Pay Premiums and Report Wages FAQ



Which employers are required to pay unemployment insurance?

Any business that paid wages of at least $1500 in a calendar quarter during the prior or current calendar year.

- or-

Any business that employed at least one person for any part of a day in 20 weeks during the prior or current calendar year. This does not have to be the same person for all weeks nor consecutive weeks. Domestic employers, nonprofit corporations, and agricultural employers have different liability criteria based on amount of wages paid and the number of employees. Contact us for more information on the different liability criteria:

303-318-9100 (Denver-metro area)
800-480-8299 (outside Denver-metro area)
UI Employer Services P.O. Box 8789 Denver, CO 80201-8789
What is the beginning unemployment insurance rate for a new business in Colorado?

New employers begin at a standard rate depending on the type of business activity. For rate year 2023 the rate consists of only the base rate. There are no surcharges in effect for 2023.

Standard Rates for 2023

Business Classification

Base Rate

Surcharge Rate

Combined Rate

Non-construction 0.0170 0 0.0170
General Construction 0.0170 0 0.0170
Heavy Construction 0.0682 0 0.0682
Trades 0.0186 0 0.0186
Political Subdivision Group Rate 0.0020 0 0.0020

Employers in construction-related industries may be subject to a different base rate, however, the surcharges are the same.
Contact UI Employer Services for more information:

303-318-9100 (Denver-metro area)
800-480-8299 (outside Denver-metro area)
UI Employer Services P.O. Box 8789 Denver, CO 80201-8789

What is the computed rate?

After an employer has paid wages for a sufficient number of quarters, it is eligible for a computed rate based on the experience of the business. The formula for a computed rate is: Total premiums paid into the account minus Total benefits charged to the account divided by the Average chargeable payroll The result of this formula is the percent of excess. Look for the percent of excess in the left hand column of the rate chart and follow that line to the right across the chart to the column heading "Reserve Ratio .000-Deficit‚". The point of intersection is the base rate for 2023.
What are the common reasons for a rate increase?

Some common reasons may include:
  • the average annual payroll increased
  • there were new benefit charges to the account
  • the level of the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund decreased
  • the business stopped paying wages for a period of time and lost its computed rate.
How can I protest my rate?
If you believe there is an error in the figures used to calculate your rate, you may file a written protest Form UITR-7, Your Unemployment Insurance Rate Notice.

If you would like to protest your rate, the official rate protest period opens on December 1, 2023 and closes January 13, 2023.

You may file a written protest using the Protest Form.
Are corporations liable to pay unemployment insurance premiums on corporate officer's wages?

Yes. Corporate officers are considered to be employees of the corporation and their wages are chargeable along with any other remuneration in lieu of wages such as dividends ("S" corporation only), bonuses, draws, or distributions.
What methods of filing premiums-and-wage reports are available?

If you have fewer than 100 employees, internet wage reporting is recommended. If you have 100 or more employees, file transfer protocol (FTP) is necessary.
Please contact us if you have any questions: 303-318-9100(Denver-metro area) and 1-800-480-8299 (outside Denver-metro area)

Paying Premiums and Filing Wage Reports

How can I file my quarterly premium and wage reports?

Online: If your business has 100 or less employees, you may file using our application. If your business has more than 100 employees, you file your premiums using our application and report your wages using our File Transfer Protocol client.
Learn More

Mail-in: You may also file by completing the UITR-1, Premium Report and UITR-1a, Wage Report that were mailed to you during the third month of each quarter.
How are the premiums payments submitted?

When you submit your quarterly report online, a printable payment form is generated. Mail your payment with the payment form. If you are filing via paper, a return envelope is provided with the Premium and Wage reports that are mailed to you. Mail your payment with your premium and wage reports.
How can I report wages for more employees than the paper form allows?

File online. You can file wage information for up to 80 employees. If you file your reports online, do not mail them. File via File Transfer Protocol for 80 or more employees. Request additional paper wage reports by calling the Customer Contact Center at (303) 318-9100, option 1 or (800) 480-8299 or emailing cdle_ui_emp_serv_reports_ftp@state.co.us
When are quarterly premium and wage reports and premiums due?

