Tax-Rated Employers

Employers contribute to the Unemployment Insurance (UI) fund, which pays benefits to people who are unemployed through no fault of their own. Most employers are tax-rated employers, which means the experience rating method (PDF) is used to determine your UI contribution rate. Nonprofit and public entity employers that choose another method are known as reimbursable employers.

All tax-rated employers are assigned a UI reserve account. Your UI reserve account is a record of all benefit charges and credits which are used to determine your UI rate. Your UI reserve account is a nonmonetary account and the balance is nonrefundable.

Contribution Rates

Your UI, Employment Training Tax (ETT), and State Disability Insurance (SDI) tax rates are combined on the Notice of Contribution Rates and Statement of UI Reserve Account (DE 2088). The DE 2088 shows the items used for your UI rate and the balance in your UI reserve account. We will mail your DE 2088 in December and you can view it in e-Services for Business.

For details on the DE 2088 and contribution rates, refer to Explanation of the Notice of Contribution Rates and Statement of UI Reserve Account (DE 2088C) (PDF).

UI Rate

New employers are assigned a 3.4 percent UI rate for two to three years. After that, your contribution tax rate varies, depending in part on how much you’ve paid in UI benefits. The UI rate schedule and amount of taxable wages are determined annually.

The UI rate schedule for 2021 is Schedule F+. This is Schedule F plus a 15 percent emergency surcharge, rounded to the nearest tenth. Schedule F+ provides for UI contribution rates from 1.5 percent to 6.2 percent. The taxable wage limit is $7,000 per employee per calendar year.

Note: The Voluntary UI program (PDF) is not in effect for 2021.

  1. Visit Get My UI Rate.
  2. Enter your employer payroll tax account number.
  3. Select Get My UI Rate.

Contact the Taxpayer Assistance Center at 1-888-745-3886 if you have issues accessing this application.

Payroll agents can get UI rates for multiple clients by logging into e-Services for Business and selecting Submit Bulk Rate Inquiry from the I Want To menu.

If you purchased a business with employees, you have the option of keeping the previous owner’s UI tax rate.

ETT Rate

If your UI reserve account balance is positive (zero or greater), you pay an ETT of 0.1 percent. If you have a negative UI reserve account balance, you do not pay ETT and it is shown as 0.0 percent on the notice. You cannot protest an ETT rate.

The ETT rate for 2021 is 0.1 percent. The ETT taxable wage limit is $7,000 per employee per calendar year.

SDI Rate

The SDI withholding rate is the same for all employees and is calculated annually. You cannot protest an SDI rate.

The SDI withholding rate for 2021 is 1.20 percent. The taxable wage limit is $128,298 for each employee per calendar year. The maximum to withhold for each employee is $1,539.58.

Benefit Charges

Benefit charges are determined by UI benefits paid to an unemployed claimant and can impact your UI rate. These charges are spread among all of the claimant’s employers over the 12-month period that establishes their claim.

All UI benefit charges and credits to your reserve account are on your Statement of Charges to Reserve Account (DE 428T), which covers the past year from July 1 through June 30. We will mail your DE 428T in September and you can view it in e-Services for Business.

For details on the DE 428T and benefit charges, including how they are calculated, refer to Information Sheet: Statement of Charges to Reserve Account, DE 428T (DE 428I) (PDF).

Protests

You can protest your UI rates from the DE 2088 or benefit charges on the DE 428T online or by mail. You have 60 days from the mail date on your DE 2088 or DE 428T to protest. You can request an extension of up to 60 days for good cause if your request is submitted before the protest deadline.

Protests are reviewed based on the facts of each case. We will notify you by mail when we make a determination. If the protest is denied, we will send an explanation along with information on your petition rights.

Protest Your UI Rate

For a video tutorial, view Protest an Unemployment Insurance Rate (YouTube).

  1. Log in to e-Services for Business.
  2. Select the Employment Tax link for the account.
  3. Select Show All next to the I Want To menu, then select Protest UI Rate.
  4. Select the rate period and enter the Letter ID from the DE 2088.
  5. Select the items related to your protest, enter any reasons for protest, and attach supporting documents as needed.
  6. Review the summary, complete the declaration, and submit.

You must include:

  • Your EDD employer payroll tax account number.
  • The items you want to protest.
  • The reason for protesting.

Protests with missing or incorrect information will be returned. Mail your written protest or request for an extension to:

Employment Development Department
Rate Management Group, MIC 4
PO Box 826880
Sacramento, CA 94280-0001

Protest Benefit Charges

For a video tutorial, view Protest an Unemployment Insurance Benefit Charge (YouTube).

  1. Log in to e-Services for Business.
  2. Select the Employment Tax link for the account.
  3. Select Show All next to the I Want To menu, then select Protest Benefit Charges.
  4. Enter the Letter ID from the DE 428T.
  5. Select Import Claimants as CSV file or manually enter claimant information. Attach supporting documents as needed.
  6. Review the summary, complete the declaration, and submit.

You can use the DE 428T Protest Sample Form (DE 428C) (PDF) or create your own document. You must include:

  • Your EDD employer payroll tax account number.
  • Each claimant’s name and Social Security number.
  • Each claim date.
  • Charge amount.
  • The specific reason for protesting the charges.
  • Total number of claimants being protested.

Protests with missing or incorrect information will be returned. Mail your written protest or request for an extension to:

Employment Development Department
Contribution Rate Group, MIC 4
PO Box 826831
Sacramento, CA 94230-6831

Additional Information

e-Services for Business

Use e-Services for Business to manage your employer payroll tax account online.

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Contact Us

If you have questions, Contact Payroll Taxes. You can also contact the Taxpayer Assistance Center at 1-888-745-3886 or visit your local Employment Tax Office.