On March 14, 2019, the Puerto Rico Department of Labor and Human Resources (PR DOL) issued a press release announcing that in an effort to improve services and reduce public expenses, all employers will be required to submit their unemployment tax returns electronically starting April 1, 2019.

Pursuant to the new Regulation Regarding the Administration of the Puerto Rico Unemployment Insurance Program (the “New Regulation”), the requirement to submit the returns electronically will apply to returns covering the first quarter of tax year 2019. As a result of this new requirement, the PR DOL will not accept or consider any returns in paper, and all employers must use only the DOL webpage to submit their returns.

Employers will have until April 30, 2019 to file and make the payment corresponding to the first quarter of 2019. To file the returns, employers must access the PR DOL wage page: https://patronos.trabajo.pr.gov/patronos.

The PR DOL has established an area in all of its regional offices to assist employers that have no internet access in order to comply with the New Regulation.

Although the ability to submit returns electronically through the PR DOL website is not new, the Puerto Rico Secretary of Labor indicated that approximately half of registered employers have continued to submit returns on paper. This will no longer be an option. Therefore, employers that have not yet made the transition to electronic filing must take the necessary steps to ensure compliance with this requirement.