21.7.3 Unemployment Taxes

Manual Transmittal

August 19, 2019


(1) This transmits revised IRM 21.7.3, Business Tax Returns and Non-Master File Accounts, Unemployment Taxes.

Material Changes

(1) This IRM was revised to reflect the following changes:

IRM Subsection Description
IRM IPU 18U1535 issued 12-14-2018 - Updated credit reduction state table.
IRM Note Added second credit reduction state research option per SERP Feedback 201901842.
Exhibit 21.7.3-1 IPU 19U0618 issued 05-08-2019 - Updated State Unemployment Insurance Taxable Wage Base Table.
Editorial-type changes Editorial changes have been made throughout the IRM for clarity.

Effect on Other Documents

IRM 21.7.3, dated September 11, 2018 (effective October 1, 2018), is superseded. The following IRM Procedural Updates (IPU) have been incorporated into this IRM: 18U1535 issued December 14, 2018 and 19U0618 issued May 8, 2019.


The primary users of this IRM are Wage and Investment employees. The IRM is intended for Customer Account Service issues involving unemployment returns.

Effective Date


Karen A. Michaels
Director, Accounts Management
Wage and Investment Division

Program Scope and Objectives

  1. This section contains information on business master file (BMF) accounts related to the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA).

  2. Purpose: To provide procedures for resolving taxpayer inquiries (in-person, paper, and phone) and tax account issues regarding unemployment taxes.

  3. Audience: The primary users of this IRM are Customer Service Representatives and Tax Examining Assistants who are assigned unemployment tax program inquiries.

  4. Policy Owner: The policy owner is the Director, Accounts Management, Wage and Investment Division.

  5. Program Owner: The program owner is Process and Program Management (PPM), Accounts Management, Wage and Investment.

  6. Primary Stakeholders: The primary stakeholders are Wage and Investment (W&I), Small Business Self Employed (SBSE), and Large Business and International (LB&I).

  7. Program Goals: Program goals for this type of work are included in the Accounts Management Program Letter as well as IRM 1.4.16, Accounts Management Guide for Managers.


  1. The Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) provides for cooperation between states and the federal government in the establishment and administration of unemployment insurance. Unemployment insurance is a system which provides benefits for unemployed workers. Unemployment taxes, which are paid to federal and state governments by covered employers, subsidize state administered unemployment insurance programs and create a fund that is used to pay unemployment benefits to unemployed workers.

  2. Employees in the Accounts Management (AM) and Field Assistance (FA) organizations respond to taxpayer inquiries (in-person, phone, and paper) as well as claims, certain applications, internal requests, and transcripts related to Form 940, Employer’s Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return.

  3. IRM 21.7.3 provides guidance to AM and FA employees assigned unemployment tax inventory.


  1. The procedures in this IRM are an attempt to translate a variety of legal and administrative authorities into practical guidance for the Customer Service Representatives and Tax Examining Assistants who are assigned unemployment tax inventory. In addition to all official guidance on general tax matters, the administration of the unemployment tax discussed in this IRM is based primarily on tax law provisions found under U.S. Code, Title 26, Internal Revenue Code, Subtitle C, Chapter 23, Federal Unemployment Tax Act, and related Regulations, Treasury Decisions, Revenue Procedures, Revenue Rulings, Notices, tax forms and instructions, and publications.

  2. Delegated authorities and policy statements related to Accounts Management can be found in IRM, Authorities, and IRM 1.2.1, Servicewide Policies and Authorities, Servicewide Policy Statements.

Roles and Responsibilities

  1. The Wage and Investment Commissioner has overall responsibility for the policy related to this IRM content.

  2. Account Management’s Process and Program Management Section has responsibility for the information in this IRM, which is published on a yearly basis. The Chief of this team is responsible for ensuring this IRM is timely submitted to publishing each year.

  3. The Director of Accounts Management is responsible for policy related to this IRM.

  4. Additional information is found in IRM, Accounts Management, and IRM 21.1.1, Accounts Management and Compliance Services Overview.

Program Management and Review

  1. IRM 1.4.16, Accounts Management Guide for Managers, provides guidance for program management and review of programs assigned to Accounts Management.

Program Controls

  1. Goals, measures, and operating guidelines are listed in the annual Program Letter.

  2. Quality data and guidelines for measurement are referenced in IRM 21.10.1, Embedded Quality (EQ) Program for Accounts Management, Campus Compliance, Field Assistance, Tax Exempt/Government Entities, Return Integrity and Compliance Services (RICS) and Electronic Products and Services Support.


  1. The ReferenceNet Legal and Tax Research Service page provides an Acronym Database to research acronyms found within this IRM.

