Important messages to all employers and third-party administrators
1. You must use the new version of EAMS to file.
EAMS is the Employer Account Management Services system for filing quarterly wage reports and paying unemployment taxes. The upgraded EAMS is designed to perform better and improve your experience.
Log into the upgraded EAMS
- If you’re a new employer or if you’re already using upgraded EAMS, log into SecureAccess Washington.
Get the upgraded EAMS
- Log into SecureAccess Washington and sign into EAMS.
- You will see an upgrade alert at the top of the page.
- Select the link and follow the instructions.
Learn more about the upgrade:
- Watch a recent webinar. You can also view the presentation, which includes frequently asked questions and answers.
2. Update your files and software with our new payment addresses.
The Employment Security Department (ESD) changed to U.S. Bank for unemployment insurance taxes and benefits. As a result, our payment addresses for employers also changed.
Please update any processes, forms, files or software with these new addresses.
If you have employees working in Washington, you likely must pay unemployment taxes on their wages in this state. Tax reports or tax and wage reports are due quarterly. Liable employers must submit a tax report every quarter, even if there are no paid employees that quarter or taxes are unable to be paid.
Employer tips and information
Register your business/hire employees | Unemployment tax handbook (pdf) | Law and regulations | Frequently asked questions | Contact information by topic | Reporting fraud
On this page:
• Who and what to report
Filing wage reports and paying unemployment taxes
Refer to the About the Employer Account Management Services (EAMS) page.
Pay taxes only
Use ePay to pay your unemployment taxes online. To use ePay, you must have a confirmation number generated from EAMS.
How to use ePay | Login to ePay
Note: If you use paper forms to file your taxes, we will send you the forms in the mail. You must use the current, original forms we send you or you might receive a penalty. To request the latest forms, Email OlympiaAMC@esd.wa.gov.
Unemployment tax rates
Review the basis for your unemployment taxes:
- What you pay unemployment taxes on
- Taxable wage base
- How we determine your unemployment tax rate
- Common notices sent to employers
Calculate your unemployment taxes:
Learn more about how to appeal if you disagree with your unemployment tax rate.
Learn more about penalties for:
Request a tax-penalty waiver | Set up a payment plan
What to include in unemployment taxes
Who is excluded from unemployment taxes
Filing reports for clients
Unemployment Insurance is a federal-state partnership
Program parameters come from both federal statute and guidance and state statute and rules.
Every state has a UI trust fund
States deposit employer tax dollars in individual UI trust funds for paying future benefits.
- ESD produces Washington’s UI trust fund forecast report three times per year.
- Find current and archived reports on ESD's labor market page for the trust fund.
Employers pay two types of taxes: state (SUTA) and federal (FUTA)
- SUTA taxes fund benefit payments for claimants. They’re deposited in the state’s UI trust fund.
- FUTA taxes are administered at the federal level. They’re used for oversight of state unemployment programs. During times of high unemployment, states may borrow from FUTA funds, helping provide benefits to locally unemployed people.
State Unemployment Taxes (SUTA)
An employee’s wages are taxable up to an amount called the taxable wage base, authorized in RCW 50.24.010. This taxable wage base for 2023 is $67,600, increasing from $62,500 in 2022. The taxable wage base for 2021 was $56,500.
Experience tax currently capped at 5.4% (RCW 50.29.025(1)(a)(ii))
- Annual tax calculation based on the ratio of benefit claims of former employees charged to the employer and taxable wages reported by the employer over the preceding four fiscal years.
- Employers are placed in one of 40 rate classes based on former employees’ use of UI program.
Flat social tax currently capped at 0.50% (RCW 50.29.025)
- Shared-cost tax, based on costs from the previous year for benefit payments that can’t be attributed to specific employers.
- State law instructs ESD to adjust the flat social tax rate based on the employer’s rate class.
- The flat social tax is capped at 0.50% for 2021, 0.50% for 2022, 0.75% for 2023, 0.85% for 2024 and 0.90% for 2025. In all other years, the flat social tax is capped at 1.22%.
The total of the experience tax and the social tax can’t exceed 6%.
Solvency tax currently capped is waived (RCW 50.29.041)
- For taxes paid for 2021 through 2025, the solvency surcharge is currently waived.
- For all other years, state statute requires ESD to assess a solvency surcharge when the UI trust fund has less than seven months of benefits as of Sept. 30.
- The solvency surcharge will be the lowest possible rate needed to get the UI trust fund back up to nine months of benefits. ESD assesses the solvency tax for the following calendar year.
Federal Unemployment Taxes (FUTA)
Because Washington’s unemployment program conforms to federal law, state employers pay a FUTA tax of 0.6% on the first $7,000 of each employee’s wages. This is the same as last year.
Employers' records are audited to ensure that wages and hours are accurately reported as required by Washington state's unemployment-insurance laws and rules. Being selected for
- Learn more about audits
- Working with us during an audit
- Common findings
- What happens after an audit (pdf)
- Appealing audit findings