Tax Department Tip of the Month

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Overview

Tax tips are provided as a resource for helpful hints and time-saving suggestions when registering, filing and paying your unemployment taxes and managing your unemployment tax account.

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April 2014

Unemployment Insurance –Electronic Reporting and Payment Options

Effective with the 1st quarter of 2014, all employers must report wages and make their tax payments electronically.

Filing reports and paying taxes electronically, benefits both you the employer and your state government by saving time, paper and resources. To learn more about electronic reporting methods, visit the Employer’s Quarterly Wage Report Filing Options page. For information on electronic payment methods, visit the Payment Options for Unemployment Tax page.

If you have questions about filing and paying electronically, please contact your nearest Tax office for assistance.

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March 2014

Unemployment Tax Services – Self Reset Your Password

Unemployment Tax Services offers a self-reset password process for users who have either forgotten or revoked their password.

Forgotten Passwords

  1. Select the Forgot Password link from the Logon page.
  2. Enter the User ID and Name.
  3. Enter the Security Answer.
  4. Enter and retype the new Password.

Revoked Passwords

The Reset Password program is automatically invoked when the user revokes their password or fails to correctly answer their security question after two attempts.

  1. Enter and retype the new Password on the Reset Password page.
  2. Click the link provided in the email message that has been sent to your email address on file.
  3. Enter your User ID and new Password on the Finish Password Reset page to finalize the reset process

For assistance with resetting your password, please contact your nearest Texas Workforce Commission Tax office.

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February 2014

Unemployment Tax Services – Account Administration

Unemployment Tax Services is the Texas Workforce Commission’s free Internet system that allows employers with 1,000 or fewer employees to manage their unemployment tax account online.

Along with filing and paying unemployment taxes and it numerous other features, the Unemployment Tax Services system:

  • allows the account owner, partner, officer or other designated representative  to become the administrator for the TWC account
  • allows the administrator to approve or deny access to their TWC account information.
  • allows the administrator to assign the appropriate access permissions to the TWC account. For example, you can allow your bookkeeper or employee to file your report but prevent access to your banking information.
  • allows the administrator to reset passwords if an employee gets revoked
  • allows each employee to retrieve forgotten passwords online without intervention from TWC staff by answering a security question they provided during registration

For more information about account administration, requesting access and permissions for the Unemployment Tax Services system, visit the Accessing an Unemployment Tax Account – Frequently Asked Questions page.

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January 2014

Annual Domestic Reporting

The annual report and contribution for domestic accounts that have requested annual filing is due on or before January 31, 2014.

The online version of the annual report is available now for those domestic employers who elected to file and pay their state unemployment tax annually. TWC encourages Annual Domestic Filers to file their annual report and pay their tax due online by using Unemployment Tax Services, a free online service. During the quick and simple registration process, new users create a User ID and password that will be used each time they access the online system. To register for access and to learn about other online services, visit our Unemployment Tax Services website.

Tax Rates

Tax Rate notices have been mailed. When you receive your notice, please forward a copy to your Service Agent, CPA, or bookkeeper so they can update their files. If you use "QuickFile or Intuit" you will need to update your software to show the correct Tax Rate.

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December 2013

Unemployment Insurance Tax Rates for 2014

Dear Employer:

With continued economic growth and prosperity in our state, Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) has taken steps to minimize increases in the overall unemployment insurance tax bill to Texas employers and to make responsible decisions that will result in savings to businesses in Texas.

At the end of 2010, TWC sold bonds through the Texas Public Finance Authority in order to avoid interest that would have become due on federal advances. Although employers will see an obligation assessment added to the unemployment tax bills to repay the bonds, we are keeping employers’ taxes as low as possible by spreading this over a period of several years. The bonds, originally due to mature in July 2020, are on schedule to be retired in July 2017.

The components of your 2014 tax rate are:

  • The obligation assessment – to collect the amount needed to repay the bond obligation due next year. It is experience-rated, based on your 2013 tax rate.
  • The general tax – based on claims against your account. If TWC has paid benefits to former employees who were laid off or separated through no fault of their own in the past three years, you will pay the general tax.
  • The replenishment tax – charged to all employers to cover unemployment claims not charged to a specific employer. This tax tends to rise following economic downturns when claims increase and businesses close.
  • The employment and training investment assessment – a flat tax of 0.1 percent, paid by all employers, used to fund the skills training program.

You may be able to reduce your taxes for 2014. If TWC paid benefits to your employees who were laid off or separated through no fault of their own, you may find it beneficial to “buy down” the tax rate. Please visit our web site at www.texasworkforce.org and click on the Businesses and Employers menu link for more information or access the voluntary contribution analysis through Unemployment Tax Services.

At TWC, we work hard to minimize your unemployment insurance costs. In addition to lowering the tax burden, TWC is taking an aggressive approach to eliminate fraud, waste, and abuse of all kinds in the programs the agency administers. By reporting new hires immediately to the state Attorney General’s office, responding promptly to notices when a former employee applies for unemployment benefits and responding to earnings information requests on claimants, you can help us avoid overpayments and fraud which costs all employers.

TWC works closely with local workforce development boards across Texas to fill job openings with qualified unemployed workers, and we fund training to upgrade the skills of workers to better match area employers’ needs. TWC also works closely with economic development organizations to support existing Texas companies and to bring new business to the state. We pledge our continued efforts in helping to keep taxes as low as possible and mitigating the effects on your business.