  2. All but the most common acronyms found in this IRM are spelled out when they are used for the first time in a subsection. The following table provides some common acronyms:

    Acronym Description
    BMF Business Master File
    CCC Computer Condition Code
    CIS Correspondence Imaging System
    CSR Customer Service Representative
    EFT Electronic Federal Transfer
    EFTPS Electronic Federal Tax Payment System
    EUP Employee User Portal
    FCP FUTA Case Processing
    FTD Federal Tax Deposit
    FUTA Federal Unemployment Tax Act
    MeF Modernized E-File
    ROFTL Record of Federal Tax Liability
    TAS Taxpayer Advocate Services

Related Resources

  1. IRM 21.2.2-2, Accounts Management Mandated IAT Tools

  2. Form 940, Employer's Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return

Unemployment Taxes Overview

  1. The Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) provides for cooperation between states and the federal government in the establishment and administration of unemployment insurance. Unemployment insurance is a system which provides benefits for unemployed workers. Unemployment taxes, which are paid to federal and state governments by covered employers, subsidize state administered unemployment insurance programs and create a fund that is used to pay unemployment benefits to unemployed workers.

  2. This IRM section contains instructions for adjusting Form 940, Employer’s Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return, tax accounts and requesting manual credit certification from state agencies. Only the first $7,000 paid to each employee is subject to FUTA tax. The FUTA tax applies to payments such as:

    • Salaries

    • Wages

    • Commissions

    • Fees

    • Bonuses

    • Vacation allowances

    • Amounts paid to temporary or part-time employees

    • Value of goods, lodging, food, clothing, and other non-cash fringe benefits if not excludable pursuant to IRC 3306 (b)(15)

  3. When taxpayer contact meets the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) criteria (see IRM, TAS Case Criteria) and we are unable to resolve the taxpayer’s issue the same day, refer the taxpayer to TAS. The definition of “same day” is within 24 hours. "Same day" cases include cases you can completely resolve in 24 hours as well as cases in which you have taken steps within 24 hours to begin resolving the taxpayer’s issue (see IRM, Same Day Resolution by Operations). Do not refer cases to TAS unless they meet TAS criteria or the taxpayer asks to be transferred to TAS. The Form 911, Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance (And Application for Taxpayer Assistance Order), is used to forward cases to TAS. If a taxpayer prefers to contact TAS directly, provide the TAS toll-free number 877-777-4778.


    All IRS employees must be familiar with TAS criteria and the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TBOR). For more information about TBOR, refer to Pub 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer, and the TAS Taxpayer Bill of Rights webpage.

Unemployment Taxes Research

  1. This section provides research procedures for unemployment taxes.

Form 940 Filing Requirements

  1. Form 940 is an annual return covering the period January 1 through December 31.

    1. It is due on or before January 31, following the close of the calendar year. If the employer deposits all Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) tax when due, the due date is extended until February 10, following the close of the calendar year.

    2. The Master File Tax (MFT) is 10.

    3. The tax class is 8. The tax class identifies amounts reported to the Treasury and transferred to various trust funds. The tax class is not used to input an adjustment.

  2. Employers (other than agricultural or household employers) are liable to file if they meet either of the tests below:

    1. They paid wages of $1,500 or more in any calendar quarter for the current or preceding year.

    2. They had one or more employees (including full-time, part-time, and temporary) at any time in each of twenty calendar weeks during the current or preceding year.

  3. Agricultural employers are liable to file if they meet either of the tests below:

    1. They paid cash wages of $20,000 or more to agricultural workers in any calendar quarter in the current or preceding calendar year.

    2. They employed 10 or more agricultural workers for some portion of a day during any 20 different weeks in the current or preceding calendar year.


    Aliens admitted to the U.S. on a temporary basis to perform farm work (H-2A Temporary Agricultural Workers) are counted to determine if one of the two (agricultural employer) tests set forth above are satisfied. Wages paid to H-2A workers are exempt from FUTA tax.

  4. Household employers are liable if they paid $1,000 or more in any calendar quarter during the current or preceding year for work in:

    • A private home

    • A local college club

    • A local chapter of a college fraternity or sorority


    To report FUTA tax, household employers must file Schedule H (Form 1040) with their Form 1040 series return, unless they have other non-household employees, in which case the employer may include the household employees' FUTA tax on Form 940 instead. If household employees are included on Form 940, the employer must file the appropriate employment tax return (e.g., Form 941, Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return, Form 943, Employer’s Annual Tax Return for Agricultural Employees, or Form 944, Employer’s Annual Federal Tax Return) to report the household employees' social security, Medicare, and withheld federal income taxes. If a trust is a household employer, the trust must file Schedule H (Form 1040) with Form 1041, unless it has other non-household employees, in which case the trust may include the household employees' FUTA taxes on Form 940 and report their social security, Medicare, and any withheld federal income taxes on Form 941, Form 943 and/or Form 944, respectively.

Deposit Requirements and Payments (Form 940)

  1. For deposit requirements see:

    • Publication 15, Circular E, Employer's Tax Guide

    • Publication 51, Circular A, Agricultural Employer's Tax Guide

    • Instructions for Form 940, Employer’s Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return

    • IRM, Form 940 Deposit Rules

  2. The Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) threshold to carry a quarterly tax liability to the next quarter is $500.

