California announces new electronic payment options; future penalties

California has announced two new electronic payments options and is also reminding employers on upcoming penalties for non-compliance.

Express Pay. Employers have a new quick and convenient payment option available through the EDD website called Express Pay. Employers can now simply enter their Account or Letter ID and payment information to make a payroll tax deposit or account payment without creating or logging in to an account. This new payment method satisfies the electronic requirement for payroll tax deposits. For more information or to make a payment now, visit the File and Pay Options webpage

Garnishments. Employers can also now make garnishment payments through their e-Services for Business account. With this new feature, employers can view the Earnings Withholding Order issued, view a list of active employees with Earnings Withholding Orders for taxes, and make a payment – all through your e-Services for Business account. Visit the e-Services for Business web page today to enroll or to log in to an account to take advantage of this new feature.

Penalties. All employers are required to electronically submit employment tax returns, wage reports, and payroll tax deposits. Effective January 1, 2019, penalties for non-compliance will be charged starting with the first quarter payments and return and/or report filings as follows:

  • Tax Returns—$50 per return
    • Quarterly Contribution Return and Report of Wages, DE 9
    • Employer of Household Worker(s) Annual Payroll Tax Return, DE 3HW
    • Quarterly Contribution Return, DE 3D
  • Wage Reports—$20 per wage item
    • Quarterly Contribution Return and Report of Wages (Continuation), DE 9C
    • Employer of Household Worker(s) Quarterly Reports of Wages and Withholding, DE 3BHW
  • Payment—15% of amount due
    • Payroll Tax Deposit, DE 88

Employers can prevent the penalties by using e-Services for Business to comply with the e-file and e-pay mandate. e-Services for Business is a no-cost online service that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Employers and employer representatives/payroll agents can file and pay online with e-Services for Business by directly entering return, report, and payment information or by uploading bulk return and bulk payment files for multiple accounts. Express Pay can also be used for online payment. For step-by-step assistance with e-Services for Business enrollment, filing, and paying, view the e-Services for Business User Guide, DE 160 or take advantage of the e-Services for Business Tutorials. (EDD California Employer, Second Quarter 2018.)

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