They are due according to the following schedule: Reporting Quarter Must File and Pay By 1st quarter (January, February, and March) April 30 2nd quarter (April, May, and June) July 31 3rd quarter (July, August, and September) October 31 4th quarter (October, November, and December) January 31 If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the report and its payment must be received on or by the next working day to be considered on time.
Can previously reported quarterly premium and wage reports be corrected?

To adjust information that was previously submitted on the Premium Report and/or the Report of Workers Wages use the following forms all available at https://cdle.colorado.gov/employers/forms-publications: 
  1. UITR-3, Unemployment Insurance Quarterly-Report Adjustment (to correct your full Quarterly Report)
  2. UITR-6a, Multiple Quarter Adjustment of Workers' Wages pdf file (to correct multiple quarters for multiple employees - this form should be submitted along with your updated UITR-3 to show specific wage corrections)
  3. UITR-6c, Social Security Number Corrections (if you need to correct SSNs and wages for multiple employees).

Penalty and Interest Assessments

What are the penalty assessments on delinquent reports?

You are assessed a $50 penalty for each quarter that your Unemployment Insurance Premiums Report is delinquent. If you are a newly subject employer, the penalty is $10 for each occurrence during the first four quarters of coverage.

What are the penalty assessments on delinquent premiums?

If you owe delinquent premiums as of the computations date (June 30), you are assessed a delinquent - premium penalty equal to the amount of delinquent premiums or 1 percent (0.01) of the taxable payroll, whichever is less. This penalty is billed and payable in four quarterly installments.

How is interest charged?

Interest is charged at a rate of 1.5 percent (0.015) per month or any portion of a month on delinquent premiums and penalties.

How are payments applied to penalties, interest and delinquent premiums?
  • Unpaid Interest assessments from Federal Trust fund advances, starting with the earliest quarter in which premiums are due.
  • Unpaid nonprincipal-related bond repayment assessments, starting with the earliest quarter in which premiums are due.
  • Penalties owed, starting with the earliest quarter in which such penalty was incurred, Interest already charged, commencing with the earliest quarter in which such interest is due>
  • Interest accrued on unpaid premiums as of the date of the payment, commencing with the earliest quarter in which premiums are due.
  • Unpaid premiums or unpaid regular unemployment insurance benefits charged, starting with the earliest quarter in which premiums or reimbursements are due, Unpaid reimbursements for extended benefits charged, starting with the earliest quarter in which amounts are due.


Who must pay unemployment insurance premiums?

You may be required to pay unemployment insurance premiums if you meet one or more of the following requirements: Paid wages of $1,500 or more in a calendar quarter during the current or preceding calendar year or, employed at least one person for some portion of a day in each of 20 different weeks during the current or preceding calendar year -or- Employed at least one person for some portion of a day in each of 20 different weeks during the current or preceding calendar year. Employed domestic help in a private home and paid cash wages of $1,000 or more to one or more workers in any calendar quarter. This provision applies also to local college clubs and/or local chapters of a college fraternity or sorority. Either paid cash wages of $20,000 or more to one or more agricultural workers in a calendar quarter or employed ten or more agricultural workers for some portion of a day in each of 20 different weeks during a calendar year. Are an agricultural crew leader. You are considered an agricultural crew leader if you: Furnish workers to perform farm labor for another person. Pay, either on your behalf or on behalf of another person, the workers you furnish for farm labor. Have not made a written agreement with another person under which the farm workers are designated as employees of that person. Are a religious, educational, or charitable nonprofit organization who meets the description in the federal Internal Revenue Code (IRC) 501 (c)(3) and employed four or more employees for some portion of a day in each of 20 different weeks during a calendar year. You are required to pay UI premiums even if you are exempt from federal unemployment premiums under the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) 3306 (c)(8) Are subject to FUTA Acquired all of a Colorado trade, business, organization, or a substantial portion of the assets from a predecessor employer who is liable to pay unemployment insurance premiums. Acquired a part of a trade, business, or organization of an employer that, if considered separately, would be an employer as defined by CESA. Are a state agency, state-operated hospital or school of higher education, or a political subdivision of the state. Voluntarily elected to participate in the Unemployment Insurance and your voluntary election is approved.
Which workers are not covered for unemployment insurance purposes?

