Employer FAQs

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Employment Service

If I list a job order with you, will other offices have access to the job listing and can refer qualified applicants?

Yes, they are posted nationwide on the job bank listings, so others outside the local area have access and can apply.

What does it cost to use your services?

What does it cost to use your services? Nothing, all of our services are free of charge.

What is required for an employer to list a job? 

A federal tax ID # is required to list a job opening. Just call your local WIN Job Center and talk to a representative who will get the pertinent information to list the job order. Select here to locate the WIN Job Center nearest you. If you prefer, you may fax your job order to the WIN Job Center. Select here for the job order form and instructions and here for a list of fax numbers to the WIN Job Centers.

As an employer, how can On-the-Job Training help me?

Your company can be reimbursed for up to one half of the cost of training eligible workers. In addition to saving money, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that your new employee is someone you have trained and who is familiar with your business.

When should a petition be filed for trade assistance?

If a plant, factory, or production business closes or downsizes as a result of increased imports of foreign products or there is a shift in production to a foreign country.

Who is authorized to file a petition on behalf of dislocated workers?

A petition can be filed by a company official, a group of three (3) workers, a duly authorized representative of the worker, One Stop Operators or partners, State Workforce Agencies or Dislocated Worker Units.

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General Tax Questions

Why should I report new hires?

Some workers do not stop their unemployment benefits when they return to work or start a new job. These additional illegal benefits result in overpayments and may result in employers' taxes increasing.

What information do I need to include in filing the federal form 940?

You should contact the Internal Revenue Service, or visit the IRS Web site.

Are successors liable for predecessor debt?

Yes. Mississippi law states that the successor should withhold from the purchase price the amount of any contributions due. If the purchaser fails to withhold the amount due, the purchaser shall be held liable for the amounts of contributions, interest, penalties and other costs due.

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Getting Registered for Unemployment Tax

I am starting a new business, what forms do I need to complete and who should I contact?

A Status Report (Form UI-1) must be completed online or submitted to your local tax field representative. You may also need to contact the Mississippi State Tax Commission, the Worker's Compensation Commission, and/or the Internal Revenue Service. There may also be other state and local agencies you will need to contact.

When will I be liable to pay UI taxes?

Domestic: Upon payment of $1,000.00 in wages in a calendar quarter.
Agriculture: Upon payment of $20,000.00 in wages in a calendar quarter OR when 10 or more workers (does not have to be the same workers) have performed services in 20 weeks in a calendar year.
Non-profit Organizations: When a business who possesses a 501C (3) IRS exemption employs 4 or more workers in 20 weeks in a calendar year.
Governmental: Upon payment of any wages.
All other commercial enterprises: Upon payment of $1,500.00 in wages in a calendar quarter OR at least one worker (does not have to be the same worker) performs services in some portion of a day in each of twenty (20) different calendar weeks in a calendar year.

How long does it take to get my account registered?

If you register online for an account, it is possible in some cases to receive an account number immediately following the registration process. However, some cases will be forwarded to MDES staff for approval. If mailed to MDES, it usually will take a week. During the report periods (at quarter end) it can take up to two weeks.

What is my registration number?

You must contact your local tax field representative to secure this information. Be sure to have your business corporate name or partner's names, and trade name, mailing address, federal ID number, and other identifying information when you call.

Can I report my client's employees under my account number?

No. All wages must be reported under the state unemployment insurance number issued for the work site employer.

I sold my business. Whom should I notify regarding my MDES account?

You may notify MDES online or contact your local tax field representative for assistance with this issue.

How can I close my account?

You may request to close your account online. The request will be reviewed by MDES staff before authorizing the closure of your account. You may also notify your local tax field representative.

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Tax Rates

What is the tax rate for a new employer?

In Mississippi, effective January 1, 2014, the total tax rate for a start-up business is 1.16% the first year of liability, 1.26% the second year of liability and 1.36% the third and subsequent years of liability until the employer is eligible for a modified rate. These rates include the workforce investment and training contribution rate that might be applicable for the rate year. If the organization acquired a business that is already liable for unemployment taxes in Mississippi, the organization may be immediately eligible for a modified tax rate. This rate may be higher or it may be lower than the new employer rate.

