DAR File No. 41522

This rule was published in the May 15, 2017, issue (Vol. 2017, No. 10) of the Utah State Bulletin.

Workforce Services, Unemployment Insurance

Rule R994-303

Contribution Rates

Notice of Proposed Rule

(New Rule)

DAR File No.: 41522
Filed: 04/27/2017 03:29:49 PM


Purpose of the rule or reason for the change:

This rule inadvertently expired and is necessary so it is being filed anew. This rule primarily references how the Department of Workforce Services calculates contribution rates for employers as defined by state and federal law. The rule is necessary to explain the formula used.

Summary of the rule or change:

There are no changes to this rule. It is being filed anew because the Department inadvertently allowed it to expire.

Statutory or constitutional authorization for this rule:

  • Section 35A-1-104
  • Section 35A-4-303
  • Subsection 35A-1-104(4)

Anticipated cost or savings to:

the state budget:

This is a federally-funded program so there are no costs or savings to the state budget.

local governments:

This is a federally funded program so there are no costs or savings to local government.

small businesses:

There are no costs or savings to any small businesses as there are no fees associated with this program, and it is federally funded.

persons other than small businesses, businesses, or local governmental entities:

There are no costs or savings to any persons other than small businesses, businesses, or local government entities as there are no fees associated with this program, and it is federally funded.

Compliance costs for affected persons:

There are no costs or savings to any affected persons as there are no fees associated with this program, and it is federally funded. These changes will not impact the contribution rate of any employer.

Comments by the department head on the fiscal impact the rule may have on businesses:

There are no compliance costs associated with this change. There are no fees associated with this change. There will be no cost to anyone to comply with these changes. There will be no fiscal impact on any business. These changes will have no impact on any employer's contribution tax rate.

Jon Pierpont, Executive Director

The full text of this rule may be inspected, during regular business hours, at the Office of Administrative Rules, or at:

Workforce Services
Unemployment Insurance
140 E 300 S
SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84111-2333

Direct questions regarding this rule to:

  • Suzan Pixton at the above address, by phone at 801-526-9645, by FAX at 801-526-9211, or by Internet E-mail at spixton@utah.gov

Interested persons may present their views on this rule by submitting written comments to the address above no later than 5:00 p.m. on:


This rule may become effective on:


Authorized by:

Jon Pierpont, Executive Director


R994. Workforce Services, Unemployment Insurance.

R994-303. Contribution Rates.

R994-303-101. Benefit Ratio Contribution Rate Computation.

(1) There are two types of contribution rates, "new" employer rates and "experience" rates.

(2) The new employer rate is assigned to employers with less than one fiscal year of reporting experience. New employers are assigned a rate based on the two-year average benefit ratio, which is calculated by dividing benefit costs by taxable wages, of all employers in the respective industry. The overall new employer rate is the benefit ratio of the respective industry multiplied by the reserve factor plus the Social Cost. New out-of-state contractors are assigned the maximum tax rate allowable under state law unless they purchase an existing business.

(3) Experience rates are assigned to employers with one or more fiscal years of reporting experience. The overall contribution rate is calculated annually for each employer using the following three components:

(a) The "Benefit Ratio" is determined by dividing the total of all chargeable benefits paid to the employer's former employees in the last four fiscal years, by the employer's taxable wages for the same time period.

(b) The "Reserve Factor" adjustment to the benefit ratio, which may be an increase, decrease, or 1.0, is used to maintain an adequate balance in the benefit reserve fund.

(c) The "Social Cost" is applied to all employers to recover benefit costs that cannot be attributed to a specific employer.

The overall tax rate is calculated using the following formula:

Benefit Ratio X Reserve Factor + Social Cost

(4) Contribution rates may be affected by delinquent contributions, delinquent reports, and acquiring a business of another employer, as these terms are used in Sections 35A-4-301, 35A-4-303, 35A-4-304, 35A-4-306, and 35A-4-307.

(5) The objective of the benefit ratio method of taxation is to employ an experience rating system that provides for equitable allocation of costs, increases incentives for employer participation, and makes building and maintaining a solvent reserve fund the responsibility of those employers who use the system.


R994-303-102. Computation Date.

"Computation date" means July 1st of any year. The computation date is not the date contribution rates are computed but merely serves as a reference point to identify the period of time used to compute rates.


R994-303-103. Notification of Contribution Rate and Appeal Rights.

