Frequently Asked Questions About Tax Collection

Understanding the delinquent account process and payment questions:

What is an Initial Determination for Employer Contribution Liability?
An initial determination can be issued for a variety of things, including unpaid unemployment insurance taxes, interest, and penalties. The determination may be appealed within 21 days by following the directions on the reverse side of the initial determination.

Determinations are issued if the contribution report was received without full payment.

In cases where the employer fails to file a contribution report your amount due is estimated. You must complete a contribution and wage report and submit it with your payment either on-line (File Tax and Wage Reports) or to the address listed on the notice.

Employers who do not pay wages during a quarter must still file their quarterly contribution/wage report by internet or by mail. If a report is not filed we may estimate your payroll.
What is the delinquent account process?
The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, Division of Unemployment Insurance considers a tax "delinquent" if the report and payment are not received by the assigned due date. Once this has occurred the assessment is subject to collection action.

When a payment is delinquent, interest accrues on the unpaid tax at a rate of 0.75% per month starting on 08/01/2012. If the amount due is for a period prior to 07/31/2012, interest is assessed at 1% per month from the due date of the bill through July 2012 and then at 0.75% per month from August 2012 through the current date. The interest rate can change annually. Please refer to the Interest Assessment guide at http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/uitax/interestrate for additional information regarding interest rates and calculations.

To avoid legal collection action, it is important that the debtor pay the liability immediately or arrange installment payments.

Legal collection actions available to the Department include, but are not limited to:
  • Tax Warrants issued
  • Levies
  • Seizures of property, sale at sheriff’s auction
  • Denial of Lottery license
  • Individuals may be held liable for corporate liabilities.
Are there penalties that can be assessed?
Employers are responsible for any penalties which may arise from their or their representative's failure to file timely wage and contribution reports.

A late wage report penalty is assessed when the detailed wage report is received after the quarterly due date. The penalty is $50. All reports and payments must be received by the quarterly due date.

A non-filing penalty is assessed when the detailed wage report is not received for the quarter due. The penalty is $50. To prevent this penalty, each employer must furnish a report containing the wages for every employee by the quarterly due date.

A bad media penalty is assessed when the detailed wage report is submitted using an unapproved method to file the wage report. The penalty is $20 per employee reported. To prevent this penalty, employers with 25 or more employees in a quarter must file using an electronic medium and format approved by the Deparment (dwd.wisconsin.gov/uitax). See Frequently Asked Questions about Wage Reporting.

Employer Agents who file contribution reports for employers must file the contribution reports using an electronic medium approved by the Department. The penalty is $25 per contribution report filed on paper. In addition they must file all client wage reports electronically. The penalty is $20 per employee filed on paper.

A contribution report penalty is assessed when an individual employer submits the contribution report using an unapproved method to file the tax report. The penalty is $25 per report for employers reporting or who have reported 25 or more employees. To prevent this penalty, an individual employer reporting or who has reported 25 or more employees must file the contribution report using an electronic medium and format approved by the Department (File Tax and Wage Reports).

A bad media penalty is assessed when the detailed wage report is submitted using an unapproved method to file the wage report. The penalty is $20 per employee reported. To prevent this penalty, employers reporting or who have reported 25 or more employees in a quarter must file using an electronic medium and format approved by the Department. (File Tax and Wage Reports). See Frequently Asked Questions about Wage Reporting.

The law also requires that employer agents file all quarterly wage reports using the internet or an electronic medium and format approved by the Department regardless of the number of employees reported. When agents prepare the quarterly wage reports in an incorrect format, a $20 penalty per employee may be charged to either the employer or the agent that prepared the report.

Requirements for Employers Preparing and Filing Their Own Reports

Number of Employees CONTRIBUTION REPORT WAGE REPORT
1-24 Paper, File Tax and Wage Reports or an electronic medium and format approved by the Department Paper, File Tax and Wage Reports or an electronic medium and format approved by the Department
25 or more File Tax and Wage Reports File Tax and Wage Reports or an electronic medium and format approved by the Department
Penalties for employers of 25 or more $25 per report $20 per employee

Requirements for Reports Prepared by Agents and Filed either by the Agent or the Employer

Number of Employers
Agent Represents
CONTRIBUTION REPORT WAGE REPORT
No minimum (all agents no matter how many clients reporting for) File Tax and Wage Reports Or an electronic medium and format approved by the Department File Tax and Wage Reports or an electronic medium and format approved by the Department
Penalties for improper filing by the agent or employer $25 per employer $20 per employee

The late wage report and the non-filing wage report penalties are $50.

