New Indiana Unemployment Website and UC-1 filing process


As most of you probably noticed, last quarter, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development changed the Uplink website and process for filing quarterly Indiana unemployment tax returns. All these changes were implemented by the department after receiving extensive user feedback. The goal was to try to ease user experience and improve reporting and use of the website. To ensure you are prepared for the next quarter filing and have a full understanding of the changes implemented, below is a brief summary of the changes made.

The biggest change effective 1st quarter 2019 is that you can no longer paper file your Indiana unemployment tax returns. All returns must be filed online through Uplink: So, if you have paper filed in the past, you need to set up an Uplink login and file your unemployment returns online moving forward. With this change, there is just one report to file rather than the two separate reports filed previously: wage report and contribution report. You just prepare the wage report now.

Another large change is that if you have over 50 employees, you can no longer manually input employee data. You must now upload your wage report. The upload needs to be an excel file saved as a CSV or an ICESA .txt file. Further guidelines on the formatting required for upload can be found here: 

Uplink recommends accessing a previously filed report and updating with current information for your file upload. To access a previous quarter’s report, login to Uplink, select wage report history on the left- (hand side of your Uplink login. This will open a webpage showing the main information for each quarter previously filed and on the left side, you can download a CSV file with the report information. This CSV file matches the formatting needed to submit a new report through excel. Just clear out the previous quarter data, fill in with the current quarter’s information, save, and upload the file for the current quarter.

If you have less than 50 employees, you can still manually input information on uplink to file. However, all employers can use the upload feature if desired.

If you are doing manual entry, save your progress regularly (every 5 minutes) to ensure the system doesn’t timeout. Uplink has acknowledged the new manual entry method is a bit more cumbersome than the previous method. They do not expect this to change as they make additional updates. The new manual input system was designed to work better with tablets and cell phones for those that do not file through a computer.

The new wage report asks for a lot of new information including employee hire date, ZIP code of work, if the employee is full time or part time, and asks you to indicate for each employee if they were employed the 12th of each month (rather than just listing the total employees employed on the 12th of each month). Right now, employee social security number is the only required information. All the other questions are optional. If these items are left blank you will get a warning message when you file but leaving them blank will not result in a penalty. Currently, there is no known date for when these additional questions will become required.

If you do not have an employee’s social security number, you can list out all zeros or ones instead to be able to file the report. Just be aware that there is a penalty of $25.00 for every employee without a valid social security number.

After you have submitted the report (or manually input the information via Uplink), you will make a payment online or print a payment voucher. As it was previously, if you pay online, you will be directed to Uplink’s third-party payment site. Once payment is made, it will immediately show up on your Uplink login.

When you file the report, Uplink now automatically calculates the tax due. If the balance is higher or less than what you manually calculated, you will have to look through the payment and filing history tabs on the left-hand side of the Uplink website to determine if you overpaid or underpaid a previous quarter.

You can no longer can’t print previously filed returns. Instead, there is just a CSV file showing what was reported. The confirmation you receive upon filing is also just a small pop up that you must print screen if you want a copy.

With the updates made to the Uplink website, you can now amend previous quarter wage reports filed through the website. So, a paper amendment form is no longer required. The new Uplink has PDF copies of all notices mailed as well.

For those of you that use QuickBooks, the PDF UC-1 return generated in QuickBooks can no longer be mailed to the department. You will have to use the information from the report to manually input the data in Uplink or fill in the CSV upload file. QuickBooks has updated their UC-1 and state wage report features to include the additional questions Uplink requests with each report.

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development has received a lot of feedback from users from these changes and has indicated additional adjustments and updates will be made in response. As we become aware of these changes, we will keep you informed.