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Changes for WA Employment Security Tax Rates and New Reporting Requirement



Employment Security is implementing a number of changes resulting from new and old legislation.


  1. Changes to the WA Cares Fund withholding requirement

  2. Changes to the WA Cares Fund available Exemptions

  3. New 2022 Tax Rate Notices from WA Employment Security

  4. New reporting requirement - Standard Occupation Classification (SOC)


WA Cares Fund

Also known as the new Washington State Long-Term Care Program, the employee withholding requirement for the new WA Cares Fund has been moved to next year. Until then, employee withholding is not required.


If the WA Cares Fund was withheld from employees' paychecks, refund the amount to the employee(s).


More Information: https://wacaresfund.wa.gov/employers/


Employee Exemptions

Employee exemptions are now available for:

  • workers who live outside of Washington,

  • military spouses,

  • workers holding non-immigrant visas,

  • and certain veterans with disabilities.

Exemption applications for these individuals will become available on January 1, 2023.


As before, workers who wish to apply for an exemption because they hold a long-term care insurance plan can still apply for the exemption. The plan must have been purchased by Nov. 1, 2021. Employees must apply for the Exemption by December 31st, 2022.


>> Please be sure to make this information available to your employees right away.


More Information: https://wacaresfund.wa.gov/private-insurance/



New WA State Unemployment Rates

As a result of a new Senate Bill 5873, signed March 11, 2022, the WA State Unemployment tax rates will be reduced, retroactive 01-01-2022.


You should have received a new Tax Rate notice in the mail from Employment Security.


>> Please forward these rates to our email.


More information: https://esd.wa.gov/newsroom/bill-to-provide-unemployment-tax-relief-to-most-washington-employers


To update the new tax rates in QuickBooks Desktop:


  1. In QuickBooks, on the menu bar, Click: Lists > Payroll Item List

  2. Double-click: WA-Unemployment Company

  3. Click: Next > Next

  4. From the rate notice, enter the “Subtotal of unemployment insurance rate” in QuickBooks for all four Quarters. (Do not include the “Employment Administrative Fund (EAF)” rate.)

  5. Click: Next > Finish


The “Employment Administrative Fund (EAF)” rate should not have changed. If the rate did change, change it in QuickBooks as follows:

  1. In QuickBooks, on the menu bar, Click: Lists > Payroll Item List

  2. Double-click: WA - Employment Admin. Fund

  3. Click: Next > Next

  4. From the rate notice, enter the “Employment Administrative Fund (EAF)” in QuickBooks for the Company rate.

  5. Click: Next > Finish


To update the new tax rates in QuickBooks Online:

  1. Login to QuickBooks Online

  2. Click: Settings > Payroll settings

  3. Click: Edit (next to Washington State)

  4. Click: Change or add new rate (in the State Unemployment Insurance Setup sections)

  5. Enter the new rate from the rate notice, “Subtotal of unemployment insurance rate”

  6. Effective date: 01/01/2022

  7. Click: Ok


Standard Occupation Classification (SOC) Codes

The Washington State Legislature passed a law, back in 2019, requiring employers to report SOC codes on their quarterly reports for unemployment insurance. The reporting will start in the 4th Quarter of this year.


The SOC is a classification that determines an employee’s occupation.


A list of standard occupations (SOCs) is available in the link here: https://www.bls.gov/soc/2018/major_groups.htm


>> If Stewardship Tax & Accounting, LLC prepares your Payroll Tax Forms, please provide us with the SOC Code for each employee.


More information: https://esd.wa.gov/employer-taxes/about-soc?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery


Contact Us

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions in regards to the changes.

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