  3. Balance due payments for Form 940, including balances that are up to 10 years past due, can be made over the phone or by internet using a credit card. Payments can be made through several authorized third-party service providers who will obtain credit authorization during the transaction and provide a confirmation number as proof of payment. For specific information on business payments made by credit card, see IRM, Credit or Debit Card Payments (Pay by Phone or Internet).


    A Federal Tax Deposit (FTD) cannot be paid by credit card. Taxpayers currently required to make a FTD must utilize one of the available Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) deposit systems. See IRM, Authorized Deposit Methods, and IRM, Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), for more information.

Wages Subject to Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) Tax

  1. In arriving at the taxable wages subject to FUTA tax, the taxpayer subtracts the following amounts from the total payments made to all employees:

    • Amounts paid to each employee over $7,000

    • Amounts paid which are exempt from FUTA tax

  2. Information on exempt payments can be found in Form 940 Instructions, Publication 15, (Circular E), Employer's Tax Guide, and Publication 15-B, Employers Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits. Form 940 has check boxes to indicate exempt payments.

Contributions Made to the State Unemployment Fund

  1. Contributions are payments which state laws require employers to make to an unemployment fund. These payments are sometimes referred to as "state unemployment taxes" and are contributions only to the extent they are not deducted from the employee's pay.

  2. An employer is permitted to use state unemployment tax contributions as an offset against the federal unemployment tax as a normal credit. Any timely contributions (made by the due date of Form 940) to the state (including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) unemployment fund increases this credit, which reduces the tax rate on Form 940.

Experience Rates for Additional Credit

  1. Generally, employers are assigned experience rates by the state in which they do business.

    1. The rate is determined by the unemployment record of each employer and is the percentage at which contributions are made to the state unemployment fund.

    2. Employers who stabilize employment are rewarded in the form of reduced experience rates.

  2. The contributions paid according to the state employment insurance laws are permitted to be credited against the employer's federal unemployment tax. The credit is limited to 5.4 percent of the federal taxable wages.

Federal Tax Rate - Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA)

  1. Employers pay FUTA on the first $7,000 of each employee's annual wages. The maximum FUTA tax rate is 6.0 percent (.060).

  2. An employer is allowed two kinds of credit against FUTA tax.

    • Normal credit, based on contributions

    • Additional credit, based on experience rate

Successor Employer - Computer Condition Code (CCC) "5"

  1. If the taxpayer checks box "b" on Form 940 or Form 940-PR, Code and Edit codes the return with a CCC "5" indicating the taxpayer is a successor employer.

  2. This designation indicates the employer is entitled to certain credits based on payments made by the predecessor employer. Refer to Publication 15(Circular E), Employer's Tax Guide, for more information.

Unemployment Taxes Procedures

  1. This section contains procedures for unemployment taxes.


    This section attempts to address situations most frequently encountered when working unemployment tax issues. The guidance contained in this and other applicable IRMs cannot address every possible taxpayer inquiry. In some cases, it may be necessary to consult your lead or manager to determine the appropriate action. Elevate any issue or question that cannot be resolved at the site level or could have Servicewide impact to the appropriate Headquarters analyst with program responsibility.

Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) Certification Program

  1. The IRS uses the FUTA Certification program to determine whether Form 940 or Schedule H (Form 1040) reported state payments were paid into the appropriate state unemployment fund. There are 53 participating agencies, which includes the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Small Business Self Employed (SB/SE) Campus Compliance employees certify state payments (credits) using the procedures in IRM 4.19.5, Certification of State Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) Credits.

  2. The FUTA Case Processing (FCP) system is used by the SB/SE FUTA team to reconcile cases determined to have discrepancies. The state payment data is downloaded to the FCP system and the system identifies potential tax increases and decreases. The download to the FCP system is identified by the FUTA Release Year. The October 2018 download is identified as the FUTA Release 2016.

Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) Certification Program - Discrepancy Cases

  1. Discrepancy cases result from the computerized and manual certifications of payments to State Unemployment Insurance Agencies.

  2. Form 940 adjustments processed under this program can be recognized by the following non-refile blocking series (BS):

    • 50 for Non-zero certification (when the State certifies wages/contributions)

    • 51 for Zero certification (when the State certifies no record of wages/contributions)

  3. The program issues the following letters:

    • Letter 4010C, FUTA Certification - Proposed Increase to FUTA Tax

    • Letter 4011C, FUTA Certification - Proposed Decrease to FUTA Tax

    • Letter 380C, State Certification Tax Adjustment Explained: Form 940/Schedule H

  4. If the taxpayer received a FUTA discrepancy letter or notice and calls an Accounts Management phone application instead of contacting the FUTA contact provided in the letter or notice, follow procedures in IRM, Customer Service Representative (CSR) Information. This IRM cite provides FUTA case identification information and FUTA referral guidance.