Texas Workforce Commission
Austin, Texas 78778

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November 2013

Unemployment Insurance - Electronic Filing and Payment Options

Filing wage reports and paying taxes electronically is secure and has never been easier.

The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) offers employers and their representatives’ two free electronic methods for filing reports: Unemployment Tax Services and QuickFile. There are also commercial software programs available through private companies that allow employer to upload wage reports based on information in their payroll records. For more information on all methods available for filing wage reports, please visit our Employer’s Quarterly Wage Report Filing Options page.

In addition, TWC offers three electronic methods for making payments: ACH Debit from a bank account, Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) and Credit Card. Payments scheduled over the Internet for automated account debit can be scheduled anytime within the current month for payment and edited or deleted prior to processing by TWC. For more information about all available payment methods, visit our Payment Options for Unemployment Tax page.

For additional information about filing and paying your taxes electronically, please contact your nearest Texas Workforce Commission Tax office.

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October 2013

2014 Unemployment Insurance Tax Rate

Computation of the 2014 unemployment insurance tax rate is based on your employment experience for the past twelve calendar quarters. Benefit payments charged to your tax account and taxable wages, which you have reported and on which you have paid taxes, are used in the computation.

The Labor Code, Texas Unemployment Compensation Act, provides that only taxable wages on which taxes have been paid by October 31, 2013 can be used to compute your tax rate. If you have unreported wages or unpaid taxes that are due from the twelve quarters proceeding October 1, 2013, you are encouraged to submit your report(s) and payment by October 31, 2013. Failure to pay unemployment insurance taxes may cause your 2014 tax rate to increase.

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September 2013

Texas Payday Law Poster

The Texas Payday Law poster is required by the Texas Payday Law, Texas Labor Code, Chapter 61.

If a business is not liable under the Texas Unemployment Compensation Act, but as a Texas employer is subject to the Texas Payday Law, use the Texas Payday Law poster links below, or request it at 800-832-9243 or 512-475-2670.

If a business's employees are entitled to file for state unemployment benefits and are also covered by the Texas Payday Law, request the poster that combines both laws: Texas Unemployment Compensation Act and the Texas Payday Law.

You can request posters online using Unemployment Tax Services. If you prefer, you can fax your request to 512-936-3205. When faxing a request for posters, please include your Texas Workforce Commission Tax account number, your address for mailing posters, and the number of posters you need printed in English and in Spanish (Spanish-language posters are not a requirement). You can also order posters by calling 512-463-2747 or any TWC local tax office.

To view a comprehensive listing and links to workplace posters, visit our Posters at the Workplace page.

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August 2013

Unemployment Tax Registration - Acquisition Question

If you have acquired all or part of another TWC account, please enter the information in the acquisitions section of your registration. Texas law requires that we record an acquisition when you have acquired all or part, by any means, of the organization, trade, business, or workforce of another liable employer.

An acquisition includes:

  • Sole proprietor incorporating
  • Mergers
  • Re-organizations resulting in new legal entity
  • Transfer of employees to another entity

If you need assistance or have questions concerning acquisitions, please contact Tax Status at tax.statussection@twc.state.tx.us.

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July 2013

Staff Leasing Company/Professional Employer Organization (PEO) - Employee Leasing

If you lease your employees from a Staff Leasing Company or a Professional Employer Organization (PEO), Texas state law requires the Leasing Company have a current license issued by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). To verify that the Leasing Company you are using has a current license, contact TDLR at 800-803-9202 or visit their website. If the Leasing Company you are using doesn't have a current license, it is your responsibility to report your leased employees under your own TWC account number. You may also be held responsible for filing prior quarterly wage reports and paying related taxes.

If you have any questions regarding the reporting of leased employees, please contact the nearest Unemployment Tax Office.

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June 2013

The Importance of Keeping Your Account Administrator Information Current – Unemployment Tax Services

Account administrators play an important role in managing TWC tax account information online. Depending on the permissions granted, they file quarterly reports, pay taxes, manage bank account information, update phone numbers and addresses, and close accounts.

Many situations necessitate changing account administrators, such as:

  • Change in payroll services
  • Current account administrator leaves employment
  • Sale of business
  • Death
  • Divorce

Avoid losing online access and protect your account information by keeping your account administrator information current.

For more information about account administration, requesting access, and permissions, visit the Unemployment Tax Service Request Access FAQ page.

If you have questions, please contact your nearest tax office.

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May 2013

Unemployment Tax Services – Calculation of Your Taxable Wage Base

Taxable wages are calculated and tax is paid only on the first $9,000.00 of wages paid to each employee during the calendar year.

Employers should ensure they are properly calculating the wage base used to compute their unemployment taxes.

Use of Unemployment Tax Services to file wage reports will ensure proper calculation of the wage base as long as the employee wage information has been entered correctly.

By using Unemployment Tax Services:

  • You can eliminate overpayment of unemployment taxes.
  • You help resolve the misreporting of information to the Internal Revenue Service regarding your unemployment tax account.
  • You help eliminate the need for corrections to your tax account.

To use Unemployment Tax Services requires registration. During the quick and simple registration process, you will create a User ID and password that will be used each time you access the online system. To register and to learn about other online services, visit Unemployment Tax Services.

If you have questions, please contact your nearest tax office.

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Last Verified: April 09, 2014

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