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Department of Taxation and Finance

Publication 69: Electronic reporting of quarterly combined wage and withholding tax information

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This publication, which supersedes the 11/11 version, describes specifications, formats, and layouts for uploading employee quarterly wage reporting and withholding tax information using the Tax Department's Online Services. Employers/payers must report wage and withholding information using the specifications in this publication.

While some information on wage reporting and withholding is included in this publication, specific definitions and requirements are in Publication NYS-50, Employer's Guide to Unemployment Insurance, Wage Reporting, and Withholding Tax.

If you have questions regarding technical specifications, call 518-457-7105. (Printer-friendly version)

Compatibility

Formats previously submitted and successfully processed can continue to be submitted without change.

Filing requirements

New York State requires employers to electronically file their quarterly wage reporting and withholding tax information. Wage reporting upload is one option available to electronically file your information using the Tax Department’s Online Services. Using this option limits the potential for data entry errors, simplifies filing for the employer and streamlines processing.

Effective January 1, 2019 employers/payers must report total UI remuneration, gross federal wages or distribution subject to withholding, and total New York State, New York City and Yonkers tax withheld each calendar quarter for each employee/payee paid during the quarter you are reporting for.

Note: The amounts you report are only the amounts paid or withheld within the quarter you are reporting.

For tax years 2018 and prior, employers/payers must report total UI Remuneration paid to each employee each calendar quarter. On the fourth quarter return (or the return covering the period in which an employer permanently ceases to pay wages), employers/payers must also report the cumulative total of gross federal wages or distribution subject to withholding and total New York State, New York City and Yonkers tax withheld.

Record retention

Employers/payers must retain a copy of the uploaded files, or be able to reconstruct the data, for at least four years after the due date of the report.

Penalties

Failing to electronically file your quarterly wage reporting and withholding tax information may subject the employer/payer to penalties and delays in processing.

Submission of test media

Employers, payers, and/or agents preparing reports for employers/ payers, and filers electing to file via the upload, are required to submit a test file using the format specified in this publication. Tax regulations require the Tax Department to certify submissions are processible. Test submissions should be submitted in the same format that will be used to submit actual return information. 

The department will notify the transmitter within 30 days of receiving the test submission if it has been successfully processed and certified.

The testing process reduces the potential for unprocessible file submissions. Unprocessible file submissions constitute a failure to file that may result in penalties.

The test file must start with a transmitter record and end with a final record.

Transmitters who plan on submitting information for more than a single employer must include at least two employers with at least 20 employee records for each of the included employers. See File formats for upload instructions.

Submission requirements

Employers/payers submitting data via the upload must not send the same data on paper. Agents reporting for one or more employers/payers must advise those employers not to submit separate reports to the Tax Department. Only one file is permitted.

The due dates for the employee wage reporting and withholding data are:

Quarterly due dates
Quarter Due date*
January 1 to March 31 April 30
April 1 to June 30      July 31
July 1 to September 30 October 31
October 1 to December 31 January 31

* When the actual due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, New York State Tax Law permits you to file on the next business day.

Technical specifications

All data records must have a fixed length of 128 bytes. Deviations from the prescribed format are not acceptable.

Multi-volume media are not acceptable. Data can be compressed and/or zipped as needed. A properly composed file begins with a Code 1A record and ends with a Code 1F record.

Transmitters for multiple employers must use consolidated files, rather than a separate file for each employer or client of the transmitter. Submissions that include multiple employers must be sorted in ascending EIN order.

Print files are not acceptable.

Data must be recorded in uppercase letters only.

A properly composed file contains the following records in sequence.

Record 1A, Transmitter record
Record 1E, Employer/payer record
Record 1W, Employee/payee records
Record 1T, Total record
Record 1F, Final record (only occurs once after all employer/payer records)

Repeat records 1E, 1W, and 1T for each employer on the file.

The employer identifying number in New York State is primarily the federal EIN with two exceptions:

  • temporary nine-character numbers beginning with TF are used until the federal EIN is assigned; and
  • decentralized employers may apply for a location suffix to their federal EIN.

Beginning with tax year 2019, if the employee/payee does not have any gross wages covered by unemployment insurance in New York  State, gross federal wages or distribution subject to withholding and New York State, New York City and Yonkers tax withheld in the calendar quarter you are reporting the employee/payee should not be reported.