Foreign agricultural workers who are holding type H2-A visas. Nonresident alien individuals holding various nonimmigrant visas, including student, exchange-visitor, foreign-vocational-student, and cultural-exchange-visitor visas. Exceptions would include student and exchange-visitor visas allowing work for no more than 20 hours per week during an academic year or 40 hours during summer breaks. Insurance agents who are paid by commission only. Students or spouses of students employed by a school, college, or university to which the students attend and are employed through a financial-aid program. Students participating in work-study or cooperative-education programs. Patients performing services for a hospital. Spouses employed by a sole-proprietor spouse or the spouse of a member in a partnership. Persons under 21 years of age employed by their parent operating a sole-proprietorship business or a parent in a partnership. Elected officials of a state or political subdivision. Members of a legislative body or of the judiciary of a state or political subdivision. Election officials. Members of the state National Guard or Air National Guard. Temporary workers for a government agency performing services during a fire, storm, snow, earthquake, flood, or similar emergency. Railroad workers insured by the Railroad Retirement Tax Act.
What are the two major concepts used to determine who is an independent contractor?

An independent contractor is free from control and direction by you in the performance of the service under the contract agreed upon by you and the worker. An independent contractor is customarily engaged in an independent trade, occupation, profession, or business for others related to the service performed for you.
What is a Liability Determination and why would I receive one?

A Liability Determination is a notice explaining that the Division of Unemployment Insurance has determined an employer is responsible for providing unemployment insurance coverage for its workers. The Liability Determination informs the employer that the workers are deemed employees in accordance with the Colorado Employment Security Act (CESA), therefore, the business is liable for paying unemployment insurance premiums by reporting employee's wages to the Division, typically on a quarterly basis.

Liability Determinations are issued to employers under the following scenarios:

A former worker files for unemployment insurance benefits and the Division determines the employer is liable pursuant to Colorado law. The Division reviews the wages a worker has earned from all employers during a specified period. If, during that period, a business has not reported the worker's wages and has not paid unemployment insurance premiums on those wages, the Division will make a determination as to whether the worker was engaged in services as an employee for the company. If it is determined the individual was, in fact, an employee, a Liability Determination will be issued notifying the employer of his or her responsibility to provide unemployment insurance coverage.

The Division conducts field audits to ensure employers are complying with the tax and benefit provisions of CESA. A Liability Determination must be provided to the employer when changes are made to an employer's account (for example, it is found that workers were not properly classified, were not reported as workers, or there were payroll-posting errors). The Liability Determination accompanies the audit findings and details the reason the changes were made to the employer's account. For more information regarding the audit process, please click here.

The Liability Determination becomes final unless a written request for an appeal is received within 20 days of the mailing date of the notice of liability. Click here for more information on how to file an appeal.

What are the factors used to determine if you have an employer-employee relationship?

