LWC announces 2020 first quarter unemployment tax payment deferral

BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) announced that Louisiana employers will get a temporary deferral from paying their first quarter 2020 unemployment taxes. Employers will still be required to file their first quarter 2020 wage and tax reports with the agency by April 30, 2020, but payment of the associated taxes will be deferred until June 30, 2020.

“With the state’s effort to contain the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease), Louisiana businesses are dealing with unprecedented challenges,” said Louisiana Workforce Commission Secretary Ava Dejoie. “Our goal in deferring payment of quarterly unemployment taxes is to do what we can to help these businesses through this difficult time.”

Unemployment taxes paid by employers fund the state’s Unemployment Trust Fund, which in turn pays unemployment benefits to qualified individuals. As of March 18, 2020, Louisiana’s Trust Fund balance was $1.05 billion. Louisiana’s Trust Fund is the 17th strongest unemployment trust fund in the nation.

“An employer’s unemployment insurance experience tax rate will not be impacted by COVID-19 related claims,” Dejoie added.

Louisiana employers can begin filing their quarterly wage and tax reports on April 1 through the LWC’s web-based system, LAWATS, accessible at the agency’s website, www.laworks.net. The deadline for filing the reports is April 30. No penalty or interest will be assessed for payments received by June 30.

The deferral will be similar to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service’s plans to offer extension of payment of federal income taxes. While federal tax returns must be filed by the April 15 deadline, payment of taxes due will be granted an extension.