Employing Units

The Iowa Employment Security Law defines an employing unit as an individual (sole proprietor) or type of organization that currently has or previously had in its employ one or more individuals performing service within Iowa. Legal entities based in Iowa, such as a corporation, limited liability company and limited liability partnership must be registered as such with Secretary of State.  The legal business name registered with IWD must exactly match SOS records.

An employing unit includes any:

  • corporation (domestic or foreign) or insurance company
  • limited liability company
  • sole proprietor
  • partnership
  • a state or local government
  • trust/estate
  • a receiver or trustee in bankruptcy
  • association

Employer Responsibilities

Within 30 days of hiring employees for the first time in Iowa or acquiring an existing business, all employing units must register with Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) at www.myIowaUI.org.  Based on the information provided, you will find out if you are a liable employer and are required to pay Unemployment Insurance (UI) contributions.  Out-of-state employing units must register for a UI tax account as soon as wages have been paid to an employee working in Iowa.

myIowaUI - Iowa's Unemployment Insurance Online Tax System

myIowaUI is IWD’s secure online tax system for employers, accountants, and other third-party filers to manage their UI tax accounts.  The system allows you or your third party filer to:

  • register a new business electronically
  • submit quarterly reports electronically
  • calculate taxable wages and contributions due
  • schedule payments
  • submit wage adjustments
  • view historic account information
  • view and update account information
  • receive and view electronic correspondence
  • assign agent and roles (employer only)

myIowaUI - Employer Account Information

To protect your rights and to avoid any possible penalties and interest for late filing, it is your responsibility to ensure that all employer contact information is accurate and up to date. This includes reporting unit(s).  You can update account information at www.myIowaUI.org.

Payroll Records

If you hire individuals in Iowa, it is your responsibility to maintain accurate payroll records. The records must include the total number of employees as well as the following information for each:

  • name
  • Social Security Number
  • days and calendar weeks worked
  • earnings for each period employed

You are required to keep the records for a minimum of five years after the calendar year in which the wages were paid. If you have more than one physical location, the records must be maintained by location.

Employer's Contribution & Payroll

  • if your business is found liable, you must submit your wage detail and make a payment electronically each quarter
  • the quarterly filing is still required even when you have no employment in a specific reporting quarter
  • the quarterly report has the following functions:
    • provides a record of wages you paid each individual worker (wages paid are essential to determine the individual employee’s eligibility for UI and to calculate his/her UI weekly benefit amount)
    • calculates the total wages and taxable wages you paid during the quarter (taxable wages paid are a prime factor in determining your UI tax rate)
    • electronically submits your Multiple Worksite Report if you file wages by reporting unit
  • you can make corrections and/or adjust individual wage lines at www.myIowaUI.org

Reporting Your Employees

  • generally wages for UI purposes are reported to the state in which work is performed
  • if an employee works exclusively in one state, that is the state to which unemployment tax is reported
  • if an employee is a multi-state worker, working in two or more states during a calendar quarter, the employee is reported to the state where their base of operations is. Where an employee starts and finishes their work on a regular basis is their base of operations
  • if an employee moves from job site to job site and there is no base of operations, the employee should be reported to the state where they receive their direction and control
  • if the employee has no base of operations or the place where services are directed and controlled is not applicable, the employee should be reported to the state where they live provided that they perform some service in that state

If an employee has been permanently transferred to the state of Iowa from another state, report the employee to the other state for wages paid before the transfer and report the employee to Iowa for wages paid after the transfer. If the transfer occurs during the middle of the year, you may use the taxable wages reported to the other state before the transfer to determine the Iowa taxable wages after the transfer.

Sell, Transfer Or Discontinue Your Business

You must update your account information at www.myIowaUI.org or file an Employer's Notice of Change form at the time of the status change.