Recommendations and Considerations for Electronic Filing Systems for Unemployment Insurance Employer Wage and Tax Reporting

It is well documented that state workforce agency core computer systems are aging and increasingly difficult to maintain. States are in a period of sweeping change in electronic filing systems for employer Unemployment Insurance (UI) wage and contribution/tax reports. These next generation filing systems raise opportunities to expand e-filing and improve administrative efficiencies for state agencies and employers.

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The NPRC actively supports appropriate electronic filing and tax payment programs. We have worked extensively with state workforce/labor/UI agencies, the IRS and state revenue agencies, as well as organizations such as the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) and the Federation of Tax Administrators (FTA) to develop standards for electronic filing that make it easier for everyone to improve existing systems and develop new systems.

This document (download above) is intended to provide background information, best practices, and lessons learned related to UI electronic tax and wage reporting systems. It contains consensus recommendations for UI agency administrators, Information Technology (IT) leaders, system integrators and developers that will:

  • improve data quality;
  • leverage the best in new technologies;
  • increase administrative efficiencies;
  • reduce the burden to employers; and
  • improve employer customer satisfaction.

NPRC recognizes that these systems must also provide for state-specific reporting requirements. However, the use of standards and common data formats makes it easier for employers to implement and minimizes maintenance. This translates into more employers electronically filing.

Given an opportunity to replace a legacy production system, it is more important than ever to carefully consider design alternatives for electronic filing systems. Careful consideration may make the difference between efficient systems, and permanently burdening workforce agencies and employers with substantial and unproductive workload. The following pages describe - in brief - design considerations, standards and best practices.