Employers must report individual workers’ wages each quarter for the Division of Employment Security (DES) wage record files to be used for determining monetary benefits if a worker files an unemployment claim. Select one of the subjects below to go directly to your area of interest or scroll down to view all.
- Methods to Report and Pay Tax
- Due Dates
- Adjustments to Previously Filed Reports
- Audit Program
Methods to Report Wages and Pay Tax
There are three ways to file your quarterly reports.
- 1. Internet Reporting
Quarterly contribution and wage reports may be filed over the Internet through the DES Unemployment State Tax Automated Reporting (USTAR) system. Filing online offers many advantages. After the employer enters or uploads wage data, USTAR will automatically calculate the total, excess and taxable wages and the contributions due. USTAR also stores previously entered employee information, so you will not have to enter it again. The employer also has the option to pay contributions due online by ACH debit from a checking account.
Employers may start filing reports online as soon as two business days after the end of the calendar quarter. The ACH debit payment may be postdated. To use the system, the employer must have an established account with the DES. Complete instructions are found on the USTAR website.
- 2. Magnetic Media Reporting
The DES accepts the filing of quarterly wage data by employers on magnetic media.
By using the ICESA (Interstate Conference of Employment Security Agencies) format, employers can report not only the wage data magnetically but the summary total information as well. (The ICESA organization is now known as NASWA, National Association of State Workforce Agencies.) The Missouri, Social Security (MMREF) and spreadsheet formats are also accepted. The DES will accept a diskette or CD if it meets the specifications established by the DES, see link below.
All employers who are required to report W-2 copy A information electronically to the Social Security Administration are also required to report quarterly wage information to the DES electronically. Filing the report by magnetic media or via USTAR will meet this requirement. Currently this requirement applies to employers with 250 or more employees.
For information about magnetic reporting, please call 573-751-3422, or download the form to get started: Electronic File Transfer and Magnetic Media Reporting
- 3. Paper Reporting
Simply fill out and mail in the Contribution and Wage Report. Work separation dates and the beginning and ending dates of probationary employment should be included in the wage detail. The report is also used to summarize total and taxable wages paid during the calendar quarter and to compute the amount of contributions due on the taxable wage total.
Complete instructions for preparation of this report are furnished with the report. Use the form mailed to you at the end of the quarter, or download it here.
Contribution and Wage Report forms are furnished by the DES and mailed to all established employers on the fourth from last working day at the end of each calendar quarter. The report should be filed and contributions paid by the last day of the month following the end of each calendar quarter. No part of the contributions due can be deducted from a worker's pay.
Quarterly contribution and wage reports become delinquent after the last day of the month following each calendar quarter, as follows:
|Quarter||Submission Period||Delinquent*||1st Penalty*||2nd Penalty*|
|Three completed calendar months||The month following quarter end. Deadline is last day of the month.||Quarterly report is delinquent on||One month delinquent||Two months delinquent|
|An additional 10% of tax due or $100, whichever is greater, per month delinquent, max 20% or $200.|
|1st-Jan, Feb, Mar||April 1-April 30||May 1st||June 1st||July 1st|
|2nd-April, May, June||July 1-July 31||August 1st||September 1st||October 1st|
|3rd-July, Aug, Sep||October 1-October 31||November 1st||December 1st||January 1st|
|4th-Oct, Nov, Dec||January 1-January 31||February 1st||March 1st||April 1st|
*When the date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, the first working date following is considered timely.
Related Links: See the printable version
Reports and payments are deemed filed on the date postmarked, or the date received in a DES office if personally delivered or express mail delivered, date faxed, or the date submitted over the Internet.
The DES grants newly subject employers a 30-day extension from the date of liability notice to file reports and pay taxes.
Any employer, for good cause, may be granted an extension of time not to exceed three months for filing a quarterly contribution and wage report or paying contributions, provided the request for an extension is made on or before the due date for filing such quarterly report.
An employer is delinquent when all required contribution and wage reports are not filed and/or payments are not submitted by the due date(s). Employers are notified on a monthly basis of any delinquency.
Interest accrues at a variable rate, as established by the Internal Revenue Service, on contributions that are due and unpaid after each quarterly due date.
Failure to file contribution and wage reports or pay tax when due will result in an assessment against the employer. A certificate of assessment may be filed in the circuit court where the employer resides or has assets. Once filed, it has the effect of a judgment upon any real or personal property of the employer.
By law, the DES may garnish an employer's assets to satisfy a judgment, including 100% of wages or bank account balance.
Late Report: Because it is very important for an employer to file all contribution and wage reports timely, a penalty is imposed if an employer fails to file any required report by the last day of the month following the date the report became delinquent. The penalty is 10 percent of the contributions due or $100.00, whichever is greater, for each quarterly contribution and wage report not filed timely. This penalty will continue to be imposed each month or fraction of a month the report is not filed. The maximum penalty per quarter is 20 percent of the contributions due or $200.00, whichever is greater. This penalty is applied to all delinquent reports even when the employer has no payroll to report, or no tax or interest is due, such as those for reimbursing employers and those for employers with a tax rate of zero percent.
An employer who cannot pay all the contributions due at the end of the quarter should file the report and make arrangements for payment with the DES central office collections unit or local unemployment insurance auditor.
An employer who has an appeal pending should continue to file reports to include all wages, even those wages in dispute, to avoid penalties.
Fraud or Evasion: If fraud or evasion on the part of an employer is discovered, Section 288.160 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri provides for an additional 25 percent penalty of the amount by which the state has been defrauded.
288.380 of the law states any employer who intentionally misrepresents, misstates, or fails to disclose any material fact in order to deny unemployment benefits to a worker has committed fraud. It further provides that the DES shall assess a penalty equal to 25 percent or 100 percent of the amount fraudulently denied, depending on prior offenses.
SUTA Dumping: State Unemployment Tax Act (SUTA) dumping refers to attempts by employers to pay lower state unemployment taxes than their experience rate allows. The Missouri Employment Security Law bans these practices and requires the DES to impose substantial penalties on those who knowingly engage in SUTA dumping activities.
If an individual, organization or employing unit knowingly violates or attempts to violate the Employment Security Law related to determining the assignment of a contribution rate, or knowingly advises another in a manner that results in a violation of such provision, the individual, organization, or employing unit shall be subject to the following penalties:
- If an employer, for the current year and the three rate years immediately following the current rate year, such employer’s base rate shall be the maximum base rate applicable to such type of employer, or the employer’s current base rate plus two percent, whichever is greater;
- If not an employer, such individual, organization, or employing unit shall be subject to a civil monetary penalty of not more than $5,000.
Adjustments to Previously Filed Reports
To adjust previously reported amounts or data for individual workers and the overall quarterly totals (total wages, excess wages, taxable wages, tax), an employer may file an adjustment request online or by paper.
- Online: File an adjustment request through the Division’s Internet reporting system, USTAR.
- Paper: Download and complete the Contribution and Wage Adjustment Report (MODES-4A). Mail the completed form to: Division of Employment Security, Attn: Employer Accounts Unit, P.O. Box 59, Jefferson City, MO 65104, or fax to 573-751-0861.
- Call: 573-751-1995.
A request for an adjustment must be post marked or faxed within three years of the due date of the quarter being adjusted.
The DES is a federally funded government agency. The federal government requires the DES to conduct a specific number of audits each year, and requires the DES to meet certain auditing standards and procedures.
Employing units in Missouri are subject to having their records examined by an authorized representative of the DES. Audits of employers' records are conducted periodically to verify proper reporting of workers and wages. Employing units are selected using a computer program for unemployment insurance tax audits.