The Department will notify the employer of its contribution rate prior to the beginning of the calendar year to which the rate applies. If the employer protests this rate, the protest must be filed within 30 days after the date the "Contribution Rate Notice" is issued by filing a written appeal stating the grounds upon which the appeal is based. This right to appeal the contribution rate does not, however, give new rights of appeal to protest the benefit costs used in computing the rate. The appeal rights for protesting the payment of benefits to former employees, charges to the employer, or the correctness of benefit charges are established in Section 35A-4-306 of the Act.


R994-303-104. Qualified Employer.

A "qualified employer" is an employer who was an employer during all four quarters of the fiscal year immediately preceding the computation date.

If an employer reopens its UI account after the account has been closed, the Department will determine if the employer qualifies for an experience rate or new employer industry rate. A qualified employer will be assigned an overall contribution rate for their account using the employer's unemployment experience during the past four fiscal years immediately preceding the computation date. If the reopening employer had no payroll for two or more consecutive calendar years immediately prior to the reopen date, the employer will be considered a new employer and will receive a new account number and the new employer industry rate, pursuant to Section 35A-4-203 of the Act.


R994-303-105. Rates Assigned to Qualified Employers.

(1) On or after January 1, 1988, a qualified employer who fails to pay all contributions due for the "applicable fiscal year" which is the four consecutive calendar quarters in the fiscal year immediately preceding the computation date, will be assigned a contribution rate equal to the overall contribution rate or the assigned contribution rate, plus an additional one percent surcharge. Unpaid contributions for fiscal years prior to the applicable fiscal year have no effect on the employer's rate, as provided in Subsection 35A-4-303(9)(b).

(2) Contributions assessed for the applicable fiscal year after the rates are computed will not cause the one percent surcharge to be added to the rate for the following year.

(3) A qualified employer who has been assigned the 1 percent surcharge in addition to his overall contribution rate because of delinquent contributions for the applicable fiscal year shall be reassigned a rate based upon his own experience, as provided under the experience rating provisions of the Act, effective the first day of the quarter in which full payment of contributions due is made. The Department will reassign a rate effective January 1st of the year if the Department determines that the party liable for the delinquent contributions was not properly notified of the liability.

(4) Delinquent Reports - Effect on Rate.

A delinquent report is one that is not properly filed when due. Failure to file the delinquent report by the time the contribution rates are computed will be treated as if a report had been filed showing no payroll for that quarter. This will usually result in a higher contribution rate. A delinquent report that still has not been filed by the end of the calendar year will not result in adding the one percent surcharge to an employer's overall contribution rate as a penalty. Other penalties and interest assessed due to delinquent reports are discussed in Section 35A-4-305 of the Act.


R994-303-106. Successorship and Its Effect on Contribution Rates.

(1) Definitions.

(a) "Successor" is the employing unit which acquires the business or acquires substantially all of the assets of a business.

(b) "Predecessor" is the employing unit which last operated the business.

(c) "Acquired" means to come into possession of, obtain control of, or obtain the right to use the assets of a business by any legal means including a gift, lease, repossession or purchase. For purposes of succession, a purchase through bankruptcy court proceedings where assets are being liquidated is not considered an acquisition, if the court places restrictions on the transfer of liabilities to the purchaser. It is not necessary to purchase the assets in order to have acquired the right to their use, nor is it necessary for the predecessor to have actually owned the assets for the successor to have acquired them. The right to the use of the asset is the determining factor.

(d) "Assets" are commonly defined to include any property, tangible or intangible, which has value. Therefore, acquiring use of assets is defined to mean that the successor obtains the physical assets such as cash, inventories, equipment, or buildings. Use of assets may also include the acquisition of the name of the business, customers, accounts receivable, patent rights, goodwill, employees, or an agreement by the predecessor not to compete.

(e) "Business" is an employing unit which pursues an activity or enterprise for gain, benefit, advantage or livelihood.

(f) "Substantially all" means acquisition of 90 percent or more of all of the predecessor's assets.

(g) "Discontinued operations" means that immediately at the point of acquisition, the preceding employer has no continuing business activity in this state. Liquidation of accounts receivable or "wind-down payroll" is not considered to be a continued business activity. In determining whether an employer is a successor, the phrases "substantially all" and "discontinued operations" are applied conjunctively. If less than 90 percent of all the assets are acquired, then there is no successorship and the "discontinued operations" test need not be applied.

(h) "Like part or character" will be defined by using the most current North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) manual. There is no succession unless it is determined that a like part or character of the business acquired is retained. An example of such a situation occurs when a new owner acquires a business or substantially all of its assets. The business formerly operated as an automotive service station and the predecessor employer has ceased to operate. If the new owner opens as an automotive repair shop and not a service station, there is no successorship.

(2) If the acquired business was closed for 30 or more consecutive calendar days during its normal operating period immediately prior to the acquisition, there is no successorship.

