Utah Payroll Instructions

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Utah has state payroll income tax withholding, using a math sequence that is unlike any other state. Rates did not change in 2017. Utah tax formulas and tables have changed in 9 of the past 27 years, including major revisions in both 2008 and 2011.

NOTE-- In 2007 we switched the Utah tax tables from weekly to annual. That means the amounts are very different, but the calculated tax will be nearly the same (since out payroll software automatically converts the tables to whatever payroll period you use).

Utah State Withholding Instructions

To enter withholding information for an employee in your Goldenseal company file, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Employees from the Accounts menu.
  2. Locate the employee record.
  3. Click the Payroll Setup button.
  4. Enter the employee's marital status into the Marital Status field (see note below).
  5. Enter the number of federal dependents into the Federal Exemptions field.
  6. Enter the number of dependents into the State Exemptions field.
  7. Enter the Utah Tax Package into the Tax Package field. HINT-- If you don't see it in the list, you'll need to import the tax info first.
  8. Click OK.

Utah completely changed their calculation methods in 2008.

Unlike all other states, Utah now uses a withholding percentage on the full amount (instead of the usual "step" table with higher rates applying only on the excess above the previous rate cutoff). We have adjusted the step table so it will calculate this way, even though it means a big change in the withholding amount, if wages change from just below to just above the cutoff amount (or vice versa).

According to the Utah tax booklet, you should drop the state exemptions to zero for a single employee making over $39,800 per year, or a married employee making over $79,600 per year. That can mean a huge increase in the deduction amount, if they have multiple deductions.

The current calculation method is very "uneven", and we expect that it will probably be revised.


Utah State Unemployment Tax Instructions

In 2016, the Utah SUTA state unemployment insurance tax is based on the first $33,100 of annual wages for each employee (increased from last year's $32,200). The starting tax rate for a new business is 9.4%. After the first year, the SUTA rate is adjusted for the employer's experience factor-- rates can range between .4% and 9.4%.

To enter your Utah SUTA tax rate into the Goldenseal payroll software, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Payroll Setup from the Costs menu, and choose Tax Items from the submenu.
  2. You'll see a list of Tax Items. Locate the Utah SUTA tax in the list, and double-click on it. HINT: If you don't see Utah SUTA in the list, you'll need to import your state's payroll info first. Also note that Utah SUTA and Utah FUTA are the only rhyming withholding taxes in North America!
  3. Click in the percentage field to the right of Calculation method, and enter the SUTA rate for your business.
  4. If the cutoff amount has changed, enter it into the dollar field to the right of First Adjustment.

Utah Marital Status

Use the following to determine the value for the Marital Status popup menu in each Employee account:

  • Single- single employee with one personal exemption
  • Married- married employee with two personal exemptions
  • Multiply Married- multiply married employee with three to fifteen personal exemptions
  • Dual Income- married employee with one personal exemption
  • Head of House- employee claims Head of Family status
  • Other- not used


Utah Tax Contacts

Tax forms website

Payroll Tax Office-- 801 297-2200
Forms-- 800 662-4335
SUTA-- 801 536-7400

Utah State Tax Commission
160 East Third South
Salt Lake City UT 84134-0200


Official State Lawn Ornament

One male pink plastic flamingo, seven females.