A person who is required to comply with instructions about when, where, and how to work is ordinarily an employee. Some employees may work without receiving instructions because they are highly proficient in their line of work and can be trusted to work to the best of their abilities. However, the control factor is present if you have the right to instruct. The instructions may be verbal or written procedures that show how the desired result is to be accomplished.
A person who is trained by an experienced employee, by correspondence, by required attendance at meetings, or other methods is not free from control because the training is an indication that you want the services performed in a particular method or manner. This is especially true if the training is given periodically or at frequent intervals. An independent contractor ordinarily uses his or her own methods and receives no training from the purchaser of services.
Integration of Services
Integration of another person's services into the business operations generally shows that the person is subject to direction and control. In determining whether integration exists, the scope and function of the business are identified and then a determination is made as to whether the services of the individual are merged into the business operations. When the success or continuation of a business depends upon the performance of certain kinds of services, the workers who perform those services may be subject to a certain amount of control by the owner of the business.
Personal Services
If you require that a worker personally render a service, you are interested in the methods and the results. You are interested not only in getting a desired result but also in who does the job. Lack of control may be indicated when an individual has the right to hire a substitute without your knowledge or permission.
If you hire, supervise, and pay assistants, you generally have control over all persons on the job. Sometimes one worker may hire, supervise, and pay other individuals. This worker may hire others as the result of a contract in which the worker agrees to provide materials and labor and accepts the responsibility only for the attainment of a result. In this case, the hiring worker may be an independent contractor. On the other hand, if that person hires, supervises, and pays assistants at your direction, the hiring worker may be acting as your employee in the capacity of a supervisor or representative.
Continuing Services
The existence of a continuing relationship between an individual and the person for whom the services are performed is a factor indicating the existence of an employer-employee relationship. Continuing services may include work performed at frequent, recurring intervals, either on call or whenever the work is available. If the arrangement requires continuing or recurring work, the relationship is considered permanent. It makes no difference if the services are rendered on a part-time basis, are seasonal in nature, or are only for a short period of time.
Set Hours
The establishment of set hours of work by you is a factor indicative of control. When you set the hours of work, you prevent the worker from controlling his or her own time, which is a right of an independent contractor. Even when fixed hours are not practical because of the nature of the occupation, a requirement that the individual work at certain times is an indication of control.
Full-Time Services
f a worker must devote full-time services to your business, you have control over how much time is spent working. An independent contractor, on the other hand, is free to work when and for whom he or she chooses. Full-time employment does not necessarily mean an 8-hour day or a 5-day week. The meaning may vary with the intent of the parties or the nature of the occupation. These conditions should be considered in defining "full time." Full-time services may be required even if a full-time schedule is not specified verbally or in writing. For example, workers may be required to produce a minimum volume of business, which compels them to devote all of their working time to that business.
Location of Services
Work that is completed on your premises does not, by itself, demonstrate control. However, it does imply that you have control, especially if the work could be done elsewhere. A person working in your place of business is physically within your direction and supervision. The use of desk space, a telephone, and clerical services provided by you places the worker within your direction and supervision. The fact that work is done off the premises does indicate some freedom from control. However, it does not, by itself, mean that the worker is not an employee. In some occupations, it is necessary for services to be away from your premises. This is true for employees of construction contractors.
Set order of Services
If a worker must perform services in an order or sequence set by you, it shows that the worker may be subject to your control. This person is not free to follow his or her own patterns of work but must follow your established routines and schedules. Often, because of the nature of an occupation, you may not set the order of the services. However, if you retain the right to do so, control is demonstrated.
Control is demonstrated if the worker is compelled to account for his or her actions by verbal or written reports submitted to you.
Payment for Services
An employee is usually paid by the hour, week, or month. Independent contractors are paid a lump sum agreed upon for the total job. The guarantee of a minimum salary or the granting of a drawing account at stated intervals with no requirement for repayment of the excess over earnings tends to indicate the existence of an employer-employee relationship.
Your payments for the worker's business or traveling expense are a factor indicating control over the worker. Conversely, a lack of control is demonstrated when the worker is paid for an entire job and must take care of all incidental expenses. Tools and Materials If you furnish tools and materials, this is indicative of control over the worker. If the worker furnishes the tools and materials, it indicates a lack of control. However, consideration must be given to the fact that in some occupational fields it is customary for employees to use their own hand tools.
A person who invests a significant amount of money into the facilities used to perform services for another tends to show an independent status. On the other hand, if you furnish all of the necessary facilities, this indicates the absence of a worker's independent status. Facilities include equipment necessary for the work, but not the tools, instruments, clothing, etc., that are provided by employees as a common practice in their particular trade.

FTP Wage Reporting

If my employer account number changed, do I need a new username?
No. You can use the same username that you've used before your account number changed. Just remember to put the new account number in each "S" record.
What is an end of record terminator, or a hard return?

Some programs "wrap" the text, meaning that if the text continues past the left margin, the words will wrap to the next line. However, at the end of each line, there has to be a carriage return

Can I submit multiple quarters in one file or do I need to submit separate files?

Answer The file may contain multiple quarters, as long as each "S" record's location 215-220 differentiates the quarters.
Can I file multiple account numbers in one file or do I need to submit separate files for each account number?
The file may contain multiple account numbers, also, as long as each "S" record's location 147-161 differentiates the separate account numbers.
I get an error after I click on the upload button. Why?

You are probably attempting to upload into the uploaded_files folder. The screen must be at the top level before attempting to upload. The file will programmatically move into the uploaded_files folder. Click on the Top folder.