, there
is common ownership, management or control of the employers, then the unemployment
experience attributable to each employer shall be combined and both entities will
have the same UI contribution rate for up to four years. The Act provides meaningful
civil and criminal penalties for all individuals, including tax advisors, who knowingly
violate or attempt to violate this provision of the Act.
Complying with the Law
To ensure compliance with the law, visit the DWS website to obtain a Form 1 (See
for an example). As an alternative, call us and we will fax the form. This form
asks for percentages of the business being transferred and to whom. After receiving
this form, DWS will calculate the SUI rate. This also will ensure that the employer’s
account number is retained rather than creating an unnecessary, new one. If you
have questions or concerns about moving payroll, please contact this department
at 801-526-9235 or 800-222-2857 and select option 3 for either number.
“Successor” is the employing unit which acquires substantially all of a business
and “predecessor” is the employing unit which last operated the business. For the
purposes of rate computation, all of the predecessor’s payroll and benefit costs
will be transferred to the successor if the successor has acquired the business
or all or substantially all of the assets of the predecessor business and the predecessor
has ceased to operate subsequent to the acquisition.
To “acquire” the assets means to now possess, control, or have the right to use
the assets by any legal means such as by purchase, gift, lease, or sub-lease, repossession,
change in the form of ownership, inheritance, or foreclosure. It is not necessary
to purchase the assets in order to have acquired the right to their use, nor is
it necessary for the predecessor to have actually owned the assets for the successor
to have acquired them.
Additionally, as a successor employer, you assume the liability for any unpaid contributions
owed by your predecessor. It is your responsibility to withhold a sufficient amount
of the purchase money to cover the amount of any contribution, interest, and penalty
that may be due to DWS from your predecessor prior to the transfer.
We recommend that you obtain access to your predecessor’s payroll records in order
to furnish DWS with wage and separation information on individuals employed by your
predecessor prior to the transfer. This allows you the opportunity to request relief
of charges, based on the separation, and reduce the potential liability against
As an employer subject to the Act, you are required to post the “Unemployment Insurance
Notice to Workers” poster in a conspicuous place in each work place or establishment.
The purpose of this poster is to provide workers with initial information regarding
their rights to unemployment benefits. Please telephone (801) 526-9235 or toll free
1-800-222-2857 and select option 9 to obtain these or other DWS forms.
In order to complete the required reports and verify this information at a later
date if necessary, your records must contain the following information:
In general, you are required to keep these records for four (4) calendar years (see
Utah Code 35A-4-310).
DWS has the responsibility and authority to audit your records periodically. A DWS
representative may contact you to examine your records. In most cases, an appointment
will be arranged at a mutually satisfactory time.
Most of our reports/forms may be accessed on our web site at
https://jobs.utah.gov/ui/Employer under public tax forms..
Reports most frequently required are:
You may also register your business online at https://jobs.utah.gov/ui/Employer/EmployerRegistration/.
You will receive an account number, PIN number, and rate at the end of your registration.
Once your account has been finalized by a status examiner, you will be able to access
any of our confidential services.
Account changes may be completed online by accessing our confidential services.
If you prefer, you may notify us of changes to your account such as the type of
business activity your firm engages in and changes of address or site location of
your business in writing. However, a change in entity or ownership will require
you to register the new business or entity. Our address is:
Department of Workforce Services
Attn: Employer Accounts • PO Box 45288
Salt Lake City, UT 84145-0288
Once subject to the Employment Security Act, an employer must file the Employer's
Quarterly Wage List and Contribution Report each calendar quarter. Our website contains
the combined report and payment option. Each employer must send quarterly wage contribution
reports even if wages are not paid during the quarter until DWS closes the account
or determines that the employer is exempt from reporting requirements.
Online filing is the preferred reporting option. Employers must submit these reports
with the contributions due within 30 days following the end of the quarter. Employers
with over 250 employees or employer representatives who file reports for 100 or
more employers are required to file reports using the appropriate electronic format
If you are a domestic employer, you will be given the option to file quarterly or
annually. If you choose to file annually, your report is due January 31st of the
following year in which you had wages. The report is broken down by quarter.