  5. Route all correspondence and amended returns (both numbered and unnumbered) due to a FUTA assessment, or replies to a possible assessment to:

    Cincinnati FUTA Case Processing
    Stop 815G
    7940 Kentucky Drive
    Florence, KY 41042

Manual Certification Required/Not Required

  1. Manual certification is required when the transaction code (TC) 150 is an IRC 6020 (b) assessment and

    1. The taxpayer is computing the tax at a rate less than the full applicable rate of 6.0 percent. OR

    2. The taxpayer is filing a zero return and BMFOLU shows wages in the Processed (W2) column for the TC 150 IRC 6020(b) tax period.


    See IRM, Duplicate Filing Conditions Involving Returns Prepared Under IRC Section 6020(b), for additional procedures on adjusting IRC 6020(b) accounts.

  2. If a manual certification is required, follow local procedures to prepare Form 940-B, Request for Verification of Credit Information Shown on Form 940, and forward to your Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) liaison. However, if the taxpayer is an agent or contractor for the state, IRC 7602(c) requires the taxpayer be notified in advance when a third-party contact is necessary to determine tax liability (this should occur very rarely). If this is the case, the steps below are mandatory:

    1. Call the taxpayer to advise of the recertification request being sent to the state.

    2. Document the case file with the name of the person contacted (person must have authority to prepare taxpayer's Form 940) and the time and date you spoke with that person.


      If the taxpayer cannot be contacted by phone, Letter 3345C, Third Party Contact Letter (FUTA), must be sent to the taxpayer. The Form 940-B cannot be sent until 10 days after the Letter 3345C is initiated. (If the taxpayer is contacted by phone, the Form 940-B can be sent immediately after contact.)

    3. Prepare Form 12175, Third Party Contact Report Form, immediately after contacting the taxpayer by phone or by Letter 3345C.

    4. For more information on notification of third party contacts and preparation of Form 12175, see IRM, Notification of Third Party Contact.

  3. Manual certification is not required when the transaction code (TC) 150 is an IRC 6020 (b) assessment and

    1. The taxpayer is computing the tax at the full applicable rate.

    2. The taxpayer is filing a zero return and a TC 599 CC 008 (closed unagreed) is posted on the tax module and CC BMFOLU does not show wages in the Processed (W2) column for that period. If the tax period is not found under CC BMFOLU, use CC IRPTRI to determine whether Forms W-2 were processed for the tax period.

    3. The taxpayer is filing a zero return and a signed internal request is received from an area office (e.g., from a revenue officer) stating the taxpayer was out of business for the entire tax year(s) of the IRC 6020(b) assessment(s).

  4. If a manual certification is not required, input the adjustment using established procedures.

Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) Liaison Responsibilities
  1. When taxpayers are contacted by the Automated 6020B Program, the notification provides response instructions. If the taxpayer doesn’t agree with the proposal, they have 45 days to prepare tax returns that show the taxpayer’s correct tax liability. If the taxpayer files a Form 940 claiming a reduced rate of assessment, they must attach a copy of the state certification showing the contributions paid to the state.

  2. If the certification is not attached, the IRS will attempt to secure a certification as a customer service courtesy. Currently, the IRS system security will not allow email delivery from a state agency. The certification must be faxed or mailed to the IRS. The preferred delivery method is fax. Designated employees act as liaisons between the IRS and State Labor Department Agencies or Workforce Commissions. These employees are responsible for submitting the completed Form 940-B for certification.

  3. Liaisons will use the following guidelines for initial and subsequent requests.

    If Then
    Initial request Allow 30 calendar days for response
    No response after 1st request Notate on Form 940-B 2nd request and resubmit. Allow 14 calendar days for response.
    No response after 2nd request Contact the agency representative by phone for certification. Contact information can be found on Servicewide Electronic Research Program (SERP), on the Who/Where tab listed as follows: State Labor Department Form 940 Certification Contacts. Inform the contact of your previous requests and allow three workdays for the requested information.
    The state wants to email the certification Inform the state employee that the IRS can’t accept an email response and request the certification by fax. Suspend the case an additional seven workdays.
    The state wants to mail the certification via the U.S. Postal Service Inform the state we prefer a fax response; however, we will accept a certification by mail. Suspend the case an additional seven workdays.
    The state employee determines the IRS liaison is not authorized to receive the Form 940-C Advise the state employee to send the certification to the taxpayer with instructions to fax the certification to the IRS.
    60 days has elapsed since the initial request Notate the Form 940-B as a No Response.


    Ensure the Correspondence Imaging System (CIS) History Notes indicate the IRS made 3 attempts to secure the recertification from the state(s).

  4. When the recertification is received from the State or a Form 940-B is notated No Response, forward it to the initial requestor for case resolution. See IRM, Claims and Requests for Adjustments (Form 940), for additional information.

