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New Washington State Payroll Tax

The WA Cares Fund was created by the Washington State Legislature to establish access to a long-term care benefit for eligible Washingtonians. To fund this program, a new payroll tax has been created for all W-2 employees unless they qualify, apply, and are approved for an exemption.

We will update this page as new information becomes available to inform you about Washington State's new payroll tax & long-term care program, how to apply for an exemption, and how we can help you navigate your options.


This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax advisor.

Information & Resources

Payroll Tax Officially Postponed

On January 27th, Governor Inslee signed two bills related to the Long-Term Care payroll tax and WA Cares Fund. One major change, is that the tax is postponed and won't be collected until July 2023. Any employer that collected the tax so far, must refund their employees. More details can be found at www.wacaresfund.wa.gov/

First vote is passed for delaying the payroll tax

The state House passed the vote to delay the long-term care payroll tax by 18 months and addressed changes for eligibility & benefits. Next up, House Bill 1732 will be brought to the Senate for a vote. 

Payroll Tax - Continued, but Under Review.

Friday, December 17th, 2021 the Washington State governor announced the decision to have the Employment Security Department delay collection of the withholdings from Employers due to increased scrutiny of the bill and the Legislatures opportunity to amend it. However, "if the Legislature fails to do so, employers will still be legally obligated to pay the full amount owed to state ESD to begin the long-term care program." Meaning, that employers will likely continue their plans to withhold the payroll tax for those who have not yet received nor submitted their exemptions. For more information please visit: https://www.governor.wa.gov/news-media/inslee-statement-payments-collected-long-term-care-program 

How to Apply for Exemption

The exemption application window has opened. Exemptions applications can be submitted between October 1st 2021 - December 31st 2022. Once you are approved to be exempt from the payroll tax, you cannot opt back in later. Additionally, after you provide the approved exemption letter to your employer, the payroll deduction stops at the beginning of the following quarter - meaning, if you have been approved to be exempt but wait to send in your letter, you may end up paying more of the tax than necessary and no refunds are given. Don't procrastinate on applying for an exemption and submitting your letter to your employer. You will also have to provide this letter to any future employers. 

Apply for an Exemption

Use the interactive Cost of Care Survey

Curious about what long-term care costs could look like based on where you want to retire? Keep in mind, if you need care, the WA Long-Term Care benefit can only be used if you are residing in Washington.

Calculate in my Area

WA Cares Fund

This link will take you to the State's WA Cares Fund website.

Click Here

Additional Details

A Fact Sheet from Associates of Clifton Park

Fact Sheet