Vision Payroll

April 19, 2014

Important Notice for All Massachusetts Employers Regarding Unemployment Tax Rates

 

Release of Massachusetts Unemployment Rates Is Delayed

Release of Massachusetts Unemployment Rates Is Delayed

Due to late action by the Massachusetts legislature and the governor, unemployment rates will NOT be available by the legally mandated deadline of April 20, 2014.

At Vision Payroll, we will be submitting wage information by the filing deadline of April 30, 2014. Employer rates will not be available until May 19, 2014. Unemployment contributions must be paid by May 30, 2014.

Although the rate schedule used to determine the rates remains unchanged from 2013, most employers will have a different rate for 2014. That is because in addition to the rate tables, employer rates are determined by wages paid, unemployment benefits charged directly to your account, and the solvency assessment that the state charges employers to pay for benefits paid to the employees of other employers.

If your rate increases from 2013 to 2014, we will need to withdraw additional money beginning May 19, 2014 to pay the additional tax by the deadline. We will contact all employers with the additional amount due. Additionally, we will begin to collect with the new rate (higher or lower) with each payroll as soon as possible after rates are released. Further, with the last payroll of the second quarter, we will make the final adjustment for second quarter taxes.

Since we cannot finalize your first quarter quarterlies until the new unemployment rates are released, we are not going to post online or mail out quarterly packages for affected employers. If you need certain forms, e.g., for a workers comp audit, please contact our offices and we can make them available. Otherwise, we will be sending first quarter packages to affected employers in late May and early June.

Please contact Vision Payroll if you have any questions.

August 12, 2011

Question of the Week: How Is Our Massachusetts DUA Experience Rate Determined?

How Is Our Massachusetts DUA Experience Rate Determined?
How Is Our Massachusetts DUA Experience Rate Determined?
This week’s question comes from Josh, a company owner. We’re paying more in state unemployment tax this year than we have in the past. Even though we didn’t lay anyone off, our DUA experience rate increased from last year. How is our Massachusetts DUA experience rate determined? Answer: The DUA Experience rate is determined by the Massachusetts Division of Unemployment Assistance (DUA), which is headquartered in Boston. The DUA also has career centers throughout the state including Attleboro, Brockton, Cambridge, Everett, Fall River, Gardner, Gloucester, Greenfield, Haverhill, Holyoke, Hyannis, Lawrence, Leominster, Lowell, Lynn, Marlboro, Milford, New Bedford, Newtonville, Northampton, Norwood, Pittsfield, Plymouth, Quincy, Salem, Southbridge, Springfield, Taunton, Wareham, Woburn, and Worcester.

DUA Account Is a Record of Four Types of Adjustments

The DUA maintains an individual account for every employer required to pay unemployment insurance contributions. The account balance is an accumulation of the following four types of adjustments:

  • The employer’s wages subject to contribution,
  • The contributions actually paid by the employer,
  • The unemployment insurance benefits charged to the employer, and
  • Any account balance adjustment.

Computation Year Runs from October 1 To September 30

The account also provides an opening and a closing balance for the computation year (October 1 through September 30). An account balance carries over from year to year as long as the employer is required to file quarterly reports.

Account Balance Is Used to Determine Contribution Rate

DUA uses each employer’s account to determine an annual contribution rate for that employer. The experience rating process is the method used to determine the rate.

September 30 Is the Computation Date

The last day of each fiscal year, September 30, is called the “computation date” when an employer account is closed to compute the rates for the following calendar year. Contributions paid in October are credited to the employer’s account as if paid in September.

Vision Payroll Will Provide Further Information on the Experience Rating System

Over the next several weeks, Vision Payroll will provide further information on the experience rating system. Contact Vision Payroll if you have specific questions about the experience rating system that you would like to have addressed.

March 18, 2011

Question of the Week: What Is the Solvency Assessment in Massachusetts?

Filed under: News — Tags: , , — Vision @ 4:34 pm
MA EOLWD Secretary Joanne F. Goldstein
This week’s question comes from Stan, an HR manager. We just received our Notice of Employers Unemployment Insurance Contribution Rate Statement of Account Balance from the Massachusetts Division of Unemployment Assistance (DUA). A solvency assessment was subtracted from our account balance. What is the solvency assessment in Massachusetts? Answer: The solvency assessment is used to pay benefits that are not assigned to an individual employer.

Three Main Charges To the Solvency Assessment Account

The solvency account has three main charges as follows:

  1. Dependency allowances
  2. State-funded extended benefits, and
  3. Benefits paid when claimants are in DUA approved training programs.

Solvency Assessment Is not Paid Directly, but Reduces the Employer’s Account Balance

The solvency assessment is not paid through the DUA QUEST system, but is applied to the account balance when calculating the employer’s new rate. The solvency assessment rate of 1.22% for 2010 (1.71% for 2011) is multiplied by the employer’s taxable wages for the period to determine the total solvency assessment to be applied to each account.

