Employers FAQs - Unemployment Insurance
How do I set up an unemployment insurance tax account in Georgia?
You must complete an Application for GDOL Tax Account or Status Change (DOL-1A) form and return it to the Georgia Department of Labor, Suite 850, 148 Andrew Young International Blvd., Atlanta, GA. 30303-1751.
Where do I obtain required forms?
Some forms, including the Application for GDOL Tax Account or Status Change (DOL-1A), are available from the "Forms and Publications" page. If the form you need is not available, or if you are unable to print the form, email us and we will send you a form by mail or by fax.
When should I register with the department?
All employing units that have individuals performing services in Georgia should complete a DOL-1A immediately following the payment of the first Georgia payroll.
How do I know that I must pay unemployment tax?
Employers meeting any of the following criteria are generally liable and must submit an application DOL-1A and file quarterly reports: a) employers with a quarterly payroll of $1500 or at least one worker in 20 different calendar weeks during a calendar year; or b) agricultural employers with at least $20,000 in gross payroll for a calendar quarter or with 10 or more workers on any day during 20 different weeks in a calendar year. (Exclude food and lodging for agricultural employees); or c) domestic employers with a payroll of at least $1,000 in any calendar quarter. (Also included are workers of a college club, fraternity or sorority with food and lodging excluded from wages for them.)
Do I pay tax on each person's wages for the entire year?
Although you are required to report all wages during the year, you pay taxes only on the first $8,500 of earnings for each employee. The $8,500 is commonly referred to as the "taxable wage base." Effective January 1, 2013, the taxable wage base in Georgia is $9,500 in accordance with 2012 GA House Bill 347. Qualified employers may defer quarterly taxes of $5.00 or less until January 31st of the following year.
After I have met the taxable wage base of $9,500 for each worker, do I continue reporting each employee's wages?
Yes. Reported quarterly wages are used to establish eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits regardless of whether taxes were actually due on those wages.
When can I defer tax payments?
Effective July 1, 2009 in accordance with GA House Bill 581, employers have the option of deferring a quarterly charge consisting of contribution and/or assessment amounts if the total charge is equal to or less than $5.00. Payment for that quarter may be deferred until January 31st of the following year. To qualify, an employer must not have any unfiled quarterly tax reports for previous or the current tax period and must not have any unpaid balance other than the de minimis amount (the amount of $5.00 or less) due for the current tax period. The deferment may be revoked for failure to timely file and make payment for subsequent quarterly tax periods during the same year. Previously deferred amounts become due and interest will be assessed from the original due date if any subsequent tax reports are not filed or are filed untimely.
When can I stop reporting an employee's wages to you?
You report an employee's wages only through the quarter the person was last paid by you.
Can I download any of the tax forms I need?
Some forms are currently available for downloading under "Forms and Publications" on our web site. If the form you need is not available at this time, email us and we will mail or fax the form to you. Check the web site often as forms and information are being added on a regular basis.
What unemployment tax filing processes are available to employers online?
Quarterly Tax - File Tax and Wage Reports online for each quarter. A password and GDOL account number are required.
Change Address - Add, change, or delete a business address online. A password, GDOL account number, and a federal ID number are required.
Get or Change an Employer Password Online - Apply for or change an Internet password online for immediate use. A GDOL account number, federal ID number, and current password, if a change is needed, are required.
I am a new employer in Georgia. What will my tax rate be?
New or newly covered employers are assigned a total tax rate of 2.70 percent until such time as they are eligible for a rate calculation based on their experience rating history.
What happens if I fail to submit my quarterly tax and wage report by the due date?
Late reports may result in a penalty of $20 or .05 percent of the gross payroll, whichever is greater, for each month or fraction of a month such report remains delinquent. Contributions not paid by the due date will accrue interest at a rate of 1.5 percent per month or fraction of a month, until all due amounts are received. In addition, a cost of collection fee of 20 percent of any deficiency assessed may be imposed.
Do I need to pay unemployment tax on the wages paid to a domestic in my home?
Yes, if you pay cash remuneration of $1000 or more in any one calendar quarter.
When an employee is separated from my company, am I required to provide anything in writing to the employee?
Yes. Georgia law requires that the employee be furnished a separation notice that contains detailed reasons for the employee's separation. The separation notice should be delivered in person on the last day of work or, if the employee is not available, should be mailed to the last known address. A copy of the department's official separation notice, DOL-800, may be downloaded from the department's web site or copies may be obtained from any Georgia Department of Labor career center.
If a former employee receives unemployment benefits, how much will it cost me?
If you are the most recent employer, as defined by law, you will be charged for the total amount paid, up to the maximum amount of wages you actually paid your former employee.
I received a request for claim information from the Georgia Department of Labor. What happens if I do not submit it timely or with adequate information?
Effective October 22, 2013, employers that fail to respond to written requests for information from the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) with adequate information and/or by the specified deadline regarding three separate unemployment insurance claims established during a calendar year will be charged for benefits paid on all subsequent claims paid during that year.
These charges will apply regardless of whether the GDOL's benefits determination is later reversed on appeal or if an overpayment of benefits is established and collected. Charges to the employer's account will be applied pursuant to requirements of Section 252 of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Extension Act of 2011 (TAAEA), amending Section 3303 of the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) at subsection (f) and interpreting Section 3309(a) (2) consistently therewith for employers electing reimbursable status under O.C.G.A.§34-8-158, and the authority of the Commissioner of Labor under O.C.G.A.§34-8-93.
What if I disagree with the decision made on a claim filed against my business?
The only way for a decision to be reviewed and potentially reversed is to file an appeal. You have the right to file an appeal of any decision made by the Department within 15 calendar days of the date on the determination or decision. The Commissioner of Labor does not have the authority to intervene in the appeals process.
How do I file an appeal?
An appeal request must be in writing and can be submitted online, by email, fax, or hand delivery. Go to File an Appeal to learn more.