If the employee/payee did not have any gross wages covered by unemployment insurance or if the employee is not covered by unemployment insurance in New York State in the quarter you are reporting, the UI remuneration paid this quarter field should be zero filled. However, the employee/payee had gross federal wages or distribution subject to withholding and New York State, New York City and Yonkers tax withheld in that quarter you are required to report those amounts for each employee/payee paid during the quarter.

For tax year 2018 and prior, if the employee/payee does not have any gross wages covered by unemployment insurance in New York State during quarters one, two, or three, then that employee/payee should not be reported for those quarters. The fourth quarter submission requires reporting of the total gross federal wages or distribution subject to withholding and total New York State, New York City and Yonkers tax withheld for all employees/payees for all quarters during the year. If the employee/payee did not have any gross wages covered by unemployment insurance in the fourth quarter, or if the employee is not covered by unemployment insurance in New  York State, the UI remuneration paid this quarter field should be zero-filled. 

Employers who are liable under the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) must include a separate employee record for any employee receiving payments of severance pay and the first six months of sick pay. This additional employee record must be identified by entering a letter O for other types of wages at position 43 of the 1W record. Specific details related to these types of other wages are available in Publication NYS-50.

All gross federal wages or distribution subject to withholding and total New York State, New York City and Yonkers tax withheld must be reported in the 1W employee record containing regular wages (that is, with the letter W in position 43).

  • All money fields are strictly numeric (exception: for an amended record, enter spaces in positions 45 through 57 and an X in position 58 of record 1W).
  • Include dollars and cents with the decimal point assumed. Do not use any punctuation in any money field.
  • Right-justify and zero-fill all money fields.
  • In a money field that is not applicable, enter zeros.
  • Negative (credit) money amounts are not acceptable.
  • High-order signed fields are not acceptable.
  • In general, UI remuneration paid this quarter must include wages that are subject to Article 18 of the Labor Law. These wages are the basis for claims for unemployment insurance benefits in New York State.
  • In general, gross federal wages or distribution subject to withholding is the amount of wages that are subject to withholding tax.
  • Total tax withheld is the sum of taxes withheld for New York State, New York City, and the city of Yonkers.
  • Left-justify the name, in uppercase only, and list the last name first. Separate all segments of the name, including each initial, by blanks.
  • Connect parts of a compound surname by a hyphen. Do not use a blank to separate single letter prefixes (such as O or D) from the rest of the surname; they may be separated by an apostrophe or be contiguous with the rest of the name. Do not use commas to separate names. Connect last name suffixes (such as Jr, Sr, or MD) to the last name with a hyphen.

For information regarding content of any of the fields, refer to Publication NYS-50.

Record 1A transmitter record, length = 128 bytes

Location

Field

Length

Description and remarks

1–2 Record identifier 2 Constant 1A
3–8 Upload creation date 6 MMDDYY
9–19 Transmitter's identification number 11 Transmitter's federal EIN or NYS tax identification number; left-justify and fill with blanks; no hyphens or spaces in number
20–59 Transmitter's name 40 Organization transmitting the file; left-justify and fill with blanks
60–89 Street address 30 Street address of transmitter
90–114 City 25 Left-justify and fill with blanks
115–116 State 2 Use standard FIPS postal abbreviation
117–125 ZIP code 9 Left-justify and fill with blanks
126–128 Blanks 3 Enter blanks

Record 1E Employer/payer record, length = 128 bytes
Location Employer/payer record Length Description and remarks
1–2 Record identifier 2 Constant 1E
3–6 Quarter being reported 4 MMYY; enter the last month of the quarter being reported (e.g., 0305, 0605, 0905, 1205, etc.)
7–17 Employer's identification number 11 Employer's federal EIN or NYS tax identification number; left-justify and fill with blanks; no hyphens or spaces in number
18 Blank 1 Enter blank
19–58 Employer/payer name 40 Left-justify and fill with blanks
59 Blank 1 Enter blank
60–89 Street address 30 Left-justify and fill with blanks
90–114 City 25 Left-justify and fill with blanks
115–116 State 2 Use standard FIPS postal abbreviation
117–125 ZIP code 9 Left-justify and fill with blanks
126 Blank 1 Enter blank
127 Type of return 1 Letter O - Original

Letter A - Amended

128 Seasonal employer indicator 1 Enter S if the employer does not anticipate activity during part of the year. Otherwise, leave blank.