Online filing is a faster, more secure method for you to report wages and will automatically
and accurately calculate your tax liability. Data can be manually entered or you
can upload a file.
For screenshots on how to log into your account, add an existing business, and access
the online filing option,
The first quarter you file online, you will need to enter the individual's First
Name, Last Name, and Social Security Number. For all subsequent quarters, this information
will automatically populate with details from the previous quarter. To delete employees
that are no longer employed, use the button on the left-hand side and to add new
employees use the button in the center of the page. The screen will look like this:
Microsoft Excel (when submitting reports for one employer at a time)
Each file must have five columns: First Name, Last Name, Social Security Number,
and Quarterly Wage Total. An example of a valid Excel file is below:
MMREF Format (when submitting reports for one or more employers at the same
Click here for details.
For help in processing an online file, use the Live Chat feature in the upper right-hand
corner or call us at 801-526-9235.
This information must be correct in order that a proper determination of the claimant’s
eligibility can be made or that relief of charges may be granted to you, the employer.
Employers can receive Unemployment Insurance correspondence electronically from
a secure web message center. The advantages of this method include the following:
To sign up for electronic correspondence, follow these steps:
To stop filing reports, you must have:
To ensure compliance with the Utah Employment Security Act and avoid the extra expense
connected with obtaining and processing delinquent reports, the Act provides for
the following penalties that attach to late reports and payments.
You may obtain an extension of up to 30 days for filing contribution reports and
making payments by requesting the extension in writing before the report or payment
is due and showing good cause for the delay. Penalties will not be assessed if the
report or payment is submitted on or before the extended due date. However, interest
is assessed on unpaid contributions from the original due date.
The due date for filing the Federal Unemployment Tax return (IRS Form 940 and Form
940 EZ) must be considered in any extension for late filing of the fourth quarter
report. The Internal Revenue Service will not allow full credit against federal
unemployment insurance taxes for contributions (taxes) paid to the State for the
fourth quarter if the contributions are paid after January 31st.
When a claim is filed, the effective date is the Sunday of the week the claim is
filed and is in effect for 52 weeks. The amount payable on the claim is determined
by the wages reported in the base period, which is the first four of the last five
completed calendar quarters prior to the filing date.
To be monetarily eligible for benefits, a worker must have earned wages in two or
more calendar quarters of the base period. The total wages in the base period must
be at least 1.5 times the wages earned in the highest quarter of the base period.
There is also a minimum amount of wages required during the base period. For 2010,
the minimum total amount is $3,100.
A claimant is entitled to a weekly benefit amount (WBA) equal to 1/26th of the highest
quarter wages in the base period. A maximum weekly benefit amount is established
each year. For 2011, the amount is $452 a week. Claimants receive a weekly benefit
amount that is approximately one-half of their average weekly earnings in their
highest quarter up to the maximum weekly benefit amount.
A claimant can receive regular benefits for 10 to 26 weeks, depending on the stability
of their prior unemployment. During periods of exceptionally high levels of state
or national unemployment, additional weeks of benefits may be provided.
What Are My Appeal Rights?
If you disagree with any Department decision, you have the right to file an appeal.
You have the right to appeal both benefit determinations for your former employees
and employer rates, employer successorship, and worker classifications.
All appeals must be submitted in writing. Appeals to Department determinations must
be submitted within:
Appeals from a decision made by an Administrative Law Judge may be submitted to
the Board of Review of the Utah Department of Workforce Services. Further appeals
are made to the Utah Court of Appeals.
If you or the claimant appeal a Department decision, you will be notified of the
time and place of the fact finding hearing conducted by an Administrative Law Judge.
This represents your last opportunity to provide information. Therefore, be sure
that this information is complete.
The hearing will be tape recorded as required by law. All testimony will be taken
under oath. The hearing allows both parties to present all available testimony and
evidence regarding this case. If either party chooses to appeal the decision, there
will not be another hearing. The testimony and evidence presented at the hearing
will become the case record available for review in the event of a further appeal.
