Unemployment Insurance Tax


Employers that are liable for Missouri unemployment tax contributions must provide the Division of Employment Security (DES) information on the wages of their covered employees each quarter. Individual workers' wages are recorded on the DES wage record files and retained for five quarters to be used for determining monetary benefit entitlement should a worker file a claim for unemployment insurance benefits.

The DES is required to establish and maintain a separate experience rate account for each employer. All employers, except those making reimbursable payments, have an assigned tax rate. An employer's rate may change each year. For its first two or three years, an employer receives the new employer rate. This is a rate assigned to all new employers of the same industrial classification. Eventually, an employer becomes eligible for an experience rate. This is a rate calculation based on the ratio between an employer's average annual taxable payroll, unemployment benefit charges against its account, and taxes paid previously by the employer.

No part of the tax contribution due can be deducted from a worker's pay. All tax is deposited into the Missouri Unemployment Compensation Fund and only can be used to pay unemployment benefits to eligible claimants. No employer or individual in his/her service has any claims or rights to amounts paid into the fund.

The Employers' Rights and Responsibilities (MODES-INF-151) is a booklet designed to help Employers understand their role in the Unemployment Insurance Program.

Recent Updates

Effective January 1, 2023, state law (HB 2168) allows the Division of Employment Security (DES) to redirect monies to the Unemployment Automation Fund from Missouri employers liable for first quarter unemployment insurance (UI) contributions (taxes). This law will have no impact on the calculation of first quarter taxes owed by employers.

The Unemployment Automation Fund will provide funding for automated systems, and associated costs, to improve the administration of the state's UI program.

Special Notes

Please note, employers with five or more employees, if applicable, must submit the federal 1099 miscellaneous forms to the Department of Revenue (those who intentionally fail to do so are subject to fines).