How are tax rates determined?

Tax rates (modified rates) for Mississippi employers are comprised of two components, the individual experience ratio and the general ratio. All employers are required to pay taxes at a rate of at least the general experience ratio and employers who have been charged for benefits paid during the computation period are charged an additional amount based on a ratio of benefits charged to taxable wages paid.

What is a modified rate?

A rate based upon the ratio of benefits charged to an employers’ account and taxable wages reported by the employer, added to the general experience ratio of the whole unemployment fund. The general experience ratio consists of items such as charges to employers who have closed their business, charges to employers who are bankrupt, excess charges to employers whose tax rate exceeds the maximum tax rate and a solvency factor to ensure the unemployment trust fund remains able to sustain the payment of unemployment benefits.

When will I be assigned a modified rate?

The exact time will vary depending on your individual circumstances. Your local tax field representative will be able to discuss the factors, which will affect your tax rate. At the time you are eligible for a modified rate, your tax rate may increase, decrease, or remain the same.

What is the minimum and maximum rate in Mississippi?

Your tax rate will vary between .2 percent and 5.4 percent, due to a number of factors. You may contact your local tax field representative to secure your tax rate for the current tax year or for a previous tax year.

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Benefit Charges

What is the tax rate for a new employer?

For a start-up business in Mississippi the rate is 1.15 percent for the first year of liability. The second year of liability will be 1.25 percent and the third and following years will be 1.35 percent until the employer is eligible for a modified rate. If the organization acquired a business that is already liable for unemployment taxes in Mississippi, the organization may be immediately eligible for a modified tax rate. This rate may be higher or it may be lower than 1.15 percent.

How are tax rates determined?

Tax rates (modified rates) for Mississippi employers are comprised of two components, the individual experience ratio and the general ratio. All employers are required to pay taxes at a rate of at least the general experience ratio and employers who have been charged for benefits paid during the computation period are charged an additional amount based on a ratio of benefits charged to taxable wages paid.

What is a modified rate?

A rate based upon the ratio of benefits charged to an employers’ account and taxable wages reported by the employer, added to the general experience ratio of the whole unemployment fund. The general experience ratio consists of items such as charges to employers who have closed their business, charges to employers who are bankrupt, excess charges to employers whose tax rate exceeds the maximum tax rate and a solvency factor to ensure the unemployment trust fund remains able to sustain the payment of unemployment benefits.

When will I be assigned a modified rate?

The exact time will vary depending on your individual circumstances. Your local tax field representative will be able to discuss the factors, which will affect your tax rate. At the time you are eligible for a modified rate, your tax rate may increase, decrease, or remain the same.

What is the minimum and maximum rate in Mississippi?

Your tax rate will vary between .2 percent and 5.4 percent, due to a number of factors. You may contact your local tax field representative to secure your tax rate for the current tax year or for a previous tax year.

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Reporting

What is the taxable wage base in Mississippi?

Employers pay taxes on the first $14,000.00 of wages paid to each employee each calendar year.

What are the report and payment due dates?

Quarterly wage reports and taxes are due by the last day of the month following the close of each calendar quarter, unless the report date is a Saturday, Sunday, or a state or federal holiday. In that case you may file and pay on the following workday.

1st quarter----------due April 30th
2nd quarter ---------due July 31st
3rd quarter----------due October 31st
4th quarter----------due January 31st

I have an active account with MDES, but I didn't have any employees during this quarter. Do I still have to file a report?

Yes.

Am I required to report wages and pay taxes on family members?

Family members are exempt under the following conditions:
1. Services are performed by the spouse or parent of the sole proprietor-
2. Services are performed by the parent of business partners if the partnership is comprised solely of the children of the same parents-
3. Services performed by a child (birth, adopted or stepchild and under the age of 21) of the sole proprietor of a business or partners if the partnership is comprised solely of the parents of the child.