Record 1W Employee/payee record, length = 128 bytes
Location Field Length Description and remarks
1–2 Record identifier 2 Constant 1W
3–11 Social Security number 9 Omit hyphens
12–41 Employee's name 30 Surname, blank, first name, blank, middle initial, blanks; left-justify and fill with blanks; commas not permitted
42 Blank 1 Enter blank
43 Wages for unemployment insurance benefit computation/Other wages 1 Letter W - benefit wages; letter O - other wages
44 Blank 1 Enter blank
45–58 UI remuneration paid this quarter 14 Right-justify; zero-fill; dollars and cents; implied decimal
59 Blank 1 Enter blank
60–73 Gross federal wages or distribution subject to withholding 14 Right-justify; zero-fill; dollars and cents; implied decimal
74 Blank 1 Enter blank
75–88 Total NYS, NYC & Yonkers tax withheld 14 Right-justify; zero-fill; dollars and cents; implied decimal
89–128 Blanks 40 Enter blanks

Record 1T Total record (one Record 1T for each Record 1E), length = 128 bytes
Location Field Length Description and remarks
1–2 Record identifier 2 Constant 1T
3–9 Number of 1W records 7 Enter the total number of 1W records for this 1E records, right-justify and zero-fill
10–44 Blank 35 Enter blanks
45–58 Total UI remuneration paid this quarter 14 Right-justify; zero-fill; dollars and cents; implied decimal
59 Blank 1 Enter blank
60–73 Total gross federal wages or distribution subject to withholding 14 Right-justify; zero-fill; dollars and cents; implied decimal
74 Blank 1 Enter blank
75–88 Total NYS, NYC & Yonkers tax withheld 14 Right-justify; zero-fill; dollars and cents; implied decimal
89–128 Blank 40 Enter blanks

Record 1F Final record, length = 128 bytes
Location Field Length Description and remarks
1–2 Record identifier 2 Constant 1F
3–12 Number of 1E records 10 Total number of 1E employer/payer records; right-justify and zero-fill
13–22 Number of 1W records 10 Total number of 1W employer/payer records; right-justify and zero-fill
23–128 Blanks 106 Enter blanks

To file amended records via upload you must provide the previously reported employee record that is to be completely replaced, followed immediately by the corresponding replacement record. The new employee-specific information is a complete replacement for what was originally reported. Only those employees that have corrections should be reported. The total for the amended records is the new information only for those employees being reported.

All files must start with a 1A transmitter record and a 1E employer record. The amended component begins with an employer record (1E). The employer record should indicate the quarter/year being amended in position 3 through 6 and include an A as the type of return in position 127. The quarter/year being amended is the quarter/year of the original submission that needs to be corrected.

The social security number and employee name serve to identify which original employee record (1W) is being corrected. The original employee record that must be replaced is first identified by placing an X in position 58, which is the end of the UI remuneration paid this quarter field (positions 45 through 58, right justify, blank fill). Positions 60 through 73 and 75 through 88 (the other two dollar fields) for that employee record must be zero-filled.

The employee record with the X in the UI remuneration paid this quarter field must be immediately followed with the replacement record. This replacement record must include all the data for that employee as it should have been reported, including UI remuneration paid this quartergross federal wages or distribution subject to withholding and total NYS, NYC & Yonkers tax withheld.

The total record (1T) should include a count of the total number of employee records in the amended file. Both the original (with an X in the UI remuneration paid this quarter field) and the replacement record for the employee are counted. The totals for the dollar fields (UI remuneration paid this quarter, gross federal wages or distribution subject to withholding and total NYS, NYC & Yonkers tax withhled) must include only replacement records in the amended file.

The final record (1F) for the upload must include a count of the employer records and a count of the employee records.

