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APA Requests Guidance on Massachusetts Extra Unemployment Insurance Tax

BY: Alice P. Jacobsohn, Esq. | 06/15/21

The APA wrote to the Massachusetts Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development about implementing H.B. 90, a new law that includes an additional unemployment insurance (UI) tax payment (referred to as an excise tax in the legislation; other states refer to these types of payments as surcharges or special assessments) with a range of rates based on existing UI contributions and is retroactive to January 1, 2021.

Implementation Questions

The APA requested guidance on whether employers should expect a notice from the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) identifying the amount owed for the first quarter with instructions on making payments. Retroactive implementation is more problematic for payroll departments.

The APA also asked for guidance going forward on whether the EOLWD will send a notice to employers with instructions on whether the amount owed should be added to the quarterly payments already assessed, whether separate payments are required, and how to report excise payments.

The new law allows for interest to be assessed on the excise tax each employer must pay. The Massachusetts legislature left the determination of the interest payments to the EOLWD. Should interest payments be necessary, the APA urged the EOLWD to prospectively make the determination and give employers sufficient time to adjust their management systems accordingly.

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Alice P. Jacobsohn, Esq., is Director of Government Relations for the APA.