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How to update State Unemployment Insurance rate

Learn how to update your State Unemployment Insurance (SUI) rate so your SUI tax liability is accurate for payroll.

Your state sets your State Unemployment Insurance (SUI) rate. This rate is unique to your business. If you’re a new employer, your state assigns you a “new employer rate” until you file unemployment taxes for a certain period of time.

Your state updates your State Unemployment Insurance (SUI) rate at the beginning of the year or the third quarter of the year. Whenever your SUI rate changes, you need to update it in payroll so the SUI tax liability stays accurate. Here's how to update your SUI rate in QuickBooks or Intuit payroll.

Important: For QuickBooks Online Payroll (Full Service, Core, Premium, and Elite), Intuit Full Service Payroll, and QuickBooks Assisted Payroll customers, if Intuit becomes aware that any of your tax agency information (including your new SUI rate) is inaccurate, we reserve the right to enter the correct information on your behalf.

State Unemployment Insurance is only paid by the employer, unless you’re in a state that requires employees to contribute.

If you got a tax rate notice from your state, here's how to read a SUI tax rate notice.

How to update your SUI rate

As soon as your state sends your new SUI rate, you can update it in payroll. Follow the steps for the payroll product you use:

Note: Don’t know what payroll service you have? Find out which payroll service you have.
Important: Deleting SUI rates in QuickBooks Online Payroll (Enhanced and Core) and Intuit Online Payroll (Enhanced)

 

You should only delete your SUI rate if you entered the wrong rate and you haven’t created paychecks using that rate. But if you have already created paychecks with an incorrect SUI rate, add the correct rate and its effective date. Your payroll product will retroactively adjust checks to correct your tax liability. When you get your new rates, enter it and its effective date for us to use when you create new paychecks. Don't delete past SUI rates for earlier periods.

This doesn't apply to QuickBooks Online Payroll (Full Service, Premium, Elite) or Intuit Online Payroll (Full Service).

If you use one of these payroll products, we’ll help you update your SUI rate.

Open your payroll product and go to the in-product Help to connect to a payroll expert. Let our team know you need to update your SUI rate. We'll take care of the rest.

  1. Go Settings ⚙ and select Payroll Settings.
  2. In the State tax section, select the Edit ✎ icon
  3. In the State Unemployment Insurance (SUI) Setup section, select Change or add new rate.
  4. Enter the new rate and effective date.
  5. Select OK to save the changes.

  1. Go to Settings ⚙ and select Payroll Settings.
  2. Select State Taxes.
  3. In the State Unemployment Insurance (SUI) Setup section, select Change or add new rate.
  4. Enter the new rate and effective date.
  5. Select OK to save changes

If changing the rate has caused a tax overpayment or underpayment, learn how to resolve a tax overpayment or fix a tax underpayment.

  1. Go to Setup.
  2. In the Payroll and Services section, select State taxes.
  3. In the State Unemployment Insurance (SUI) Setup, select Change or add new rate.
  4. Enter the new rate and effective date.
  5. Select OK to save the changes.

If you already ran payroll with the old SUI rate

If the rate you're adding is from the previous quarter, you'll be asked if you've filed your SUI from the updated date up to the current quarter. Select Yes or No.

If you already ran payroll from the effective date of the rate, the system tells you. It will adjust your SUI liability retroactively. Select Continue to proceed.

If changing the rate has caused a tax overpayment or underpayment, learn how to resolve a tax overpayment or fix a tax underpayment.

Each time your SUI rate changes, you need to update it in QuickBooks Desktop each time it changes. The SUI rate isn't part of normal tax table updates - you need to update it manually.

Tip: If you’re adding rates for next year, we recommend you to wait until the calendar date has changed to the new year. You'll only see fields for the current fiscal year.

  1. Go to the Lists menu and select Payroll Item List.
  2. Double-click the State Unemployment Tax item. This is usually called: [state abbreviation] - Unemployment Company.
  3. Select Next until you reach the page “Company tax rates”
  4. Enter the correct rates for each quarter. Tip: If your computer date is between 7/1 and 1/1 of two subsequent years (for example, 7/01/2019 and 1/01/2020), you'll also be able to add the rate for the first quarter of the following year.
  5. After you enter the correct rates, select Next and then Next.
  6. When you're done, select Finish.

This updates your SUI rates.

If you have surcharges or assessments

 

Do you have a surcharge or assessment for state unemployment? If so, you may need to update additional rates in QuickBooks.

  1. Go to the List menu and select Payroll Item List.
  2. Double-click the state surcharge item.
  3. Select Next and follow the onscreen steps.
  4. On the Company Tax Rate page, enter the rate as percentage.

How to fix SUI rate issues

Do you see an error message when you try to update your SUI rate? Don't worry. Here's what to do to fix SUI rate issues.

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