Examples

Originally reported amounts
1W records field Errors in UI remuneration paid this quarter Erroneous social security number
Social security number (3-11) 111223333 555555555
Employee name (12-41) Taxpayer John Q Taxpayer Sue Z.
Wages for UI/Other wages (43) W O
UI remuneration paid this quarter (45-58) 00000001603011 00000000975111
Gross federal wages or distribution subject to withholding (60-73) 00000004642111 00000003900411
Total NYS, NYC & Yonker tax withheld (75-88) 00000000761211 00000000429011

Corrected information, Employee 1W records
Social security number Employee name Wages for UI/Other wages Total UI remuneration paid this quarter Gross federal wages or distribution subject to withholding Total NYS, NYC & Yonkers tax withheld
111223333 Taxpayer John Q W X 00000000000000 00000000000000
111223333 Taxpayer John Q W 00000000163011 00000006412411 00000000761211
555555555 Taxpayer Sue Z O X 00000000000000              00000000000000
123456789 Taxpayer Sue Z O 00000000975111 00000003900411 00000000429011
Total 1T record Number of 1W records Total UI remuneration paid this quarter Gross federal wages or distribution subject to withholding Total NYS, NYC & Yonkers tax withheld
0000004 00000001138122 00000010312822  00000001190222

To reflect an increase in an employee's wages, amend the employee records as follows:

  • Record 1: Delete the original record.
    • Enter the SSN and employee name as originally reported, and an X in position 58.
    • Zero-fill gross federal wages or distribution subject to withholding and total NYS, NYC & Yonkers tax withheld fields.
       
  • Record 2: Create a replacement record with current data.
    • Enter the SSN and employee name.
    • Enter the UI remuneration paid this quarter, gross federal wages or distribution subject to withholding, and total NYS, NYC & Yonkers tax withheld.

To correct an employee’s social security number, amend the employee records as follows:

  • Record 3: Delete the original record.
    • Enter the SSN and employee name as originally reported, and an X in position 58.
    • Zero-fill gross federal wages or distribution subject to withholding and total NYS, NYC & Yonkers tax withheld fields.
       
  • Record 4: Create a replacement record with current data.
    • Enter the SSN and employee name.
    • Enter the UI remuneration paid this quarter, gross federal wages or distribution subject to withholding, and total NYS, NYC & Yonkers tax withheld.

Deletions

It is possible to delete records that were mistakenly reported in a quarter. These employees/payees must have the originally reported social security number and employee name, and an X in the UI remuneration paid this quarter field.

Additions

To add an employee on the amended file who was not reported originally, report the information as a replacement record. There must not be an original record with an X in the UI remuneration paid this quarter field. If original information was required to be filed via upload, the corrections to that information must also be filed via upload, unless there are 16 or fewer corrections.

The Tax Department requests that corrections for 16 or fewer employees/payees be submitted by filing Form NYS-45-ATT with the Amended Return box checked. (Filing federal Form W-2C will not amend your wage reporting.)

Amendment requirements

If the correction(s) affect(s) the withholding tax amounts, employers must also complete Form NYS-45-X, Amended Quarterly Combined Withholding, Wage Reporting, and Unemployment Insurance Return, to report the changes in withholding amount.

Each employer must group and report amended employee records by the quarter being amended. Submissions of amended records for multiple quarters by the same employer can be included on the upload, but each quarter being amended must have an employer record (1E) and a total record (lT).

Do not include amended employee information on the same uploaded file as original employee information.

First test file
Record       Name Instructions
Record 1A Transmitter record Complete with actual transmitter data
Record 1E Employer/payer record Complete with actual employer data
Record 1W Employee/payee records Provide information for 20 employees, including: social security number, employee name, UI wages/Other wages, UI remuneration paid this quarter, gross federal wages or distribution subject to withholding, and Total NYS, NYC & Yonkers tax withheld.
Record 1T Total record Employer total information for the four employee records
Record 1F Final record Grand total for file

Second test file
Record       Name Instructions
Record 1A Transmitter record Complete with actual transmitter record
Record 1E Employer/payer record Complete with actual employer data
Record 1W Employee/payee records Provide four employee amended records (see below) including social security number, employee name, UI wages/Other wages, UI Remuneration paid this quarter, gross federal wages or distribution subject to withholding, and Total NYS, NYC & Yonkers tax withheld

Record 1T Total record Employer total information for 20 employee records
Record 1F Final record Grand total for file
Updated: