OhioBWC - Employer - Service:  (Payroll reports) - Details

Payroll reports

For more details on the payroll reporting process, click on the appropriate link below.

Filing state-fund payroll reports online
Private, state-fund and public, state-fund employers must pay workers' compensation premiums from their first date of hire into the state insurance fund. If you had employees prior to obtaining coverage, you will be charged a no coverage penalty for the period when you first hired employees up to the date you took out coverage.

Ohio law allows employers performing work outside Ohio to separate payroll for that work. However, you must first submit a Notice of Election to Obtain Coverage from Other States (U-131). During the true-up period for your Ohio payroll, you'll also report your non-Ohio Payroll. You can do this online. From the Employers section use the left-side menu, and click Custom Services, Interstate Jurisdiction, Report non-Ohio payroll (U-146). You're only required to report the non-Ohio payroll if you've properly notified us about the other states' coverage.

To complete your Ohio true-up or non-Ohio payroll online, there must be a policy period available for the specific policy year (July 1 to June 30 for private employers; Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 for public). If you do not find a policy period you want, call 1-800-644-6292, and listen to the options.

Once you access your Ohio true-up report, you have the option of reporting Ohio payroll, non-Ohio payroll or both.

  • In the Ohio true-up report, you'll see manual classifications that describe your company’s industrial pursuit. We determine premium base rates by the claims experience of all employers within that manual classification. We may change those rates depending on your own claims experience or your company’s participation in an alternative rating program. You cannot add manual classifications to the true-up report.
  • The non-Ohio payroll report only requires you to report payroll by state. You are not required to pay premium on this payroll.

When you complete the true-up report, enter the amount of payroll for each assigned manual classification. BWC has already provided the blended rate for the manual, and all other assessments and administrative costs. After you enter your information you will see the total amount of premium calculated for that policy year. If you owe additional premium, you'll see information regarding your payment options.

Paying premiums online
When completing the true-up report online, you can pay any additional premium with a credit card, MasterCard®, VISA® or American Express®. You also can authorize a payment from your checking or savings account. If you authorize payment from your checking or savings account, you can future date your premium payment up to the due date for the reporting period.

The minimum payment is $120 for both private and public employers.

Also, if you're submitting past payroll reports for more than one reporting period, make a separate payment for each report to ensure we apply your payments properly.

Note: The date you make a payment online is the date used for reinstatement of coverage.

Frequently asked questions

When do you true-up?
Private, state-fund employers must true-up report and pay any outstanding premium by Aug. 15.

Public employers must true-up report and pay any outstanding premium by Feb. 15

Penalty for misrepresenting payroll and premiums
BWC can impose the 10-times rule in cases where an employer misrepresents payroll. This rule allows us to charge an employer 10 times the amount of premium underreported.

Do I need to file a true-up report if I have no payroll?
You must true-up even if you have no payroll for the policy year.

What do I do if I no longer need coverage?
Since workers’ compensation insurance is provided in advance of payroll reporting or premium payment, you must notify BWC of your request to cancel coverage. An employer can request to cancel coverage online or complete the Notification of Policy Update (U-117).

Note: If you are currently leasing your employees from a professional employer organization (PEO), you must maintain active coverage. If you no longer need coverage, and do not inform us, the policy will remain in effect. If we do not receive a final payroll report, your coverage will lapse, and we will bill you for estimated payroll for the period. If we do not receive payment after 60 days, we turn the policy over to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office for collection.

Payroll: what is reportable?

  • Gross hourly wages and gross salaries less qualifying deductions for section 125 cafeteria plan benefits (usually Medicare wages*)
  • Sick pay (including third party, excluding workers' compensation)
  • Bonus payments, including stock given as a bonus
  • All sales commissions
  • All tips
  • Severance pay
  • Overtime pay
  • All shift or holiday differential pay
  • All stock gifts
  • Profit sharing going directly to the employees as payroll
  • Any voluntary employee contributions to retirement plans, including 401K
  • Reasonable value of board, lodging, house or room rent unless provided for the convenience of the employer
  • Contributions to deferred compensation by employees (except for contributions to a Governmental 457 plan)
  • Personal use of company car
  • Payments to casual/spot labor

*Premiums for life insurance over $50K not reportable to BWC.

