The North Carolina Division of Employment Security has sent out unemployment tax rate assignments that will be effective January 1, 2015. There are important facts to remember:

This Is Not a Bill

These letters are not bills requesting payment or notices of a refund. They are purely informational showing how the North Carolina unemployment tax rate for 2015 for your business is calculated. At the beginning of the notice in the upper left you will see “Tax Rate for Year Shown Above”. This percentage may be unchanged, increased, or decreased from 2014 depending on unemployment activity for each individual business. The rate is based on taxable wages and account balances as of July 31, 2014. Activity after this date will affect your 2016 unemployment rate. An explanation of how the rate is calculated is below the July 31, 2014 account balance.

Action is Required

Depending on a business’ payroll processing system the taxable wage base will need to be updated starting January 1, 2015. The taxable wage base per employee is now $21,700 up from $21,400 in 2014. The unemployment tax rate will also need to be updated (if changed) in the payroll system. Be sure to provide these notices to your payroll professional. More importantly, businesses should review these notices to ensure they are not being charged for unemployment claims in error.  If no former employees have claimed unemployment the businesses’ reserve account balance should be increasing for the year. Taking the time to give these letters a quick reasonableness test could save the business money in future years if unemployment claims are made.

Again, these rates are effective January 1, 2015 and not the date the statements are mailed or received. These rates will become final if not contested by May 1, 2015. There are instructions on contesting an unemployment rate on the notice. If your business does not receive a tax rate assignment by yearend we would recommend reaching out to the North Carolina Division of Employment Security for an updated rate online or by phone. Contact information is below:

Online – https://www.ncesc1.com/business/login.asp?txtURL=business/employerservices/employermain.asp&txtQuery=RTF%3DTAS

Phone – 919-707-1150