Employers with annual taxes due of $10,000 or more are required to pay electronically. All employer agents filing and paying on behalf of their clients are required to pay electronically (dwd.wisconsin.gov/uitax/eft/) Failure to do so will result in a penalty of $50 or 1/2 of 1% of the total taxes due, whichever is greater.

Are there other costs that may be added to a tax liability after it becomes delinquent?
In addition to interest and penalties, all expenses associated with any legal collection actions taken by the Department will be added to the amount due. Some examples of expenses are lien fees, certified mailing fees, and other collection related costs.
Where do I send a check or money order?
If you have received a notice from the Department with an address indicated for mailing payments, please use that address along with the remittance document. Please add your account number to the check to ensure proper posting to your accounts.

Payments may also be mailed to:
Unemployment Insurance
P.O. Box 8914
Madison, WI 53708-8914
Can I use my credit card to make a payment on my delinquent tax liability?
At this time we do not accept credit card payments, however, you can make payments on line. Go to Electronic Payment Options for Employers. dwd.wisconsin.gov/uitax/eft/
How do I request an installment agreement to pay my taxes?
If you cannot pay the full amount due with your contribution and wage report, file the completed Contribution/Wage Report on time and pay as much as possible.

Contact us at (608) 266-9700 to request an installment agreement to pay your tax balance.

As long as you honor the terms of the installment agreement (make installment payments and timely file and pay all subsequent liabilities), the Department will not take other collection action. However, the Department may file a tax warrant even though you are honoring the terms of your agreement if your agreement extends past a four month period.
Can I use automatic withdrawals from my bank account to pay my delinquent taxes?
Yes, you can have monthly payments automatically withdrawn from your checking or savings account. Go to Electronic Payment Options for Employers. dwd.wisconsin.gov/uitax/eft/
What is a levy?
A levy is an administrative action taken by Unemployment Insurance to collect delinquent unemployment insurance debt, when a person has not taken steps to voluntarily resolve their debt. The purpose of the levy is to seize any property in the hands of a third party. The property to be recovered may be all real and personal property, including but not limited to wages, salary, commission, and bonus or otherwise, bank accounts, rents, insurance proceeds, contract payments and retirement accounts.

Unemployment Insurance will be entitled to receive up to the amount indicated on the levy notice.

How long will this levy stay in place?
The levy remains in effect until paid in full or released. A levy can be a single action against the debtor, or continuous until the debt is paid in full, or an action based on time limits.

How can you levy a joint account?
If the person with the debt has access to the account, all amounts in the account are generally available for levy.

The debt is based on estimates. I know the actual amount is less. Can anything be done?
If actual reports are filed, adjustments may be made to the estimates ultimately reducing the levy amount. We will make every effort to determine your actual liability and amend the levy if you owe less than the estimates if reports are received within a reasonable time frame.
What is a tax warrant?
A tax warrant acts as a lien against real and personal property you own in the county in which it is filed. The warrant is filed with the Clerk of Court and is a public record of the amount you owe. It could affect your ability to obtain credit or sell real estate. There are fees associated with filing a warrant. The cost of filing and satisfying the warrant will be added to the delinquent tax account at the time the warrant is filed. Currently the cost is $10.
What is a partial release of warrant?
The partial release removes our lien only from the specific piece of real estate or personal property that was sold. A partial release may be issued when an asset is sold and it is clear that the proceeds from the sale are insufficient to satisfy prior judgments and our warrant. The Department of Workforce Development, Unemployment Insurance must agree to a partial release of warrant.
Why does the credit bureau show a tax warrant is open and outstanding after my delinquent tax is paid?
Approximately 30 days from receipt of full payment, we will issue a satisfaction and notify the Clerk of Court to record the satisfaction. A copy of the satisfaction is sent to the debtor.

Credit bureaus periodically search public records to look for tax warrants and warrant satisfactions. Occasionally, warrant satisfactions are missed by the credit bureaus.

If your credit bureau report shows an open tax warrant in error, we will send you a copy of the satisfaction. It will be necessary for you to submit your information to the credit bureau and request them to correct their records.
If I am filing or have filed bankruptcy, what address should I use on the mailing matrix for Unemployment Insurance?
Wisconsin Unemployment Insurance
P.O. Box 8914
Madison, WI 53708-8901
How do I find my current balance due?
At this time we are unable to provide account information on this website. We are exploring ways to provide this information in a secure and interactive format. To find your current balance due, please contact us at 608-266-9700.
How to contact us?
Written inquiries:
Unemployment Insurance
Tax Collections
PO Box 7945
Madison WI 53707-7945

Telephone inquiries:
608-266-9700

UI Tax Collections Email Inquiries

(Please include your name, phone number, and email address in the body of the message.)
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