Mary Cervantes

Mary Cervantes is a columnist for the Napa Valley Register.

J.L. Sousa/Register

Each new year brings a batch of new laws for residents and businesses. In California, Governor Brown signed close to 900 new laws in 2016 with many becoming effective this month.

For California employers with 10 or more employees, the passage of Assembly Bill 1245, also known as the e-file and e-pay mandate, requires employers to file all wage reports, employment tax returns and pay all contributions for unemployment insurance premiums electronically with the Employment Development Department (EDD).

This requirement will apply to all remaining employers beginning Jan. 1, 2018.

To help manage employer payroll tax accounts online the EDD has implemented E-Services for Business to encourage employers and payroll officers to register.

Once registered, employers and agents will have 24-hour access, seven-days-a-week to manage their employer payroll tax accounts.

With E-Services for Business, employers can:

Register for an employer payroll tax account number.

File returns and reports.

Make payroll tax deposits and pay other liabilities.

View and update account information.

Implementation of E-Services for Business began in 2016 and already the EDD is improving and updating the system to be more user friendly. These improvements include:

Increased access to EDD notifications, registration, payments, returns

A more intuitive user interface

A mobile-friendly design when viewing and making payments

An option that allows employers to view all details for a specific filing period

Enhanced alerts to remind employers when items are due

E-Services for business has many benefits:

Increase accuracy and processing of returns and payments

Reduction in paper and mailing costs

Tax returns and payments post sooner to payroll tax account

Employer’s information is protected with encryption

No special software is needed, only an internet connection

No cost to the employer

The EDD is committed to supporting employers through this transition to meeting this new state requirement. For employers who may be unable to electronically file and pay, a hardship waiver application is available.

In partnership with the EDD, the Napa-Sonoma SBDC is here to help employers get signed up with EDD E-file and other small business needs.

The SBDC business advisors can provide employers with additional guidance regarding this new employer requirement and are trained through EDD to assist employers with enrollment in the E-Services for Business system. All confidential business advising services are offered at no cost to the client.

Employers can check out EDD’s E-Services for Business online video tutorials which provide step-by-step instructions for enrolling, filing, paying, and more. For more information, visit E-Services for Business.

For assistance with enrolling, filing, or paying online, employers can contact the EDD Taxpayer Assistance Center at 888-745-3886, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To make an appointment with a Napa-Sonoma SBDC business advisor, visit napasonomasbdc.org or call (707) 256-7250.

Mary Cervantes is the business services director for Napa Valley College Napa-Sonoma Small Business Development Center. Reach her at 256-7253 or mcervantes@napavalley.edu.

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