The reemployment assistance program is a federal-state partnership. Each state determines benefit qualification levels and amounts, benefit duration,
disqualifications, and tax structure, within federal limits.
For example, federal guidelines require each state to:
- Base its tax structure on benefit experience
- Have a new employer tax rate of at least 1.0%
- Have a maximum tax rate of at least 5.4%
- Have a taxable wage base of at least $7,000
Each state sets tax rates, benefit levels, and trust fund balances based on that state's needs. Each state has its own benefit trust fund account within the U.S.
Treasury. In Florida, the account is funded by a tax paid by employers.
Florida assigns new employers an initial tax rate of 2.7%. This rate stays in effect for the first 10 quarters. At the end of this period, an employer has enough
history to qualify for an experience-based tax rate. The formula for calculating the rate combines three major factors:
- The individual benefit ratio makes up the greatest portion of the employer's final tax rate. This ratio is calculated by dividing the previous three years
of benefit charges for former employees by the taxable payroll for that same three-year period. The benefits charged and the size of the payroll have a
direct effect on the employer's tax rate.
The variable adjustment factor (multiplier) is made up of three ratios that spread the costs among employers that have had benefit charges in the three
- The timely reported taxable payroll uses up to $7,000 for each employee.
The final adjustment factor spreads costs not included in the second factor to all employers whose rates are not at the initial or maximum rate. This
factor is also distributed among employers who had no benefit charges in the preceding three years. This factor determines the minimum rate for the tax year.
- The last three years of non-charged benefits (those not attributable to any employer).
- Excess payments (the portion of benefit charges which exceed the maximum rate of 5.4%).
- The fund size factor, which, depending on the amount in the trust fund, may affect the tax rate. If the amount in the trust fund is between 4% and 5% of
the previous year’s taxable payroll, no adjustment factor is made to the tax rate. If the balance in the trust fund is below 4% of the previous
year's taxable payroll, a positive adjustment factor is computed each year until the fund balance equals or exceeds 4% of the previous year’s taxable
payroll. A positive adjustment factor will increase tax rates. If the balance in the trust fund is above 5% of the previous year’s taxable payroll, a
negative adjustment factor is computed each year until the fund balance is less than 5% of the previous year’s taxable payroll. A negative adjustment
factor will decrease tax rates.
Ideally, each employer would pay the exact amount of reemployment assistance benefits that are chargeable to his or her account. This is not possible because the
maximum contribution rate is 5.4%, and sometimes benefit payments are not charged to a specific employer. These added costs are divided among all rated employers through
the variable adjustment factor and the final adjustment factor. Each employer's contribution rate is his or her benefit cost, plus a share of unassigned costs. This keeps
the reemployment assistance program solvent.
Reemployment Tax Rate Computation Effective 2021 through 2025
Recent legislation changed Florida’s reemployment tax rate computation for rates effective 2021 through 2025
The new rate calculation for 2021 excludes all benefit charges from the second quarter of 2020 and prevents the application of the positive adjustment factor, which normally
increases rates automatically if the trust fund balance is below a certain amount.
Tax rates effective January 1, 2022, will exclude charges from the second, third and fourth quarters of 2020 and all benefit charges paid as a direct result of a government
order to close or reduce capacity of a business due to COVID-19, as determined by the Department of Economic Opportunity. The tax rate calculation will also exclude the application
of the positive adjustment factor (trust fund trigger). Lastly, benefit charges from the first and second quarters of 2021 may be decreased if the Office of Economic and Demographic
Research (EDR) estimates total tax collection for rate year 2022 will exceed $475.5 million. Since EDR has until January 1, 2022, to advise the Department whether to decrease benefit
charges, the Department has until March 1, 2022, to post rates for the 2022 calendar year.
Tax rates effective January 1, 2023 through December 31, 2025, will exclude charges from the second, third and fourth quarters of 2020 and all benefit charges paid as a direct result
of a government order to close or reduce capacity of a business due to COVID-19, as determined by the Department of Economic Opportunity. The tax rate calculation will also exclude the
application of the positive adjustment factor (trust fund trigger). Lastly, benefit charges from the first and second quarters of 2021 may be decreased if EDR estimates total tax collection
for rate year 2022 will exceed $475.5 million. These changes to the tax rate calculation are repealed if the trust fund reaches $4,071,519,600 on June 1.
Employers can help reduce tax rates by providing complete and accurate information needed to determine a claimant's eligibility for benefits.
Improper payment of benefits is a serious problem that has a financial impact on employers. Here's how you can prevent improper payments and protect your tax rate:
- Report all new and rehired employees to the Florida New Hire Reporting Center by the due date, as required by federal
law. Timely reporting helps prevent improper payment of benefits after an individual has returned to work.
- Respond promptly to any Request for Verification of Weekly Earnings. Verifying earnings ensures that the correct amount of reemployment
assistance is paid for weeks of partial unemployment.
- Provide complete and accurate employee separation information. The employer's timely response to the
Determination Notice of Reemployment Assistance Claim Filed (Form UCB-412) is used, in part, to determine the claimant's
eligibility for reemployment assistance.
Employers who do not comply with state and federal requirements for providing employee information risk higher costs through increased taxes, fines, or
For questions about benefit eligibility and payment, contact the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Reemployment Assistance Program at 800-204-2418.
If an employer transfers all or part of its business to another employer and, at the time of the transfer, there is any common ownership, management or control of the
two employers, the unemployment experience attributable to the transferred business must be transferred to the employer to whom the business is transferred. (Note that
Florida law defines “business” to include the employer’s workforce/employees).
If the transfer was made with the intention of obtaining a lower reemployment tax rate (referred to as State Unemployment Tax Administration [SUTA] Dumping), a
penalty rate of 2% of taxable wages shall be added to both employers’ rates for three years. In addition, an intentional violation of this provision makes it a
felony of the third degree.
Payrolling is an agreement between employers where one employer agrees to report the payroll of another employer for reemployment tax purposes. Each employer
maintains direction and control of their workers and the businesses do not change. The only change is that the payroll of one employer is reported to the Department by
another employer for convenience.
Florida law requires each legal entity to report only its own employees, therefore, payrolling is not permitted. It is essential under Chapter 443, Florida Statutes,
that each employer report only its own employees to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the employer’s reemployment tax rate.