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Preparing for a Rate Assurance Investigation
How will I know if my business is being investigated?
If your account is selected for a rate assurance investigation, you will be sent a notice requesting that you contact the investigator at the telephone number provided within ten (10) business days to schedule a meeting.
What will happen during the investigation?
The initial meeting will be scheduled by the employer with their investigator and can take place in person or by telephone. The meeting should be scheduled within thirty (30) days of the original request, but can be delayed at the request of the employer for up to sixty (60) days. During the initial meeting, the investigator will discuss the reasons underlying the investigation and will request that the employer provide information, facts and/or documents about their business operations.
If, during the course of the initial meeting, the employer and the investigator reach a mutual conclusion as to the facts and the applicability of certain statutes, the investigator will prepare and send a directed determination to the employer. The directed determination allows the employer fifteen (15) days to consider the conclusions and request further investigation. If the employer has not notified the Agency that they disagree with the directed determination after fifteen (15) days, a final determination will be sent to the employer. The final determination has protest rights attached, and the determination may be protested to the LALJ.
If a further investigation is required to make a determination, the investigator will make a written request for books and records that are generally kept in the normal course of business. If the employer does not keep a specific record of the type described by the investigator, the organization should inform the investigator in writing that the document is either not kept or is not being made available to the investigator.
At the conclusion of the investigation, the investigator will schedule a wrap-up meeting with the employer to review the results and to provide the preliminary determination. This meeting will be followed by a final determination notice which will be sent to the employer. The final determination has protests rights attached, and the determination may be protested to the LALJ. See the Employer Handbook for information on Employer Protest.
How long will a rate assurance investigation take?
It is difficult to estimate the length of time a rate assurance investigation may take due to the uniqueness of each employer's business, and so the amount of time it takes can vary significantly from employer to employer. To help ensure that the investigation runs smoothly, the IDWD recommends that employers respond to correspondence within the specified time frames, submit all records that are requested in a timely manner and stay in contact with the investigator.
What type of documents may be requested during the investigation?
The documents requested by an investigator will be unique to the needs of the investigation. Unlike an audit where a payroll professional can facilitate the entire process, an employer may need to contact its legal department to obtain some of the requested information/documents.
The following non-exhaustive list includes documents an investigator may request:
- Asset Purchase Agreements, including all schedules and appendices
- Management (Operating) Administrative Agreement(s)
- Federal Tax Return(s)
- Health Insurance Policy(ies)
- Retirement Plan(s)
- Worker's Compensation Plan(s)
- Organizational Charts
- Employee Handbook(s)
- Bank Account Statements
Indiana Code Title 22, Article 4, Chapter 19, Section 6 provides that each employer shall keep true and accurate records containing information the Department considers necessary. The employer is to keep these records open to inspection and all of the above records are subject to being copied by an authorized representative of the Department. Please know that all records obtained from the employer by IDWD are considered confidential pursuant to Indiana Code 22-4-19-6(b) and Indiana Code 4-1-6, and will be kept secure.
When are any liabilities created by the investigation due?
IDWD will notify the employer immediately of any liabilities that have been assessed. After this notification, the employer is required to pay the liability within seven (7) days. The employer will be assessed interest at the rate of one percent (1%) per month until payment, plus accrued interest, is received in full by IDWD.
How do I request a refund due as a result of an investigation?
An employer may request a refund using the Department's Employer Self-Service (ESS) system by logging into their ESS account here. If the employer doesn't have an ESS account at this time, please follow instructions provided here to create and maintain an ESS account.
To claim a refund:
- Login using the employer's username and password
- Select "Submit a Request" on the left hand panel
- Select "Request Refund" from the newly created panel
- Select "Add" button on new screen titled Refund List
What if I disagree with an outcome?
If an employer disagrees with the Final Determination of the rate assurance investigation, they have the right to protest the determination pursuant to IC 22-4-32-4 by submitting a formal request (Unemployment Insurance Tax Protest Form SF55109) within fifteen (15) days of the mailing date of the determination.
How do I obtain a Federal Certification for my SUTA account after an investigation?
An employer can obtain a Federal Certification by contacting the Collection Enforcement Unit at (800) 437-9136, option #1.