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Its employers’ responsibility to withhold a certain amount for Federal and State income tax, FICA taxes such as social security and medicare tax, unemployment taxes such as FUTA and SUTA taxes.
In this article, we will be seeing more about the SUTA tax. The following are the topics covered.
SUTA, the State Unemployment Tax Act, is the state unemployment insurance program to benefit workers who lost their jobs. Employers contribute to the state unemployment program by paying SUTA tax every quarter, depending on the SUTA tax rate and the Wage Base. It is the employer's responsibility to withhold the tax and make payments.
In most states, it is the employer who contributes towards SUTA taxes. But in few states like Alaska, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, the SUTA program requires contribution from both employers and employees.
Some states refer to SUTA as State Unemployment Insurance (SUI) or Reemployment Tax. Also, some states provide exemptions from paying SUTA tax for nonprofits and businesses which employ fewer employees.
Employers must be aware of the taxable wage base per employee and the state unemployment tax rate to calculate the SUTA tax.
Each state has a standard SUTA tax rate for new employers, and it will be different for employers who are in the business for long. The table below shows the wage base limit and the SUTA rate for each state.
Employers dealing with frequent layoffs, and high employee turnover will have a higher SUTA tax rate as employees who lose their jobs will claim the unemployment benefits with the State. The lower the SUTA tax, an employer first needs to reduce the frequent layoffs and employee turnover.
When fewer workers claim unemployment benefits from the State due to job loss, the SUTA rate for the employer will be adjusted to a lower rate, thereby reducing the SUTA tax withholdings.
Most of the states don’t have an unemployment program for independent contractors or self-employed individuals. Employers who hire that kind of person are not required to pay the unemployment tax for them.
To pay the SUTA tax, the employer must have an unemployment tax account with the State. Only then the State will send details about the unemployment tax rate to the employer each year. The tax rate may vary each year, depending on the claim towards unemployment funds of the State.
Once the employer knows the SUTA tax rate to apply for their business, they are responsible for withholding and reporting their SUTA tax liabilities to the State every quarter.
Most of the states provide employers with an option to pay their taxes online. The employer must also report the deposited amount every quarter and submit an annual report for the same.
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