How do I find out that a former employee has filed a claim for unemployment compensation?
Once an initial claim is filed, a request for separation information is mailed to the last (30-day) employer. The employer should return this form within seven calendar days to the address listed on the form. If the reason for separation is other than lack of work, full details must be provided. The last employer may also be contacted by phone by a Claims Examiner with regard to the claimant's separation. This is normally done to clarify information provided on the returned separation report. The last employer also has the option of responding to the request for separation information via the Internet, following instructions that are printed on the request for separation form.
In addition to receiving the request for separation information form, the last employer will also receive a copy of the Claimant's Monetary Determination. This form indicates the claimant's weekly benefit amount and the maximum amount that he/she may potentially collect.
Employers for whom a claimant has worked during his/her base period will also receive a notification that an initial claim has been filed. This form will indicate the base period wages reported by the employer, the percentage of total benefits that may be charged to the employer and the total potential maximum charge. Employers should review this form carefully to ensure that base period wage information is correct. If the base period wages do not agree with quarterly wages previously reported on the quarterly/annual payroll report submitted to the Department of Employment Services, or if the employer has no record of the individual having ever been an employee, the employer should notify the office indicated on the form.
How do I know what charges are applied to my account?
Each quarter, you will receive a charge statement detailing all charges against your account for that particular quarter. The statement lists the claimant's name, Social Security number, and total charges. As a base period employer, you are liable for the cost of benefits paid to your former employees through "charges" to your employer account. Benefits are charged in proportion to the percentage of total base period wages you paid. For example if you paid 100 percent of the base period wages, you would be charged 100 percent of the benefits paid. If you paid only 25 percent of the base period wages, your account would be charged for 25 percent of the benefits paid.
Contributory employers are not charged in the following circumstances:
- When benefits are paid subsequent to a claimant's re-qualification after being disqualified for voluntarily leaving his/her last employer without good cause connected with the work, or for misconduct in the course of the last work, all base period contributory employers automatically are relieved of such charges.
- When benefits are paid to an individual who is a continuing part-time employee of an employer other than the separating employer, the continuing contributory employer is eligible for non-charging of benefits. It is the responsibility of the continuing contributory employer to notify DOES in this case.
- When extended benefits are paid to an individual who has exhausted regular benefits, all base period contributory employers are automatically relieved of charges for extended benefits.
- When a benefit overpayment is established on benefits that have been charged to employers' accounts, the accounts are credited for the amount of the overpayment in the same percentage that the accounts are charged.
Non-charging does not apply to a reimbursable employer. Such employers are responsible for all benefits charged to their accounts for regular UI, and for the non-federal share of extended benefits that is charged to their accounts. Reimbursable employers only receive a credit against benefit overpayments for the amount of the overpayment that is repaid by the claimant.
Charges to your account are one of the three factors that enter into the calculation of your annual tax rate (the other factors are taxes paid and total payroll). Therefore, charges could increase your tax rate.
Employers who reimburse the Fund receive a quarterly bill (Form UC-244) accompanied by a detailed listing of each charge against their account. Payment of this bill must be made within 30 days.
Do the funds in my account earn interest?
Tax contributions paid by employers are deposited in the District Unemployment Fund, which is an account in the Unemployment Trust Fund in the Treasury of the United States. The District maintains a separate account for each employer. Each year the District Unemployment Fund earns interest from the federal government. The interest earned is credited to each employer account that has a positive reserve (funds credited to the account for contributions and prior years interest exceed charges to the account for payment of benefits). The interest is credited on a pro rata basis that represents the ratio of the credit balance in each individual account to the total of all the credit balances in all employer accounts as of the computation date.
I received a notice that I am being audited by DOES Tax. Why am I being audited?
Section 51-117 of the District of Columbia Unemployment Compensation Law authorizes DOES to audit the records of DC employers. Each year DOES audits a random sample of contributory employers as recommended by the US Department of Labor.
The primary objectives of the tax audit program are to:
- Insure compliance with the taxing provisions of the District of Columbia Unemployment Compensation Law;
- Foster understanding by employers of the unemployment compensation law;
- Maintain good agency-employer relationships through dissemination of information pertaining to the overall employment security program.
A field auditor reviews an employer's acknowledged payroll and searches records for misclassified wages. The records reviewed and searched may include:
- All cancelled checks
- Time cards
- Cash vouchers
- Cash disbursement journal
- General ledgers
- Individual earnings records
- Check register
- Payroll journal
- DOES tax reports
- IRS Form 940
- W-3 and W2s
- IRS Forms 1099, 1096 and master vendor files
- Petty cash
- Chart of accounts
- Profit and loss statement
- Corporate minutes
- Federal tax returns (1040, 1120, 1120S, etc.)
- Any other records which may reflect services
I am moving my employees out of DC. Can I get a refund of the money I paid into my account?
No. Amounts paid by employers are deposited in the District Unemployment Fund, which is an account in the Unemployment Trust Fund in the Treasury of the United States. The District maintains a separate account for each employer that is credited for contributions received, credited for interest distributions when the account has a positive balance and debited for charges applied against the account. Funds credited to an employer's account are not refundable.
I no longer have employees in the District of Columbia. How do I terminate my account?
Submit a written request to the Tax Division by letter, or indicate on your last and final Contribution and Wage Report that you no longer have employees.