In the coming months, we’ll be making Federal State Electronic Transmission (FSET) electronic filing available for Ohio, New York, and Michigan within Accounting CS. FSET is an electronic file format created by the IRS for filing state unemployment and withholding forms, and in many ways it’s similar to electronically filing 940 and 941 forms. Several states already require FSET filing for some forms, while others are looking into offering or requiring it in the future. By creating electronic forms, you will be able to process the form from review to transmission without ever leaving Accounting CS: FSET files are transmitted to our CS Connect server and go straight to the state agency, without the need to log onto the state’s website and upload a file.
Recent legislation effective January 1, 2015 in Ohio will require all employer and school district withholding taxes to be filed and paid electronically. For New York, withholding tax returns due on or after April 30, 2015, you must electronically file and pay your withholding tax returns electronically. In addition, Michigan will begin offering electronic filing for withholding forms starting in the first quarter of 2015. While electronic filing of Michigan withholding forms will not be required, incorporating FSET into your firm’s workflow can be a great way to save time and gain efficiency.
Setting Up an FSET Return
- Register or enroll with the state as required.
- Verify that a preparer is set up by choosing Setup > Firm Information > Staff.
- At least one staff member must be set up with complete details in the Main tab of the Staff screen. Verify that the Payroll form preparer checkbox is marked and the PTIN is entered.
- Identify the firm contact. Choose Setup > Clients and select the client. Click Edit and then click the Ellipsis (…) button in the Additional Contacts section of the Main tab. Again, all information must be set up and the Payroll form signer checkbox marked. If the firm signs the forms on behalf of the client, the firm’s information would belong here.
- Click the Payroll Taxes tab and, in the Forms section, locate the section for the state. For the applicable form(s), change the filing method to Electronic or Electronic with Payment.
- Click the state’s Additional Information button and fill in all relevant information. Each state requires slightly different setup information. At a minimum, enter the Taxpayer and Preparer details.
- Click Enter to save.
- If any of the relevant tax forms were listed with a Payment type, choose Setup > Vendors, select the appropriate tax agent, and click Edit.
- In the Payment Preferences section of the Main tab, select Electronic from the drop-down list in the Method field.
Processing and Filing FSET Returns
- Process the Reconciliation forms as usual within the Process Payroll Tax Forms screen or the Actions > Edit Payroll Tax Forms screen.
- For Payment type forms, choose File > Print Checks, click the Payroll Liabilities tab, and click Print to print the appropriate liabilities. This will automatically queue up the payment and form to be filed from the Process Electronic Forms screen.
- When the filing copy is processed, the FSET file is queued up for transmission.
- Choose Actions > Process Electronic Forms.
- Click the Transmission Information button at the bottom of the screen and select the File Contact. Fill in any additional items that relate to the state you are processing, then click OK to save.
- Mark the checkbox next to the file(s) to be transmitted.
- Choose Preview Selected to see a printable report of the files being transmitted. If necessary, you can remove reports by marking a checkbox and then clicking Remove Selected.
- Click Transmit Forms to send the electronic forms to the state.
Following Up with an E-Filed Return
- Choose Actions > Process Electronic Forms.
- Click Manage Electronic Forms.
- In this screen you can see the various forms you have already transmitted, as well as their status – including details about any file that has been rejected. You may also preview a detailed or condensed report of any files you select.
Is there an additional fee for FSET processing?
There is a $1.00 e-filing Per Return Pricing (PRP) fee for FSET forms. However, if you already have an unlimited 940/941 transmission license, the state FSET transmission is included at no additional cost.
When will FSET be available for Ohio and Michigan?
Ohio FSET will be introduced in a program update scheduled for December 2014. Michigan FSET and New York FSET will be available in March 2015 with the first-quarter update.
Where can I find more information about FSET filing within Accounting CS?
More detail regarding FSET filing is available on our Help & How-To Center.