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  • Writer's pictureSummit Bookkeeping

What’s New in 2024 | Rate Adjustments and Upcoming Deadlines

Happy New Year! Wishing you and your business a year of growth and prosperity!

As we step into the new year, it's important to be aware of rate changes from various government agencies. Here's an overview of what's changed and what's on the horizon for businesses in Washington State and Bellingham.

2024 Rate Adjustments

Washington State Minimum Wage Increase

Washington state's minimum wage has increased to $16.28, up from $15.74 in 2023. If you have employees who are paid minimum wage, you must adjust their hourly pay rate starting January 1, 2024. Learn more on the L&I website.

City of Bellingham Minimum Wage Increase

Beginning May 1, 2024, the minimum wage in the City of Bellingham will be $17.28, which is $1.00 above Washington State’s minimum wage. Learn more about City of Bellingham Initiative 2023-01 - Establishing a City Minimum Wage Above the State Minimum Wage

Paid Leave Premium Decrease

The total premium rate for paid leave will decrease to 0.74%, down from 0.80% in 2023. Employers will pay 28.57% of the total premium and employees will pay 71.43%. Businesses classified by the Employment Security Department as having fewer than 50 employees for the 2024 calendar year are not required to pay the employer portion of the premium.  Learn more on the ESD website.

Workers’ Compensation Rate Increase

The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) increased the average price employers and workers pay for workers' compensation insurance by 4.9% in 2024. This increase means that employers and workers will pay an additional $65 a year, on average, for each full-time employee. Learn more on the L&I website.

IRS Standard Mileage Rate

The IRS has increased the standard mileage rate for business use of car to 67 cents per mile driven, up 1.5 cents from 2023. Learn more on the IRS website.

Important Deadlines

In addition to all the changes for the new year, there are many deadlines that business owners and employers need to watch out for this month. Here is a brief overview of some common deadlines:

January 16, 2024

  • Quarterly Estimated Tax Payments for Q4— IRS

January 25, 2024

  • Monthly DOR Filers: Excise Tax Return — DOR

January 31, 2024

Federal Deadlines:

  • Employer's Quarterly Federal Tax Return (Form 941) for Q4 or Employer’s Annual Federal Tax Return (Form 944)* for 2023 — IRS

  • Employer’s Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return (Form 940) for 2023 — IRS

  • Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement — Provide to employees & IRS

  • Form 1099-NEC, Nonemployee Compensation and/or Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income — Provide to contractors & IRS

* Form 944 is only used by small employers who have been notified that they should file an annual return instead of a quarterly one (Form 941)

Washinton State & City of Bellingham Deadlines:

  • Quarterly DOR Filers: Excise Tax Return for Q4 — DOR

  • State Unemployment Insurance (SUI) Report and Payment for Q4 — ESD

  • L&I Report and Payment for Q4 — L&I

  • Paid Leave Report & Payment for Q4 — Paid Leave

  • WA Cares Fund Report & Payment for Q4 — Paid Leave

  • Quarterly City of Bellingham Filers: B&O Tax Return for Q4  City of Bellingham

  • Monthly City of Bellingham Filers: B&O Tax Return  City of Bellingham

For more information, check out our blog post on reports and forms due January 31.

Please note that all businesses are different and you may have other deadlines and updates that apply to you. If you have questions about your business or industry, contact your accountant, bookkeeper, payroll processor, or HR representative.


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