Determining your tax rates

Washington's unemployment-insurance program is an experience-based system. In general, your tax rate depends on how much your former workers collect in unemployment benefits and the size of your payroll.

There are two major components of state unemployment taxes, an experience-rating tax based on an average of the employer's layoff history over the past four fiscal years and a shared-cost (social) tax based on costs from the previous year that can't be attributed to a specific employer.

Employers with delinquent tax bills also may receive a range of delinquent-tax rates. The lowest delinquent-tax rate for experienced employers in 2021 is 0.83 percent, and the highest is 7.73 percent.


Resources:

2021 Tax rate table for employers

2021 Tax rate calculator

2021 Tax messaging sent to employers

2021 Legislative and Governor proposals for lowering taxes


Average tax rates

The 2021 average tax rate is 1.88%

The average tax rate in recent years has been:

2020 1.03%
2019 1.08%
2018 1.06%
2017 1.18%
2016 1.38%
2015 1.56%
2014 1.75%
2013 1.98%
2012 2.04%
2011 2.48%
2010 2.39%

Tax rate notices

Your tax rate for the following year is sent out in December and applies for the entire calendar year.

Additional tax rate information

2021 tax rates

Review the 2021 tax rate table (.pdf) for qualified and delinquent employers.

Calculate your tax rate

You can use our online calculators to figure out your tax rate. Use this calculator (.xls) if you have your taxable wages and benefit charges for the last four years.

New employers

If you are a new employer or haven't been in business long enough, you won't have enough "experience" to get your own tax rate. Instead, you will be assigned a rate based on your industry. For 2021, new employers will pay 115 percent of the average rate for all businesses in their respective industries.

Delinquent-tax rate

You must send all past-due taxes and/or late reports to us by September 30 to avoid a delinquent tax rate for the following year.

If you owe taxes and cannot make full payment, contact the collections unit by emailing esctax@esd.wa.gov for setting up a payment plan. If your payment plan is approved before September 30, you will receive your earned tax rate for the following year, rather than the delinquent rate.