Gov. Inslee delays start of Washington’s new long-term care tax

The start of a new mandatory payroll tax to fund Washington’s long-term care program has been delayed.

The Washington State Legislature and Gov. Inslee announced plans on December 17th to change and improve the WA Cares Fund during the 2022 legislative session, which is scheduled to conclude in March 2022.

The governor directed the Employment Security Department to not collect premiums from employers until April 2022 or until the Legislature gives further direction due to discussion where both legislators and the Governor have identified areas that need adjustments.

The Governor’s actions in mid-December 2021 mean that the state will not collect those funds until the Legislature sorts through the identified issues. Employers will NOT be subject to penalties and interest for not withholding fees from employees’ wages during this transition.”

However, the existing law still directs employers to begin collecting premiums from their employees beginning Jan. 1, 2022. Each employer will need to decide whether they will implement the law as it stands or await legislative action.

We encourage all employers to visit the WA Cares Fund website as more information becomes available. Employers can sign up for the WA Cares Fund mailing list. For employer-specific information, you can also subscribe to ESD’s employer newsletter.