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Texas Workforce Commission Takes Action to Notify Employers of Right to Protest Unexpected Taxes


The Texas Restaurant Association will continue to work with the Texas Workforce Commission to ensure restaurants understand their rights to protest COVID-19 unemployment claims that were beyond their control

- The Texas Restaurant Association (TRA) thanks the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) for initiating joint communications efforts with the association to ensure employers who were charged due to COVID-19 claims have the ability to timely appeal those charges. With inflation, supply chain disruptions, and labor shortages continuing to wreak havoc on restaurants’ recovery, the TWC’s proactive work to help employers avoid unintended taxes comes at a critical time for many small businesses.

From the outset of the pandemic, the TWC was clear that Texas employers would not see higher taxes from COVID-19 unemployment claims because employers could not control the unprecedented disaster and government shutdowns that were particularly devastating for the restaurant industry. Unfortunately, confusion at the peak of the pandemic resulted in many restaurants being charged for claims without taking full opportunity to assert their rights. The TWC’s vote this week is a critical step towards ensuring restaurants and other small businesses are not inadvertently penalized by the confusion COVID-19 created and, instead, they can use their hard-earned revenue to recover.

“The TWC has been a tremendous partner to the TRA and our members from the outset of the pandemic,” said Dr. Emily Williams Knight, Ed.D., President and CEO of the TRA. “When we realized that many restaurants received surprise tax bills that were not in line with Texas’ intent to hold employers harmless from COVID-19 unemployment claims, we immediately went to the TWC to find a solution. We’re grateful that the TWC delivered a proactive response that will help many restaurants and other small businesses.”

The TRA is committed to working with the TWC to ensure restaurants understand their rights and can take full advantage of the opportunities presented by this week’s action. The TWC will publicize additional guidance soon, which the TRA will share with our members and the public. The TRA will also provide educational opportunities to help restaurants navigate the process. By continuing to work together, the TRA and the TWC can give many restaurants and other employers a fair chance to quickly and efficiently lower their unemployment insurance tax rate, giving restaurants a much-needed opportunity to invest in their business and their employees.