  5. When the case involves multiple states and there are several no responses after the time frame in paragraph two above, we are unable to adjust the taxpayer’s tax liability until all the state certifications are received for review. The liaison will take the following actions:

    • Update the CIS History Notes to identify the missing states.

    • Return the case to the initial requestor and advise the case is not workable due to No Response/Multiple States.

  6. If there is a trend of no response from a state, report the issue to Accounts Management Headquarters through the campus Planning and Analysis staff.

Additional Credit Computation

  1. Employers who have been granted a state experience rate lower than 5.4 percent by a state for all or part of a year are entitled to an "additional credit." The additional credit is equal to the difference between:

    1. Maximum allowable federal credit (taxable federal wages times the federal credit rate) and,

    2. State taxable wages multiplied by the employer's experience rate, if rate is less than maximum federal credit rate

  2. Credit for contributions paid late (after the due date of the Form 940) is limited to 90 percent of the amount which would have been allowed as a credit for such contributions if such contributions were paid by Form 940 due date.

  3. A worksheet is provided in the Form 940 instructions. The worksheet is used to compute the credit if some of the wages paid by the employer were not subject to state unemployment tax or if the employer paid any state unemployment tax late.

Multiple State Cases

  1. If taxable Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) wages were paid to employees in more than one state, Form 940 filers must complete and file Schedule A, Multi-State Employer and Credit Reduction Information. The Schedule A is also used to report wages paid in any state subject to credit reduction. See IRM, Credit Reduction States, for additional information.

  2. The tax liability for multiple state cases is computed the same as single state cases; however, the additional credit must be computed for each individual state. See IRM, Additional Credit Computation, for computation procedures. After the tax liability is computed for each individual state, the results are combined into one amount and only one tax item reference code is used to adjust the tax liability. The primary state is used to adjust the tax. IRM, Item Reference Codes (Form 940), provides item reference code determination guidance.

  3. The primary state wage item reference code is used for all wages not associated with a credit reduction state. The wages of a credit reduction state must always be adjusted for the exact amount of the change. When the credit reduction state wages have been adjusted and there are left-over wages, the left-over wages are adjusted under the primary state wage item reference code. If unable to determine the primary state, adjust the state indicating the highest wages paid. If unable to determine the state with the highest wages paid, adjust the state listed on the address of record. If the primary state, the state indicating the highest wages paid, and the state listed as the address of record are all credit reduction states, then adjust wages of any state shown on the Schedule A that is not a credit reduction state.


    The State of Ohio is a 2015 credit reduction state. The taxpayer is amending total wages by $30,000. Only $10,000 were paid in the State of Ohio. The account indicates Illinois is the primary state. The item reference codes for the wages will be: WOH for $10,000 and WIL for $20,000. The primary state of Illinois will be used for the tax change using item reference code TIL.


    Recertification must be obtained from each state when it meets the criteria in IRM, Manual Certification Required/Not Required.

Aggregate Returns

  1. Only agents of home care service recipients authorized under IRC 3504 may file an aggregate Form 940. See Rev. Proc. 2013-39 and IRB 2013-52 for additional information.


    To request authorization to act as an agent for an employer, Form 2678, Employer/Payer Appointment of Agent, must be filed with the Service.

  2. Some aggregate returns may be distinguished by showing the following in the entity area or noted on the tax return:

    • "State"

    • "City"

    • "County"

    • "Notice 2003-70"

    • "Fiscal Agent"

    • "Fiscal intermediary"

    • "Employer Agent"

    • "Choreworkers"

    See IRM, Aggregate Form 940 Returns, for additional information.

  3. Beginning with the annual Form 940 for 2010, aggregate filers must complete Schedule R (Form 940), Allocation Schedule for Aggregate Form 940 Filers, and submit with the Form 940. See the following subsection for additional information regarding the Form 940 (Schedule R).

Schedule R (Form 940): Allocation Schedule for Aggregate Form 940 Filers
  1. The IRS has developed Schedule R (Form 940), Allocation Schedule for Aggregate Form 940 Filers, that allocates the aggregate wage, tax, credit, deposit, and payment amounts reported on Form 940.

  2. Schedule R provides the IRS with client-specific information to support the totals reported by an agent on the aggregate return. It includes an allocation line for each client showing a breakdown of its wages and tax liability for the tax period. The instructions for each Schedule R explain all the information a "Section 3504 Agent" must provide with respect to each client reported on the aggregate form. When a Form 940 is processed and a Schedule R (Form 940) is attached, a Schedule R Indicator (SRI) will be posted to master file.

  3. If a taxpayer filed a Schedule R (Form 940) with his original return and he needs to correct the previously filed Form 940, then a revised Schedule R (Form 940) should be submitted with the amended Form 940. ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡


    If a taxpayer is required to file a Schedule R (Form 940) and does not do so with his original return, he may submit another Form 940 with a Schedule R (Form 940) attached, which may create a Transcript (TRNS) 193. If so, follow existing procedures in IRM 21.7.9, BMF Duplicate Filing Conditions.

