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Troubleshoot agency filing and payment errors

If Gusto has notified you that we were unable to successfully file or make a payment on your behalf, this could be for a few reasons. 

Unfortunately, tax agencies do not always provide a specific reason for the failed attempt(s) to file and pay. In order to fix the issue, you'll need to reach directly out to the tax agency for additional details and instructions.

Agency contact information for your state can be found here.

Common reasons for failed filings

Please review each potential problem listed below, and ask the agency if they could be causing your failed filing. Here is a good talk track to use: “Hi this is (your name) from (your company name) and our FEIN is XX-XXXXXXX. My payroll provider Gusto, formerly ZenPayroll, received an error message when attempting to file on my behalf, and I would like to resolve this as soon as possible. I've got a few things I'd like to cross reference with you to make sure the next time they file it is successful."

  1. Make sure the account is "active".
  2. Review the "effective date" on the account.
  3. Confirm your account number matches what is in Gusto.
  4. Confirm your company name and filing/mailing address in Gusto matches what the agency has on file.
  5. Make sure the FEIN on file with the agency is what Gusto has on record so the account can be verified.
  6. If applicable, ensure Gusto has third party authorization/power of attorney. The effective date.should be on or prior to the first date of the quarter(s) in question.
    • In the State Tax Registration section of the Help Center, go to applicable state article titled "New company registration in [State]" to review the steps for granting Gusto TPA.
  7. Ensure a previous service provider isn't still listed as your reporting agent on the account.

Troubleshooting tips by error reason

  1. Your account is inactive: A state withholding and/or unemployment insurance account may be deemed inactive if no returns are filed, zero returns are filed consecutively, or your account is in a future status (meaning it won’t be active until a future date). If your account number has been deemed inactive, discuss reactivation procedures with the agency as these may vary by state.
  2. The effective date is incorrect: Make sure the effective date is on or prior to the first date of the quarter(s) in question. 
  3. Your account number is not valid: The account number you provided to Gusto may not match the one issued by the state agency. Or, you may have the correct account number, but do not have the correct type of account to file and pay your taxes. Call the agency to verify your account number and type, then check to make sure this is the number you have entered in your Gusto account. This can be found in your Gusto account by clicking Taxes & compliance an selecting Tax setup.
  4. Your company name and filing/mailing address in Gusto does not match what the agency has on file: Call the agency to verify what company name and address they have on file and check to see if that matches what you have entered in your Gusto account.
  5. The FEIN on file with the agency is not what Gusto has on record so the account cannot be verified: Call the agency to verify the FEIN associated with your account, then check to make sure this is the number you have entered in your Gusto account. This can be found by clicking the Company section and selecting Documents. Look for Form 8655: Reporting Agent Authorization form.
  6. Third party authorization/Power of attorney has an incorrect effective date: Confirm with the agency that Gusto's TPA has an effective date beginning the first day of the first quarter for which there is a check date in Gusto. Click the Payroll section and select Payroll history to confirm the first check date. Also confirm that Gusto has been authorized to file and pay on your behalf.
  7. A previous service provider is still listed as your reporting agent on the account: If a previous provider is still listed as the reporting agent it may override Gusto's attempts to obtain access and successfully file - please work directly with the agency and/or previous provider to remove them from the account.

Steps once you have resolved your issue with the agency

  1. Click the Gusto Home page notification pertaining to the error.
  2. Click edit next to the company state field.
  3. Update the state account number (if needed) and/or notify Gusto the problem is “resolved”–resolving the issue without taking troubleshooting steps may cause additional failed filings. After three failed attempts, you’ll be required to self-file outside of Gusto.
    • If you update the account number: the pending payroll blocker will be removed.
    • If you don’t update the account number: if you indicate the issue is resolved without updating the number, you’ll need to contact us to remove the pending payroll blocker.
  4. Gusto will attempt to re-file and will notify you if agencies return any additional errors–no other notifications will be sent.
    • Re-filings occur on a varied basis and are processed only after all original filings have been submitted.
  5. No news is good news–we’ll attempt to refile your return(s), usually within 2 weeks, but you won’t be notified unless they fail again.
    • To confirm a re-filing was a success you must sign in to your online agency portal or contact the agency directly.
    • Re-filing attempts will not appear as a separate form in your Gusto account (view the original filing if accessible).

A good indicator a refiling was successful is no notifications or payroll blockers after ~14 days since the issue was “resolved” in Gusto.

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