Are wages paid to part-time workers reportable?

Yes.

For Unemployment Insurance purposes, should wages be reported to the state of the employee's residence or the state where the services are performed?

Generally wages are reported to the state in which the services are performed. For exceptions, contact yourlocal tax field representative.

I have employees working in more than one state. To which state should I report their wages? 

You should contact your local tax field representative for assistance with this issue.

Are bonuses and commissions considered wages?

Yes.

Are wages of elected public officials reported?

No.

Are cafeteria plan wages reported?

No.

Are 401K wages reportable?

Yes.

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Online Reporting

How can I file online?

You must have an Employer Account number and a User ID and password to file online.

If you already have both and are ready to file online, click here.

If you do not have an Employer Account number, click here.

If you already have an Employer Account number but need a User ID and password, click here.

What is an Employer Account Number? 

An Employer Account Number is the 10 digit number assigned by MDES at the time you registered your business.


How do I set up my user ID and password?

If you are already registered as an employer for unemployment tax and have an Employer Account number click here.

If you are an employer and do not have an Employer Account Number with MDES click here.

What are the payment options if I submit the quarterly wage and tax report online?

You may pay online by e-check or you can submit the payment by mail to MDES, Tax Department, at PO Box 22781 Jackson, MS 39225-2781.

Can I file my tax and wage report on line without paying online? 

Yes, you can file the tax and wage report online without making the payment online. However, you will receive a debit memo indicating payment was not made at the time of report filing.

Do I need to submit any paperwork or supporting documentation if I file online?

No. No paperwork needs to be submitted when you electronically file your return. You can print a confirmation and should maintain copies of all documents for your records.

What are the specifications for filing by magnetic media?

We accept MMREF and New ICESA formats. To obtain information on these formats, click here.

How do I retrieve a copy of my tax or wage report once it has been submitted?

After MDES has processed the report, you can print a copy by successfully logging into Online Unemployment Services and selecting “Inquiry”. Report processing is generally completed by the business day following the day you submit the report.

Can I review my tax and wage report after submission?

After MDES has processed the report, you can view your report by successfully logging into Online Unemployment Services and selecting “Inquiry”. Report processing is generally completed by the business day following the day you submit the report.

How do I correct information on a quarterly wage or tax report after submission? 

To correct a quarterly wage or tax report after submission, you must file an Employer’s Quarterly Adjustment Report (Form UI-3B).

To download Form UI-3B, click here.

It must be submitted to MDES, Tax Department, P O Box 22781, Jackson, MS 39225-2781.

Note: This file requires the free Acrobat Reader, which may be downloaded here.

Can I update my account information online? 

Yes, you can make changes to your address, phone number, contact information, and maintain users that have access to your account.

Who may I contact for assistance?

Online support is available during regular business hours (8:00am to 5:00pm CST) Monday – Friday. For general Tax questions, you may call 601-321-6334. You may also email tax@mdes.ms.gov

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Interest and Penalties

How is interest calculated on delinquent amounts?

Interest is calculated at one (1) percent per month on any portion of a month in which the payment is past due, and continues to accrue until all taxes, penalties and interest is paid.

Are penalties charged for not paying taxes timely and not submitting quarterly reports timely?

Yes. Penalties are charged in addition to interest.
A penalty for late filing is charged beginning 30 days after the due date of the report. The amount of penalty for late reporting is an additional 10 percent of tax due.
An additional penalty for late payment is charged 60 days after due date or when a warrant for collection is issued. The amount of this penalty is 10 percent of tax due. Total penalties generally will not exceed 20 percent for any calendar quarter.

Why should I pay interest and damages when I mailed my taxes on time and they were lost in the mail?

Mississippi law requires reports to be filed and taxes to be paid on or before the end of the month following the close of the calendar quarter. You may send your reports certified mail if you are experiencing delays in mail service. In the event your reports and payments are received late, if you are able to produce documentation from the postal service (receipt of your certified mail transaction to MDES) that you mailed your reports and payments timely, MDES will not charge you interest. Payments can be made online at www.mdes.ms.gov to ensure timely filing and receipt of payment.

