Business Update June 2013
District tax offices replaced by account management centersDue to budget and staffing reductions, we’ve closed the 10 district tax offices located throughout the state. Instead, employers’ calls, mail and email are now handled through two account management centers.
There is a single, toll-free number that will get you to either account management center:
855-TAX-WAGE (855-829-9243). When you call, you’ll be asked to press 1 if your business is located in Area 1 (see map below), or press 2 if located in Area 2.
Please direct your mail or email to the center that covers the geographic area in which your business is located. The centers are not set up for walk-in service.
Area 1 – Northwest Washington
Area 2 – Eastern and Southwest Washington
New tax correspondence is coming to your mailboxLater this year, you’ll begin receiving new and improved versions of our tax letters and forms. We rewrote them to be clearer and easier to understand, based on user testing with employers in our state. The new letters have earned an award of distinction from the national Center for Plain Language.
One change you’ll notice on the new correspondence is “000” added to the front of your account number, making it 12 digits long. The extra digits give us more numbers to assign to new employers. We call the longer account number the ESD number.
For now, please continue to use your current ES reference number without the extra “000” when you file your taxes.
Predecessor-successor rules have changedWe’ve adopted new regulations to reflect the changes the state legislature made in 2012 for predecessor and successor businesses. Click either link to read the complete text.
WAC 192-350-010 explains when a predecessor-successor relationship exists under the new law and adds a new exception to the predecessor-successor designation. It also defines common ownership, management and control; substantially common ownership, management or control; and substantially similar businesses.
WAC 192-350-060 modifies the consequences if an employer fails to respond to a request for information about a predecessor-successor designation. It allows Employment Security to determine the predecessor-successor relationship based on available information 30 days after we mail an information request to you.
If you need technical assistance to comply with these rules, call our Registration, Inquiry, Standards & Coordination (RISC) Unit at 360-902-9309. To learn how you can petition to amend or repeal these rules, read about the rule-making process.
We need more information about your out-of-state wagesTo make sure you receive proper out-of-state-wage credit for your employees, we’ll contact you if you report out-of-state wages, beginning with the first quarter of 2013.
We’ll ask for this additional information:
• Name of employee
• Social Security number (only the last four digits, if emailing)
• Quarter and year
• State in which out-of-state wages are claimed
• Amount of out-of-state wages claimed
If you’re affected, you’ll receive an Excel spreadsheet by mail or email to complete and return to receive credit for out-of-state wages. If you have questions, please contact the Employer Accounts (EA) Unit at 360-902-9650.
Try our online tax tools for businessesEmployer Account Management Services (EAMS) offers a quick and easy way to manage your Employment Security account. As an authorized EAMS user, you can:
• File and pay unemployment taxes.
• Amend quarterly reports.
• Upload previously reported data to the current period.
• Calculate excess wages.
• Check tax rates.
• Cancel pending payments.
• View your payment history or account balance.
For details, visit esd.wa.gov/file-taxes.
Did you know?It’s easy to report fraud. If you suspect a business is not paying unemployment taxes or someone is wrongfully collecting benefits, call our fraud hotline at 866-266-1987, or click our fraud link at suspectfraud.com.
Hire now to maximize federal tax creditsFederal tax credits of up to $9,600 are available for hiring certain categories of military veterans, food stamp recipients, the disabled and others.
The total credit is based on the type of worker hired, the number of hours worked in a calendar year and earnings.
The earlier you hire, the more likely you are to earn the full tax credit. For more information, visit esd.wa.gov/wotc.
Free employer workshopsLearn more about unemployment insurance. For a current schedule, visit esd.wa.gov/uitax/workshops.php
If you have no payrollBe sure to file a quarterly report, even if you have no employees. If you don’t file a quarterly report, we can’t tell if it was deliberate or if you simply forgot. For details, visit File a No-payroll Report.
Sign up for email updatesTo stay informed about unemployment-insurance, sign up for email updates.
Report electronicallySee your options at esd.wa.gov/file-taxes.
Technical support for online tax filing800-565-4660 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact usCall 855-TAX-WAGE to ask questions about unemployment taxes.
Benefits informationFor questions related to specific benefit claims, call 877-504-5607.
Small-Business GuideThe online resource called Small-Business Guide contains information about state business licensing, taxation, registration and certification guides in one place.
See the guide at BizGuide.wa.gov.