Most of us, as employers, are accustomed to paying our Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA) at a rate of 6.2 percent. This has been the rate (after credits for paying your state unemployment taxes in full and on time) since the 1970’s. This rate included a surtax of 0.2% and was supposed to be temporary. Temporary has finally become an accurate word. As of July 1, 2011, the surtax has been eliminated and the rate will be 6.0% for the wages we pay in the last half of the year. The tax is imposed on the first $7000 of wages and that has not changed.

Please don’t be confused if you usually think in terms of $56 per employee. There are credits available that make the effective rate we pay on tax form 940 only 0.8% for most of us. This still means for most employees we employers will still pay $56 since most employees earn more than $7000 during the first six months of the year. New employees or part-timers are the ones for which we employers will see a difference. For those who do their own payroll and pay the 940 tax themselves, please note this change and adjust your software accordingly. For those who use a payroll service, you should just verify that they are aware of the new rates. If you have any questions, please feel free to call the Agency Consulting Group Tax Hotline at 800-779-2430.