Florida Reemployment Tax

Reemployment Tax as it is known in Florida refers to the State Unemployment Tax Act or SUTA. In some states, it is also known as the State Unemployment Insurance or SUI. The State Unemployment Tax is a payroll tax pay on behalf of their employees to the state unemployment fund. In some states, both the employer and the employee pay SUTA taxes, which are contributions to provide monetary support to displaced workers. The SUTA is collected alongside the federal unemployment tax. 

Every state sets its SUTA tax rate and the base taxable wage which determines how much of each employee’s wages are subject to tax. While some states have their range of state unemployment tax rates, employers get a tax rate or assessment that they are mandated to pay. The tax rate is updated periodically. Businesses in certain industries may be charged higher tax rates, especially those that regularly experience high turnover rates. Every state has the freedom to change their SUTA, SUI, or Reemployment tax annually.

Florida Reemployment Tax

The Reemployment tax in the state of Florida is paid solely by employers. The collected taxes are deposited into the Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund only to pay reemployment assistance benefits to claimants who meet the eligibility requirements. The first $7,000 of employee’s wages paid by the employer in one calendar year is subject to reemployment tax. Employers who have stable employment records may receive reduced tax rates after passing a qualifying period.  The reemployment tax has been administered by the Florida Department of Revenue beginning 2000.

In 2012, the State of Florida passed legislation changing the Florida’s Unemployment Compensation Law to the Reemployment Assistance Program Law. The aim of the program was redirected to help job seekers in the state become reemployed. 

Florida’s reemployment benefits are administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. The department provides temporary income to workers who lost their jobs through no fault of their own and who are able and available for work.

Florida Reemployment Tax Rate

The Florida Department of Revenue announced on December 1, 2018, the reemployment tax rates for excise tax purposes for the year 2019. The minimum tax rate for 2019 is still 0.1 percent, which is the equivalent of $7.00 per employee. The minimum tax rate is the same as the rates for 2017 and 2018. The reemployment tax rate applies to the first $7,000 of an employee’s annual wages. The maximum rate of 5.4 for 2017 and 2018 remains the same for 2019.  

To make employers and employees aware of the tax rate for the year 2019, the Florida Department of Revenue mailed a letter to all employers to announce the new tax rate.

Important Information for Employers About Florida’s Reemployment Tax

Reemployment assistance provides partial and temporary income to workers who lost their jobs through no fault of their own, and are able and available for work. The purpose of the assistance is to help jobless workers, their families, and the business community. 

The reemployment assistance also aims to prevent displaced workers and their families from becoming a burden of the state and the community. Without reemployment assistance, these workers and their families may be forced to seek the help of their neighbors and other members of the community.

The fund for the reemployment assistance is paid for by the employers within the state through the reemployment tax that is managed by the Florida Department of Revenue. The tax paid is one of the costs of operating a business in the state.  Workers are not required to pay reemployment tax and should not be required by players to do so through payroll deductions. Businesses charge the cost of the reemployment tax to their customers through the price they pay for the goods or services that the business sell. This means that the burden of reemployment benefits to displaced workers is shared by everybody in the state. The payments made by employers go into a fund from where the money is paid to eligible claimants. There is a qualifying period after which an employer with a stable employment history can be eligible for a lower tax rate.

Liability for Reemployment Tax

A new business in Florida must report its first hiring of employees in the month that follows the calendar quarter in which the employment begins. A business can register for filing reports and paying taxes through the website of the Florida Department of Revenue. The website will guide an employer through an application interview that will determine his tax obligation. Employers with no internet access may complete a Florida Business Tax Application Form DR-1.

Company owners who meet any of the following conditions are liable to pay the Florida Reemployment Tax:

  • a quarterly payroll of $1,600 or more in a calendar year;
  • one or more employees for a day during any 20 weeks within a calendar year;
  • an agricultural employer with five or more workers for a day during any 20 weeks within a calendar year, or a cash payroll of $10,000 or more in any quarter of a calendar year;
  • a domestic employer whose cash payroll totals $1,000 or more in a quarter of a calendar year;
  • purchased a part or the whole of business that is liable to pay tax, or whose combination of the existing payroll or number of employees and that of the business you purchased meets the liability criteria;
  • a nonprofit organization as defined in the pertinent sections of the Federal Unemployment Tax Act and of the Internal Revenue Code and have four or more employees for a day during any 20 weeks within a calendar year;
  • The employer is a state, country, or city, governmental unit; or
  • a tribal unit or an Indian tribe.

Voluntary Coverage

A business owner who is not eligible for a reemployment tax can choose to voluntarily give reemployment coverage for his workers. An employer may apply for voluntary coverage by completing and submitting the voluntary Election to Become an Employer Under the Florida Reemployment Assistance Program Law, which is available on the website of the Florida Department of Revenue.

When an employer who is not required to pay the reemployment tax voluntarily chooses to provide reemployment coverage for his workers, his workers become eligible to claim assistance if they lose their job through no fault of their own. 

Florida Unemployment Benefits

The unemployment benefits of Florida workers are administered by the Reemployment Assistance Program through the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.  The emphasis of the program is job search and reemployment services offered by the agency.

Florida’s Reemployment Assistance Program grants partial but temporary wage replacement for eligible workers who lost their jobs through no fault of their own, which helps stabilize the state’s economy for business owners who rely on consumer spending. The program is funded by an employer through the collection of taxes and is provided at no cost to workers who receive benefits.

The maximum benefit a displaced worker can earn is $275 per week. The maximum time for collecting unemployment benefits in Florida is capped at 26 weeks. An employee must have earned a minimum of $3,400 in the base period of his Florida unemployment claim and his highest quarter wages cannot be more than 1.5 times the entire base period wages. 

It takes about three to four weeks before a displaced worker receives his first payment. He can receive benefits between 12 and 23 weeks based on the current unemployment rate in the state.

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