For specific questions call 1-800-644-6292 or your local BWC service office.

NCCI manual classifications
BWC uses the manual classification system established by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI), which is used in more than 40 states. You must report your reportable payroll using this system. You annual estimated premium will be calculated by multiplying your reportable payroll by the rate for each NCCI code and adding the total(s) for these code(s).

We adopted this system because it represents a more equitable premium rate structure. Also, the NCCI system is a more accurate and understandable classification system, which better classifies employers by their predominant business.
Learn more about manual classifications.

Payroll reporting for sole proprietors and partnerships
Sole proprietors and partners need to provide their employees, including seasonal and part time, with workers’ compensation coverage. However, sole proprietors and partners are not required to cover themselves. If you decide to elect workers’ compensation coverage for yourself, complete the Application for Elective Coverage (U-3S). Report your actual net income as payroll and pay premiums on that earned income.

For all individuals electing coverage, the reportable wages are subject to a minimum and maximum, which is based on the statewide average weekly wage calculated annually by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Minimum/Maximum payroll reporting requirements

For all individuals electing coverage, we'll assign the classification based on the person's actual duties. If the individual has duties in multiple operations, they're assigned the highest rated classification, and their full wages are reported to that one classification.

Payroll reporting for corporate officers
Corporate officers include the president, vice president, secretary, treasurer and any other executive officers, which are specified in, and empowered by the charter or regularly adopted bylaws or minutes of the corporation. Persons who are elected, appointed, or empowered by the directors and perform duties for the corporation must also be covered. A corporate officer may also be referred to as "executive officer of a corporation," "executive officer" or "officer." With exceptions noted in this policy, BWC considers corporate officers employees of the corporation, and they are covered under the workers' compensation policy. If the corporation is nonprofit:

  1. The executive director will be considered a corporate officer;
  2. A person who volunteers his or her services as a corporate officer will not be considered an employee for workers' compensation purposes.
Persons who are elected or appointed as officers, empowered by the directors and perform duties for the corporation also must be covered. Wages are subject to a minimum and maximum, which is based on the statewide average weekly wage calculated annually by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

Report the payroll of corporate officers under the manual classification that appropriately describes their duties.

Corporate officers of Subchapter S corporations must report a reasonable wage for the services they perform. If the regular earnings do not constitute a reasonable wage for the services performed, then his/her portion of ordinary income from Federal Income Tax Form 1120S Schedule K-1 (less section 179 depreciation deduction) is to be included (added to their regular earnings) to establish a reasonable wage up to the maximum. Net losses are not to be deducted. Ordinary income should be estimated if tax returns are not completed.

Minimum and maximum payroll reporting requirements
The following individuals are subject to a minimum and maximum payroll reporting requirement:

  • Active executive officers of a corporation
    Note: Officers are considered active if they are engaged in any work on behalf of the corporation;
  • Employers listed below who choose elective coverage (because they are not required to carry workers' compensation insurance).

  • - Sole proprietors
    - Partnership
    - Family farm corporate officers
    - Limited liability company acting as a partnership
    - Limited liability company acting as a sole proprietor
    - Individual incorporated as a corporation (with no employees)

Notes: Ministers covered under a religious organization's policy are not subject to the minimum and maximum reporting requirement, and should report their actual earnings.
Non-officer board members are not subject to the officer minimum/maximum rules.

Individuals in any of the categories above must report a minimum and maximum payroll based on the state average weekly wage (SAWW). The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services determines the SAWW effective Jan. 1 of each year. Effective July 1, 2006, these individuals must report minimum wages equal to 50 percent of the SAWW up to a maximum of 150 percent of the SAWW.

