How to update your payroll account for retroactive MA UI and COVID-19 Recovery Assessment tax changes

Legislation enacted in May, 2021 changed Massachusetts Unemployment Tax rates and introduced a new COVID-19 Recovery Assessment retroactive to January 1, 2021. We've gathered helpful government links to learn more about the change, and provided information on how to update your Wave account.

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In May of 2021, the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) retroactively changed UI rates for 2021, and introduced the COVID-19 Recovery Assessment tax. Learn more about the taxable wage base and how contributions are calculated here.

Important: As a result of this change, you may have an additional contribution. Contributions for Q1 and Q2 are due on or before 3:00PM EST, August 31, 2021.

Your updated 2021 UI rate and the COVID-19 Recovery Assessment rate are provided by the DUA. You need to enter your updated UI rate into your account for Wave's calculations to be accurate.

Check your updated rate by logging in to your UI Online account and click on “Account Maintenance” then “View Rate Notice.” Updated contribution amounts due will be visible on the “Payment Information” screen.

Note: The MA DUA has indicated it will recalculate contributions using the adjusted UI rate and new Recovery Assessment rate, for those who filed their Q1 and Q2 2021 Employment and Wage Detail Report, and that employers are not required to submit adjustments as a result of the rate change. Learn more, including how any applicable credit will be applied, on DUA website.

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Steps to take in Wave

Update your MA state Unemployment Tax rate in Wave using these steps:

  1. Click Settings
  2. Click Tax Profile
  3. Select Settings for MA State Unemployment Tax and click New Tax Rate

The COVID-19 Recovery Assessment rate needs to be entered in Wave, in a new field. Wave is aware of this need and is working on making this available as soon as possible.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who can I contact for more information?

More information is available from the MA Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA). In addition to their COVID-19 recovery assessment website, the DUA has published this letter, including a detailed FAQ. For further questions, contact the MA DUA directly.

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