US State Tax Summaries

US Payroll Tax Guide: Wisconsin

Managing payroll in Wisconsin? Read our state-by-state guide to US payroll taxes to learn what you must withhold and deduct from employee wages.

Anja Simic
Written by Anja Simic
August 22, 2023
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Key takeaways

  1. In Wisconsin, employers are required to withhold personal income tax, workers' comp, and unemployment insurance.
  2. Worker's compensation is procured through a qualified commercial carrier that meets state coverage standards.
  3. The nature of your business activities will determine if you need to register the company after your first hire.

Employers have to navigate a variety of regulations and requirements to ensure proper payroll withholding in each US state. This guide serves as an introduction to what employers need to pay and withhold from payroll in Wisconsin, including unemployment insurance, personal income tax, and workers' compensation. 

Paying unemployment insurance

On top of withholding federal taxes such as Medicare and Social Security taxes, you are also responsible for withholding and paying certain Wisconsin state taxes from your employee’s payroll. These taxes together are referred to as employer payroll taxes or payroll withholding. One of the taxes that you will need to pay is Unemployment Insurance. 

Unemployment insurance is a nationwide program overseen by the US Department of Labor, providing temporary financial assistance to individuals who find themselves unemployed through circumstances beyond their control. Unemployment insurance is the responsibility of the employer. You can manage your unemployment insurance contribution through an online portal. For more details, refer to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development website.

Withholding personal income tax from your Wisconsin employee

In addition to federal tax withholdings, employers in Wisconsin must withhold specific state taxes from their employees' paychecks. These collective taxes are referred to as employer payroll taxes or payroll withholdings.

Personal income tax, sometimes called individual income tax or state income tax, is levied on the income of Wisconsin residents. As an employer, it's your responsibility to deduct this tax from your employees' wages and remit it to the state. You can manage these withholdings through an online portal. For more detailed information on how to process and pay the withheld amount, visit the Wisconsin Department of Revenue dedicated page.


Paying your Wisconsin workers’ compensation

It's important to remember that in Wisconsin, even if you only have one employee, you are still required to provide workers' compensation insurance in addition to payroll taxes.

Workers' compensation insurance safeguards employees in case of work-related injuries. Employers typically secure this insurance from a qualified commercial carrier within the state. Wisconsin State offers resources to help you identify suitable carriers through their platform. Choosing workers' compensation insurance that meets state coverage standards is crucial for protecting your employees and your business.

Determining the need for company registration in Wisconsin

Determining whether your company needs to register with the state of Wisconsin upon hiring the first employee depends on the nature of your business activities and whether they align with legal definitions. Seek legal counsel to ensure compliance with state laws.

Simplify US payroll tax compliance with Deel

While this guide provides essential information on Wisconsin payroll taxes, payroll compliance, and state requirements extend beyond what is covered above. To streamline the process and ensure full compliance, companies can turn to Deel. 

Deel offers a comprehensive solution for managing US and international payroll, including payments, taxes, worker classification, and more. Speak with an expert today to see how you can streamline your US payroll processes and ensure compliance with state regulations.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for general informational purposes and should not be treated as legal or tax advice. Consult a professional before proceeding.

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