  4. The chart below indicates procedures for most Schedule R inquiries:

    If And Then
    Loose Schedule R is received The original return has posted (regardless if a Schedule R indicator is present) No additional action is needed.


    If working a Correspondence Imaging System (CIS) case, add a case note to identify what was received and close the CIS case.

    Loose Schedule R is received The original return has not posted and the original processing time for Form 940 has not elapsed Suspend loose schedule pending posting of original return. See IRM, Loose Forms/Schedules, for more information.
    Loose Schedule R is received The original return has not posted and the original processing time for Form 940 has elapsed Contact taxpayer preferably by phone, to obtain a signed copy of the original return and suspend case for 40 days.
    1. If the taxpayer replies with a copy of the original return, process accordingly.

    2. If the taxpayer does not reply, reject the Schedule R back to the taxpayer requesting the original Form 940 (and accompanying Schedule R) be filed.

    Loose paper Schedule R is received There is not enough information to identify the taxpayer or scan into CIS Destroy the loose paper Schedule R.

Item Reference Codes (Form 940)

  1. All increases and decreases in tax must have item reference codes showing the tax associated with the state where the adjustment is indicated.

    1. The tax item reference code amount must equal the TC 29X tax adjustment.

    2. The three-digit item reference code for the tax portion of the adjustment is comprised of a "T" followed by the two-digit state code.

  2. If adjustment is due to an increase or decrease in wages, an item reference code for wages is also required. The three-digit item reference code for the wage portion is comprised of "W" followed by the two-digit state code.

  3. If more than one state is involved, input the adjustment using the primary state. If unable to determine the primary state, adjust the state which indicates the highest wages paid. If unable to determine the state with highest wages paid, adjust the state listed on the address of record. Caution must be used however, if any of the states being amended was a credit reduction state for that particular tax year. In that case, each credit reduction state wage adjustment must be input. See IRM, Multiple State Cases, for an example.

  4. If no increase or decrease to tax or wages is made, item reference codes are not needed.

Claims and Requests for Adjustments (Form 940)

  1. Consider prior adjustments on the account.

  2. Process responses to manual certification requests as follows:

    If Then
    Certification request indicates no payments were made to the state Do not adjust to taxpayer's figures. Input TC 290 .00 to release the -A freeze and send Letter 380C, State Certification Tax Adjustment Explained: Form 940, to inform the taxpayer their contributions to the State could not be verified.
    Certification request indicates payments were made to the state Complete the worksheet in the Form 940 instructions to verify the correct tax and adjust accordingly. See IRM, Duplicate Filing Conditions Involving Returns Prepared Under IRC Section 6020(b), for guidance regarding 6020(b) cases. If the adjustment is different than what the taxpayer expected, correspond with Letter 380C explaining the changes.
    The campus FUTA Liaison notates the Form 940-B with No Response or the case file as not workable due to No Response / Multiple States Do not adjust to the taxpayer’s figures. Close the case by releasing the -A freeze, uploading the received Form 940-C documents to the Correspondence Imaging System case file, and sending a Letter 380C informing the taxpayer:
    • The IRS contacted each state reported on the Form 940 and requested a state certification showing the contributions paid to the state.

    • Since we did not receive a response from the state(s) of [insert missing state(s)], we are unable to adjust the tax liability based on the tax return.

    • The taxpayer may request a state certification from the missing state(s).

    • If the missing state certifications are sent to the IRS by fax or mail, we will review them and make the appropriate changes to the tax liability.


    Before closing the case as not workable, review the account history to determine whether the missing state certifications were received after the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) liaison indicated the case was not workable.

  3. Interest on a refund is not allowable when taxpayer reduces the tax because of an increase in state credits.

    1. Input a TC 291 with a secondary TC 770 .00 to restrict credit interest.

    2. Only input TC 770 .00 when there is a decrease to tax and no change to wages.


    See IRC 6413(d) for additional information.

  4. Since master file is only able to compute a failure to deposit (FTD) penalty on the initial Record of Federal Tax Liability (ROFTL) supplied with the original return (Form 940, Part 5), we must determine whether a FTD penalty is applicable whenever an amended/supplemental return is filed or when a revised ROFTL schedule is submitted by the taxpayer. The new ROFTL requires a manual recalculation and update of the penalty. If deposits are made late, not made in sufficient amounts, made directly to the IRS (e.g., sending a check with a tax return or paying by credit card), or not made using EFT, a FTD penalty may be imposed on the module. IRM 20.1.4, Failure to Deposit Penalty, provides Form 940 deposit requirements, penalty calculation guidance using Command Code FTDPN, and instructions for using transaction code 18X to assess or adjust a FTD penalty.


