FAQs for Tax Filing Employers and Third Party Agents - Unemployment Insurance Modernization
With the implementation of a new UI system, called the Reemployment BEACON, there will be many frequently asked questions (FAQs). This is where you will be able to get the answer to those questions. We will continue to develop and expand the list of FAQs as the project moves forward. The questions have been organized into topics to make it easier to search.
If you have a question not answered here, please send it to:
- Q: What is the MW Consortium Unemployment Insurance Modernization (UIM) project?
A: The MW Consortium Unemployment Insurance Modernization (MW UIM) is a partnership between the Maryland Department of Labor Licensing & Regulations (DLLR) and Workforce West Virginia to modernize the unemployment insurance system and create a state-of-the-art solution to provide unemployment programs and services. The Consortium’s goals for the new system are to:
- Improve customer service
- Eliminate manual, labor-intensive processes
- Increase data accuracy
- Improve security and privacy
- Allow real time data sharing
- Apply common technical standards
- Improve maintenance and support
A: When the new system goes live, you will still file your unemployment taxes electronically. There is a simple process to upload quarterly wage files as well as wage amendments. See the “Instructions for Employers” or “Instructions for Third Party Agents” on this site for technical details on wage file formats as well as instructions for testing prior to go-live. We will be providing on-line videos and information well before the go-live date so you can make sure you are ready to use the new system as easily as possible.
A: Continue to check in at this website. Beginning in June 2017, you will be able to register to receive updates by email. This will be the best and easiest way to make sure you have the most current information.
- Q: When will the new system go-live?
A: The Maryland Division of Unemployment Insurance (“DUI”) is excited to announce its new system, BEACON, will go live on Monday, September 21. Please continue to file your quarterly wage reports and make payments as you currently do until the new BEACON system goes live on Monday, September 21. The 3rd quarter wage reports will be the first quarter that will be filed in the new BEACON system.
Before the new BEACON system goes live, registered employers and agents who already have a UI Account number can activate their account in BEACON.
- Q: When can Employers and Agents begin activating their accounts in BEACON?
A: Employers and Agents can now activate their accounts and set up their user IDs and passwords on BEACON before BEACON goes live on Monday, September 21.
Please note that Employers and Agents will not be able to file wage reports or make payments in BEACON until BEACON goes live on Monday, September 21. Until BEACON goes live, you must continue to file wage reports and make payments as you currently do.
Please visit the BEACON Employer and Agent information page for additional BEACON account activation information.
- Q: Will the current mainframe system be taken down before BEACON goes live?
A: Yes, As DUI prepares to go live with BEACON on Monday, September 21, 2020, DUI’s current mainframe system will be offline from September 16 at 5:00 p.m.. to September 20 at 12:01 a.m. This means that certain changes will take place in the way Employers and third-party agents currently make quarterly wage payments and file their contribution and employment reports. Please read more about the changes that will take place.
- Q: Will there be a “test” period for employers and third party agents to test submission of their wage files prior to go-live?
A: Yes. Employers and third party agents can test their wage files for formatting and submission now. The testing site will remain open through system implementation. To begin testing, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Accounts and Account Numbers
- Q: Will I have to re-register my account?
A: All of your current account information will transfer to the new system. However, some additional information will also be required. There will be a “mini-registration” in the new system to capture that additional information.
- Q: Will my account number be the same?
A: Yes. If you have a current account number it will be carried over to the new system. All account numbers will be 10 digits.
- Q: Will the modernization change the existing method of application to convert to reimbursing status?
A: Agents or employers may submit a request electronically, but will also have to provide a hard copy request in writing. The request still has to be submitted before December 1st, with the change effective January 1st.
- Q: Will it be necessary for any changes to be made to the Powers of Attorney we currently have in place with clients?
A: Authorizations provided by employers to Third Party Agents through Powers of Attorney will be carried over to the new system. Any changes to authorizations or employer-agent relationships will require new documentation.
Third Party Administrator Roles
- Q: Will certain TPA roles be assignable? Will only one TPA be assignable to each role or will each TPA be able to do whatever roles assigned?
A: Each TPA will have specific roles as assigned by the employer through a Power of Attorney (PoA). There are system driven roles that provide the TPA the ability to carry out specific functions on behalf of their client employers.
- Q: Will each TPA account have users assigned? Or will there only be one main login for a TPA and all users will be using it? If so, can more than one user be logged in at a time?
A: TPAs can have multiple users with their own individual login credentials.
- Q: Will there be provisions for employers who have one TPA handling unemployment claims and another reporting payroll?
A: Yes. Employers may designate multiple agents to have different roles through the Power of Attorney.
Power of Attorney
- Q: Will POAs be grandfathered in? Will you be able to assign accounts to one main TPA login or will each employer SAN need to be associated manually? Will you do this or do we need to? Or will employers need to grant access to a TPA or TPAs?
A: If a POA is currently on file and active, that information will be transferred to the new system. TPAs will be able to have multiple users with their own individual login credentials. Employers will authorize TPAs through a Power of Attorney, and the TPAs will create their accounts, including multiple users, directly in the system. The system will match the TPA to the Employer.
- Q: Will modernization change the process of establishing Power of Attorney (POA) and Official Mailing Address (OMA). Will this become an online function in the future?
A: All Third Party Administrators will be required to submit a Power of Attorney (POA) to perform activity on an employer's account, unless a POA is currently on file and active. There will be three addresses required in the new system: Mailing, Business, and Legal address. This can and will be handled electronically through the new system.
- Q: Will more than one TPA be able to be granted access/POA on an account on the new system? Will there be unlimited TPAs able to be assigned?
A: Yes, but the TPA must have a POA on file and have been approved by the agency (DLLR-UI). Each POA must designate the specific functionality for which the TPA will be provided access.
- Q: Will the TPA replace the POA form?
A: If the existing POA has been currently filed with the state of Maryland then you will not have to replace the POA unless it is expired or invalid. All TPA's will require an active POA for the period of activities the TPA intends to perform in the new system.
Tax Rates, Benefit Charging, Payments, and Protests
- Q: Will modernization require reimbursing billing payments to be made electronically?
A: The preference would be to receive payment electronically. However, payments can also be made by check and a P.O. Box has been established for reimbursable payments.
- Q: Will benefits statements be available on the new system?
- Q: Will benefits charged need to be protested on the new system?
A: Benefit charges can be protested via the new system or by mail.
- Q: Are there expected to be any changes to the SIDES program?
A: SIDES will continue to function as it has and the new system will interface with it. If there are any changes to how employers and agents interface with SIDES they are expected to be
- Q. Will I need special credentials to submit wage files by FTP?
A: Yes, if you plan to submit wage files by FTP, e-mail email@example.com with “FTP Wages” as the subject of the e-mail so that the proper production credentials can be created and provided to you for your wage filings.