The federal unemployment tax is part of the federal and state program under the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) that pays unemployment compensation to workers who lose their jobs. You report and pay FUTA tax separately from Social Security and Medicare taxes and withheld income tax. Employees do not pay this tax or have it withheld from their pay, employers pays for this tax. The FUTA tax rate is 6.2% of taxable wages. The taxable wage base is the first $7,000 paid in wages to each employee during a calendar year. Employers who pay the state unemployment tax, on a timely basis, will receive an offset credit of up to 5.4% regardless of the rate of tax they pay the state. Therefore, the net FUTA tax rate is generally 0.8% (6.2% – 5.4%), for a maximum FUTA tax of $56.00 per employee, per year (.008 X $7,000. = $56.00). Your state law determines individual state unemployment insurance tax rates. Your accountant files the tax on the IRS Form 940.
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