Rates, Withholding Schedules, and Meals and Lodging Values

Contribution Rates

Your Unemployment Insurance (UI), Employment Training Tax (ETT), and State Disability Insurance (SDI) tax rates are combined on the Notice of Contribution Rates and Statement of UI Reserve Account (DE 2088). We will mail your DE 2088 in December and you can view it in e-Services for Business.

UI Rate

The UI rate schedule for 2021 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. The taxable wage limit is $7,000 per employee per calendar year.

For more information, including how to protest your UI rate, visit Tax-Rated Employers.

ETT Rate

The ETT rate for 2021 is 0.1 percent. The ETT taxable wage limit is $7,000 per employee per calendar year.

SDI Rate

The SDI withholding rate for 2021 is 1.20 percent. The taxable wage limit is $128,298 for each employee per calendar year. The maximum to withhold for each employee is $1,539.58.

For past tax rates and taxable wage limits, refer to Tax Rates, Wage Limits, and Value of Meals and Lodging (DE 3395) (PDF) or visit Historical Information.

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.

IRS Resources

Meals and Lodging Values

Non-Maritime Employees

2021 Meal Values for Non-Maritime Employees
Meal Value
Breakfast $2.55
Lunch $3.85
Dinner $6.05
Total $12.45
A meal not identified as either breakfast, lunch, or dinner $4.45

Lodging Value

Value is set at 66-2/3 percent of the ordinary rental value to the public, but not in excess of $1,688.00 per month or less than $54.75 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 $54.75 per week or $7.75 per day for periods of less than a week.

2021 Meal and Quarters Values for Licensed Maritime Employees
Licensed Personnel Value
Meals $12.45
Quarters $11.40
Total per day $23.85
Meal and Quarters Values for Unlicensed Maritime Employees
Unlicensed Personnel Value
Meals $12.45
Quarters $7.75
Total per day $20.20

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.