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Leasing and Temporary Employees

Does Mississippi allow leasing companies to file for clients?

Yes, however the client must be registered with MDES and provide MDES with the client's own federal identification number. A cross-reference to the leasing company's federal identification number may be established, if requested by the employer or the employer's representative, for federal reporting purposes.

Are workers I secure through a temporary help firm reportable by my company, or the temporary company?


The workers are employees of the temporary help company for a period of 12 to 15 months, depending on the date the temporary employee is placed at your company. Beginning with the first day of the sixth quarter after the worker is placed, the worker will become your employee for Unemployment Insurance purposes.

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Contractors

How do I determine if a worker is considered contract labor?

Under Mississippi statutes, any worker performing services for wages is considered to be an employee until it is shown to the satisfaction of MDES that the company does not have the right to direct and control the workers and that no direction and control is exercised over the performance of the workers activities.

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MLPP (Mississippi Level Payment Plan)

What is MLPP?

MLPP is the Mississippi Level Payment Plan. MLPP allows certain employers to spread their payment of unemployment taxes throughout the year. This means businesses can keep more of their money for a longer period of time.

Who can qualify to use MLPP?

Any rated employer who has not been delinquent in filing unemployment reports or paying unemployment taxes during the last two (2) calendar years and who has been an employer subject to the unemployment laws for at least twelve (12) months prior to the year you elect participation. All taxes and reports must be current. You must also agree to file and pay reports online.

What are the benefits of MLPP?

Businesses can keep more of their money for a longer period of time. MLPP also allows for better budgeting.

When is the election period?

Election for MLPP must be made by April 1 of the year in which participation is desired. There is one (1) participation election per year allowed for MLPP. If election is made by April 1 of the year, you will be notified of your participation for that year.

How do I sign up for MLPP?

Once MDES determines you meet eligibility requirements, a notification will be mailed to you which will include instructions for enrolling in MLPP. 

Can I opt out of MLPP? Can I opt in again? 

Any employer who meets the requirements of participation in the MLPP shall be allowed one (1) election per year.

How are the payments calculated?

MDES uses a formula based on the taxable wages you reported to us during the last four quarters which were due prior to the election year.  Equal payments will be made for calendar quarters March, June and September and settlement will be made for any overage or shortage at the time payment is due for the December quarter.

Can I pay more than the MLPP amount?

You should make payments due as scheduled on the notification sent for MLPP participation.

If I overpay, will I get a credit/refund?

Credits or refunds will not be issued until settlement has been made.

What are the due dates for MLPP?

Your tax and wage reports will be due on the last day of the month following the end of each quarter. By enrolling in MLPP, you agree to make payments online by bank draft and receive an extension on the payment due dates as follows:
January to March due date May 15;
April to June due date August 15;
July to September due date November 15; and
October to December due date January 31

When do I make settlement for MLPP?

Settlement for any overage or shortage will be made by the time payment is due for the December quarter (January 31).

Do I have to file my tax/wage report and make payment online?

Yes, reports and payments must be made through the MDES online system.

What if I fail to file my tax/wage report while I am on MLPP?

Employers must remain current in filing and paying taxes or your participation in MLPP will be terminated and settlement will become due.

What if I fail to make my payments by the due date while I am on MLPP?

Employers must remain current in filing and paying taxes or your participation in MLPP will be terminated and settlement will become due.

What if I go out of business?

You should notify this agency of any entity change so that settlement may be determined.

How do I make adjustments to my reports?

To correct a quarterly wage or tax report after submission, you must file an Employer’s Quarterly Adjustment Report (Form UI-3B).

To download Form UI-3B, click here.

It must be submitted to MDES, Tax Department, P O Box 22781, Jackson, MS 39225-2781.

Note: This file requires the free Acrobat Reader, which may be downloaded here.

Will I be charged interest while I am on MLPP?

You should make payments due as scheduled on the notification sent for MLPP participation in order to avoid interest and penalties.