Let’s talk about how to complete a wage audit notice that you’ve received from the North Carolina Division of Employment Security.
The division ensures that proper payment of unemployment insurance benefits is made when benefits are due, as these benefits are based on taxes paid by employers. To prevent unnecessary increases in tax rates, unemployment insurance claims are regularly reviewed. These checks or audits aim to find issues when individuals fail to properly report that they have worked and earned income during a week they claim to be unemployed.
Employers receive requests for wage audits through the Employer Self-Service Portal. The portal allows the form to be completed online, allowing employers to enter data based on their pay periods, rather than in a weekly format as required. It is important for employers to complete the wage audit notices by the requested due date. If the requested information is not provided, the case will be closed, even if the employee in question did not accurately report work and earnings while claiming benefits.
Accessing the Wage Audit
To access the wage audit, log into the Employer Self-Service Portal at des.nc.gov. Your dashboard will show tasks that need to be completed, including wage audits coming due. Under “Actions Required,” click the link “Respond to Wage Audit.”
Completing the Wage Audit
Note the audit start and end dates and have your pay records for the employee available for the specific time period. Click “Start” in the “Complete Audit” column and fill out the information on the contact page.
The easiest way to complete this part of the form is to select “I need assistance in calculating wages based on the benefit week.” This allows you to enter wages based on your payroll processes. If the employee works part-time, enter the actual wages per day starting on Sunday and ending on Saturday of the benefit week.
No further action is needed if you check one of three responses: you have no record of the party, the name and social security number do not match your records, or there were no wages to report during the audit period.
If you do not select one of those responses, you will need to complete the field for the first day worked for pay within the audit period. This is the day the employee first performs services for you, regardless of their hire date. You must also complete the last day the employee worked for pay during the period. Enter the rate of pay and select how that pay is determined.
If the employee is separated or temporarily laid off and expected to return to work, enter the date of separation or return, the day of the week your pay period ends from the drop-down menu, then enter the first pay period ending date after the audit start date and select the employee’s normal work schedule or check the box if it varies. Click “Next.”
The screen will populate with the pay period ending dates based on your pay schedule. Enter gross earnings, including pre-tax and deductions, for each pay period shown. The wages will be broken down into the DES claim weeks based on your entries. Enter other types of pay for the dates the pay covers in the appropriate fields. Bonus pay should be entered on the week it was paid.
Upload additional supporting payroll documentation using the upload content section. Use the additional comments section to detail information entered under bonus pay or other pay. Once you have reviewed the information, check the box to certify that your answers are accurate to the best of your knowledge. Click “Finish.”
You will receive a confirmation number that the audit is complete, and you can print a copy for your records. Go to the audit list button if you have other audits to complete. Otherwise, return to the main menu. Thank you for your help in ensuring that only benefits that are actually due are paid to unemployed individuals.
For more information, please visit the employer section of the DES website at des.nc.gov.