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Claims Involving Indian Tribal Governments
  1. Under current law, federally recognized Indian tribal governments (ITG) and their subdivisions, subsidiaries, and wholly-owned business enterprises are exempt from Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) and can elect to participate in a state unemployment fund (SUTA), or in a reimbursement program. The SUTA exemption is an entity-by-entity election. If an election is made, the entity is exempt from FUTA only if it is a full participant in SUTA or in a reimbursement option with the state, and all SUTA liabilities are fully paid. See Announcement 2001-16, 2001-I C.B.715.

  2. In the rare instance, a 2000 Form 940 involving Indian Tribal Government is received and the statute is open and an adjustment is required, see the January 2007 revision of IRM 21.7.3 (Archived copies available under the Electronic Publishing Product Catalog).

Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) Determinations
  1. If an amended Form 940 mentions RRB determinations, see IRM, RRB Employer Status Determinations.

Form 3465 Adjustment Requests from Entity (Form 940)

  1. Entity verifies whether taxpayer is subject to unemployment tax and forwards Form 3465, Adjustment Request, to Accounts Management for processing. See IRM, CP172/192 - Form 3465, Request for Adjustment, for processing procedures.

Credit Reduction States

  1. Employers that pay their state unemployment tax timely and in full receive a 5.4 percent credit against their Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) tax. However, the credit is reduced when a state has taken loans from the federal government to meet its state unemployment benefit liabilities and has not repaid these loans within the allowable time frame. A state that has not repaid money it has borrowed from the federal government is called a credit reduction state. The reduction is 0.3 percent for the first year and an additional 0.3 percent for each succeeding year until the loan is repaid.


    States passing their fifth consecutive January 1st with an outstanding balance may be subject to an additional credit reduction under FUTA 3302(c)(2)(C) (Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR) add-on). A waiver of this add-on is provided under 20 CFR 606.25 for states that meet the specified criterion.

  2. Information concerning whether a state is considered a credit reduction state or remains a credit reduction state is never known until November of each year. Any information concerning which states and the amount of credit reduction applicable is updated on SERP every year prior to the filing of Form 940. The following table has been updated to include the 2018 credit reduction percentages, which includes any applicable BCR.

    State/Jurisdiction Abrv 2015 2016 2017 2018
    California CA .015 .018 .021  
    Connecticut CT .021      
    Ohio OH .015      
    Virgin Islands VI .015 .018 .021 .024


    See IRM 3.12.154-14, Credit Reduction States and Rates (TY 2004 - 2018), or archived copies of IRM 21.7.3 for credit reduction states prior to 2015.

  3. Any employer reporting wages paid in a credit reduction state/jurisdiction must use Schedule A, Form 940 to compute the tax.


    If there are no credits for state unemployment tax, the credit reduction is not applicable and tax is computed at the maximum FUTA rate.

  4. If an adjustment is the result of a change to the total taxable wages (not credit for payments made to the State), the amount shown on the return for credit reduction must also be adjusted, using the appropriate credit reduction factor for the applicable State and year.

    1. The reduced credit increases the federal tax liability.

    2. The credit reduction portion of tax is not required to be deposited until the due date of the Form 940. See IRM, Form 940 Deposit Rules, for more information. If questioned by the taxpayer, instruct them to report the additional credit reduction amount with the fourth quarter's liability.

State Certified Wages Less Than Federal Taxable Wages

  1. When state certified wages are less than federal taxable wages reported on Form 940 and the net tax discrepancy is ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡

    1. Calculate the gross federal tax on the federal wages.

    2. Calculate the allowable state credit on the state wages.

State Certified Wages Exceed the Federal Taxable Wages

  1. When the state taxable wages are $4000 or more than the federal taxable wages and the state wage base is the same as the federal wage base (Exhibit 21.7.3-1, State Unemployment Insurance Taxable Wage Bases):

    1. Increase the federal taxable wages to match the state taxable wages.

    2. Calculate the net tax liability (Line 10 Worksheet) with the adjusted wage amounts.

    3. If the net tax discrepancy is ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ , accept the taxpayer’s figures.

    4. If the net tax discrepancy is ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ , adjust the tax and send the taxpayer an explanation with Letter 380C.

IRC 127 Claims

  1. A minimal number of claims may be received because of the permanent extension of IRC 127. Claims can be allowed without requesting recertification. See IRM, IRC 127, Educational Exclusions, for more information.

Schedule H Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) Erroneously Reported

  1. Some taxpayers erroneously report Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) tax on both Schedule H, Form 1040, Form 1041, and on Form 940. Others report the tax on Form 940 instead of Schedule H.

  2. Use the table below to adjust these accounts.

    If Then
    Tax was reported on both Schedule H (MFT 30/05) and Form 940 (MFT 10) 1. Delete portion of FUTA tax from MFT 10.
    2. Transfer any payments intended for Schedule H FUTA tax from MFT 10 to MFT 30/05. (See Note below table.)
    3. Inform taxpayer of corrections made.
    4. Delete filing requirements if appropriate.
    Tax was reported on Form 940 only 1. Leave the assessment on MFT 10.
    2. If payments on MFT 30 were intended for FUTA assessment, transfer to MFT 10. (See Note below table.)
    3. Abate applicable penalties and interest if necessary payment(s) was received by ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ of the following year.
    4. If payment(s) was not received by ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ manually adjust penalties and interest based on the correct due date of April 15.
    Tax was reported on Schedule H (MFT 30/05) only 1. Leave assessment on MFT 30/05.
    2. If payments on MFT 10 are intended for Schedule H, transfer to MFT 30/05. (See Note below table.)
    3. Delete filing requirements on MFT 10, if appropriate.
    Tax was erroneously reported on both Form 940 and Form 941 or Form 944 See IRM, BMF Form 941, Employer's Quarterly Federal Tax Return, Filed Instead of IMF Schedule H, Household Employment Taxes.


    If unable to ascertain which payments on MFT 10 or 30/05 were intended for account where assessment is being made, contact taxpayer (preferably by telephone) to determine which payments need to be transferred.

Form 940 Electronic Filing

  1. Information regarding Form 940 electronic filing options is provided in Pub 4163, Modernized e-File (MeF) Information for Authorized IRS e-File Providers for Business Returns, and IRM 3.42.4, IRS e-file for Business Tax Returns.

  2. All e-filed Forms 940 can be recognized on TXMOD by their unique Filing Location Codes (FLC)/Document Codes (Doc Codes). See IRM, Researching e-file BMF Identification Codes, for more detail.

  3. IRM, Handling e-file Inquiries, contains a list of contacts and telephone numbers which can be provided to callers who need assistance with electronic filing issues.

State Unemployment Insurance Taxable Wage Bases

State 2018 2017 2016 2015  
Alabama 8,000 8,000 8,000 8,000  
Alaska 39,500 39,800 39,700 38,700  
Arizona 7,000 7,000 7,000 7,000  
Arkansas 10,000 12,000 12,000 12,000  
California 7,000 7,000 7,000 7,000  
Colorado 12,600 12,500 12,200 11,800  
Connecticut 15,000 15,000 15,000 15,000  
Delaware 16,500 18,500 18,500 18,500  
District of Columbia 9,000 9,000 9,000 9,000  
Florida 7,000 7,000 7,000 7,000  
Georgia 9,500 9,500 9,500 9,500  
Hawaii 45,900 44,000 42,200 40,900  
Idaho 38,200 37,800 37,200 36,000  
Illinois 12,960 12,960 12,960 12,960  
Indiana 9,500 9,500 9,500 9,500  
Iowa 29,900 29,300 28,300 27,300  
Kansas 14,000 14,000 14,000 12,000  
Kentucky 10,200 10,200 10,200 9,900  
Louisiana 7,700 7,700 7,700 7,700  
Maine 12,000 12,000 12,000 12,000  
Maryland 8,500 8,500 8,500 8,500  
Massachusetts 15,000 15,000 15,000 15,000  
Michigan 9,000 9,500 9,500 9,500  
Minnesota 32,000 32,000 31,000 30,000  
Mississippi 14,000 14,000 14,000 14,000  
Missouri 12,500 13,000 13,000 13,000  
Montana 32,000 31,400 30,500 29,500  
Nebraska 9,000 9,000 9,000 9,000  
Nevada 30,500 29,500 28,200 27,800  
New Hampshire 14,000 14,000 14,000 14,000  
New Jersey 33,700 33,500 32,600 32,000  
New Mexico 24,200 24,300 24,100 23,400  
New York 11,100 10,900 10,700 10,500  
North Carolina 23,500 23,100 22,300 21,700  
North Dakota 35,500 35,100 37,200 35,600  
Ohio 9,500 9,000 9,000 9,000  
Oklahoma 17,600 17,700 17,500 17,000  
Oregon 39,300 38,400 36,900 35,700  
Pennsylvania 10,000 9,750 9,500 9,000  
Puerto Rico 7,000 7,000 7,000 7,000  
Rhode Island 24,500 22,400 22,000 21,200  
South Carolina 14,000 14,000 14,000 14,000  
South Dakota 15,000 15,000 15,000 15,000  
Tennessee 7,000 8,000 8,000 9,000  
Texas 9,000 9,000 9,000 9,000  
Utah 34,300 33,100 32,200 31,300  
Vermont 17,600 17,300 16,800 16,400  
Virgin Islands 24,400 23,500 23,000 22,900  
Virginia 8,000 8,000 8,000 8,000  
Washington 47,300 45,000 44,000 42,100  
West Virginia 12,000 12,000 12,000 12,000  
Wisconsin 14,000 14,000 14,000 14,000  
Wyoming 24,700 25,400 25,500 24,700