Reporting guidelines are as follows:

Date Minimum reportable wages per person per week Maximum reportable wages per person per week
7/1/19 to 6/30/20 $476 $1,425
7/1/18 to 6/30/19 $466 $1,398
7/1/17 to 6/30/18 $451 $1,353
7/1/16 to 6/30/17 $443 $1,328
1/1/15 to 6/30/16 $431 $1,293
1/1/14 to 12/31/14 $425 $1,274
1/1/13 to 12/31/13 $419 $1,256
1/1/12 to 12/31/12 $405 $1,214
1/1/11 to 12/31/11 $392 $1,175
1/1/10 to 12/31/10 $388 $1,163
1/1/09 to 12/31/09 $384 $1,151
1/1/08 to 12/31/08 $376 $1,127
1/1/07 to 12/31/07 $365 $1,095
7/1/06 to 12/31/06 $352 $1,056
Prior to 7/1/06 $100* $800

*Prior to July 1, 2006, there was no minimum reporting requirement for corporate officers.

Construction industry payroll limitation
Since 1995, construction industry payroll limits have been established for manual classification codes in Industry Group 4. BWC reviews the limits each year and revises them as needed. The construction industry employer who chooses to use the limit when reporting payroll must maintain records to verify the weekly wages paid to construction industry employees. The payroll limitation applies to weekly payroll, regardless of the hourly or daily remuneration.

Apply the weekly cap on an employee-by-employee basis. In the absence of weekly records, you can only take advantage of the cap on the whole payroll reporting basis. It makes no difference if the employee is full time, part time or seasonal. Section 125 cafeteria plan deductions must be deducted PRIOR to calculating the excess amount. Bonuses paid in the policy year are to spread out among the weeks worked. The weekly construction cap does not affect officers of the corporation or owners with elective coverage since the weekly officer cap is the same as the weekly construction cap.

The reportable payroll will not exceed the weekly limits outlined in the following table:

Payroll period Payroll limitation cap
July 1, 2019 - July 1, 2020 $1,425 per week
July 1, 2018 - June 30, 2019 $1,398 per week
July 1, 2017 - July 1, 2018 $1,353 per week
July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2017 $1,328 per week
Jan. 1, 2015 - June 30, 2016 $1,293 per week
Jan. 1, 2014 - Dec. 31, 2014 $1,274 per week
Jan. 1, 2013 - Dec. 31, 2013 $1,256 per week
Jan. 1, 2012 - Dec. 31, 2012 $1,214 per week
Jan. 1, 2011 - Dec. 31, 2011 $1,175 per week
Jan. 1, 2010 - Dec. 31, 2010 $1,163 per week
Jan. 1, 2009 - Dec. 31, 2009 $1,151 per week
Jan. 1, 2008 - Dec. 31, 2008 $1,127 per week
Jan. 1, 2007 - Dec. 31, 2007 $1,095 per week
Jan. 1, 2006 - Dec. 31, 2006 $1,056 per week
Jan. 1, 2005 - Dec. 31, 2005 $1,017 per week
Jan. 1, 2004 - Dec. 31, 2004 $993 per week
Jan. 1, 2003 - Dec. 31, 2003 $965 per week
Jan. 1, 2002 - Dec. 31, 2002 $942 per week
Jan. 1, 2001 - Dec. 31, 2001 $927 per week
Jan. 1, 2000 - Dec. 31, 2000 $884 per week
Jan. 1, 1999 - Dec. 31, 1999 $851 per week
Jan. 1, 1998 - Dec. 31, 1998 $812 per week
Jan. 1, 1997 - Dec. 31, 1997 $782 per week
Jan. 1, 1996 - Dec. 31, 1996 $767 per week
Jan. 1, 1995 - Dec. 31, 1995 $740 per week

NCCI manual codes that qualify for construction limits - Industry group 4