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Building your business into a success is every owner’s dream. But part of that dream may involve a nightmare called payroll taxes. If you have employees, knowing payroll taxes is a must. Don’t lose any sleep over this—we’ll cover the basics of Iowa state payroll taxes and federal payroll taxes to make sure you’re up to speed.
Iowa payroll taxes
Here’s what you need to know about withholding payroll taxes in Iowa.
- Iowa payroll taxes start with employees filling out Form IA W-4. This information helps you determine how much you should withhold.
- If an employee does not complete this form, you will need to withhold tax as though no exemptions were claimed.
- Employees need to update Form IA W-4 in case of life events (such as marriage, divorce, birth or adoption of a child, etc.) that may impact their taxes.
- The personal income tax rate in Iowa is 4.40%–6.0%.
- Iowa has reciprocity with the following states: Illinois
Additional Iowa forms
In addition to Form IA W-4 mentioned above, Iowa employers also need to file the following forms:
- Iowa Quarterly Withholding Return (IA 44-095)
- Return/Wage detail Iowa Quarterly Contribution (IA 65-5300)
- Iowa Department of Revenue and Finance Voucher (IA 44-105)
- Wage and Tax Statement (State W2)
- Iowa Annual W/H Reconciliation (IA VSP)
- New Hire Report
Iowa unemployment tax rate
Iowa requires most employers to pay unemployment insurance tax to help compensate workers who are out of work through no fault of their own.
- Employers pay Iowa unemployment tax on the first $36,100 of an employee’s wages.
- New employers in the construction industry pay at a rate of 7%.
- New employers who are not in the construction industry pay at a rate of 1%.
- Experienced employers pay at a rate of 0–7%.
- Unemployment tax should be paid quarterly to Iowa Workforce Development.
Paying Iowa taxes
Here’s what you need to know about paying Iowa taxes:
- How often employers pay depends on the amount of tax you withhold in a year.
- Iowa’s payment frequencies are: quarterly, monthly, semi-monthly.
Iowa salary threshold
Because Iowa doesn’t have its own salary threshold, it adheres to the federal salary threshold.
- The federal salary threshold is now $684 per week on a salary basis or on an hourly basis at a rate not less than $27.63 an hour.
- The Department of Labor permits employers to count some bonuses, commissions, and other incentive payments toward meeting the standard salary level (up to 10%).
- Employees who earn at least $107,432 per year may qualify as “highly compensated.”
- See this Department of Labor fact sheet for details.
Requirements to obtain Workers’ Compensation vary by state. This table outlines some of these requirements. If you determine that your company is required to purchase Workers’ Compensation insurance in your state, learn how to sign up for this insurance with Gusto. Sometimes, companies get a request for a workers’ comp audit—head to this article and click the workers’ comp audit reports dropdown for more information.
Employers in Iowa need to report new employees.
- New hires must be reported to Iowa DHS Employer Site.
- New hires must be reported within 15 days of their first day of work.
You must provide a pay stub to every employee that includes:
- Company’s legal name and address
- Employee’s name and last four digits of their Social Security number
- Pay period beginning and end dates
- Total hours worked
- Rate of pay
- Gross wages
- The amount and reason for any deduction
Employers must pay final wages to employees on or before the company’s next regular payday.
Iowa law requires employers to provide the following types of time off to employees.
- Jury duty
- In some circumstances, employers are obligated to provide up to 3 hours of paid time off to allow employees to vote.
- Family & parental leave applies to employers with four or. more employees
- Domestic violence leave applies to all employers for plaintiffs, defendants, and witnesses in civil domestic abuse proceedings.
Federal payroll taxes
In addition to Iowa-specific taxes, both you and your employees will pay a variety of federal payroll taxes. Check out the breakdown below.
Federal income tax
Unless they are exempt, your employees will pay federal income tax.
- You must withhold federal income tax from employees’ pay, unless they are exempt.
- Each employee’s Form W-4 will differ based on their filing status and dependents, among other details—so the amount of income tax to be withheld will vary.
- Form W-4 does not need to be sent to the IRS, but should be kept for your records.
Both you and your employees will pay Federal Insurance Contributions Act, or FICA tax.
- FICA is made up of the Medicare tax and the Social Security tax.
- In 2023, the Social Security tax requires employers and employees to each contribute 6.2% of wages up to $2,600.
- The Medicare tax requires employers and employees to each contribute 1.45% of all wages.
- See the IRS webpage for details, like maximum thresholds.
Like the state, the federal government also has an unemployment tax, called FUTA, which is paid by employers.
- FUTA is an annual tax an employer pays on the first $7,000 of each employee’s wages.
- The FUTA rate for 2023 is 6.0%, but many employers are able to pay less, for instance, up to 5.4% each year due to tax credits.
- Most employers will pay this tax annually with Form 940. But larger employers with more than $500 in tax due will have to pay quarterly.
Additional Medicare tax
The Additional Medicare tax is paid by employees. Here’s what you should know:
- For employees that earn over $200,000 per year, 0.9% of earnings will need to be withheld for the Additional Medicare tax.
- Whether or not your employee owes this tax may depend on their filing status.
Paying federal taxes
How often you’ll pay federal payroll taxes depends on how much you owe.
- Semi-weekly or monthly payments are required for federal withholding, Additional Medicare, and FICA taxes. And every quarter, a summary payroll tax return is due on Form 941, Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return.
- Quarterly or annual payments are required for federal unemployment tax. Most employers will pay annually, but quarterly payments are necessary if you owe more than $500. Each time you make a payment, you’ll need to file a payroll tax return on Form 940, Employer’s Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return.
We’re here to help
If you don’t love manual number crunching and payroll taxes sound overwhelming to you, take advantage of Gusto’s full-service payroll options or use an experienced accountant to help you with the process.