(3) Succession.

In the case of succession, effective on the first day of the year following the year in which the business is acquired, a successor will pay a contribution rate newly computed on the basis of the combined experience of the predecessor and the successor unless the date of acquisition is January 1, in which case the new rate takes effect immediately. The successor's rate during the year of acquisition will be as follows:

(a) Successor Was a Qualified Employer.

If the successor was a "qualified employer" immediately prior to the time of the acquisition, it shall continue to pay the rate assigned prior to the acquisition.

(b) Successor Was Not a Qualified Employer.

If the successor was an employer but not a "qualified employer" immediately prior to the time of the acquisition and acquires one or more businesses simultaneously, it shall pay a new rate computed based on the combined experience of the predecessor(s) and the successor. This rate shall be effective on the first day of the next calendar quarter. The successor pays its previously assigned rate for the balance of the quarter in which the acquisition occurs unless the acquisition occurs on the first day of that quarter, in which case the newly computed rate takes effect on that day.

(i) Simultaneously as used in this section means the same day.

(ii) If the predecessor(s) and successor are not qualified employers and have different NAICS codes, and the successor continues to operate the acquired business(s), the successor will retain their original NAICS code.

(c) Successor Was Not an Employer.

If the successor was not an employer immediately prior to the time of the acquisition it shall pay the predecessor's rate for the current calendar year. If the successor simultaneously acquires two or more businesses it shall pay a rate newly computed based on the combined experience of the predecessors. This new computed rate shall be effective on the day of acquisition.

(4) Effect of Contributions Owed by the Predecessor on the Successor's Rate.

A successor will be assigned a 1 percent surcharge in addition to its overall contribution rate if unpaid contributions are owed by the predecessor in the prior fiscal year. The one percent surcharge applies in the years that the successor's rate is affected by the predecessor's payroll and benefit costs.

(5) Successorship Determination and Burden of Proof.

The Department will determine whether the predecessor's payroll and benefit costs will be transferred to the successor. Either the predecessor or successor may appeal the determination within 10 days of the date the determination is issued. Once the determination has been made, the burden of proof is on the predecessor or the successor to show that the determination was made in error.


R994-303-107. Fiscal Year.

Fiscal year is defined in Subsection 35A-4-301(6), and means the year beginning with the 1st day of July of one year and ending the 30th day of June of the next year.


R994-303-108. Benefit Costs.

(1) Net benefit costs are defined as those benefits actually paid during the fiscal year without regard to the week ending date for which the payment is made. The benefit is considered paid on the date the unemployment payment is issued.

(a) Net benefit costs do not include those benefits established as an overpayment during the same fiscal year in which the benefits were paid.

(b) Benefit costs from a prior fiscal year subsequently established as an overpayment will be deducted from cumulative benefit costs beginning with the fiscal year in which the overpayment is established. Such benefit costs will not be deducted from benefit costs attributable to prior fiscal years except in cases where failure to make the deduction would result in a gross inequity and provided the employer has made a written request within 30 days of when it knew or should have known of the establishment of the overpayment.

(c) Once the fiscal year ends, any benefit costs from a prior fiscal year which are subsequently identified as an overpayment will be deducted from the cumulative benefit costs beginning with the year in which the overpayment is established and subsequent years.

(2) If the benefit costs used to compute the basic tax rate are less than zero, they will be treated as if they were zero. In this case, the minimum overall tax rate an employer can be assigned will be the social tax rate.


R994-303-109. Actual Reserve Fund Balance.

The "actual reserve fund balance" used in the calculation of the reserve factor is this state's Trust Fund balance on deposit with the United States Department of the Treasury as of June 30 preceding the computation date.


KEY: unemployment compensation, rates

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment: 2017

Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted Law: 35A-4-303

Additional Information

More information about a Notice of Proposed Rule is available online.

The Portable Document Format (PDF) version of the Bulletin is the official version. The PDF version of this issue is available at https://rules.utah.gov/publicat/bull_pdf/2017/b20170515.pdf. The HTML edition of the Bulletin is a convenience copy. Any discrepancy between the PDF version and HTML version is resolved in favor of the PDF version.

Text to be deleted is struck through and surrounded by brackets ([example]). Text to be added is underlined (example).  Older browsers may not depict some or any of these attributes on the screen or when the document is printed.

For questions regarding the content or application of this rule, please contact Suzan Pixton at the above address, by phone at 801-526-9645, by FAX at 801-526-9211, or by Internet E-mail at spixton@utah.gov.  For questions about the rulemaking process, please contact the Office of Administrative Rules.