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Washington State University warns of state backlog for term care opt-outs

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(The Center Square) – Washington’s new Long Term Care tax, which went into effect on July 1, has been plagued with implementation delays since its passage by the state legislature in 2019.

These delays have made their way full circle from implementation troubles for private companies’ payrolls to publicly funded institutions such as Washington State University.

In a post to the announcements, benefits, and training portion of the school Newspaper WSU Insider, Ann Monroe of the WSU Human Resource Services department let employees know that the state Employment Security Department is a bit backed up with exemption requests for the new tax.

“WSU has been informed by the Employment Security Department (ESD) that due to a high volume of exemption applications, there will be some that are not processed in time to prevent the WA Cares Long Term Care tax from being withheld on July 10, 2023,” the announcement said.

The statewide tax, which was passed in 2019 but had implementation delayed until July 1 of this year, consists of 58 cents on every $100 of earnings.

This backlog could result in some wages being withheld from those that qualify for an exemption, at least temporarily.

If employees receive their exemption letter from the state and submit it to their employer prior to the end of September of this year, any deductions taken for the tax will be reimbursed.

It goes on to note that because “new exemptions can be pursued at any time, generally the tax will cease the first of the quarter following the exemption effective date reflected on the letter.”

WSU employees are encouraged to visit the school’s website dedicated to the Long Term Care tax for more information, which notes that individuals who have “previously applied for and received the original exemption for private LTD insurance by December 31, 2022 remain exempt, and do not need to re-apply.”

Washington residents can visit the WA Cares long-term care fund website for more information.

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