More Questions on the Massachusetts Solvency Assessment?

Contact Vision Payroll if you have further questions on the Massachusetts solvency assessment.

March 7, 2011

Massachusetts Releases Payroll Unemployment Tax Rates for 2011

MA EOLWD Secretary Joanne F. Goldstein
The Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) has released the 2011 contribution rates. Employers apply the rates to taxable payroll to determine the amount of tax due.

Many 2011 Employer Rates Remain Unchanged

Although the new construction employer rate and the solvency assessment rate have both increased, the  new non-construction employer rate, the minimum rate, the maximum positive rate, and the maximum rate all remain unchanged. The following table provides rates for 2011 and 2010.

Rate2011 2010
New non-construction employer rate 2.83% 2.83%
New construction employer rate 8.62% 7.84%
Minimum rate 1.26% 1.26%
Maximum positive rate 6.14% 6.14%
Maximum rate12.27%12.27%
Solvency assessment 1.71% 1.22%

Solvency Assessment Is not Paid Directly

The Solvency Assessment is applied by the Division of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) when calculating an employer’s Statement of Account Balance. It is applied to the employer’s taxable wages for the period.

Still Have Questions on 2011 Massachusetts Unemployment Tax Rates

Contact Vision Payroll for further information on 2011 Massachusetts unemployment tax rates.

February 20, 2011

Massachusetts Releases 2011 UHI Contribution Rates

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , — Vision @ 8:29 am

The Massachusetts Division of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) has released the UHI contribution rates for 2011. According to MGL c. 151A, §14G(f):

There shall be a rate review board composed of the commissioner of medical assistance or his designee, the deputy director of employment and training or his designee and the commissioner of insurance or his designee. The rate review board shall determine if the unemployment health insurance contribution rate and the unemployment health insurance contribution wage base established in this section shall be adequate to provide for the estimated costs for the subsequent year of unemployment health insurance programs established pursuant to subsection (j) provided by said division of employment and training. If in the opinion of said board the unemployment health insurance contribution wage base or the unemployment health insurance contribution rate as established above would be inadequate to properly fund the unemployment health insurance program, said rate of health insurance inflation or the unemployment health insurance contribution rate shall be appropriately adjusted in order to properly fund said unemployment health insurance program.

On or before November 30 of each year, the deputy director of employment and training shall certify to said board the estimated costs for the subsequent year of health insurance programs provided by the division of employment and training for individuals and their families who are eligible for the health insurance program established by subsection (j) for individuals receiving unemployment insurance compensation. Such estimated costs shall be exclusive of amounts to be covered by premiums, co-payments, deductibles and co-insurance to be paid by covered individuals and any anticipated appropriations. The rate review board shall further adjust such estimated costs to reflect prudent levels of reserves sufficient to carry out the responsibilities of the division of employment and training for said unemployment health insurance program. If in the opinion of said board the rate of health insurance inflation on the unemployment health insurance contribution wage base as established or calculated above would be inadequate to properly fund said unemployment health insurance program, said rate of health insurance inflation or the unemployment health insurance contribution rate shall be appropriately adjusted in order to properly fund said health insurance programs.

2011 Rates to Increase for Most Employers

According to the DUA, for 2011 rates will be as follows:

The health insurance contribution rate is a flat rate of 0.36% for calendar year 2011 for all subject employers—except for those meeting the exempt or reduced rate criteria. (Employers operating within two calendar years following the “newly subject” status pay at rates of 0.04% and 0.08%, respectively.)

Contact Vision Payroll if you have any questions on the 2011 UHI contribution rates.

March 29, 2010

Massachusetts Releases 2010 Employer Contribution Rates for Unemployment Taxes

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , — Vision @ 12:14 pm

The Massachusetts Division of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) has released the 2010 employer contribution rates for unemployment taxes. Employers may check their rate using QUEST. Rates were determined using Schedule E, the same schedule as was used in 2009. Even though the rate schedule remained the same, individual employer rates generally changed based on activity in their account during the measurement period of October 1, 2008 to September 30, 2009. Since the rates were released late in the quarter, some employers may have significant overpayments or underpayments of tax because the rate differential must be applied to all subject wages for the entire first quarter.

Employers who received their rate decrease before the last payroll of the quarter will receive a credit in the last payroll of the quarter for the difference between the tax collected and the tax now due using the new rate. Employers who received their rate decrease after the last payroll of the quarter will receive a refund check for the difference between the tax collected and the tax now due using the new rate.

Employers who received their rate increase before the last payroll of the quarter will need to pay the additional tax equal to the difference between the tax collected and the tax now due using the new rate in the last payroll of the quarter. Employers who received their rate increase after the last payroll of the quarter will need to pay the additional tax equal to the difference between the tax collected and the tax now due using the new rate in an additional end-of-quarter payroll.

The adjustment in the last payroll or additional payroll should be the only adjustment required to correct the tax liability for 2010. Contact Vision Payroll if you have further questions on the 2010 employer contribution rates for unemployment taxes.

March 28, 2010

Massachusetts Releases 2010 UHI Contribution Rates

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , — Vision @ 10:42 pm

The Massachusetts Division of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) has released the UHI contribution rates for 2010. According to MGL c. 151A, §14G(f):

There shall be a rate review board composed of the commissioner of medical assistance or his designee, the deputy director of employment and training or his designee and the commissioner of insurance or his designee. The rate review board shall determine if the unemployment health insurance contribution rate and the unemployment health insurance contribution wage base established in this section shall be adequate to provide for the estimated costs for the subsequent year of unemployment health insurance programs established pursuant to subsection (j) provided by said division of employment and training. If in the opinion of said board the unemployment health insurance contribution wage base or the unemployment health insurance contribution rate as established above would be inadequate to properly fund the unemployment health insurance program, said rate of health insurance inflation or the unemployment health insurance contribution rate shall be appropriately adjusted in order to properly fund said unemployment health insurance program.

On or before November 30 of each year, the deputy director of employment and training shall certify to said board the estimated costs for the subsequent year of health insurance programs provided by the division of employment and training for individuals and their families who are eligible for the health insurance program established by subsection (j) for individuals receiving unemployment insurance compensation. Such estimated costs shall be exclusive of amounts to be covered by premiums, co-payments, deductibles and co-insurance to be paid by covered individuals and any anticipated appropriations. The rate review board shall further adjust such estimated costs to reflect prudent levels of reserves sufficient to carry out the responsibilities of the division of employment and training for said unemployment health insurance program. If in the opinion of said board the rate of health insurance inflation on the unemployment health insurance contribution wage base as established or calculated above would be inadequate to properly fund said unemployment health insurance program, said rate of health insurance inflation or the unemployment health insurance contribution rate shall be appropriately adjusted in order to properly fund said health insurance programs.

According to the DUA, for 2010 rates will be as follows:

The health insurance contribution rate is a flat rate of 0.24% for calendar year 2010 for all subject employers—except for those meeting the exempt or reduced rate criteria. (Employers operating within two calendar years following the “newly subject” status pay at rates of 0.04% and 0.08%, respectively.)

Contact Vision Payroll if you have any questions on the 2010 UHI contribution rates.

February 16, 2010

QUEST Extension Expires Today

Filed under: News — Tags: , , — Vision @ 4:35 pm

The Massachusetts Division of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) previously extended the due date for quarterly filings using the new QUEST (Quality Unemployment System Transformation) program two weeks. Since February 15, 2010 was Washington’s Birthday, a federal and state holiday, the deadline was further extended until today, February 16, 2010. Employers who file and pay by today’s extended due date will not be assessed interest or penalties. Filings and payments after today’s extended due date will result in interest and penalties assessed starting on the original due date of February 1, 2010, not the extended due date. Contact Vision Payroll if you have any questions on complying with the DUA’s QUEST program.

January 8, 2010

Question of the Week: How Do I Register Vision Payroll as My TPA in QUEST?

This week’s question comes from Perry, an office manager. I’ve registered my business with the Massachusetts Division of Unemployment Assistance (DUA). How do I register Vision Payroll as my TPA in QUEST? Answer: Once you have completed activating your QUEST account on-line and established your permanent password and PIN at www.mass.gov/uima, log in to your account, select and execute the following:

From the Employer Home page:

Select the Account Maintenance page

Select the Third Party Administrator (TPA) Authorization link

Click the ‘NEW’ button

Enter Vision Payroll’s ID Number 100028 and click ‘NEXT’

Vision Payroll’s name will appear.

Select the current day’s date (mm/dd/yyyy) when asked when services are commencing

Leave the service end date field blank

Assign the following roles to Vision Payroll by clicking on the appropriate boxes displayed:

  • Account Maintenance Update and Submit
  • Payments Update and Submit
  • Employment and Wage Detail Update and Submit

Click the ‘Save’ button

Return to the home page and log off the web site

Vision Payroll will then have authorization to provide the same filing services through QUEST as have been performed in the past. Contact Vision Payroll if you have any questions on QUEST.

October 2, 2009

Question of the Week: What Do I Need to Do to Get Ready for QUEST?

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , — Vision @ 4:03 pm

This week’s question comes from Thomas, a controller. I received a notification from the Massachusetts Division of Unemployment Assistance concerning their new QUEST program. What do I need to do to get ready for QUEST? Answer: QUEST (Quality Unemployment System Transformation) is the new online unemployment insurance system scheduled to be available on December 7, 2009. Soon all registered employers will be receiving a letter with their user ID and temporary password. Someone must logon, reset the password, list an Account Administrator, verify the employer account information, make updates, and provide missing information. Clients of Vision Payroll will also need to authorize Vision Payroll as their agent and select the roles that Vision Payroll will perform. When you receive this notification, contact Vision Payroll for assistance in registering with the QUEST system.

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