BATON ROUGE, La. – All Louisiana employers now are required to file quarterly unemployment wage and tax reports electronically with the Louisiana Workforce Commission, a change that most of Louisiana’s businesses already have made.
Wage and tax reports for the first quarter of 2014 are due via e-filing no later than April 30.
In 2008, the state Legislature voted to require all employers to e-file unemployment wage and tax reports, and established penalties for employers who do not comply. In the five years since then, deadlines for employers to e-file were phased in, with larger employers required to e-file sooner. As of Jan. 31, 2014, all employers regardless of size now must file electronically.
So far, 90 percent of the state’s roughly 100,000 employers have switched successfully to e-filing.
“Employers who file online spend less time filing and experience fewer errors,” said Curt Eysink, executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission. “Employers and workers are all benefiting from Louisiana’s more efficient wage and tax system. E-filing gives employers one more advantage over competitors in other states.”
Louisiana employers pay the lowest unemployment insurance tax rate in the country along with South Dakota and Washington, D.C., due largely to improvements and achievements including:
•More than 99 percent of disputed claims and claims with technical errors are resolved in fewer than 10 days
•Fraud and overpayments have been cut by 25 percent since 2012
•Louisiana’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund ranks 5th strongest in the country
The LWC has reduced Louisiana’s unemployment insurance costs by fully integrating re-employment services in the unemployment claims process, which means unemployed individuals return to work sooner.
The LWC’s tax staff has been working closely with employers statewide for the past several years, informing them of the new e-filing requirement through presentations and one-on-one meetings. Each quarterly statement mailed to Louisiana employers for the past two years has included notices about the new requirement, reminding employers of the approaching filing deadline. Mailings also included instructions for seeking LWC staff assistance with setting up accounts and learning the e-filing steps.
The benefits of e-filing include:
•Secure filing any time from any internet-connected computer or tablet
•Automatic calculation of wages in excess of the $7,700 taxable wage base
•Automatic calculation of taxes due, saving employers time and reducing errors
•An electronic payment option means tax payments will post faster
•Employers can view, amend and print reports
Paper forms and reports will no longer be accepted by the LWC, and are no longer available for download on the LWC’s website. Eliminating procurement, printing, postage, storage, replacement, stocktaking and distributing printed forms greatly reduces costs for employers and for the agency.
To help employers avoid penalties for failing to comply with the mandatory e-filing deadline, LWC customer service staff is available to provide additional assistance, including:
•Assistance by telephone
•Assistance in locating a public facility with computer resources for employers without them
•In-person assistance by appointment
For more information about online wage and tax reporting services, visit http://www.laworks.net and select the link under Businesses for “File Wages and Taxes.”
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