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Department of Taxation and Finance

Publication 911: Electronic reporting of quarterly wage and withholding tax information based on federal formats

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For calendar quarters beginning on or after January 1, 2021, there will be a new Online Services application for employers, payers and/or agents preparing reports for employers/payers to upload wage reporting bulk files.

The new application will no longer process wage upload files that contain errors, including employer or employee data errors, formatting errors, and nonfatal errors. The errors contained in the file will be displayed within the Web application. All errors must be corrected before uploading the file for the file to be accepted. After submitting a file an e-mail will be sent for all successful and failed uploaded files. The file format in this publication is not changing.

This publication, which supersedes the 6/20 version, describes specifications, formats, and layouts for reporting quarterly employee 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.

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.

The Tax Department will not accept amended information using federal specifications. Amended information must be submitted on either Form NYS-45-X or Form NYS-45-ATT according to the instructions, or via the upload according to the specifications described in Publication 69, Electronic reporting of quarterly combined wage and withholding tax information.

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. Test submissions should be submitted in the same format that will be used to submit actual return information.

Transmitters will submit a test upload file using the Web application and receive immediate results on the success or failure of the file. Transmitters will no longer need to wait up to 30 days to be notified of the success or failure of a test file.

Upon submission, the transmitter will be notified within the Web application if the file is successful. If there are fatal errors contained in the file, the errors will be displayed within the Web application. All errors must be corrected before uploading the test file for the file to be successful.

Transmitters who plan on submitting information for more than a single employer should include at least two employers with at least 20 employee records for each of the included employers.

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 512 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 RA record and ends with a Code RF 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.

Technical specifications

Updated: