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Reminder: Payroll Taxes & DES Reporting

Posted Mar 31, 2015

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With 1st quarter payroll reports due in April, we would like to remind you of the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) reporting requirements.

In Arizona, most employers are required by law to pay unemployment tax on the first $7,000 in gross wages paid to each employee in a calendar year. Any wages paid to an employee over $7,000 are deemed “excess” wages and are not taxed. You must report to DES all wages paid when preparing your report.

In January, you should have received a 2015 rate change notice from DES which details your new rate for the year and indicates whether you are subject to the additional Arizona Job Training Tax or not. If you have not done so already, make sure you update your accounting system to reflect the new rate or inform your payroll provider.

1st quarter payroll reporting is usually the most costly, since employers are generally paying tax on every employee because most have not reached more than $7,000 in gross wages. The first quarter report usually has the most errors since employers often forget to take into account the rate change. These two factors can result in penalty and interest assessments, especially if your rate increased.

1st quarter reporting and payments are due to DES by April 30th. Filing can be done online using the AZ UI Tax and Wage System (TWS) at

As always, HBL is here to help! Additional information on DES requirements for employers and blank forms UC-018 for paper filing can be found at:

As a general disclaimer, the information provided above is very general and broad in nature, is not represented as complete, and may not apply to taxpayers’ individual situations. We advise all taxpayers to consult a professional tax advisor regarding their own specific tax needs. 

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