Rates, Withholding Schedules, and Meals and Lodging Values

UI, ETT, and SDI Rates

Tax rates and taxable wage limits for the last several years are listed on Tax Rates, Wage Limits, and Value of Meals and Lodging (DE 3395) (PDF).

The Unemployment Insurance (UI) rate schedule in effect for 2020 is Schedule F+. This is Schedule F plus a 15 percent emergency surcharge, rounded to the nearest tenth. Schedule F+ provides for UI contribution rates from 1.5 percent to 6.2 percent.

Exception: Employers subject to section 977(c) of the CUIC must pay at the highest rate provided by law plus an additional 2 percent, see SUTA Dumping (AB 664). The taxable wage limit is $7,000 per employee. For more information about how your UI rate is determined, refer to Information Sheet: California System of Experience Rating (DE 231Z) (PDF).

To access your 2020 UI rate:

  1. Visit e-Services for Business.
  2. Select View your Payroll Tax Rates under More Online Services.
  3. Enter your employer payroll tax account number.
  4. Select Get My UI Rate.

Payroll agents can get UI rates for multiple clients by logging in to e-Services for Business and selecting Submit Bulk Rate Inquiry from the I Want To menu.

The Voluntary UI program is not in effect for 2020.

The Employment Training Tax (ETT) rate for 2020 is 0.1 percent. The UI and ETT taxable wage limit remains at $7,000 per employee per calendar year.

The State Disability Insurance (SDI) withholding rate for 2020 is 1.00 percent. The taxable wage limit is $122,909 for each employee per calendar year. The maximum to withhold for each employee is $1,229.09.

Your UI, ETT, and SDI tax rates are combined on a single rate notice, Notice of Contribution Rates and Statement of UI Reserve Account (DE 2088). The DE 2088 will be mailed to you in December, with a mailing date of December 31. You will have 60 days from the December 31 mailing date to protest any item on the DE 2088 except SDI and ETT, which are specifically set by law.

New employers: You are assigned a 3.4 percent UI tax rate for a period of two to three years. This will depend on when you meet the criteria under section 982(b) of the California Unemployment Insurance Code (CUIC). If you purchased an established business, you have the option of keeping the previous owner’s UI tax rate (refer to Purchasing a Business With Employees).

Visit Historical Information for past rates.

California Withholding Schedules

California provides two methods for determining the amount to be withheld from wages and salaries for state personal income tax.

  • Method A – Wage Bracket Table Method (PDF) – with Instructions
    Low Income Exemption, Estimated Deduction, Weekly Payroll Period, Biweekly Payroll Period, Semi-Monthly Payroll Period, Monthly Payroll Period, and Daily / Miscellaneous Payroll Period
  • Method B – Exact Calculation Method (PDF) – with Instructions
    Low Income Exemption, Estimated Deduction, Standard Deduction, Personal Exemption Credit, Annual Payroll Period, Daily / Miscellaneous Payroll Period, Quarterly Payroll Period, Semi-Annual Payroll Period, Semi-Monthly Payroll Period, Monthly Payroll Period, Weekly Payroll Period, and Biweekly Payroll Period

Visit Historical Information for past schedules.

Employee Withholding Allowance

When you hire an employee, you must have them complete and sign both withholding certificates: the federal Form W-4 and the state DE 4. The W-4 is used for federal income tax and the DE 4 is used for California Personal Income Tax (PIT).

Changes in 2020

Starting in 2020, allowances are no longer included on the redesigned Form W-4 for PIT withholdings. New hires and existing employees making changes to their withholdings must submit both the Form W-4 and the Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate (DE 4) (PDF). If an employee does not give you a properly completed state DE 4, you must withhold state income taxes from the employee’s wages as if the employee were single and claiming zero withholding allowances.

Employees who submitted a Form W-4 before 2020 are not required to submit a new form if they have no changes to their withholding allowances. Continue to calculate withholding based on previously submitted forms.

Meals and Lodging Values

Non-Maritime Employees

2020 Meal Values for Non-Maritime Employees
Meal Value
Breakfast $2.45
Lunch $3.70
Dinner $5.85
Total $12.00
A meal not identified as either breakfast, lunch, or dinner $4.30

Lodging Value

Value is set at 66-2/3 percent of the ordinary rental value to the public, but not in excess of $1,607.00 per month or less than $52.10 per week.

Fishermen

Maritime employees’ values of meals and lodging are different than all other employees. Lodging values for maritime employees apply only when the facilities meet specific minimum standards. Lodging value is $52.10 per week or $7.40 per day for periods of less than a week.

2020 Meal and Quarters Values for Licensed Maritime Employees
Licensed Personnel Value
Meals $12.00
Quarters $10.85
Total per day $22.85
Meal and Quarters Values for Unlicensed Maritime Employees
Unlicensed Personnel Value
Meals $12.00
Quarters $7.40
Total per day $19.40

Visit Historical Information for past values.

For assistance, contact the Taxpayer Assistance Center at 1-888-745-3886 or visit your local Employment Tax Office.