For this reason, each party should present all testimony and evidence at the hearing.
The parties will be asked if they understand the importance of presenting all testimony
What Must My Appeal Include?
There is no specific appeal form, but your written appeal must contain the following
Where Do I Send My Appeal?
Your appeal may be mailed, faxed or submitted electronically. When mailing or faxing
your appeal, refer to the following addresses and fax number:
Unemployment Insurance Benefit Appeals: Appeals:
Utah Department of Workforce Services
P.O. Box 45244
Salt Lake City, UT 84145-0244
Utah Department of Workforce Services
Field Audit Supervisor
P.O. Box 45288
Salt Lake City, UT 84145-0288
Utah Department of Workforce Services
Employer Accounts Supervisor
P.O. Box 45288
Salt Lake City, UT 84145-0288
For more information on the appeals process, please visit the Division of Adjudication
web site at http://jobs.utah.gov/appeals/.
Utah’s “benefit ratio” system provides a unique opportunity for you to manage your
unemployment tax costs. As a new employer, your rate is based on an industry classification.
With more experience as an employer, your basic tax rate is now determined by the
unemployment benefits paid to your former employees. It is to your advantage to
monitor these charges to ensure they are correct and to manage your personnel practices
to reduce layoffs wherever possible.
New Hire Legislation appears in Section 35A-7-101. This chapter is known as the
“Centralized New Hire Registry Act.” Our state law’s minimum reporting requirements
are based on the federal law. The Utah Department of Workforce Services has been
given the responsibility for administering the State New Hire Registry program.
States will match New Hire reports against their child support records to locate
parents, establish a child support order, or enforce an existing child support order.
The State will transmit the New Hire reports to the National Directory of New Hires
(NDNH), which allows the Office of Child Support Enforcement to assist States in
locating parents on a national level.
States’ Unemployment Insurance and Workers’ Compensation Programs may also have
access to their State New Hire information to detect and prevent erroneous benefit
payments. In addition, the State can conduct matches between the New Hire database
and other State programs to prevent unlawful or erroneous receipt of public assistance
This initiative has resulted in significant increases in child support collections,
reductions in Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) payments, and millions
of dollars saved in Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP),
formerly known as Food Stamps, Unemployment Insurance Benefits, and Workers’ Compensation
All employers are required to report mandatory data elements within 20
calendar days of the new employee's first day of work:
In order to simplify the new-hire reporting process, employers have a number of
options for reporting employee information. Employers may submit reports by using:
Regardless of the format used, employers should make certain that all of the required
information is included. The employer street address should be the address where
child support orders should be sent.
An employer who fails to timely report the hiring or rehiring of an employee as
required by law is subject to a civil penalty of:
A New Hire Reporting brochure is available at
https://jobs.utah.gov/ui/Employer/Public/PublicPortal.aspx that provides
additional new hire information as well as technical specifications used for electronic
Recruitment Assistance: Utah employers save time and money recruiting and
training new employees when they use DWS services. We can help you meet your Human
Resource needs promptly and efficiently. We match the right applicants with the
job specifications for Utah employers like you. Using your selection criteria, we
match job seekers to the job order based on the requested education experience,
skills, knowledge, and ability. Our trained staff members are also available to
assist in collecting resumes and applications, scheduling interviews, hosting recruiting
events or providing other services as needed. Employers can enter job orders online
and search for qualified job seekers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on the DWS web
Veteran Recruitment Assistance: We are ready to help employers share the
many benefits available through hiring veterans. DWS complies with federal laws
mandating veterans preference in employment and training. We have veteran representatives
around the state to help employers take advantage of the education and skills of
veterans. DWS is a clearing house for employer assistance and information about
Affirmative Action Hiring: Since Affirmative Action is an important element
of successful personnel management and equal employment opportunity, an employer
should understand affirmative action information and legislation. To obtain affirmative
action information, visit the DWS web site jobs.utah.gov and click on Employer