Taxable wage base

The taxable wage base is the maximum amount on which you must pay taxes for each employee. The rate is calculated each year based on average wages in Washington.

  • 2020 - $52,700
  • 2019 - $49,800
  • 2018 - $47,300
  • 2017 - $45,000
  • 2016 - $44,000
  • 2015 - $42,100
  • 2014 - $41,300
  • 2013 - $39,800
  • 2012 - $38,200
  • 2011 - $37,300
  • 2010 - $36,800
  • 2009 - $35,700
  • 2008 - $34,000
  • 2007 - $31,400
  • 2006 - $30,900
  • 2005 - $30,500


Example for 2020

  • If the employee's salary = $50,000, pay taxes on $50,000.
  • If the employee's salary = $53,000, pay taxes on $52,700 of their wages.

The amount over the taxable wage base of $52,700 ($300 in the example) is considered excess wages. Excess wages are reported (for unemployment-insurance benefits purposes), but are subtracted from the employee's total wages, so they do not pay taxes on the amount above the taxable wage base ($52,700 in 2020).